Making “Beer” Money

The end of the year is quickly approaching and thanks to the usual seasonal ailments, I have some time to write.  I thought I would change the tune for the start of 2014 by talking not about how I am scrimping, but how I am earning a few extra bucks each month.

This kind of income is often referred to as “Beer Money”.  Urban dictionary defines the term pretty well.

1. Extra money for non-essential payments,
available for spending on luxuries, hobbies,
or a fresh pint of your favorite draft.
2. Also known as discretionary income.

There are probably millions of different ways to make some beer money.  For instance, Shae fills out surveys on the internet when she feels like it in exchange for gift cards.  The hourly wage could probably be measured in cents, but she can do however much or little work as she wants.

I on the other hand prefer to capitalize on work that I am already doing.  As part of my software business, I am signed up with an affiliate link program where I earn a %7 commission on all digital media sales from a particular vendor for a 24 hour period after a person clicks on one of my links.  What the heck did I just say?

Let’s use an example to help clarify:

One of the apps that I sell is Stock + Pro, for Mac, and it currently retails for $9.99.  The normal store link would look something like this:

But if I tack on some identifying information to the end of the link to say that I sent that person to the store like so:

Then I earn 7% of any purchases that person makes even if they don’t buy my apps.  So if they did use the second link and bought my stock app then I would make an additional 70¢ on that sale.  That may not seem like much, but remember, once it is set up, I don’t have to do any work at all!

The affiliate program gives me nice reports so I can monitor how many link clicks, items purchased, commission earned, and total cost of the items purchased has been.

affiliate links

As you can see, in the month of December, there were around 3,200 clicks on links.  About 23% of those clicks resulted in a purchase (could have been a free download as well).  The combined value of all of those purchases was about $1,600 and at 7% commission rate, I earned roughly $115.

Now $100 a month isn’t going to let you quit your day job, but it will build up in a bank account, pay for a nice vacation each year, or cover some hobby expenses.

What do you do to earn “Beer Money”?  What does that money go towards?

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