New Experiment: How would your partner spend $1,000?

Ramit Sethi

Today, a $1,001 gift for you.

A few months ago, I ran a crazy social experiment. I gave away $1,001 (Indians always add an extra $1) to see how one IWT reader would spend it.

Over 2,900 people shared their plans, but J. Money was the lucky winner.

Here’s how he SAID he would spend it:

  • $500 into our baby’s 529 fund
  • Then I think we’d use $300 for a nice trip out to a bed and breakfast somewhere in wine country, Virginia
  • Then another $200 towards charities of my friends’ choice
  • And the last $1.00 would go to a new lottery ticket! (In May, of course ;)) I figured if I got lucky enough to win this $1,001 in the first place, I should probably try and extend my good fortune!

And here’s what he ACTUALLY did:

  • $200 — Bed and Breakfast trip (1 night at the B&B and then tkts to James Monroe’s house)
  • $350 — 529 College Fund (will be xfered in as soon as baby is born and I get ss#)
  • $150 — Donated to two charities: Autism Cares and Charity Water
  • $300 — Set aside for taxes – something I forgot to do earlier 🙁
  • $1.00 — Mega Millions lottery! (I lost)

Pretty interesting, actually. I thought people’s behavior would diverge a lot more (n=1) but the big insight was how he forgot to think about taxes.

In 2012, I gave away another $1,001.

This time, I wanted to see how you’d spend your money — and how you think your partner would spend it.

Your partner could be your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, roommate, whatever.

As always, no catch. I’ve written the check and I’ll send it to one couple on 8/14. Spend it however you want.



Do you know your actual earning potential?

Get started with the Earning Potential quiz. Get a custom report based on your unique strengths, and discover how to start making extra money — in as little as an hour.

Start The Quiz

Takes 3 min


  1. Chris

    I would not spend the money. I would put all of it towards our emergency savings account which is a little lean right now, since I’m taking three weeks off between a change in jobs.

    My wife would spend on home improvements and a ticket to see her nana who just recently moved from her home into an assisted living situation. I’ll guess on amounts.

    $201 paint
    $350 new electrical outlet installed in upstairs bathroom
    $450 trip to Louisville

    Would not have to set aside for taxes as a medium to low income combined w/ 4 kids means the only taxes I pay are of the payroll variety.

  2. Zach

    Ramit, why did he need to set aside the $300 for taxes? Does this not qualify as a gift? Or is it considered prize money?

  3. Amanda

    I’d put it toward the intensive German class I want to take next year to cover the portion my employer won’t (they are willing to pay–the result of the “you don’t get the shit you don’t ask for” mantra–not sure yet how much they will cover)

    My husband would save it–or use it for the motorcycle course sponsored by the state.

  4. Melissa

    I have an insanely low cost of living, so with this money I could actually buy a new suit (I’m looking for a new job at the moment), pay rent/utilities for a couple months and probably put half of that into savings for a down payment on a car, since at the moment I’m stuck traveling by foot, bicycle and the local bus system.

  5. Susan

    I would use the money toward taking a self-improvement class–one of yours if there is enough in the $1001 to cover it. I believe my husband would use the money for:
    $24.00 (4 movie tickets, plus 2 drinks and 2 popcorns)–hey, it’s cheap where we live
    $250.00 — 3 day weekend trip to a city for the 2 of us
    $300.00 — new snow tires for his car (needed this year)
    $427.00 — repair ancient shower with new tub surround, grout, and paint (we’d do the labor ourselves and have already priced replacement parts)

    Of course, that’s what I believe he’d spend it on. No telling what he’d actually do with it!

    If his mother is still alive, he

    • Susan

      Please ignore the last 2 lines. My husband’s mother is in hospice, so if she died before the money was won, we would both choose to use it towards travel to her funeral.

  6. Ben

    I’d blow the money. Without a doubt. I’d pick up things I’d like that I haven’t yet spent money on. My conscious spending plan is in full swing and I’ve got myself in a position where I’m saving/investing at least $1500/mo. I allow myself less “blow money” than suggested in the book, so I feel comfortable spending more of the little bonuses that come along.

    My partner, on the other hand, would almost certainly use it to clear her student loan debt. There isn’t much left, though, so there’s a chance she’d go 50% there, 25% towards our wedding, and 25% to spend guilt-free.

  7. Hector

    I would do two things with the money.

    First, I would definitely use the extra lump sum to supplement the little I have saved towards my goal (planned 8 years ago when I was 16) to start a business– and it doesn’t matter if it fails–by the age of 24. The first $800 would go toward investment capitol with an extra $100 towards unexpected costs.

    Second, I would use $100 to “sponsor” a goat for a family in a developing country.

    My partner on the other hand would use $800 to pay off debt and the other $200 to visit family in NYC. Now that I think about it, I would use $200 for us to visit her family too.

  8. Binaebi

    I would put some aside for taxes (good reminder!), and split the remaining between registering for dance events (I’m a swing dancer and in order to improve, you need to travel to find the good instructors and dancers), and paying off student loans.

    My partner, since he doesn’t have student loans, would probably put all of it (minus taxes) to dance events. He’s an instructor for swing dancing so to him, it would be an investment in his side business of running a team, helping build the local dance scene, and get his name out there as a local instructor.

  9. Daniel Cardenas

    I would take $100 every month and invest it on me bettering myself (books, seminars, whatever I feel will contribute to me being a better person both financially and physically). Until the money runs out.

  10. Marie

    I would invest the money in myself:

    I’ve started a new business this year as an author, speaker and publisher. The money, $1001.00, all goes into the business,

    My partner also would invest the money. If I can talk her into investing it in my business, I believe it’s a good choice for the money’s ROI. However, if she chose to invest elsewhere (it is her money) I can’t say where. She is very careful and researches funds…I can say it will be a mutual fund for her Roth IRA.

    Good luck everyone!

  11. Stephanie Howard

    Here’s my plan

    $200 A+ Certification
    $250 Travel
    $250 IRA
    $301 Fees and Expenses to start my own bakery

  12. Austin

    I would send it back to Ramit as soon as another course opened up. As a father of 5 children, I never spend money on myself. This is one investment that I haven’t been able to make yet, but I’ve wanted to for quite some time. I think it would really pay off in the long run. I can’t think of anything better than to (1) learn how to negotiate to earn more and (2) be able to pass that knowledge and confidence down to my children so that they can be 10 steps ahead of where I was when they enter the “real world”.
    My wife would probably put it in our savings account. As a mother of 5, she really wants to get out of our cramped 3-bedroom house. Although she does also have an affinity for designer shoes and purses…

  13. Adrianne

    I would put it towards travel – a trip back to see the family in the states. Would probably help convince hubs that its a good idea.

    Realistically should be put towards student loans which is what husband would say I should do with it. Otherwise he would put it in savings or the bank and do nothing in particular with it. We got 1000 euros from his uncle and he made no real plans on what to do with it and it ended up paying for the rewiring for the old house. Not intentionally but it was in the bank account and what I said it was used for haha.

  14. Lauren

    I would use the money to further pad our savings. We are completely credit card debt free and after tackling that, I have been agressively trying to build savings while still enjoying life. I put as much or as little as I can every week.

    My husband would use it for travel and probably towards books or parking for the MBA program he is hoping to begin soon.

    There would also be a nice dinner involved that we both would agree to spend some of the money on 🙂

  15. Daniel

    I would take my wife out for a nice dinner (120$ dinner, 50$ baby sitter = 170$), so that we can enjoy a little bit of the extra cash. The rest I would put towards paying our credit cards debts. We still ow around 35000$, down from 54000$ when I read Ramit’s book last November (I’m pretty proud of that!). I am aggressively paying these debts and once it’s done I will increase my contributions to our 529 plan and other investments, and increase the splurge fund a little bit.

    I think my wife would want to spend most of it on entertainment (like the above mentioned dinner plan) and some clothes, perhaps a stay cation night at a local hotel for us (she really enjoys room service and resort accommodations), but some new clothes for the kids and maybe give a little bit towards the credit cards debts. She doesn’t seem as motivated and focussed on paying these, especially since I took over taking care of the finances in December (applying all I learn from Ramit’s book). I tried to make her read the book, but she’s not really motivated and gives me all sort of excuses. Also, I think that because she’s not actively taking care of the finances, she’s a little bit disconnected from it and don’t have the drive I have to pay off our debts. We both got substantial salary increases in January and I’m trying to keep us at the same spending style so the extra goes into debt. She’s more splurging since we make more, without really looking at the budget.

    It’s an ongoing battle between us and I wish she could see the wisdom in clearing out our debts…

    Thanks for all the wonderful and insightful advices Ramit, you rock!

