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

by Katy on July 31, 2014 · 35 comments

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

100 Dollar Bill

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.”

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy from Mass July 31, 2014 at 11:24 am


$100 – i would buy a nice skein of sock yarn and bank the rest

$1,000 – I would pay something off

$10,000 – i would pay off hubbys’ medical debt and use the rest for a nice vacation for us. (we haven’t taken a vacation beyond an overnight in over 9 years).


Jennifer N July 31, 2014 at 11:39 am

$100 – I would buy the hubby a new pair of much-needed sneakers.

$1,000 – I would put this money in savings.

$10,000 – Pay of debt (this would come close to covering 2 decent bills!)


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary July 31, 2014 at 11:46 am

Right now, it would all go into the savings. If it was $10,000, we’d probably celebrate with a really nice dinner (hubby loves to try fancy restaurants, which are usually not in the budget), and the rest would go in savings. Three kids in college right now — we save everything we can. 🙂


Ruth July 31, 2014 at 11:56 am

€100 – I’d put towards a weekend away with my husband. we’ve been trying to organise one for a looong time
€1,000 – would put it in the account we pay annual bills from
€10,000 – 50% in my son’s college fund, a much needed bathroom refurb and any remainder as above

Luckily we have no debt any more apart from the mortgage, if we did I would put it against that instead


Maureen July 31, 2014 at 11:57 am

I would use some to pay off some smaller bills and my 401K loan. I only have a couple of payments left on my 401K loan, so by paying that off, I could then have a greater monthly income and could tackle the other bills.

I would save the rest even though we love to travel. We’ve recently moved and have not sold our house, so the money would go towards the rent and the mortgage.


Barb Bailey July 31, 2014 at 12:43 pm

I have been scraping,spackling,priming & painting for nigh onto 3 wks. now so I would use the $100. to pay a painter to help, bank some & put some in a special acct. for my grandchildren for their future.


Amanda July 31, 2014 at 1:02 pm

100.00 — I would save it for the new (to us!) couch that we are currently waiting to find.

1,000.00 — Stick into savings…just bought a house, need to build the savings account back up!

10,000 — pay off all of my husband’s student loans!


Lisa July 31, 2014 at 1:51 pm

The house would probably gobble every bit of it up. 100 would go to the section of fence we need to put up. 1,000 would pay for the fence with some left over to put towards the bathroom. 10 K would pay for the bathroom remodel that has to happen since we have a rotting beam under the tub. Or it could go for the new roof, or towards a new transmission in the minivan, or to a whole list of other things that need doing around here. Mind you, even though my 87 year old house needs a lot of work, and it is the smallest one on the block, I still feel beyond blessed to live in a safe area with good schools.


Kendra July 31, 2014 at 1:59 pm

$100 – Fun money for upcoming anniversary trip
$1,000 – Payment toward the newly acquired debt for my son’s orthodontia
$10,000 – House Building Fund for construction that should start early next year


Lori in Michigan July 31, 2014 at 2:15 pm

$100 – run amok in a book store.

$1000 – emergency fund.

$10,000 – pay off my car loan.


Winter Light Homestead July 31, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Your answer made me smile! 🙂


Krystal July 31, 2014 at 2:36 pm

$100 – Bathroom remodel savings account (a couple hundred to go!)
$1,000 – Bathroom remodel savings account + emergency fund (a couple thousand to go!)
$10,000 – Bathroom remodel savings account + emergency fund + trip to England to see my favorite team (Spurs) and my husband’s favorite team (Everton) play in their home stadiums


AnnDenee July 31, 2014 at 3:15 pm

$100 — add it to the debt snowball

$1000 — add it to the debt snowball

$10,000 — finish off the debt snowball and put it toward the emergency fund

All that isn’t to say I wouldn’t like to do something more fun, but I’m done with carrying the debt burden.

Once the debt snowball is done and the emergency fund is funded, then we’ll be able to do the fun things and cash-fund it all — travel is the big one. 2017 will be the year for our trip back to the states. But hopefully January 2016 will be a ski trip to Italy.


Krystal July 31, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Best of luck with your debt snowball! We paid ours off about 4 years ago and never looked back. Woohoo!


Kelsey July 31, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Is it sad that the first thing I thought of is that I would buy a really nice vacuum?


Katy July 31, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Yes. 😉


Ellie August 1, 2014 at 9:27 am

Its so hard to buy something just for yourself that I don’t think its sad.


WilliamB August 2, 2014 at 12:44 pm

This made me laugh, because in my family, “I bought you a new vacuum” is code for “Something you need but is utterly prosaic and unexciting.”

Although the last time I bought a family member a proverbial vacuum cleaner (and one that required she do work to get it running, to boot), it turned out to be something she really wanted but couldn’t justify spending the money on. Score!


PL July 31, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Oh, without a doubt, I would give the money to charity or someone in need! I have more stuff than I need now and feel very blessed. On top of that, the thought of money ‘out of the blue’ would be excitement enough, but sharing it with some in need would be like a big red cherry on top of the sundae for me!


Lynda D. July 31, 2014 at 5:05 pm

$100: tuck it away for an emergency (I’m unemployed)

$1,000.00: emergency fund minus $100 cash to my sister who works two jobs and is barely (isn’t) scraping by.

$10,000.00: emergency fund minus $1,000.00 cash to my sister and $1,000.00 into a Roth IRA for my 24 year old daughter. It will spend the next 40+ years growing and should be a pretty good size when she hits retirement.


Diane C July 31, 2014 at 5:31 pm

100.00 – I’d donate it to the library.

