Nevertheless, having some pocket money (to pay for hosting, books, a PC,...) is always nice. That's why I was charmed by an idea that was presented at the first BarCamp Ghent that took place last weekend. A couple of Dutch guys introduced a service called TipIt. The concept is that you can leave small amounts of money (10 cents? $1? 2 euro?) in different people's "virtual tip jar". When the total sum of tips you give is substantial enough to justify a payment, you pay. The same goes for the people receiving the tips: when a certain limit is reached, they are paid. Meanwhile, the guys behind the TipIt initiative keep the interests on the money that is "waiting". That's a nice business plan, isn't it? This approach not only reduces the overhead in costs compared to using PayPal for every different payment; if you tip a site, you also get something in return: your name is mentioned on the site you tipped.
Granted, this is a novelty idea and I'm not sure if it's going to work, but the guys who thought of this initiative really know what they are talking about. Check out their presentations on Voluntary and Free Economies.