  16. Odile

    Hi Ramit,
    Thank you for this fun and potentially profitable exercise!
    I am in the process of launching my own business so I would use this money to attend a course related to assisting in making my new venture successful. One which would also allow me to network in person with other entrepreneurs and potential clients. It is an interesting time for me as after 22 years in Corporate America I am branching out and looking to do something that helps others and is hence more fulfilling.
    My partner’s career is well established so he would spend it on Entertainment. Most likely a trip up the coast. One that involves a lot of outdoor activities.

  17. Michael

    Vanity wins. I would spend it on a really great tattoo and I would be willing to bet my potential winnings that my partner would do the exact same. After all, it is free money. Easy come, easy go.

  18. Jacky Ramsey

    My husband and I are pretty different when it comes to money if we are on our own. My husband is a spender. But he is also an earner and loves working. I am quite the opposite – I am a saver and I dislike working.

    If left to my own devices, I’d want to save the whole thing, or use it to pay off a debt or something.

    My husband, left to his own devices would spend it on tools, which is both an indulgence and investment for him.

    But since we don’t live in a vacuum and we influence each other (and we are otherwise well off), he would convince me to split it to spend on fun things – him and his tools and me and one of my many hobbies.

  19. ShrMaj

    Me –
    Take that money and make a fixed deposit in an NRI account in India which guarantees me a 9.5% rate of return. The interest earnings would be tax exempted in India and I don’t have to pay interest on the earnings here in US until the deposit matures and I cash it in – in 10 years.

    My husband –
    He’ll put it towards the slate pool table or an aquarium which we’ve been thinking of buying.

  20. Mike

    I would spend it as follows:
    $500 paying down debt
    $300 on some new soccer boots
    $201 towards spending money for soccer tournament in August

    My partner would likely spend it this way:
    $500 towards flights to see family in UK in September
    $300 on gifts for family in UK
    $101 in to savings
    $100 on going out for a nice meal together

  21. Adrienne Martin


    I would take the 1K and help myself and my little brother (a soon to be sophomore biz major at Georgetown U) go to Marie Forleo’s RHH Live event in October. I don’t know the cost so if the 1K couldn’t get us both there, I would give it to him to go. He is amazing and really thinks outside the box and is seriously going to go places as an entrepreneur (I turned him on to you!!). I know this event will further inspire him and get him thinking even MORE outside the box as his school is fairly conventional in thought and teachings.

    My beloved husband would take some of the money and buy concert tickets because he loves him some live music (mostly of the hippy variety…ugh). Although, one purchase would be tickets for us to go see Morrissey live here in Boston in October. He would also take some of the money to Colorado with him in September for spending money for the big hippy rock show he is going to in September. THEN, because he is a very good sharer, he would give the rest to me so I can use it to pay for sessions with my mentor/teacher so I can get my business going.

    Thanks so much Ramit for this opportunity!


    • Adrienne

      obviously, it was very important for me to share with everyone that the hubby is going in September to Colorado! LOL. sorry for the typo/tired-mama-of-two-poor-sentence-writing!!

  22. Carolyn

    I would put it toward paying off some business debt so that I would have additional operating income.

  23. Danielle M

    I would use the money to pay my business’s start up costs. I’ve been doing the research, and the occupational licensing and incorporation costs are more than I can afford right now since I am unemployed. While I am licensed to perform work, I am unable to be paid for it until all of those city & county tax rules are sorted out. Whatever is left after that, would pay for a night out ($75 at the most!) and the rest would likely go into an investment account.

    My partner on the other hand, is a grad student with 2 years left, and would likely put the full amount towards paying off the loans on his previous degree. Anytime he has extra money, that’s where it goes, so I’m fairly confident he would do that.

    Since it is $1001 to the couple, not to each, I would take the whole amount and take him out to dinner after my business costs. Hey, I entered the contest, and he’s got plenty of loans and deferment while in school. I could turn the money into more money, and since he is reasonable, he would be fine with me using it to start my business, as long as I took care of him later if/when he needed it.

  24. JoEllen

    $850 on a plane ticket to Germany
    $100 on purchasing this laptop from my university
    $3.50 on a bottle of hot sauce to give to my partner
    $47.50 on ingredients for a delicious meal once I get there

    This would allow me to be reunited with my partner (whom I haven’t seen for 11 months), have a laptop to continue my freelance work and pay for my expenses while I’m there, and cook (or rather, help my partner cook) a wonderful romantic dinner, topped off by his favorite hot sauce from the US. By the end of the summer I’ll have saved enough to cover student loans once I start paying them off in a couple of months, but as a recent grad it’ll be a few more months before I make enough money to cover this long-awaited overseas travel.

  25. Jill

    I would take half of the money and have a fun-filled family mini vacation! The rest of the money I would either put away to pad the emergency fund more (boring, I know) or pay down my student loan. Right now my checking gives me a higher interest rate than what I’m charged on my student loan so I would sit on the money right now.

    My husband, without a doubt, would buy sporting goods so that he and our daughter can have new items to enjoy.

  26. Jason

    I haven’t totally decided what I would do… I would either just stick it all in savings, or I would use some portion to upgrade our dishwasher, which neither of us are happy with, and likely put the rest in savings.

    My wife would put it all towards her photography business.

    In reality, we’d probably look at some home improvement, whether that was the dishwasher or something else, see what our options were and possibly buy something there. We’d probably identify some photography investment and give her that money to spend on that. If both of those went through, that would probably amount to 100% of the total, or close to it. Anything under 10% left would just be rolled into our normal spending.

    If one of those didn’t offer the right opportunity, we’d likely be left with somewhere between 40-60% left, at which point we’d either a) put it in savings, b) put it in retirement, or c) spend it on something with a little less direct tangible benefit, to be determined.

    No need to set aside for taxes, we usually get way more back in refund than this would burden us with.

  27. Sue

    I would use the money towards my “Interview in Washington, D.C.” fund. I did interview in DC last week, but I’m starting to see that it would be hard for me to do that more often. I spend money I normally wouldn’t traveling there, and I lose temp opportunities to make money at home. So this would be an incentive to arrange more interviews there! When I go to DC, I stay with a friend, so I’d be happy to split this money with her. Her birthday is 8/20, so I think she would use her share to have a birthday party!

  28. Paul Kim

    1.) $250 for a plane ride for my mom to visit (I just moved to Seattle from LA)
    2.) $100 for year-long bike repair. I commute by Bike year-round.
    3.) $300 taxes
    4.) $200 for charity
    5.) $100 into savings
    6.) $25 into
    7.) $24 for a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island for a day out with my wife
    8.) $2 for two coffees at Bainbridge Island 🙂

    My wife would probably:

    1.) $200 – Make-up and other facial products
    2.) $500 – Advertise her violin studio / lessons
    3.) $301 – Savings

  29. Corinne

    I’d pay of some debt, I just had to have all 4 wisdom teeth pulled and a root canal (this past weekend, ouch!). In addition to my college loans, which are about $12000 now.

    I don’t have a partner but I do have a roommate with over $90,000 in loans (that she’s used up all her forbearances on and is now not making any payments despite having to), credit card debt, IRS debt, and other debt. $1,000 would only make a dent but since I’ve been trying to talk to her about how to clean up her credit, this would definitely help her out as well.

  30. Mike

    I would invest the money in myself and my job (I’m a musician):

    $1000 – Start a record label based on cooperation of musicians who don’t have much exposure in the musical scene.

    $1 – Send the first CD of the record label to Ramit 🙂

    My partner would probably save all the money.

  31. nino abit

    My wife and I share the same sentiments towards money-management. Spending it wisely is always a TOP priority on our list which comes in this breakdown:
    -15% would be spent on setting up our own little computer shop and rental. In the Philippines, a local TeleComm company named PLDT with it’s on-going promotion called PLDT SME Nation is it’s No.1 promo that helps small and medium-scale entrepreneurs setup their business thru the idea of providing small businesses with four (4) FREE PC units and one (1) FREE modem with WiFi for a monthly subscription and with 2 years lock-in period. A truly good deal to start a small computer rental.
    -10% would for be for mutual fund investments.
    -10% for be invested towards joining a MLM (multilevel marketing) company of my choice and be able to earn extra income.
    -10% would go to our daughter’s immediate school needs
    -8% would go towards a nearby orphanage we have in our neighborhood. We always believed in giving back to the community.
    -10% will be spent on (a not-so expensive yet quality) vacation with the family for a week.
    -18% will be spent on buying a home theater package.
    -10% save at the bank for emergency funds.
    -5% will be spent for paying off debts.
    -4% would be given away for tax purposes =(

    Hoping for that BIG win!!!!…

  32. Penny

    I’d spend the money to pay down debt because I’m on life reserves right now as I’m in between jobs. But, I’ll likely do the following:

    1) $500 towards credit card bills
    2) $300 on a super nice dinner with my roommate
    3) $200 in savings/taxes?
    4) $1 to a homeless person

    My roommate would love to go on a shopping spree, end of story.

