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How To Make $100 In Chicago As Teenager

Part-time job opportunities in Chicago for teenagers

Retail and Food Service Jobs

Chicago offers a wide range of part-time job opportunities for teenagers, which can help them earn money while gaining valuable work experience. One of the most common job sectors that hire teenagers is retail and food service. Many stores, restaurants, and cafes in Chicago are often on the lookout for energetic and responsible teenagers to join their team. These jobs can include tasks like cashiering, customer service, stocking shelves, or food preparation.

Babysitting and Pet Sitting

Another popular part-time job for teenagers in Chicago is babysitting or pet sitting. Many busy parents in the city are in need of responsible individuals to care for their children while they are away. Teenagers who enjoy spending time with kids can offer their services as a babysitter, while those who love pets can take up pet sitting jobs. These jobs can be a great way to earn money while developing skills in responsibility, organization, and interpersonal communication.

Tutoring and Homework Help

Chicago has a strong education system, and many parents are willing to pay for extra academic support for their children. Teenagers who excel in particular subjects, such as math, science, or English, can offer their services as tutors. Tutoring can be done in person or remotely through online platforms. This type of job not only helps teenagers earn money but also enhances their own knowledge and teaches valuable skills such as patience, communication, and critical thinking.

Camp Counselor or Youth Mentor

During the summer months, many organizations in Chicago operate summer camps for children and teenagers. These camps often hire older teenagers as camp counselors or youth mentors. This kind of job allows teenagers to work in a fun and dynamic environment, where they can plan activities, supervise groups of children, and be responsible for their well-being. Being a camp counselor or youth mentor can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, as it provides opportunities to develop leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills.

Freelance or Gig Work

The gig economy has opened up new opportunities for teenagers to make money on a flexible schedule. Platforms like TaskRabbit, Fiverr, or Rover allow teenagers to offer their services for tasks such as errands, dog walking, or creative work like graphic design or content writing. These jobs can be done on a part-time basis and provide a way for teenagers to tap into their skills and interests to make money. However, it is important to ensure that any freelance or gig work complies with local labor laws and guidelines for teenage workers.

Teenagers in Chicago have various part-time job opportunities available to them. By exploring sectors like retail and food service, babysitting and pet sitting, tutoring and homework help, camp counseling or youth mentoring, as well as freelance or gig work, teenagers can learn valuable skills, earn money, and gain work experience that will benefit them in the future.

Starting a small business as a teenager in Chicago

Finding a profitable niche

Starting a small business as a teenager in Chicago can be a great way to earn extra money and gain valuable entrepreneurial skills. However, it’s important to choose a profitable niche to ensure success. Look for gaps in the market or areas where you have a unique talent or skill. For example, if you have a passion for baking, you could start a small bakery business specializing in custom-made cakes or cookies.

Research and planning

Before diving into any business venture, it’s essential to do thorough research and create a solid business plan. Research the demand for your product or service in Chicago and identify your target audience. It’s also crucial to study your competition and understand their strategies. By conducting market research, you can tailor your business to meet the needs of your potential customers.

Start small

As a teenager starting a business, it’s important to start small to minimize risks. Consider launching your business as a side gig while still in school or during the summer break. This allows you to gain experience, test the market, and refine your business model. You can start by offering your products or services to friends, family, and local community members. As your business grows, you can gradually expand and reach a wider audience.

Building an online presence

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is crucial for any business. Create a professional website or online store to showcase your products or services. Use social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to promote your business and engage with potential customers. You can also consider utilizing online marketplaces like Etsy or Shopify to reach a larger customer base.

Networking and collaboration

Networking is an important aspect of starting a business as a teenager in Chicago. Attend local entrepreneurial events, join business associations, and connect with like-minded individuals. Collaborate with other small businesses or influencers in your niche to expand your reach and tap into their customer base. Building strong relationships with peers and mentors can provide valuable guidance and support throughout your entrepreneurial journey.

Understanding legal requirements

It’s essential to understand the legal requirements and regulations for starting a business as a teenager in Chicago. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain permits, licenses, or certifications. Familiarize yourself with Illinois’ laws regarding small businesses and consult with a legal professional if needed. Adhering to all legal obligations ensures that your business operates within the boundaries of the law and maintains its credibility.

Financial management

Proper financial management is vital for the success of any small business. Keep track of your income and expenses, set realistic pricing for your products or services, and save a portion of your earnings for business growth. Consider opening a separate bank account for your business to keep personal and business finances separate. Additionally, it’s important to understand basic accounting principles and seek professional advice if necessary.

Starting a small business as a teenager in Chicago can be a rewarding and valuable experience. By selecting the right niche, conducting thorough research, building an online presence, networking, and understanding legal requirements, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to start small, learn from your experiences, and continuously adapt and improve your business to meet the evolving needs of your customers.

Online platforms for making money in Chicago as a teenager

1. Freelancing platforms

Freelancing platforms provide a great opportunity for teenagers in Chicago to make money online. Websites such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer connect freelancers with clients looking for various services. As a teenager, you can offer services like graphic design, content writing, social media management, and web development. These platforms allow you to work on your own time and at your own pace.

