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I Won a $1,000 – What am I going to Do With It?

I am not sure if it was fate, or what, but days after I read FCN’s, “What Would You Would Do with a $1,000” I actually won $1,000!   Actually, I won $1,260 through a 50/50 raffle for a buddy’s church ($20 ticket) but I told the church to keep $260 of it.  I am not sure if that was the right number to donate, but I ran with it and it is too late at this point.  I am not the kind of person who can just hold on to cash, I never have been – so I make sure I don’t have any on me.  Yup, I am ‘that guy’ who often has to use his debit card for the most mundane purchases, so needless to say this is no longer an excersice of “what-if” I actually have to apply this money somewhere.

What to Do With “Found” Money – Home Repair

While fortune might have smiled on me with the cash, that same morning I looked up while putting on my shoes to see dark brown circles on my dry wall first floor ceiling.  Yup! Water damage.  Awesome.  Luckily, Pops knew a plumber (who looks like your typical plumber – think overweight and hairy) who came over last night and took a knife to my ceiling which just allowed water to pour out.  Listening to the water pour was a horrible feeling.  Silver lining – he found the problem right away and only charged me $165.  I was thinking $600 bill so I was pumped.  Downside – he doesn’t do drywall work so I now have 2 holes in my ceiling and about 30 friends coming over for  party Friday night.  Oh well.

So what to do with $1,000 (minus $165)?

My first thought was pad my checking account (hey I did win it) and the joint checking account with the wife, and then put the remaining couple money towards my auto loan.  But The Wife, who is literally the most frugal person in my life, so “No.”  To say I was shocked is an understatement.  She wants to save it (read: really save not spend on garbage) since we used a couple grand of our long term savings to fully get rid of all Credit Card Debt on the First Birthday of this Blog.

So the money will be saved in my ING Account.  I love my ING Accounts mainly because of the sub-account and naming feature.  So, the bulk of it will be placed in The Wife and My Joint Savings for long term stuff (i.e. bad bad emergency or housing, hopefully the latter) until it is rounded off at the nearest thousand.  Any remaining amount will be placed in our vacation fund.

Do you think I am being an idiot for not pre-paying the Auto Loan? What would you have done?



  1. We never win anything so I was so happy to find out we won this money! I look at the money as BONUS money…so I was hoping we could do something fun with it since we work so hard at saving and being frugal. That’s where the vacation fund came in. I think travel is so important, so I really love having $$ in that ING. I am also happy that he decided to put some in our long term savings. We need to keep building that up so we can buy another house someday:)
    .-= The Wife´s last blog ..In The Spirit of Full Disclosure =-.

  2. It depends how much you owe on the auto loan and what rate you are borrowing at.

    I would probably do what I do with all the extra money I get… put 75% toward debt repayment and 25% toward savings.

    Some people (staunch Dave Ramsey followers) disagree with me… but even while still in debt I think you ALWAYS need to pay yourself first (immediately after giving.)

    Anyway… congrats man!

    • I owe a good amount, north of $10K on 8% auto loan, but I am not happy about my family’s liquid savings yet.

  3. I must be quite boring.
    If I netted anything under a couple million dollars, I’d put it toward retirement. $1000? Retirement. $1,000,000, uh, retirement. Fortunately, I have nothing I’m dying to buy, and I’d not treat a windfall any different than income.

    • Joe,
      I am a huge fan of your site, thanks for checking me out.

      Like I said to Matt, the retirement additions are secondary to beefing up my current non-qualified cash holdings. But I think applying it to debt is even more boring

  4. After reading the other comments I guess I am boring. I believe in having some liquid assets.. but are they really assets if you still own over 10k in auto debt? The way I look at it is simple, you have no assets until you have no debt.

    Glad to have found you through Blogussion.

    • Seth,

      While you are 100% my net worth would be negative, those dollars are very real if there is an emergency. Dollars locked in a (still) not paid off car – would do nothing for my family if something were to happen.

    • Doing your idea would be SICK, but would probably end up with me divorced which is much more expensive than the $500 night.

      Hmmmm Although I could try to tell a judge that an Online Ninja told me to do it – he’d have to understand that, right?

  5. Congrats!
    Just remember to claim it on your taxes on line 21 as Misc. Income.

    I just won a Macbook and found out I will have to do the same.

    I think we’ll still come out without owing, but your situation may be different.

    I wrote a blog post about it on my site. I’ll email it to you.


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