  33. Miranda

    I am Canadian, so not eligible to win under the outlined rules.

    However, Ramit, if you are interested in the data requested, I would allocate:
    * $900.90 to my son’s RESP (Canadian edition of a 529)
    * $100.10 to my TFSA ~ Tax-Free Savings Account.

    In Canada, windfalls like lottery or contest wins are not subject to taxation. 🙂
    I’m cheering for JoEllen and the bottle of hot sauce.

    • Miranda

      Oh, and my husband? Based on his previous advice to me, when I got a larger-than-expected tax refund, he’d probably take $100-$200 and spend it on something fun and electronic, and then stash the rest in his “FU fund”.

  34. Barry Wright, III

    Very interesting that in many of the comments thus far, the commenter states that they would use the money significantly more “responsibly” (both in content and tone of description) than their partner. This is often subtle – many of the commenters use a tone of self-sacrifice (putting money away for debt), while describing their partner’s possible spending with a tone of “deserving it” (whether for travel to loved ones, self-investment, or pure entertainment). There’s a lot to read into here.

    Part of this, I imagine, is self-selection due of this site’s readers (and even further, the readers who would comment), but it seems very unlikely that this would actually pan out.

    It was interesting in the first contest to see how easy it is to write down an optimistic (i.e. responsible) money plan (and to see that mostly followed, though as you said, n=1). It’s really interesting that people are not projecting this optimism onto their partners.

    Also interesting that many people are writing almost exclusively first about what they would do with the money and in greater detail (I don’t think this part is particularly surprising).

  35. Kelly Raila

    Picking the dropdown options was tricky. Given there’s about $300 to taxes, leaving $700 to work with, here’s a bit of elaboration on my answers:

    I picked “Travel” for myself.
    I would use it to cover my part of my expenses for PAX Dev & Prime, which is also kind of self development since I’m going to network with folks in my industry (games) while I’m there.
    $250 for my flight LA to Seattle.
    $450 toward hotel/food/etc. It’s going to cost more than that for 4 nights hotel plus 5 days of food, but $450 is a good chunk of it.

    For my partner I picked “Self Development.”
    It was the closest out of the options–I think he would put it toward the expenses of his LLC or one of his personal projects.

    Of course, he might decide to use some of it for a second Xbox so the two of us can play multiplayer games together. In that case, his breakdown would be something like:
    $300 Xbox
    $400 toward costs of his LLC and/or personal projects.

  36. james sutton

    I would use the money to repair my transmission in my 16 year old car, the motor runs fine. And contirnue to drive the car as a second car for a backup thus having the peace of mind to always be able to get to work with a vehicle. I have to drive 12 miles out of town to get there. My Dad lives with me and he would take it to repair his old tractor to keep it running so he can continue to garden and supply us with in season vegetables to supplement the grocery shopping.

  37. VivD

    I’d just give it away to a charity. Always feel like I don’t have enough to start giving away so with something extra like this I’d have no problems just giving away to someone else in need.

    My wife would put it all into savings or at least say so.

  38. Eric Noble

    If I was given $1001.00 today, I would do the following:
    $450 Weekend trip – 2 nights at a B&B in Long Island wine country or Fire Island Beach, depending on wife’s mood.)
    $200 would be split between our Roth IRAs.
    $300 set aside for taxes.
    $25.50 x 2 for the Long Island Railroad ticket (off-peak hours) to get to either destination. That takes care of that extra dollar 🙂
    AND….here is how I honestly think my wife would spend $1001.00 if it was put in her hand today:
    She would give me $250 and tell me to buy a gift for her, and then she would keep another $250 to buy a gift for me. (This also means that if I don’t spend it on her, I’ll be in the doghouse!)
    $300 set aside for taxes.
    $200 would be split between our Roth IRAs.
    And then she would use the last $1.00 for the subway fare to go buy a gift in-person, because that is how she likes to shop. I wouldn’t need any money for a subway fare since I always buy online through Amazon Prime, which is free shipping ;-).
    As you can see, the difference between how my wife and I would spend extra money is that I like spending time together and she likes to give and receive gifts. Everything else would be the same.

  39. Pat

    I would take money out for taxes and I would either put the rest toward the cc debt we are paying off now or use it for a repair on my car that I was told I could put off for a few months that will cost about $600. My spouse, I think, would save 1/3, spend 1/3 and use 1/3 toward a bill payment. He’d probably spend it on something technology related.

  40. Samantha

    My partner and I are on the exact same ‘money page’, so I think (hope) that we would spend this $1,001 windfall the same way: pay down the mortgage!

    Every extra dollar coming in to our household gets put toward the principle balance, currently sitting at just over $90k. The money would help us stay on track of our ridiculously ambitious goal to have it gone in 2014.

  41. Michal

    I taught my kids: ‘found’ money goes to charity. So I would give half to some of the causes that I value most, which I haven’t been able to support at all because my income isn’t enough to pay my (small) mortgage plus health insurance! (But this also means I probably wouldn’t have to pay income tax on the money!) The other half would go towards visits with each of my 3 kids, who recently started college, 2 moving away this fall.

    My partner would want to give it all to charity, but he puts the same value on visiting family and agrees with my choice.

  42. Janice Salomon

    Without a doubt, visit my daughter and her hubby whom I haven’t seen in way too long (they live almost across the country from me). If any left over, I would put it towards my savings for a new car. The $1, like the last time’s winner, would go to the lottery ticket…hey, you never know, and besides what else can you buy with $1?

  43. Keren

    I like the idea of giving to charity. I would donate/invest/give $100 towards funding microloans for women in developing countries. The rest I would probably put towards paying off my credit cards/student loans.

    My partner would most certainly save it as he makes about 1/3 of what I make yearly.

    If I was debt free I would do the following
    $300 towards a professional organizer
    $500 for some cosmetic upgrades in my home
    $100 towards a pair of Dr. Martins or Redwing boots <3<3<3
    $101 to go out to a nice restaurant with my beau

  44. Peach

    It was designed as a contest instead of as a gift, so if he’s a United States resident or American citizen, he has to pay taxes.

  45. Stanley Lee

    I’m not entering the contest, but I just want to note how astounding it is that the said and actual priorities are THAT different.

  46. ruth

    I would spend the money renting a motorized scooter. I fell at my job, and have to get my ankle fixed. After the surgery I can’t drive for 3 months! I’m a single mom, so if I had the scooter I could at least get to a few stores(I wouldn’t even care if people thought I was a crazy Costanza-like character!)

    I’m predicting how my daughter would spend it: She’d want to go to sushi and get anything, no matter the price. So 100 for the dinner. Then she’d put 500 into savings. She’d give 100 to an animal shelter. She’d spend the remaining 300 on clothes, books, jewelry.

  47. ruth

    I left off a dollar-I think each of us would put in in a tip jar, at a local restaurant.

  48. Khurshed Patel

    I would pay off my debts first even before I think of spending the money somewhere else.

  49. Dawn

    Right the minute I’m still in school, but due to an interesting mix-up with my student loan company, (that they swear they can’t fix), I have absolutely no grace period. Which means the minute I graduate next spring my loans come due. Given that, I would take the $1001 and save it for loan payments, since even if I’m lucky enough to have a job that starts immediately I wouldn’t get my first paycheck in time for my first payment. So, a weird combination of savings/debt reduction?

    My roommate would probably spend the money on living expenses this fall since she’s working for free at an unpaid internship. Right the minute she’s planning on dipping into her savings, but that’s not exactly ideal.

  50. Michael E

    I know exactly how my wife would use the money. She’d use it to buy tickets to the USANA world convention next month for any and all of her down line who met certain sales and business building goals.

    See? We’re like that. When we get extra money, we try to figure out how to use it to help others and ourselves get even more money.

  51. Jennifer J

    We are going to Ireland in November so the $1001 would cover the remaining amount we have to pay on our travel package.

    If we weren’t going to Ireland I’d put it all towards our debt so we could be debt-free a month sooner in Dec. 2012.