2. Online tutoring

If you excel in a particular subject or have a skill that others want to learn, online tutoring can be a lucrative option. Platforms like Chegg,, and Wyzant enable you to connect with students who need help with their studies. Whether it’s math, science, English, or music lessons, you can create a profile and start offering your tutoring services. Online tutoring allows you to reach a wider audience and earn money from the comfort of your own home.

3. Selling handmade crafts on Etsy

If you have a creative side and enjoy making crafts, opening a shop on Etsy can be a great way to make money. You can create and sell handmade jewelry, artwork, home decor, or even personalized items. Etsy provides a platform for you to showcase your creations and connect with potential buyers all over the world. Take high-quality photos of your products, write compelling descriptions, and promote your shop on social media to attract customers.

4. Starting a YouTube channel

YouTube has become a popular platform for content creators, and teenagers can also leverage this platform to make money. If you have a passion for creating videos, starting a YouTube channel can be an exciting way to earn an income. Find a niche that interests you, whether it’s gaming, beauty, cooking, or comedy, and start uploading videos regularly. To monetize your channel, you can enable ads, partner with brands for sponsored content, or even sell merchandise.

5. Participating in online surveys and market research

Several websites and apps allow you to earn money by participating in online surveys and market research studies. Companies are always looking for consumer feedback, and they are willing to pay for your opinions. Websites like Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and Toluna offer opportunities to earn cash, gift cards, or even products in exchange for your feedback. While this may not be a significant source of income, it can be an easy way to make some extra money in your free time.

6. Selling products on e-commerce platforms

If you have a knack for finding great deals or have access to unique products, selling on e-commerce platforms like eBay and Amazon can be profitable. You can source products from local thrift stores, garage sales, or even wholesale suppliers, and sell them online at a higher price. Take high-quality product photos, write detailed descriptions, and provide excellent customer service to attract buyers.

7. App-based gig economy platforms

There are also app-based platforms that offer gig economy opportunities for teenagers in Chicago. Apps like TaskRabbit, Postmates, and Instacart allow you to earn money by completing tasks, running errands, or delivering groceries. These platforms provide flexibility in terms of working hours and allow you to choose the tasks that suit your skills and availability.

There are various online platforms available for teenagers in Chicago to make money. Whether it’s freelancing, tutoring, selling handmade crafts, creating content on YouTube, participating in online surveys, selling products on e-commerce platforms, or using gig economy apps, teenagers have numerous opportunities to earn extra cash. With dedication, creativity, and a strong work ethic, you can start making $100 or more in Chicago as a teenager.

Creative ways to earn extra cash in Chicago as a teenager

Babysitting and Pet Sitting

Babysitting and pet sitting are popular options for teenagers in Chicago who are looking to earn extra money. Many working parents and pet owners are in need of responsible individuals to care for their children or pets when they are unable to do so themselves. One can advertise their services by creating flyers and distributing them in the community, or by joining online platforms that connect babysitters and pet sitters with those in need of their services.


Teenagers who excel in a particular subject can offer tutoring services to their peers or younger students in Chicago. Whether it’s math, science, English, or any other subject, there is always a demand for tutors. Teenagers can advertise their tutoring services at local schools, community centers, or through online platforms. By sharing their knowledge and helping others succeed academically, teenagers can not only earn money but also make a positive impact on their community.

Yard Work and Outdoor Chores

During the warmer months, many homeowners in Chicago require assistance with yard work and outdoor chores. Teenagers can offer their services for tasks such as mowing lawns, pulling weeds, raking leaves, or cleaning gutters. By taking on these outdoor chores, teenagers can earn money while staying active and enjoying the outdoors. They can promote their services by distributing flyers in residential areas or by creating an online presence through social media platforms.

Arts and Crafts

If a teenager is skilled in arts and crafts, they can explore selling their creations to earn extra cash. Chicago has a vibrant arts and crafts scene, with various markets, fairs, and festivals where local artisans showcase their work. Teenagers can participate in these events by renting a booth and selling their homemade crafts, such as jewelry, paintings, pottery, or handmade clothing. Social media platforms like Instagram and Etsy can also be utilized to showcase and sell their creations to a wider audience.


With the rise of online platforms, teenagers can offer their skills and services as freelancers to clients in Chicago and beyond. Whether it’s graphic design, writing, photography, or social media management, there are various freelance opportunities available. Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr connect freelancers with clients looking for specific skills. By honing their abilities and building a strong portfolio, teenagers can earn money by working on projects of their choosing while gaining valuable professional experience.

Renting Items

For teenagers who own items or equipment that are in demand, renting them out can be a lucrative side business. This can include renting out cameras, sports equipment, musical instruments, or even party supplies. By offering competitive rental rates and ensuring the proper maintenance of their items, teenagers can generate income while helping others fulfill their temporary needs. Online platforms like Fat Llama and RentMyItems make it easier for individuals to list and rent out their belongings.

