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How to Spend Money – What Would You Buy or Do with $10,000?

What would you do with $10,000? That was the subject of a recent article over on CNNMoney.com, where the editors decided that because of this wishy-washy economy, you probably have cash sitting unused in an account somewhere — and that you should be doing something with it.

At first I thought the article must be a joke, as who in this economy looks at their bank statement and thinks “Man, I just have too much money sitting in there going to waste. I should really go out and spend it right away!”, right? I especially thought this way about the article because the first thing on the list was to buy art with your $10,000. Listen, I am a fan and supporter of the arts, but it felt irresponsible to me to see this magazine tell readers to take that “just sitting there” $10,000 and buy art with it, like there was something wrong with just keeping the money in the bank. But then I continued reading the article thankfully, and saw that it wasn’t necessarily about just spending the money, but rather a list of things that you may want to do with the money because investing it may not be the best choice right now. Their list included buying Treasury bond ladders, invest in energy-efficiency upgrades for your home, moving your retirement-date fund around, doing some good in the community, and even bribing your now adult child to move out of your home. However, the concept of having $10,000 to do something with got me thinking — if you had that much money that you just HAD to spend this week, what would you guys do with it?

You can’t invest it and you can’t save it, but anything else is fair game. What would you do?

Personally, I would give 25% of it right off the top to a charity or organization that I believe in. It’s “found” money for me, so I might as well do some good with it for others. Whether it would be to help feed the needy, fight cancer, or protect the environment, I could feel good about giving some of the money away. After that, I imagine I would finally get started on one of my dream projects — restoring an original Mini Cooper or a 1950’s-era pickup truck. I would take the rest of the money I still had and spend it on the vehicle in the best shape for the dollar. Sure, I wouldn’t have anything left over to buy parts with, but at least I would have the skeleton vehicle to at least get me started on a project I have wanted to do ever since I was a teenager. I’m not getting any younger, for sure!

I know a lot of people would pay off debt with it, which is of course always an incredibly worthwhile way of using found money. I would too if I hadn’t already paid off my debt, but I would also keep a few hundred of it to do something fun with. That’s what I would recommend to others to do as well, as keeping a few hundred bucks can go a long way to helping one be OK with watching the rest of the thousands go towards debt.

Which leads me to you guys — what would you do with $10,000 that you just had to spend in some way? The CNN article wasn’t about this, but it inspired me to think about it for a while and to wonder what you would do. What would be your dream to use that money for?

(photo credit: Lana_aka_BADGRL)

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Comments (17)

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  1. Money Beagle says:

    If I couldn’t save it, I’d probably split it four ways equally: Pay off debt, go on a nice family vacation, upgrade our kitchen appliances, and replace as many windows as we could with the remainder.

  2. Glenn says:

    I am in this situation, actually. My grandparents set up a gifttrust account (from American Century) for all the grandkids, and mine matured when I was 40. I left the money alone for a year and a half, and spent $4000 on a down payment on braces.

    The dentist told I had to get braces or get about 10 teeth removed in 5 to 10 years. Fix it now and spend a little, or fix it later and spend a lot more.

    Very worth while.

  3. Melissa says:

    Half to a favorite not-for-profit, the other half as an angel investment.

  4. Karen says:

    We’re adopting two older children from Ethiopia. We need an additional $15,000 in the next couple of months for final fees & travel expenses, so that’s where the whole $10,000 would go!

  5. David says:

    Interesting question! I would tithe part out it out of gratefulness to God placing it in my life. And I would put the rest in Silver Eagle coins to protect and potentially multiply my money.

  6. Anna says:

    1/4 would go to pay off my home so I could be mortgage free. 1/4 would go to pay off other debts and taxes. 1/4 would go to food bearing trees and gardens for future food and 1/4 would go to solar.

  7. Sam says:

    I would prioritize like this:

    #1 Debt

    #2 Donate 20% to non-profit

    #3 send 5% to a church that helped me when I was down & that I dream of being able to “pay back” since I live 12hrs away now.

    #4 New Windows on my little house (3k)

    #5 $500 of “blow” money to… blow away probably go out to dinner a couple times, by some flower, veggie, fruit seeds, a unrestrained trip or two to the thrift store, take my friends out for a round (none of them have kids so they have the means to cover me & have a few times so, it’d be nice to return the favor), etc.

    #6 fix somethings on my car so it will be comfortable to drive until a gasoline free type of car is released on the market in a few years ~ 1200

    #7 savings for an emergency.
    a – $500 in silver coins
    b – 25% of remainder in tiered CD
    c – 25% in a index fund
    d – the rest in a savings or money market acct

  8. krantcents says:

    I am a teacher in a Title 1 high school. I started teaching after a long career in the business world. I love what I do! I would set up a scholarship for average students who wanted to major in business. $10,000 probably would not be enough, but it would be a start.

  9. I would go for a nice long vacation to India, watch the world cup of cricket in style!! I wish i get that kind of money.

  10. Outraged Wife says:

    My husband bought an ATV, that’s it just one ATV for $10K. I can’t believe it I was so disappointed.

  11. zella knox says:

    I would finally have enough money to rent a building to run a literacy program out of.

  12. jackmeoff says:

    If I had that much I would give it to some one in need. But if I had another 10k after that I would use it to fly to a 3rd world country and buy a factory to make buttons. I have always loved buttons and use to work at a button factory here in Champden but when the factory pulled out in the 70s I have been unemployed ever since.

  13. jacky packy says:

    look, the best investment is the following,

    learn new skills, take more trainings & gain more knowledge, so you can get better jobs, and consequently, earn more money from various jobs.

    this way, you increased your income over the years, you didn’t loose your money , you kept yourself busy doing something worthwile and beneficial, and lastly you keeping the shot for your kids and your grand kids.

    hope this is ok..

  14. I would give 10% to my church, Blow about 10% on gadgets I’ve been wanting (can anyone say IPAD…), and put the remaining 80% towards my student loans.

    Great topic!

  15. Only Faith Left says:

    I would use the 10k first to find a place to live. My kids and I will need a place to go soon. The house we rent is being sold, and I have no savings, credit, or assets.

    I would also ‘pay some old favors forward’ and help a few friends who are in tough situations.

    Oh, and fix my van before it totally falls apart on me :/

    I would love to be charitable with the rest, as I do believe in giving out of need, but I have to put the safety and security of my kids above all else <3

  16. Breitling says:

    Buy another breitling watch…

  17. Auggy says:

    I am going to buy a boat with a stipper pole in it.

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