  52. Abigail

    I would put the total amount in savings since we are working on rebuilding our emergency fund which has to happen before we start saving for the more fun saving goals. I am currently the “bread winner” but I work for myself and so my income is inconsistent. We had a 10K emergency fund a couple years ago and now it is down to 1K. Luckily we are debt free so after we hit our emergency fund goal we will be even freer to do the things we love to do.

    I think my husband would try to tempt me to change my mind about that and use the money for travel. We went to Thailand this year which was the first big crazy trip we have taken after being together for 8 years. It made us what to see the world. He has been looking at the Groupon Getaways since then to see if we could afford anything fun trip.

    Thanks Ramit!

  53. Amanda

    I would visit the Children’s Authors convention in LA this coming week, and shop around my manuscript. My husband would probably use it to pay bills, which we do need to do, I admit….

  54. DK

    I initially said I’d put it towards my student loans, and I stand by that. But the bigger idea behind is it that I’d be done a little bit sooner, pay a little less interest, and then actually have some money to go off to adventure (aka TRAVEL) between xmas and New Years, since I’ll finally be done with my loans. The adventure is something I’m wrestling with since airfare is awfully high during the peak holiday season, but at the same time, we’d have a free flat to stay with a kitchen and all.

    As for my partner, I think he’d do the following:
    $300 eating out (he’s been making his own food and doesn’t like it one bit)
    $400 clothing/alterations (winter jacket, plus he’s been losing weight since he started making his own food)
    $300 savings since his tax bill was a lot higher than he anticipated, and he’s still trying to recover.

    For a moment, I wondered if he’d gift a portion to me. Then I decided self-preservation has been proved in science far too many times to contemplate otherwise.

  55. Jean

    DH would spend it on a laptop computer. His was bought in 2001 and is dead. Not a priority in the budget but he would really like a new one.

    I would pay down debt. Truly!

  56. Joe

    I’d invest it into my retirement account. I’m such an exciting guy!

    My wife is starting a business, so she’d invest it into her business. It’s a food truck, and the truck needs some work inside so that’s probably where the money would go.

  57. Jared

    I would spend 100% buying three photography lenses I have been eyeing.

    My girlfriend would probably just throw it on top of her bank account and it would just become a part of her regular account she uses for whatever she needs, since she makes more than she spends but doesn’t have a strict automated money plan in place.


    I would use $500 to complete my dads building $300 to pay for my postgraduate program and. $100 for my self to buy what I want, the remaining $101 for my family members! My partner would spend $300 for debts ,$200 to fix. The car! $20 to eat chicken. $400 to start a business. And $80. For the extended family !grandma,grandpa,sisters E.t.c.

  59. Van Nguyen

    As an incoming medical student, I’d put it all towards my impending student loans of doom.

    Ah who am I kidding! Since it’s money I wouldn’t have had before, here’s how I’d spend it:

    $500 for airline tickets so my girlfriend and I can go to San Jose to spend Christmas with my family.
    $200 for my savings account towards opening a Roth IRA.
    $300 for a Nomiku sous vide machine to cook meals in between study sessions.
    $1 for a lottery ticket. I like the logic, so I’d have to steal that idea!

    As for my girlfriend:

    $300 on medical school application fees.
    $200 on a cruise to Conzumel with her friends.
    $400 on a yoga and music festival called Wanderlust.
    $101 on new clothes from her favorite store: Target.

    Now that I look at it, my girlfriend has some eclectic interests!


    I would use $500 to complete my dads building $300 to pay for my postgraduate program and. $100 for my self to buy what I want, the remaining $101 for my family members! . My partner would spend $300 for debts ,$200 to fix. The car! $20 to eat chicken. $400 to start a business. And $80. For the extended family !grandma,grandpa,sisters E.t.c.

  61. Heather

    Hm… I very nearly said I would save, but then I remembered I’m trying to get out to visit my partner so I had to truthfully say travel. (Canada, from the UK, extra money is nice)

    Now my partner on the other hand would probably invest most of it, and spend some of it on a couple of nights out with his friends. He doesn’t really like the UK much so he wouldn’t be traveling as such.

  62. Heath

    I would drop it on a debt. I’ve got one I’ve been working on that 1,001 would finish off.

    My girlfriend just broke her leg, so she’d use it to cover some of that expense.

  63. DK

    My wife wants to spend about $100 on a romantic dinner and a baby sitter (so it is just the two of us). About $30 on a new toy for the little guy as well.

    $870 to be spent on paying off her college loans, and the last $1 would be spent on a candy bar. Something sweet to personally celebrate the winning. Any change would go to the charity at the store.

    I would put $300 into my Roth IRA. I would put $250 into a savings account for my son, and another $250 into a CD. When he is older, I could then talk to him about the different account balances due to interest, etc. Would really use it to help him understand saving.

    $200 would go to a charity group that I am involved with. The last $1 would go to buying stamps, so I can write my parents and my best freind a letter to tell them what they mean to me.


  64. Vince

    I’d like to use all 1001.00 towards debt since it would be unexpected income for the month. My wife, on the other hand, would want to put it directly in our savings account; she feels more comfortable seeing money in there rather than seeing our debt reduced. What we’d probably do is put all of it towards our daughter’s senior trip to London, which is due in November — I’m dreading paying the remaining balance for that.

  65. Heather Jackson

    I would apply the whole $1001 to my husband’s credit card balance (we’ve already nearly paid off mine) so that we can finally start building savings.

    I’ve finally persuaded him to get on the same page as me, but if he could choose, he would spend it on toys (another gun, more mods to his truck). As a British guy, clearly he’s embraced America.

    This sort of thing has been a point of contention since we finished our PhDs. We accumulated credit card debt in 2 countries, and getting rid of that as soon as possible has been my priority. For him, the first couple years after graduating and resuming earning were about relaxing a bit and treating ourselves. I definitely didn’t get that memo!

  66. Hollyann Wood

    I set my W4 to have an extra deduction so I don’t think I’d have to worry about paying extra taxes on this prize.

    1. I’m working my way out of debt, so I’d put $300 toward that.
    2. I’ve got a child, so I’d put $250 into his college fund.
    3. I’d like to retire one day but my start-up doesn’t have a 401k yet, so I’d put $250 into my IRA.
    4. I’d use $200 to take my kiddo (who’s obsessed with the ocean right now) and my boyfriend to San Antonio to go to Sea World.
    5. I’d convert the remaining $1 into change and give it to my kiddo (he’s 3) to put into his piggy bank.

  67. Megan Blackshire

    I would most likely put a portion of the money towards the credit card debt I am racking up as I near my wedding. I then would save a few hundred for the unforeseen, my savings are pretty dry and I just took a pay cut to pursue more entrepreneurial efforts. Lastly, I would use a piece of the money to buy a few more samples for an athletic branding trademark I have and see if I can take it to the next level. It may seem like I am spreading it thin, but a few hundred in each category would mean a lot!

    $300 Credit Card
    $300 Safe keeping and cushion for upcoming bills
    $250 Shirts for concept
    $150 taxes (although with the pay cut I took, I may not need any tax cushion!)

    My fiancé would probably want to go to a few nice dinners or away for the weekend. Unfortunately, I don’t abide by the what is yours is mine mentality and he has plenty. Makes thinking about $1,000 a pretty menial thought process. ha!

  68. Rakesh

    I will use the money to pay down debt. $1000 won’t be a life changer but still it’s good to use it to pay down debt.

  69. Erich P Covey

    Well … If the money was for myself and a friend/partner, then the money would be split down the middle. It would not be fair to keep more than that. As for myself, I would apply those funds towards bills, as I have accumulated some debt, just graduating from Graduate School and I did not make much money while studying.

    My friend, however, would probably spend it on gifts for other people. She is always buying things that she keeps put aside so that she can make goodie bags for special occasions, such as national holidays, birthdays, etc. She then makes up these bags and gives them to friends, co-workers, our favorite servers, etc. She makes up the goodie bags and I usually bake something like fresh rolls to go in the bags!

    I wish I could say that I would do something more adventurous or philanthropic with my portion of the funds, but I do not think my creditors would appreciate that. Responsibility needs to come first.

  70. Xenocles

    We have a bit of car repair and maintenance to do. I think it would be enough to take the whole prize.

  71. Sarah

    I’d reserve about $100 for a fancy dinner out, complete with wine and appetizers. Dining out is one of the areas where I made deep cuts in my spending, and it’s been tough, as I really feel like this is how I enjoy spending time with my partner and I really like good food. The rest would go toward paying off my credit card debt.

    My partner would likely either spend it for a needed car repair that he’s been putting off (sharing my car in the interim, which is fine because we work similar hours in the same building), but that needs to get done before it starts snowing in the winter. I’d also like to think that he’d reserve about $70-100 for a nice dinner out for the 2 of us, but I’m pretty sure he’d only do that because he knows I’d be bummed if he didn’t.

