What Would You Do With an Extra $100, $1000, $10,000?

by Katy on September 12, 2010 · 25 comments

The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy!

I had the privilege of taking my aunt Anne out for breakfast today. It was her birthday, (which I had actually forgotten about) which made it all the more special. Our original plan had been to go out for dim-sum, but we ended up finding a wonderful little café not far from my house which hit the spot.

This aunt is actually only 15 years older than I am, and lived with us for a few years when I was growing up. She has always been a true inspiration to me — gleaning fabulous treasures from thrift shops and taking me and my sister to musty old used book stores when we were at our most impressionable ages. (The smell of old books still arouses an overwhelming feeling of contentment for me.)

She is smart, funny and generous beyond a fault despite never having excessive income.

Sadly, she now lives in Florida, which means that I hardly ever get to spend any time with her.

On our way back from breakfast, (plus a couple of garage sales) she started talking about what she would do if she won the lottery. I can’t actually remember what she said she would buy for herself, but she did say that she would give us each $11,000 per year. She said this is the amount one can receive annually without having to pay taxes on it.

I started to think about what I would do with an extra $44,000 annual income, (yes, she said she would give $11,000 to each of us!)

I would most definitely eradicate any and all consumer debt, but then what? Travel? Charitable giving? Cool clothes? Savings?

What would you do with an extra $100, $1000 or $10,000?

Here, I’ll start:

$100 — I would put it in savings. (There’s nothing for $100 or less that I don’t already have.)

$1,000 — I would pay off debt.

$10,000 — I would travel with my kids to somewhere like London, Japan or Greece. Perhaps somewhere sunny like Hawaii or Mexico, (which would be cheaper and allow for leftover funds.)

Okay now, your turn! Please put your answers in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole September 12, 2010 at 10:27 am

$100-I’d just throw it into my savings account. My job is a little insecure at the moment as we may be going on strike in a month or so.
$1000-Get my passport, my drivers license and get my hair done. Throw the rest in savings. Probably go out for a fancy dinner with my boyfriend.
$10000-Get my passport and drivers license, put a downpayment on a house.


Practical Parsimony September 12, 2010 at 10:40 am

$100–Buy material for a tiny chicken house for my four hens so they would not have to live in a Rubbermaid box this winter, again.
$1000–Visit daughter in NYC and son and daughter in south TX. I live halfway between them.
$10,000–Put a roof on my house. Hire someone to help me in the house for a few days.


Mrs. Roy September 12, 2010 at 10:40 am

$100 – in my pocket to spend instead of using my debit card; it makes me think I’m not spending as much – which is why I don’t usually carry much cash

$1000 or $10,000 – Mr. Roy actually gets bonuses with his work that usually fall between these numbers so what we do is tithe, pay some extra on the house, save some and splurge a little. There always seems to be something that either just happened or is coming up that the money can be used for – insurance, holidays, home repairs, etc. Rather than complaining that we don’t seem to get too far ahead, we prefer to think that God provides as we need because we’ve seen that happen again and again over the past thirty years.


LBC Teacher September 12, 2010 at 10:53 am

$100-finish off my emergency fund
$1,000-Make a lump sum payment on my car
$10,000-finish paying off my car and take a friend on a vacation to Cabo. 🙂

Sigh. Too bad that’s not happening. :/


Ellen September 12, 2010 at 12:16 pm

$100: Invite my boyfriend for dinner in a reaaally nice restaurant, to the movies and cocktails. Or invest in loads of organic food.
$1000: Travel somewhere next summer – maybe France (Bretagne)? And stay there for two weeks 🙂
$10000: Buy a new computer and two or three new dresses, and put the rest on the side for my move to Berlin in 2012 or other things to come. And pay off the debts I have, of course. I’d stop being constantly afraid of ending up completely broke or having an emergency and not be able to pay what is needed.


Cyndel September 12, 2010 at 2:08 pm

$100: I would probably buy a dresser and a bookshelf for our new apartment.

$1000: I would finally get my wisdom teeth out. Does it cost more than that? I think it does, actually

$10000: I would get my wisdom teeth out ($2000-just to be safe), put money aside for my friend’s destination wedding next summer ($1200), pay off one student loan completely ($1800), get our car serviced ($500), visit my friends and family in IN, TN, KY, IL, and OH ($1000), and then put the rest in a high interest savings account to start saving for a house down-payment.