Participating in Paid Surveys and Market Research Studies

There are various online platforms that offer cash incentives for participating in surveys and market research studies. Teenagers can sign up for these platforms and provide their opinions and feedback on different products and services. While it may not be a consistent source of income, participating in paid surveys and market research studies can provide teenagers with some extra spending money.

These are just a few creative ways for teenagers to earn extra cash in Chicago. By exploring these opportunities, teenagers can develop valuable skills, gain financial independence, and make the most of their free time. It’s important for teenagers to balance work with their studies and other responsibilities, ensuring that they prioritize their overall well-being. With determination and a proactive approach, teenagers in Chicago can successfully earn $100 or more while learning important life skills along the way.

Money-saving tips for teenagers in Chicago

Saving money is an essential skill that everyone should learn, and it’s never too early for teenagers to start building solid money management habits. Whether you’re saving for a special purchase, college, or simply want to develop responsible financial habits, here are some money-saving tips specifically tailored to teenagers living in Chicago.

1. Use Public Transportation

Chicago has an extensive public transportation system, including buses and trains. Instead of relying on expensive rideshare services or constantly paying for parking, take advantage of the public transportation options available. It’s a cost-effective way to get around the city while saving money on gas, parking fees, and the wear and tear on your own vehicle.

2. Pack Your Lunch

Eating out can quickly add up and drain your wallet, especially in a bustling city like Chicago. Instead of grabbing food from expensive restaurants or fast-food chains, consider packing your own lunch. You can prepare healthy and delicious meals at home, saving a significant amount of money in the long run. Not only will it save you money, but it can also be a fun and creative way to experiment with different recipes and flavors.

3. Take Advantage of Student Discounts

Many businesses in Chicago offer student discounts. Whether you’re going to the movies, visiting museums, or shopping for clothes, always ask if there are any student discounts available. Flashing your student ID can often save you a considerable amount of money, allowing you to enjoy entertainment and activities without breaking the bank.

4. Look for Free or Cheap Activities

Chicago is a city filled with cultural and recreational opportunities. Take advantage of the many free or cheap activities that the city offers. Explore parks, visit free museums on certain days, attend local festivals and concerts, or simply enjoy the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline. By seeking out low-cost or free activities, you can have fun and experience the city without spending a fortune.

5. Save on Entertainment Streaming Services

Instead of subscribing to every streaming service available, consider sharing accounts with friends or family members. Sharing streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime can significantly reduce your monthly expenses. Discuss with your network of friends or family members who subscribe to different services and create a system where everyone benefits while saving money on entertainment.

6. Budget and Track Your Expenses

Creating a budget and tracking your expenses is an essential step towards saving money. There are various budgeting apps available that can help you monitor your spending and set financial goals. By knowing where your money is going, you can identify areas where you can cut back and find opportunities to save.

7. Save on Transportation

Instead of relying on personal cars or rideshare services, consider alternative modes of transportation to save money. Chicago offers bike-sharing programs that allow you to rent bicycles for a fraction of the cost of maintaining a car. Additionally, walking or biking short distances can be both cost-effective and healthier alternatives.

8. Find Part-Time Job Opportunities

Earning your own money through part-time jobs can not only provide financial independence but also teach valuable skills. Chicago offers numerous part-time job opportunities for teenagers, such as working at local stores, restaurants, or tutoring. Finding a part-time job allows you to save money while gaining work experience and learning important financial management skills.

9. Save on Textbooks and School Supplies

Textbooks and school supplies can be expensive, but there are ways to save money in this area. Consider buying used textbooks or renting them if possible. Online marketplaces also offer affordable options for textbooks. When it comes to school supplies, try to compare prices and take advantage of back-to-school sales and discounts.

10. Learn to Cook at Home

Eating out at restaurants can be both costly and unhealthy. To save money and eat healthier, learn to cook at home. There are countless online resources and cooking tutorials available that can help you develop your culinary skills and create delicious meals from scratch. Not only is it more cost-effective, but it can also be a fun and rewarding hobby.

These money-saving tips for teenagers in Chicago are just a starting point. By being mindful of your spending habits and making small changes in your daily routine, you can develop lifelong habits that will benefit you well beyond your teenage years. With discipline and careful planning, you can save money and work towards your financial goals while enjoying everything Chicago has to offer.


In conclusion, there are several ways for teenagers in Chicago to make $100. Part-time job opportunities are available in various industries, ranging from retail and hospitality to babysitting and tutoring. Starting a small business can also be a lucrative option for teenagers, with options such as selling homemade crafts or offering pet-sitting services. Online platforms offer opportunities for teenagers to make money through freelancing, conducting surveys, and online tutoring. Additionally, teenagers can explore creative ways to earn extra cash, such as selling unused items or participating in paid focus groups. Finally, it is crucial for teenagers to practice money-saving habits, such as budgeting, shopping smartly, and adopting thrifty techniques. By exploring these options, teenagers in Chicago can earn $100 and develop essential skills that will benefit them in the long run.