  72. matt

    my wife would spend half of it on new lights for our house and half of it to start a college savings plan for our daughter (who will be born next month).

    I would put all of the money towards a college savings plan for her since we’re both maxing out our 401k/403B at work and an IRA for each of us.

  73. Amy

    I would passively invest my money through websites like Betterment, while my friend will actively seek out different funds using his analysis to invest his money. I am quite certain “investment” is the way we will both use this extra cash though.

  74. Jamie

    Hey Ramit, thanks for this chance! Here’s what I’d do:
    * put half towards getting a side business of selling art prints on Etsy going
    * put the other half towards:
    1) My 401K
    2) the credit card demons, and
    3) a vacation fund

  75. Naomi

    I would spend the money on gifts for my family while my partner would spend the money on a holiday. This is money that’s unexpected so it would be nice to have fun with it.

    1. $550 – A weekend at the beach
    2. $250 – Gifts for family
    3. $150 – Taxes
    4. $51 – Savings for my daughter’s piggy bank

  76. Mike Salerno

    I’d use the money for travel, and my girlfriend would do the same.

    If she were to win the $1,001, she would put it towards a plane ticket to Morocco this December.

    In the past, we’ve both used ‘found’ money to travel to India, South Africa and Australia.

  77. Chrissa

    My biggest win would be to spend $579 on the Vitamix Total Nutrition Center that I’ve been drooling over for months. I think my husband would spend a portion of the money on his hobby supplies but I wouldn’t blame him because it’s what he loves. I would take whatever is left after that and deposit it in my new TFSA even if it’s not a lot because I need to get in the habit of putting money into it so we can save up for a house.

  78. Elisa

    I am really trying to knock out my car loan- so, maybe 3/4 for loan and 1/4 towards Roth IRA? Or just all towards car loan- I can’t decide! … ok. I think Car Loan!! (I hadn’t thought about taxes either!)
    Friend would put it towards stocks/investing!

  79. Amanda

    My husband would apply it towards his student loan, which we’re aggressively trying to pay down. Exciting? No. Practical and smart? Yes. And that’s why I married him.

  80. Marisa

    I’ve recently paid off my credit cards and am slowly working down my student loans. Perhaps the student loans would be a better recipient of the full $1001, but instead…

    $500 would go towards me taking a statistics class (I’m doing so leg work to get into business school).
    $501 would be saved for plane tickets. My boyfriend is military and it looks like he’ll be taking off for six months starting in November. It will be a great opportunity for him professionally but it would have us separated at Christmas. Frankly, that stinks. It would be nice to have the cash for a plane ticket so that we could be together during the holidays.

  81. Naina

    So fun! I would invest/save $500, $75 to go out to a nice dinner with my fiance (We use groupons and so it doesn’t break the bank if we want something nice), $125 to the colorado victim who doesn’t have health insurance and $300 toward my travel fund.

    My fiance would pad his student loan payment a little, and then because he’d look at it as “free money”, he’d spend the rest of a weekend somewhere for the two of us.

    Crossing my fingers!

  82. Mike

    I would put $500 into emergency fund and $500 towards payoff of my wife’s student loans.

    My wife would probably put $800 of it into student loan payoff and $200 of it into a trip to South Dakota for us.

  83. Kristi

    Hi, and thank you for yet another challenging and fun exercise!

    Me: $500 on a Personal Training Certification course so I can get licensed and make money on the side; and $500 for school clothes/shoes/supplies for our boys.

    My husband: $500 for a truck tool box for his Handyman biz; and he would agree on the $500 for the school stuff for the boys.

    If we could do all that for $850, I would love to spend $150 sponsoring a kid to the local Boys and Girls Clubs summer camp. 🙂 Great feeling to do that!

    Thanks again!

  84. Negin Sairafi

    Hmmmm, I like taking risks and trying things most people would never do so this is how I would spend the $1001.00

    I recently launched my online store and as expected, selling a product online is beyond difficult. That being said, I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by some extremely talented entrepreneurs and marketing geniuses that are all successful in their own right.

    As you know, marketing, sales and online advertising is a lot of trial and error. I would choose 5 of the smartest, most talented and driven people I know, give them a budget of $200.00 each to spend on advertising my company (Evoke & Imagine) however they like. I think the results could be amazing.

    I’d give away the last dollar to the person with the most successful campaign…for good luck.

    • neginsairafi

      Oh and I don’t have a partner, but if I did he would probably want to go away for a weekend because he’d always complain about how tense I am.

  85. Gin

    I would put it all towards my orthognathic surgery.

    My partner would want to give it to me for my surgery, but I think he couldn’t resist buying the $400+ lens for his camera he’s been wanting. And then he’d buy me dinner ($30 for pizza) and put the rest in my surgery savings account.

  86. Daniela

    My husband and I just bought a new house, so I would put the total amount towards the fence we’re getting for our backyard to keep the dogs in.

    My husband would want to put it towards a new tv for his man cave 🙂

  87. Kaiti

    I would save 450 for bills, and rent.
    I would put 300 in savings.
    And i would put the 200 in my savings account to pay back the school loans i already have or will add.
    The final 51 I would use on gas and other small things

  88. Kaiti

    My boyfriend would probable spend $200 on heroclix or comics.
    $450 for rent, and bills.
    $100 for entertainment (going to the movies, renting movies, buying games).
    The final $251 would probably go to misc. items or emergency fund.

  89. RobS.

    I would use the money to pay down our unexpected Medical expense from our most recent child. My wife would put $700.00 towards that and $150.00 towards fun spending on our new child (video monitors, bottles, etc.)

  90. Brittany

    Because I have no debts and have an emergency fund and savings for the future, I would put it into my Antarctica/South America fund! I will be going there in February, 2014, and right now I need to save about $500 a month to do that. Did I mention I currently only work 15 hours a week? I side-hustle as much as I can and allllll of that money goes into my travel fund. I have more travel pending, so the sooner I can pay my trip off, the sooner I can start paying for other fun things! Did I mention I’m 50% saved already? Feels pret-ty awesome! Here’s crossing my fingers that I win and can mark two months of trying to work my butt off in order to see penguins and a place that only few people will ever see!

    My boyfriend, however? He’d spend it on paying off the balance to going to bicycle frame-building school. He’s never been a saver. Always horrible with money. Barely finished high school and never had plans to go onto further learning until mentioning it a year ago. To hear recently that he’d actually saved half of the $2500 tuition was hugely surprising and made me TOTALLY proud of him! I am literally THAT impressed! He deserves to do something he never thought he would do and I am so proud of him. I help him out with money for his schooling when I can, but having money to ensure him to be able to go to school this winter would be SO AWESOME!!

  91. Jason

    Every cent would go to pay off credit card debt. For both of us.

  92. Monica

    Me: I would put $500 away for emergency fund savings which I just started 3 months ago (better late than never, right?). Another $250 would be contributed to my Roth IRA and would then be invested in the market. The other $251 would go towards our European trip in summer of 2013. No spending for me, which would be tough but worth it.

    Boyfriend: He would definitely save all $1,001 without a second thought. I’d guess $600 would go in his savings account since a few months ago he spent a lot of his savings buying a car with cash. $300 would go towards our European trip savings, and $101 would go towards a charity, probably to Kansas City Rescue Mission.

  93. Monica

    Me: I would put $500 away for emergency fund savings which I just started 3 months ago (better late than never, right?). Another $250 would be contributed to my Roth IRA and would then be invested in the market. The other $251 would go towards our European trip in summer of 2013. No spending for me, which would be tough but worth it.

    Boyfriend: He would definitely save all $1,001 without a second thought. I’d guess $600 would go in his savings account since a few months ago he spent a lot of his savings buying a car with cash. $300 would go towards our European trip savings, and $101 would go towards a charity, probably to Kansas City Rescue Mission.

    • Monica

      Sorry for the double-response. The first one 404-ed but ended up posting. Please delete so it doesn’t look like I’m trying to cheat and have 2 entries. Thanks

  94. Casey

    I would put 997 towards a 3 day internet marketing course that is coming up and with the remaining 4 I would go to my favorite taco spot and get two of the most satisfying tacos. One barbacoa and one carnitas.

    My partner, she would put all of it towards our wedding coming up next May.

  95. Jen

    I’d use it to pay off our recent pet medical expenses and transfer half to my credit card. My partner would use it to “invest in himself”, buying office space for his so-far-income-free freelance work or putting it towards a car payment we can’t afford.