Toni September 12, 2010 at 3:14 pm

$100 – Same as you. It would definitely go in the bank.
$1000 – We’d take care of some home repairs and dental work, potentially contemplate a bigger home, but would, eventually, put it in the bank and stay in our small home.
$10,000 – I’d definitely get my dental work done (last estimate was $26,000 – thanks, mom, for the soft teeth) and would love to travel with the mister and the little mister.


fourunderfoot September 12, 2010 at 3:41 pm

$100 – spend it on those little extras at the grocery store.
$1000 – replace our front door, and top up the Emergency Fund.
$10000 – replace our front door, top up the EF, pay for DancerChick’s braces in full, pay off a part of the credit card.


Rebecca September 12, 2010 at 6:54 pm

I hate our debt!


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl September 13, 2010 at 4:04 am

I’d probably put all of it into our van savings account. Although with the 10K, I’d probably put 5K in the van account and 5K towards the principle on our mortgage.


Jessica September 13, 2010 at 4:16 am

100 – Throw it at our addition fund
1000 – Throw it at our addition fund
10000 – Throw it at our addition fund

1 tiny bathroom on the first floor plus 4 people = no one gets anything until we get an upstairs bathroom!


Tracey H September 13, 2010 at 5:49 am

I’m the opposite of you. $100 would be spent buying myself neat little things that I’m usually too frugal to buy (puzzle book, a sweater that appeals to me, etc.). The $1000 and $10,000 would go towards our retirement savings.


Molly On Money September 13, 2010 at 6:20 am

$100- debt (car payment)
$1000- debt (still, car payment)
$100,000- debt, finish filling the pig (our savings), a donation to a charity and than pay off the house!
If you had asked me 2 yrs ago the list would have been filled with vacations, a new car and some new clothes.


Char September 13, 2010 at 8:30 am

$100 – use it on a weekend getaway to visit my daughter in college.
$1,000 – use it to pay for her college.
$10,000 – use it to pay for her college. (I estimate that by the time we put both our 2 kids through college, we’ll be almost $10,000 short, so that would make us even)


Rachel September 13, 2010 at 10:30 am

$100 (65 pounds UK) – treat my self to a hair cut and possibly highlights if it stretched that far
$1000 – buy a new laptop and a few nice presents for family
$10000 – the above, go on the week long astronomy residential school I’d like to do but can’t afford and put the rest in savings.


Jennifer September 13, 2010 at 10:49 am

My great-grandmother recently passed away & left me $10,000. I’m using 100% towards debt. If I got $100 I’d probaby use it to pay for my husband’s birthday gift. If I got $1000 it’d go to the birthday gift & some winter clothes for the kids & a coat for myself.


mom September 13, 2010 at 11:50 am

100– just use it for daily use
1000– savings
10000– pay off truck for hubby


Noot September 13, 2010 at 12:12 pm

100 – put towards Christmas gift savings
1000 – put towards Roth IRA for 2010
10000 – finish of CC debt (100% debt free!), the rest in savings (or maybe splurge on a cruise or some other vacation).


Tammy September 13, 2010 at 3:08 pm

$100 put in Christmas fund.
$1000 debt
$10,000 debt


Jeanine September 13, 2010 at 4:25 pm

100-tithe and blow the rest
1000 tithe and a nice dinner and winter clothes for the girls and save
10000 tithe and put a new roof and save the rest for the reno/demo


littlegreenvillage September 14, 2010 at 12:18 am

$100 new underwear!
$1000 weekend away in the mountains
$10,000 4 weeks in France!


Tracy Balazy September 14, 2010 at 3:57 pm

$100 – Throw a party for a few good friends and treat them to good things to eat and drink
$1,000 – Donate to the Dearborn Animal Shelter to help out some of those homeless cats and dogs (I volunteer there a lot)
$10,000 – Put toward a car when mine dies, which might be relatively soon. Although, I’d rather travel. Maybe a little of both.


Lilypad September 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm

$100—some extra cushion in checking account + pants for new, unfortunately chubbier me (sigh)
$1000—occupational therapy for my son with Sensory Processing Disorder (not covered by insurance and would cost every dime and then some)
$10,000—OT for my son, treatment for my depression (untreated since 2008 and not covered by insurance, naturally, since my husband’s company seems to think I chose this illness and don’t deserve treatment like someone with diabetes or whatever) and the rest to the savings account to pay us back for the new tires we just had to get…
I wish I had more fun things to use the money for! But that’s life in America 2010.


Wolfgrrl September 21, 2010 at 9:11 am

$100 – Put towards a dresser
$1000 – Donation to a charity and the rest in savings
$10,000 – Pay down my student loan debt (it would still leave me with about $34,000, but at least I could get rid of a large portion of my unsubsidized loans). If I didn’t have student loan debt: charities, savings, help my family, go to Ireland (honestly I could do all that with $10,000 :P)


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