Top Level Summary
We are obsessed with simplicity, since simplicity is efficiency, and efficiency translates to increased returns.
There are only two distinct sections to our beer money system: earnings and investment. In order to maximize our total return, we invest the money we earn to put it to work for us.
Currently, we have a three-step method of earning money, and investing it for additional returns.
- Earn cash or cash equivalents;
- trade or arbitrage earnings; and
- take the total and invest it.
Step One: Earn Cash or Cash Equivalents
Obviously there are many ways to earn extra cash in one’s spare time. You could do small tasks around town, drive a taxi, etc. We prefer not to take a part-time job. The whole point of beer money is to earn extra income in as easy a way as possible without overly impacting our way of life – we want to be as passive as possible (and yes, we understand that means our total extra income is lower than it could be).
We earn in two primary ways: use “GPT” (Get Paid To) sites, and accumulate rebates.
The GPT sites we use are Swagbucks, Perk and UserTesting. While Swagbucks and Perk have labor intensive earnings methods, we like them because they offer web and phone apps which earn passively. While UserTesting is not passive, we earn $1.00-1.50 per minute on it, so it’s worth the time lost.
We accumulate rebates via loyalty programs, rebate portals like Ebates and cash-back cards. Critically, we are not changing our shopping habits. If you are shopping solely to redeem a rebate, you aren’t gaining anything, you’ve made a bad investment. We count rebates as found money and trade and invest those funds.
Step Two: Trade or Arbitrage for Additional Gain
Currently we take all earnings, put them in a trading account and trade using those funds on a Reddit forum called /r/giftcardexchange. There we buy Amazon or Target gift cards at a discount – generating between 12-18% returns regularly. These returns are then combined with our earnings in another ledger, and invested for continued passive income.