  96. Tamara

    Both my husband and I would use the money to pay off credit card debt. We are getting closer and closer to freedom, as our 1st child is due in November.

  97. Sareen

    This would go towards my lovely ticket I received a few months ago.

  98. Coromoto

    In thinking about it more here is what I would do with and extra $1000:
    -$500 towards the accumulated interest of my parent plus loan
    -$350 for tax (gifts are taxable at 35%)
    -$150 goes into my emergency account

    My roommate (daughter)
    -$600 towards her downpayment on a car as she is currently borrowing mine for her work
    -$300 on her student loans
    -$100 on clothes

  99. Lindsay

    I’ve seen freelancers willing to work on apps for only a few hundred dollars. I have several ideas I’ve designed and am just trying to save up to hire one of them, so I would do that for one idea in particular (some others are a little more complex and would cost more/aren’t complete yet).

    I would also buy a blender and a juicer so I could get back to a healthy lifestyle (I’m not that far off now, but fruits & veggies are sorely lacking).

    I would buy a plane ticket to California because my grandma is leaving the family home to live with her son in another city & no one is helping her/I am quite upset that I’ll never see the place again, it’s been a huge part of my family’s lives since the 60s (and it’s on the beach in Malibu, so it’s not like it’s not a fantastic place on it’s own).

    If he had it, he would probably use it to come visit me a couple times as he just got transferred out of state, and he’d probably give some to a family member to help with some bill.

  100. Giuliano

    I think i’d spend the $1001:
    .$500 for a dinner for me and my wife at the world’s 4th best restaurant (, which really close to where i live. I can afford it, but i’d feel guilty to spend so much money of our savings for “just a dinner”.
    .$501 savings.

    My wife would instead spend:
    .$450 for a laptop
    .$100 for a toy for our 2yo son
    .$451 savings.

    … so i think i have to give up with the idea of the lifetime-dinner.

  101. Rachel

    I’d spend about $100-$150 on myself – shopping, massage, etc (funny money). The rest would go towards beefing up the EF, travel fund, various other savings goals.

    My boyfriend would probably spend most of it on clothes and other wants. He had a bout of unemployment followed by going back to college full time and has put off a lot of discretionary purchases as a result. He would use this an opportunity to splurge on himself. 🙂

  102. Ann

    I would put it towards the down payment on a new car or the condo I want to buy

    James he would either Put it towards paying off his car, or one of our upcoming trips.

    $600 2 Round Trip Tickets to Texas
    $201 Food for the time down there
    $200 Entertainment
    Any Left over he would definately put towards his car.

  103. Jamie J

    My husband and I would put the money towards purchasing a new queen bed (frame and mattres). Considering the only amount of time spent sleeping each day, we’d be literally getting hours of use out of each dollar we spend. “Other Newlywed Activities” (hey-O!!) only add to the value.

    We have been married 89 days and counting, and lived together for almost two years. We’ve slept together (and with our 20-pound dog) in a full-sized bed this entire time.

    We got queen sized bedding as a wedding gift, so we’ve already anticipated and handled the issue of hidden costs.

  104. H

    I would give it to my father, who is terminally ill, to do with as he wishes.

    My partner would likely spend some on debt, some on electronics, and possible some for my father as well 🙂

  105. Vickie

    I have been out of graduate school for three months and haven’t gotten a job yet and my family has been extremely supportive and helpful to me, so both I and my partner would use all of the money to pay back our family for helping us during these tough times.

  106. Kim

    Gotta pay off debt. Plain and simple. Spouse, same thing. We’re on the same page.

  107. Geraldine Osorio

    Hi, If I had that amount,l would spend it in the following way:

    500 $ to buy electronical devices and sell it in my country (Investment)
    300 $ to save in my account (Saving)
    100 $ to keep in cash for any unforeseen event (Precaution)
    100 $ to pay my debts.

    This is the plan for today, maybe this change it.

  108. Tara Nnadi

    I would spend $1,000 on a flight to see my husband in Nigeria. We got married in Sept of 2010, but he was denied a visa in Aug 2011, we’ve been going through the immigration paperwork process and he will hopefully have an interview before the end of 2012. Our lawyer said it helps for the spouse to be present at the interview, I’ve been saving like a crazy woman, which has been challenging because I’m a single parent, so I’d spend $1,000 towards a flight to get there and I’d give the $1 to my son because whenever we do something we often say, let’s do it one more time or add one more tablespoon for good luck! 😉

  109. Kaylee

    Hi Ramit!

    My husband and I have been married for 7 months and we’ve been reading your book and diligently taking everything to heart! We bought a copy for our friends who are getting married next week 🙂

    Anyway, we are trying to save money to move to Los Angeles from Lincoln, NE so that I can pursue a film career and he can pursue writing and grad school. I think we would both want to stick the money in our “Save for L.A.” savings pool. Also it would be nice to pay off the credit card debt we got ourselves into before reading your book (~$700).


  110. Amber

    I would set aside $100 for taxes (having learned from previous experience). I’m guessing this is prize money since it is a contest. Although I would like to buy my Kutrimmer 1071 board shear in order to get going on my Etsy store where I’ll be selling handmade books, my husband will be graduating from college on August 10, and we have a little bit of debt from living the student life with two kids on a teacher’s salary. So as much as I’d like to spend it on me, my conscience wouldn’t let me do anything else with it except pay down our debt.

    My husband, on the other hand, would probably buy an iPad ($699) for use at the retail business we will be managing, I would make him set aside some for taxes ($100), and the remaining $202 would go toward a nice new bike.

  111. Nikkisbargain2

    I would put half into emergency savings to help pay for my child’s preschool since I am no longer employed. The other half would go to debit. In hopes of giving us more breathing room with our monthly bills.

  112. Paula

    If I won $1001.00 I would share it with my husband. After setting aside for the taxes, I would use my half on self improvement; I would like to be more confident of my ability to actually make an income working for myself. My husband is more of a giver than I am, so he said he would give his portion away to some of his favorite non profit organizations.

  113. Joseph

    I would spend the money on:
    1. Invest $500 into my Roth IRA
    2. Put $400 into our growing vacation fund
    3. $100 to our church (gotta be a good tithe payer)

    My wife would (according to her)
    1. Put $900 into the vacation fund
    2. $100 to church

  114. David

    I am a graduate student supporting my wife and 9 month old son through freelance projects, so $1,001 would be spent as follows:

    1. $200 goes to my son’s college fund
    2. $300 on art supplies, and marketing collateral for my next exhibition. This is both an educational and business expense because I’m in a Masters of Fine Arts program.
    3. $300 will go towards my wife’s plane ticket to London to see her sister and her best friend.

    She would spend it the same way because we’ve had a conversation about money similar to the way you outlined. 🙂

    • David

      I forgot to account for the final $200, which I would set aside for taxes or miscellaneous expenses.

  115. Ben

    $140 on a candle-lit dinner for us while we’re on vacation next month.
    $560 retirement savings
    $101 to a friend or family member with an immediate need.
    $100 to charity
    $100 toward taxes

  116. Jan

    I would spend all of it to pay off some debt. I think my spouse would spend it on some home improvement project. My husband tends to save some money and then spend it even if it is on a home improvement project or some unnecessary item. It’s a good question to ask.
    the only saving grace with my husband is that he does regularly save automatically for his retirement.

  117. April C.

    300 towards taxes.
    300 towards debt reduction.
    300 towards our GTO transmission – again : /
    101 towards whatever I want.

  118. Stacie Ricci

    I’m not creative about money. I would probably just deposit it, so therefore it would go toward paying credit card debt, the mortgage, etc. My husband, on the other hand, would look at the $1,001 as a gift that shouldn’t be applied to bills or debt. That’s what our paychecks are for, after all! So, he would cash the check and put it in the safe, to be used as spending money when we travel! He’s so much more fun than I am! 😉

  119. Megan C

    I would take $451 and put it towards paying of the rest of a debt that I’m working on eliminating. $250 would go towards some new shoes and a date night. the remaining $300 would go to my ING account for a trip to NYC we’re saving up for.

  120. Rachel P.

    My boyfriend and I have a lot of debt, and over 4K of it is in credit card debt.
    I’d put 950 dollars towards paying off my credit card.
    I’d spend the other 51 dollars on a nice dinner out, since 8/14 is our 2 year anniversary.

    I believe that my boyfriend would put that 1K towards a gaming computer. It’s something he has been wanting for over a year but doesn’t buy because he has been supporting my expenses since my last job ended and we have been paying off our mutual debt with any extra money.

