There are many things both teens and young adults/college students can do over summer vacation to earn a little extra money. Some are the usual jobs associated with the young, while others can actually develop into careers, or at least side jobs when needed.
1. Mowing/yard work/lawn care, pet walking, door-to-door car wash
In summer, lawns need mowing, repeatedly. Other yard work, and even gardening can pile up too. If your neighbor does not need your help now, be sure to ask again in a few days. You never know when they may decide it is too hot to do it themselves, or lose their current “lawn guy”. They may not feel like walking their dog one day, or you may notice their truck is covered in more mud than usual.
It never hurts to ask if someone needs your services. These are the things our sons used to do, but now we are finding our daughters fully capable of handling them as well. So be careful guys, your little sis may beat you to the punch, simply because she wasn’t afraid to ask.
2. House sitting, babysitting
Conversely, the girls better look out too. More and more young men are becoming adequate baby and house sitters. These things are often in more need during the summer when people are vacationing, or just want a night away. If the single parent next door looks overwhelmed, or you overhear your neighbor planning a trip, again, it never hurts to ask.
3. Writing online and other online opportunities
If you have the skills, you can become an online writer. This is great for journalism and literary arts majors, or those looking to teaching careers. It can even lead to a career, or at least look good on your resume. Yahoo Contributor Network is a great place to hone your skills in writing.
As to other online opportunities, they are there, but always be sure you are not getting scammed. Taking surveys and such can be good, but be wary of anyone who wishes you to provide “start up money” for anything! Always look before you leap, and be sure it will be worth the time you are investing too.
In addition to these, there are sometimes job listing on craigslist and other such sites. Again, beware of scammers, and be sure you are dealing with a reputable company, even if it is in your local area. Know who you are dealing with. Your safety is imperative when dealing with anyone online.
4. Volunteer work that can lead to more
Some excellent opportunities are available in areas that require starting as a volunteer, but these may take more time to come to fruition. For example, art societies need volunteers quite often, and high school student looking to a career in the arts can get a foot in the door of their local arts center, foundation, or gallery in this manner.
Libraries are another good volunteering project. My daughter volunteered at the library several summers in a row, and by the time she was old enough to work, she was one of the first in line for an entry level position there. She decided against it, because she would be starting college in another city, but had she been going to school closer by, it would have been the perfect opportunity for her.
Mentoring programs are yet another of these to consider. While volunteering at any of these will not pay you in the short term, it can keep young people out of trouble during the summer, and lead to far more lucrative ventures in the future, be it actual work, or recommendations and other awards that can come from doing so.