1,000.00 – I’d donate it to the library.

10,000.00 – I’d donate it to the library.

The big question would be if I would do it in my name, my family’s name or anonymously.

I was a scrimper and a saver for years. All those little things really do add up over time. Avoid CC debt. Start an EF. Make it bigger. Stuff your retirement accounts first and then the kid’s college funds before making any extra payments on the house. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Repeat, repeat, repeat. All of this really works! (Insert shout-outs to Katie and Kristen here.)

Now I can follow my heart and my passion. As it is, I support the library somewhere on the low-ish side between option 2 and 3 every year, but a whole 10K would really be fun!


Amie July 31, 2014 at 6:36 pm

$100- send it to a friend of mine with expensive meds and numerous health issues

$1000- pay off all debts

$10000-pay off all debts and buy a double wide trailer and put any extras in my car.


Rosa July 31, 2014 at 7:29 pm

i think if someone gave me $100 I’d donate it to charity (since luckily I have no needy friends right at this minute.)

$1000 we’d take a honeymoon. We never have.

$10,000 FINISH MY KITCHEN. Finally. By hiring someone else to do it.


Winter Light Homestead July 31, 2014 at 7:36 pm

$100: Replenish my craft/art supplies stash and make more of my items that sell well. This would yield over $100. Profit!

$1000: Pay off one particular bill. Put the rest in the bank to help with buffering the blow of emergency bills (e.g. car repairs, ER visit copay, emergency travel due to illness or death of family member, etc.).

$10,000: Hold it back (maybe in CD or some other short term interest bearing form) toward settling into a place of my own whenever I land where I’m gonna be for likely the rest of my life. (I’m about to be an emptynester. Life 2.0, here I come!)


Lee July 31, 2014 at 8:28 pm

$100 — take my mom to the symphony

$1000 — take my mom to the symphony; put the rest in the kids’ college funds

$10,000 — take my mom to the symphony; family vacation! and put the rest in the kids’ college funds


Mary August 1, 2014 at 5:17 am

$100 – savings
$1000 – savings
$10000 – I’d love to think I’d splurge and get my teeth straightened (the estimate was $6000) because they really embarrass me, but since I’m the only person who pays any attention to my teeth, I’d probably open that Vanguard account that is on the list for the month after I get through the probationary period for my first after-college job.


Kelley B August 1, 2014 at 6:36 am

$100: buy new shoes for work (they run about $150!)

$1000: first buy those shoes for work then add to student loan payment

$10000: buy 2 pair of shoes for work the rest towards student loan


Kat H. August 1, 2014 at 7:14 am

$100 – new flute fund
$1000 – new flute fund
$10000 – new flute and an alto flute (or start the fund for one). Leftovers towards the student loans.

I’m on track to, possibly, get my remaining student loans dismissed in 2019 by working in a job that can be considered public service for 10 years.


Ellie August 1, 2014 at 9:14 am

Actually, this sort of happened to me when I won an unexpected $5,000.
It was difficult to decide, but I divided it between grandchildren’s college funds, and reserved the rest for giving away. When I see or hear of someone who needs a few hundred dollars to make life easier ( or possible) I provide. I also occasionally buy a meal for someone who looks needy. It has been amazing to be able to do this and I’m very thankful that I don’t personally need the money.


Eva August 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm

$ 100 I’d stock the larder with food or condiments that I usually pass up to save on grocery bills, like capers, or better than average wine.

$1,000 I’d use some of it as above and the rest in savings.

$10,ooo I’d pay down any debt I had, which at the moment I am lucky not to have any debt. So I’d probably use it to replace some fencing, add more raised garden beds and on plants that I’d love to have. I’d love to build a gazebo or cute new garden shed.


marie August 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm

That was a tough question. I’ve been think on it since yesterday and the answer kept changing. We’ve been low of funds for awhile so there are many things that are needed, but savings is always 1st on my mind

1.new shoes and underwear: If I was in an accident, I’d want to be wearing better panties.
2. $1000: probably saving account.

3.$1000o: minor home repairs , fix little things on the cars, then bank the rest. Wow, sounds so boring, but fancy restaurants don’t interest me, and taking a trip knowing I’d still come home to things that need done is depressing. So pad the bank account!!


K D August 2, 2014 at 3:04 am

$100 – Give to a local person/family in need (I already do this with birthday and Christmas money).

$1000 – Donate to an organization that I know would use the funds wisely.

$10,000 – Buy my 18 year old a car or put the money in the bank for them to use for that purpose later, depending on their preference.


Amanda August 2, 2014 at 7:09 am

What a fun game! I would “spend” each amount on general household needs. But I put spend in quotes because I would be spending it to save. Our main source of income is distributions from my husband’s freelance business. By putting the amounts straight into our checking account we would write no distribution checks for the next couple months. Money we don’t spend by the end of the year from his business is transferred to savings. Of course in this baby having time of our lives our savings get sucked down seemingly as we build them up, so who knows.


Linda in Mass August 6, 2014 at 8:19 am

$100-put towards tuition

$1000-put towards tuition

$10,000-put towards tuition

You can see that is all I can think about right now with one child in junior year of college and the other is a senior in high school. Every extra penny goes towards college.

I know some people have their kids pay for their own college but I did that while I went to college. It was the most stressful time in my life. I am trying very hard to pay for all of my 2 kids college. I won’t put myself or my husband in debt but I will live very thrifty to pay for it!


Suzanne P. August 10, 2014 at 2:05 pm

$100 – Go out to dinner with my husband

$1000 – Go out to dinner, get my car tuned up and save the rest

$10000 – Basically all of the above


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