  121. krystyna

    I would spend $900 for research and investing in my new ideas for better living and $101 for dinner and a theater tickets for my family / husband and our 2 kids/ My husband would use for special family celebrations with dinners at the restaurants and trips for fun with movies, tickets to the museum and gasoline

  122. Susan

    I would want to use the cash on personal development, and my husband would chose travel.

    $1,001 for Italy to spend more time studying Italian.

    Any left over money would go to lodging, classes and expenses. We have no debt of any kind and are comfortable spending money on experiences and classes, so it’s not a problem.

    He’s obsessed with learning Italian, and has gotten great at it. He even barters graphic design work for extra classes and to have international clients on his resume. We both work remotely from home anyway, with a 7-month old baby in tow. (Yes, it can be done) So working from Florence wouldn’t be a huge ordeal, except for dealing with the time change and accommodating clients.


    $300 to take my husband to the mountains and use the money on a nice cabin and relax. Somewhere we could go hiking by day and he could study Italian to his heart’s content by night.

    $701 for me to take beer making classes, buy beer supplies, and purchase an alcohol license to eventually sell my brew.

    I’m a freelance writer and make a living working for various websites, magazines and book publishers. I love the entrepreneurial aspect of it all and crave another outlet for it.

    I want to make great beer. Really great beer. I love layered, full bodied, nutty beer that’s as much as part of a meal as your main course.

    Coney Island Brewing Company is currently the smallest commercial brewing company in the world and brews up 1 gallon beer batches at a time. I’d like to beat that title. Even if I’m making it in my cellar and selling my brew at a few local restaurants.

    Much of this desire is about the self-development process and new perspective it brings: Learning, creating, waiting, testing, failing, repeating until I find the right beer and then see if I can sell it.

    No crappy, watered-down beer allowed. Who has time to drink something like that? Or make it?

  123. L

    Hello hello. 😀
    I would throw $152 down to take the CBEST, $154 for the substitute teaching credential processing fees including livescan and certificate of clearance. There would be an additional $60 to fill my gas tank while I drive to and fro completing my tasks and I’d save a conservative $5 for all my shipping costs. Then… to be completely honest, I’d blow a good $200 on frivolous purchases and entertainment before turning around and pushing the remaining $429 towards paying my student loans. Taxes I am fairly confidant I can save on with the lifelong learner credit I plan to write off since I am in a very expensive graduate “feel good” program.

    My partner/roommate would spend it on paying off debt since she and her husband just took out a loan for a million dollar dental practice. 😉

  124. Lora

    Under normal circumstances I would save it and I think my husband would too. However, we’ve just taken jobs 2000 miles apart from each other so my bet is that we would both spend it on travel to see each other on weekends.

  125. sarah lp

    I live in the Philippines, 23, a college student. If ever I win it (that would roughly translate to 40,000 pesos), this is how I’d spend it:

    $200 — Pay off my debt for tuition. I decided to pay for my schooling a year and
    a half ago (long story) but still had to borrow this much from my
    parents this semester (okay, $80 was used to complete the payment
    for a short 3 day vacation that my friends paid half of :)).
    $200 — Savings for next semester’s tuition (cheap because it’s a state
    $100 — Money for the church (one helps a kids’ group that i teach in a slum
    area here)
    $100 — To buy your book and/or online course
    $250 — Buy my parents a nice gift for Christmas. My dad just retired, so
    maybe I could pay for some house expenses so that Christmas isn’t as
    stressful :))
    $150 — Save!

    • sarah lp

      Oh and my partner (my mom) would save it for my sibling’s tuition expenses I guess :)))

  126. Hope Lewellen

    My partner started her own business and she would put $500 towards her business and then the rest to pay off debts.

    I travel between the US and Israel in order to be with my GF and so I would use the money towards my airplane ticket.

  127. Jez

    In your latest email, Ramit, you mention that people who said they would pay off debt whereas their partner would spend it were “self-serving”. I’ve no doubt there’s truth in this, but wanted to point out that for some of us, one of the partners carries the debt (and in my case, also provides the income, meaning that ‘free’ spending money is a rare thing for my partner–I have no doubt he would treat himself to something, whereas I am constantly weighed down in awareness of my financial situation and could not spend without guilt).

  128. Gregory J Campbell

    My wife and I agree that we need to take our daughters on a much needed vacation. We both have been working a lot and really we need to get back to whats most important in life…….family. I’m keepng my fingers crossed!

  129. Phil T

    How I would spend the money:
    $500 – towards an iPad
    $500 – set aside to my fund I am
    $1 – Buy a Mega Millions Ticket

    How my Girlfriend would spend the money:
    $1001- Towards August student loans. Yesterday, I sat down with her and we created a budget for her. As a recent graduate (Occupational Therapist) she is making a good salary, but she has massive college debt (over $1800 a month) and is behind a month on a few of the loans and in order to get current she will need to earn an additional $1064 this month.

    She is scared everytime we talk about money because it is a huge stressor on her, and I am in a better place then she is at this point in time. I reassured her though last night that the love I have for her is greater than any amount of studen debt.

  130. Sue Ann

    I would take $300 to pay off my credit card and use the other $700 on a down payment for a new to us used car. We are currently borrowing a car from a family member and it would be nice to give it back.

    My husband would take $170 to pay for his fantasy football league and use the rest for a down payment on a car.

    Ideally, I would love to put it all in savings, but that never seems to be a realistic option when things are already tight financially.

  131. Isaac Banka

    l will spend part of the money on investing into my business and part will be put into my children education and the rest will be paid to charity.

  132. Erynn

    I would use it to pay off credit card debt. I’m about $3500 in debt in that department.

    My partner would put it into savings/living expenses. He’s a freelancer and his work can sometimes dry up unexpectedly, but because he’s so great with his money he’s been doing his dream job for 3 years, and weathered some pretty big dry spells cause he’s prepared.

    Sometimes I’m jealous of him 🙂

  133. Mary

    I would divide the money the way I learned from Harve Eker. 50% for necessary expenses, 10% for investment, 10% save to spend on large purchase, 10% education, 10% to charity, and 10% to play with.

    My husband of 31 years would put the money in his checking account and just spend it: gas, groceries, beer.

  134. jeremy

    All of it would go towards my $10,000 in dental expenses.

  135. Deise Viegas

    I live in Brazil so US$ 1001.00 represents more than two times this amount.

    I would use this amount as follows:
    – $445.00 A course about “How to acquire real state in auctions”
    – $50.00 Taxes
    – $150.00 Theater, cinema, dinner
    – $100.00 Donation for a cat home
    – $256.00 Saving

    And my boyfriend would spend as follows:
    – $250.00 Books and sheets musics (he’s violinist)
    – $50.00 Taxes
    – $100.00 Donation for a cat home
    – $100.00 Donation for a dog home
    – $250.00 A weekend in the mountains
    – $251.00 Savings

  136. Kate

    I would use it to start paying back my college debt. It’s a drop in the bucket, but right now I can’t even afford that.

    My boyfriend would probably use it to invest in equipment and such for his work. That or he would save it in his emergency fund.

    Together we may treat ourselves to one nice dinner.

  137. Andi-Roo (@theworld4realz)

    My husband & I would both use the money toward a deposit on a rental. We are trying to get out from under our only debt — a mortgage which (coupled w/ too-high utility bills) is killing us. $1001 would about cover what we’d need prior to moving, so we could work on saving for moving costs. There’s a cute little house in town we have our eye on right now… hoping it stays empty till we can call dibs! 🙂

  138. Jillian

    I would put it all towards flights home for Christmas so my boyfriend can meet my family. He’d put it all towards his student loans. (Well, maybe we’d buy a case of nice craft brews, and then put the rest as mentioned above). We’re pretty 50/50 about things, so I’d say $490 to Christmas flights, $490 to debt, and $21 for delicious beers (It’s Canada – beer is expensive here!)

  139. Tay

    I would spend the money on rent 300$ and use the rest on a trip to Nova Scotia with my partner so he can see his family and I can finally meet them since he hasn’t seen them in 2 years.

  140. rahim

    I would use 50% of it to start my forex account with 500:1 leverage and start trading immediately, 25% goes to saving and the rest is for the household expenses.

  141. Kevin

    Both my girlfriend and I would put it into savings to go towards wedding expenses, I think.

    Total cost is obviously more than that, but if I had to suggest what it would go towards specifically I would say something like:
    Wedding insurance – £100
    Registrar’s fee – £320
    ‘Save the date’ cards & postage £150

    That probably works out around $1,001, depending on exact exchange rate. Anything left over would go towards venue and catering deposits.

