Investing · Money Philosophy

My Beer Money Investment Project

*Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

I get a HUGE kick out of seeing dividends hit my bank account. It’s basically my equivalent of eating a great dessert, finally finishing a long book, or the afterglow of getting a tough workout in. It feels great! So recently I decided to begin a dividend targeted investment project specifically with my beer money earnings to maximize that feeling even more.

 

Mr. H and I started regularly investing as much money as we can into index funds (VTSAX and chill!) years ago. But, nowadays, I’m solidly in the Boring Middle™ of my financial independence quest and sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated. Once you’ve got your savings and earning plan set up, there’s nothing left to do but actually stick to your plan and execute. 

My Beer Money Investment Plan

So, I set this project up as an easy and fun way to feel the thrill of what it was like to first start investing again! I love the excitement of building something from nothing, whether it’s filling a blank page with words, growing a garden from nothing but dirt and seeds, or creating a new source of income. I find having a goal in mind for my money keeps me engaged and motivated to keep my earnings up outside of my full-time job. After all, I once turned a few years of side hustle money into a Master’s Degree, who knows what I could do with a new source of passive income?

What Is Beer Money?

Beer money is, broadly speaking, small sources of money or giftcards earned from small online opportunities. These tasks could be anything, but are commonly surveys, polls, paid to exercise activities, lockscreens, referral bonuses, online searches, offering your data, etc. The pay expectations are minimal. But, it can add up quickly and there are no employment requirements!

Beer Money Begets Money for Beer

It could take years for my actual brokerage account to double, but my beer money brokerage account? If I felt up to it, I could do that in a couple weeks! It’s incredibly exciting watching the annual dividends climb from the cost of: 

A single banana ($0.14) to →

A U.S. postage stamp ($0.55) to →

A pound of brown rice ($1+) to →

A decadent cup of coffee made by someone other than me ($2+) to →

A six pack of beer ($7+) to →

What Lucille Bluth thinks a banana costs ($??)


… and onwards!

The sky’s the limit!

My Current Ways to Earn

My sources of beer money have changed over the years, but the current ones are:

  • Robinhood referral – an online brokerage that gives you a free stock if you sign up. (Note: There’s nothing stopping you from signing up, getting your stock, and then cashing out a few days later)
  • Webull referral – another online brokerage that offers a free stock for signing up
  • Swagbucks – I’ve had this account since 2015 and have used it for everything from daily polls to internet searches to cashback to playing games to dabbling in phone farming with an old cell phone. Total earnings since then are around $1,000.
  • Bing Rewards – Microsoft rewards me $5-10 a month for searching the internet
  • Rakuten – Cashback for my online purchases
  • Pinecone Research – 5 minute surveys for $3 a pop
  • Stepbet – If you meet your intended step goals over a 2-6 week period, you usually earn between $2-$15 in profit depending on the game (requires a $10-60 bet for each game which is refunded upon completion)

 

Current Beer Money Investment Project Balance

My Beer Money Investment balance as of 10/10/2020

I’ve only started getting serious about this project over the past 3 months but you can see that my pennies are already adding up! For reference, other than the time I spend walking everyday to reach my Stepbet goals, I’m only spending about 10-20 minutes a week on Beer Money activities.

The current annual dividend estimate is roughly $3.75. This account contains a good deal of VYM, Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF, due to my goal of chasing the thrill of dividends with a very small portion of my portfolio that I’m willing to risk.  I won’t provide the rest of the details of what this fund is invested in right now because I was just having fun when I picked the rest of the investments. And, I don’t want to come across like I’m recommending those assets.

If I keep up my current pace of earning and contributing around $40/month, I’ll contribute roughly $480/year! If I invested this purely in VYM, I would be getting 2 free six packs of beer every year forever (assuming I’m buying at $84/share and the quarterly payout is $0.7053/share this contribution alone would result in $16.12 of annual dividends). But, spending it would of course rob myself of the thrill of investing it again, so that won’t be on my to do list! 

Why I Wanted to Share This Project

One of the reasons I wanted to share this project is because of how accessible it is as an entry point to investing or a bonus investment method across income brackets. For low earners or those who don’t have a lot of fat to cut in their budget, learning to find the spare cash to get started investing can be really difficult. And not everyone has the time or ability to get a second job on top of what may already a very busy schedule.  The thing about beer money is, it was never money you expected to earn as part of your monthly budget. You just do it when you have a spare five minutes and suddenly you have a couple extra dollars. If you never planned on having that money, you can move it out of your account and directly into your brokerage without sacrificing any of your normal expenses. 


Never forget, your pennies can move mountains if you let them!



What are your favorite sources of beer money? Tell me if you begin your own beer money investment project!

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