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What Will Beijing’s Teens Do For Money?

Angeli Zhao Jingkids 2021-10-19

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I am in no way an expert in the stock market, investing or finance, and I want to make it clear that my advice is meant to be taken with a pinch (make that a mountain) of salt. But what I do know for certain is that despite my lack of knowledge in money matters, as well as my age, I have still been able to generate some profits as a student by fiddling around with my phone. So why wait? Here are some ways to make money off of the money you already have, using WeChat, right now.


Mini Fund


For those with their WeChat bank account linked on a Chinese ID card (don’t worry if you don’t, the alternative is below), this is something you may not know of. In your WeChat wallet, you may see a helpful little button called ‘Mini Fund’. Once inside, you can transfer any amount you want, and start earning interest. It can be low and earnings can be little when you first begin, but at least there is a guarantee for earnings with no risk (I haven’t encountered any losses in the past 2 years I have been using it). I’d suggest leaving a relatively high amount of money in it for longer periods, or at least set a goal for your earnings to get into the habit of long-term investing, which is what most people who invest do to achieve personal targets.



Financial Service: Wealth


Many think the stock market is a complex, intricate deity only comprehensible by those with a degree in Economics or another equally prestigious field. But it is a much simpler concept than that. If I can invest in it, trust me, you definitely can. However, I will say that securing a Chinese-Speaking friend, adult, or teacher who understands the basics of buying stock and can translate some vocabulary would be very helpful. 


In WeChat, go to ‘Pay’ on the ‘Me’ page, then on to ‘Wealth’ under “Financial Services”. Although the page looks daunting, don’t worry, click onto ‘稳健理财’ (meaning the stabler, low/no-risk investment products), and from there, review the products under ‘更多’ next to ‘安稳理财’, (meaning stable investing, with its goal being to garner earnings from options to match inflation). Here, after careful consideration of the products, and seeing their overall risk-level (低风险,中低风险,or 中风险. I’d go with low-risk as a beginner, which is usually the ones with a 1.9%-3% annual yield). If you want to be 100% safe, go into the ‘历史100%正收益‘ (meaning that the product has a 100% gain history). Finally, press ‘买入’ and transfer an amount accordingly. There you have it, your first investment!


Don’t get me wrong, you’re not going to turn into Warren Buffet overnight. But it’s a stable and secure increase reachable through a long-term commitment. If you feel brave, you can also check out the ‘进阶理财‘, where some of the riskier products are (I’ve earned around RMB 75 with a RMB 525 buy in 3 weeks)!


Even if you don’t plan on investing after this article, the idea itself is worth exploring. Investing is a useful concept to familiarise yourself with as many individuals use it to generate money for retirement plans and other personal goals.


But hey! Fret not if the aforementioned does not appeal to you. There are many other ways to earn money as a teenager. Although these do not relate to the stock market at all and includes some side-hustling, it’s always fulfilling to find work and be repaid for it, plus, who knows what it can lead to?


Second-Hand Flipping


There are many online apps like XianYu that offer multi-generation product exchanges, and you can definitely make a few bucks through selling things you don’t feel like you need anymore. I’ve also seen a lot of friends sell old clothing that no longer fit them anymore (Like Wendy! Check out her store below by scanning the QR code). This doesn’t have to be a complex process either, just set up a secondary WeChat account and promote. Walah! You have a mini business now.


Tutoring


Yes, the good old-fashioned form of earning some income. Whether your sharing your top tips in some subjects for your struggling IGCSE younglings or giving some English lessons for some beginners, you can easily set up a tutoring side-hustle by asking parents or family friends to pass on the message, like Kathy! She exchanges IGCSE Science lessons for the occasional milk tea.


Babysitting


If you don’t mind looking after children, it’s always useful to seek out some parents who are in desperate need of some alone time and offering to supervise their children so they can escape for a short while. I know a couple of friends who do this over the school year as well, but it’s worth mentioning that Summer is the perfect chance to babysit, since the demand for sitters is often higher.




At the end of the day, these are only ideas. The greatest companies often grass-rooted from incredibly creative ideas, and so I implore everyone to think outside the box for this one!


KEEP READING: For the Students, by the Students: New Podcast Series Shares IB Tips


Images: Angeli Zhao, Wendy Chang, Pexels

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