  142. Kristina

    Both my husband and I would use the money to pay off debt. We have one daughter in college, another daughter starting high school and several major medical situations that have left us with one income. We have continued to put aside some college savings but have also accumulated some debt which we would like to pay down.

  143. Rodney

    I have a few electronics items that my band needs to get us back recording again. Our system died out last month so we need to find a replacement. Used models are around $500-800. Whatever is left would go toward any other equipment we’d like to have. I think my spouse would insist we put the money toward our only remaining non-house debt (my student loans), or she would want to put it in the new appliance fund.

  144. Irina

    What a cool contest 🙂

    I would spend:
    $100 – taxes
    $400 – give to my mom, who is struggling financially at the moment
    $200 – yearly premium membership
    $50 – hosting & other fees for a website I am launching
    $50 – sponsoring a student @
    $150 – buying a juicer to make daily green juice for me in the mornings 🙂
    $50 – buy a few books from my reading list on Amazon
    $1 – not sure – savings? 🙂 (I have a regular savings plan though). Never a lottery ticket!!!

    My boyfriend would spend it as follows:
    $100 – taxes
    $500 – pay off debt
    $200 – upgrade a computer as his is too slow for software development
    $50 – a piece of sports equipment for rowing (he always has to borrow it)
    $151 – savings

  145. Sashi

    I would spend the $1,001 like this:

    $500 towards saving
    $301 towards payment on my student loans
    $200 towards gas,food and maybe a little shopping

    My husband would use $500 for saving and the other $500 to pay for our hotel when we visit Italy sometime soon.He qualifies for a free trip from his credit card dividend miles!!(YAY!)We haven’t decided when though.

  146. Radhika

    We are saving to buy our first house, so any extra cash we receive will go towards our house savings. We would like to take advantage of the current low interest rates, but we’re not yet ready with a 20% down payment + closing costs. (Darn the high home prices in Boston!) We’re about half way there.

  147. heather adels

    Years ago, I endured a life changing experience. It was then that I made a promise to myself that should I survive the next year, I would donate a portion of any money I made from my paintings to those in need. If given the prize money, I would use it to have my website changed so that art could be purchased directly from my site and a charity could be chosen and donated to simultaneously.

    My husband would probably want to pay off the car so that he could get a motorcycle. Then we wouldn’t have to share the car so much. I usually take the bus and I think he feels a little bad about that.

  148. Carla

    He would spend it all on prezzies and gifts and dinner out and other pleasant fripperies. I would spend it on a gym membership, maybe, or a personal trainer. We’ve got our financial goals in order and have been automating where we can, so an extra grand would be pure gravy.

  149. jessica

    If the check was given solely to my husband and i wasn’t in the picture, he would just plop it in his savings account.

    However, since he is married to me and i handle all the finances, he would hand the check over to me! 🙂

    In that case, the money would be spent as follows:
    $650 on student loans
    $200 in savings
    $100 baby savings account
    $51 take out dinner for two nights since we just had a baby and I hate cooking!

  150. Natalie

    We are not big spenders, so my best guess is that Peter would put the money into savings.

    I would spend the money in this way:
    $150- Repairs to my ’96 Honda Civic (My baby)
    $500- Tuition and fees
    $100- Books (rented via Chegg)
    $150- To a humidor and some nice Scotch for my Peter, because he is too “sensible” (stubborn) to buy anything for himself. His birthday is August 17th, so why not go big :].
    $101- into savings. (Gotta have that extra $1 for good luck).

    ~Thank you for the opportunity!

  151. Ray

    I would invest the money, either finding the highest one-year CD rate I could, or starting a Roth IRA or some other investment vehicle for our daughter’s education.

    I think my partner would save some, but also spend some on some home improvements.

  152. Bruno A. Pradal

    Let’s see…

    My girlfriend would invest it like this:
    401 for wardrobe (she’s a model).
    300 for gadgets (she loves gadgets).
    200 for travel.
    100 to buy a gift for me (she has a huge heart).

    What I will do:
    500 for a new laptop.
    300 to invest in my entrepreneur project.
    100 for savings.
    100 for a romantic date with my girl.
    1 to keep it as a lucky charm 😛

  153. Jeffrey

    If given the opportunity to be given $1001, I would spend it like this:

    $400 – Payoff: Existing debts
    $300 – Savings: Baby Savings Fund (as we hope to expand our family)
    $100 – Savings: Future House Fund
    $150 – Trip: Take a weekend escape and explore somewhere new
    $51 – For a great dinner or two with me and my wife

    If my wife was given $1001, I can assume she would spend it like this:

    $750 – Payoff: Existing debts and put rest in savings
    $250 – Expense: Go Shopping (maybe for a short trip)

  154. kathleen

    so – I have foolish mega debt to pay off so this would really help…tho I think I would actually donate at least 10percent to my favorite charity. My friend, whom I said would travel – would actually use it to travel to do mission work in Africa.
    so if we win it I will split it with him! 🙂

  155. Graham

    I’d top off my emergency fund so I was at the requisite $1,000, then pay down about $300 on my card with the highest APR, tithe $100, and take my girlfriend out for a fancy dinner.

    She’s probably put money away for travel, pay down credit cards, and out some aside for rent

  156. Kasandra

    I would use the money to help me get off of my feet.

    Next year, my boyfriend and I will be attending the same university. We don’t have much, but we’re going to do our best out on our own. We need as much money as we can to be able to get off our feet, attend university, and earn our education…

    The $1001 would be split as such:

    $550 for a month’s rent
    $200 for general appliances in our new apartment
    $200 for food and living items
    $51 to celebrate our first anniversary in our new house <3

    • Kasandra

      I guess I should mention that he’d most likely spend it the same. <3
      We're very co-ordinated when it comes to our future~

  157. Matt E.

    In contrast to some people here, I’m going to sing my partner’s praises. My wife would spend it on paying off debt.

    I’m the one that would have problems. Thankfully, she’s got me somewhat reformed. That said, I’d split it: half for debt repayment and half in savings. I’m anticipating a need for new tires on my car and at some point I’m wagering that Uncle Sam will come for his pound of flesh.

  158. Angela Stoddard

    I recently checked out your book from the library because I want to get my financial life in order. Im 33 years old and one of my main goals after reading your book is to pay off my credit card debt. I would put the $1000 towards my balance which will cut my pay off time. My husband would spend the $1000 easy on electronics at MicroCenter…although he says he would put it towards his debt. Maybe half of it…

  159. Emily

    If I had $1000, I’d put 100% into my not-fully-funded 3-month emergency fund. I really would. I can’t wait to get that bastard full and move on to the next goal. It’s what I did with my entire tax refund.

    My husband would do almost the exact same thing, except he’d spend about $100 on a bottle of really good Sauternes (which he’s share with me), and would put the rest into the emergency fund. He and I differ over some of finer points of budgeting, targeted savings, etc., but not over the need for at least a 3-month cushion on hand.

    To be honest, I’d rather he won. Sauternes is delicious.

  160. Lea

    I would invest it, probably add a new dividend stock to my portfolio. My fiance had a lot of dental work done this year, so he’d probably use it to help pay down that debt.

  161. S C

    I’d put all of the $1,001 (even the dollar!) into paying down my grad school loans. My boyfriend would also put the money towards my loans – he’s determined to have us work together to get rid of this debt, especially prior to getting married in the future.

  162. Will

    Doesn’t sound sexy, but I have been working down a big debt that I had, and I have 1,000 to go–so I would use it for that. Simple

  163. April

    There weren’t enough options. I wanted to say home improvement, but it wasn’t there.

  164. Jennifer

    I would use $500 to pay down some of my credit card debt, and would put the remaining amount in my emergency savings account.

    My boyfriend would probably use ~$300 for some kind of toy, and would put the rest in savings.

  165. CrazyGambler

    Savings? Paying off debt? Duh, people seem to spend their earnings on trinkets and spend their winnings on boring stuff.
    You’ll just sit and watch me blowing up all that prize money. Too bad it’s only 1K – can’t promise a big show on that 😛 I ticked ‘Self Development’ in my entry form. Not sure what Mr. Sethi meant by that – I read it as investment in myself. Gonna invest in hair extensions. Did you know those cost as much as a new laptop? If money is left, it’ll go towards theatre and concert tickets.

  166. Kerry

    Well…well…a few months back my hubb got pnemonia and was out of work for a month 2weeks after he returned to work our only vehicle broke down costing over 800.00 to fix subsequently we feel behind on rent and are looking at us and our 2boys under age 5 being evicted end of the month. I would use the money to catch up on rent!! Hubby would try and buy a gun just in case a zombie apocalypse occurs 😉 lol… All I can say is it’s a good thing I allocate the finances!!