You have to spend $5,000 by the end of today.

May 16, 2013 · 66 comments

It’s Friday mother lovers, which means you all have likely checked out mentally in anticipation of the upcoming weekend. So today I propose a simple question…

If you had be selfish and spend $5,000 by the end of today, what would you buy? 

See what I did there? I said you had to be selfish with it. So  don’t think you’re getting off easy, taking the moral high ground, pretending you are going to donate this hypothetical $5k to charity, use it to pay off debt, contribute to retirement, or some other noble/responsible purpose.

No! Today you must be greedy
. You have to use that $5,000 on something that only (or PRIMARILY) benefits you. It’s okay to be hypothetically selfish, so don’t feel bad.

If I had $5 g’s to selfishly blow, no questions asked, I would, WITHOUT A DOUBT, go buy myself a motorcycle. I sold my street bike three years ago now (exchanged it for that tiny little diamond that sits in Girl Ninja’s ring) and would love to get another. It just makes getting from point a to point b that much more fun.

That said, It would be totally selfish of me to buy a motorcycle, not necessarily because of the money spent, but because Girl Ninja DOES NOT want me to have one. Although she herself admits she understands why I enjoy riding a motorcycle so much, to her it just isn’t worth the inherit risks and exponentially increased danger factor. Probably doesn’t help that my dad was in a motorcycle accident a few years back that resulted in the near amputation of his leg. Instead he got off “light” with a muscle transplant, multiple skin grafts, a permanent limp, and one gnarly looking battle wound. Yup, doesn’t look like I’ll ever get the blessing to own a motorcycle again, thanks a lot dad ;)

So reader, I’d buy a bike with my $5,000. What would you do?

And what keeps you from doing it?

{ 66 comments }

1 T'Pol

I would book the earliest possible flight to NYC from Istanbul, rent a cheap car visit a couple of friends and shop.

What keeps me from doing it?

I cannot do it because I don’t have the money or the time to allocate to such a selfish indulgence:)

2 Steven J Fromm

I was in Istanbul last year. What an amazing place. I would go back there in a second and by all means go to Kushadai to see Ephesus again. Amazing and magical place!

3 Justin of Insert Witty Comment

Ninja, Mother’s Day was LAST weekend. You owe your mom an apology ;)

As for the money;
A new ipod touch, a downpayment on a car, and if there is enough money, a mac mini.

4 Yuen Tuck Siew

Oh, if I had to be selfish?

Retina screen MacBook Pro – no question. And I’d spend any change on fine wine.

5 Slackerjo

$250 in clothes (I lost a bunch of weight so still replacing my wardrobe). $100 for books. The rest, airfare to visit my brother in Holland and my friend in England.

6 Mysti

Totally selfish…..laser hair removal. I have a condition where I have excess hair and it would be awesome to get rid of it.

Reason why I haven’t…..still paying off debt, have 2 kids that are pre-teens and have needs, and overall just not in the budget.

7 moneysavingmomma

Vacations of course. Yes money can buy the material things, which I use to be obsessed with (still getting over this), but the memories can’t be replaced. Now that I have a child, I am dying to take her around the country and rest of the world for her to enjoy, learn and grow from. We don’t want her to grow up in this tiny Washington DC bubble that we both grew up in, thinking this is all the world has to offer…

8 StackingCash

OMG! I loved Washington DC when I visited last summer. It took me my entire 40 years of life before I made it over there. Then again, I think I appreciated it more in my old age whereas my younger self might have been bored…

9 moneysavingmomma

StackingCash

Yes! We LOVE DC and all the culture around here. My husband and I both grew up here and were forced on several field trips to see museum after museum and I remember being so bored. But now we LOVE it and we try to go often to visit various museums and exhibits they have on special occasions! And we especially LOVE that admission is free!!

BUT, after 30 years of life, DC is all we have come to know. We will probably ultimately end up in DC, but while we are still young and our companies are so mobile, we are open to moving abroad or cross country!

10 anonymous

I would book a backpacking trip to Ireland with my best friend, her boyfriend and my boyfriend. Then I would book a trip to visit my parents in B.C. during the winter so I could ski for a week with them.

11 Jordann @ My Alternate Life

Hmm. Either a trip to Europe or…split it between a new MacBook, new furniture, and new clothes.

What keeps me from doing it? $8,700 in debt.

12 Phoebe@allyouneedisenough

I would buy some gorgeous diamond earrings I’ve been drooling over. I’d still have about $3K left, so I guess I would bring it with on our anniversary trip to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks, and use it to go to expensive restaurants and gamble a bit.

What keeps me from doing it? Well we have a networth of around $400K with about $121K in cash so we could do this, but it doesn’t aling with our goals. I’d rather keep the money and get one step closer to financial independence and freedom.

In the meantime, we’re going to Las Vegas and planning on an amazing vacation even if we aren’t dropping abother $3K and I can save up my fun money (my husband and I get $100 each per month) to buy those earrings if I want. So far though, I’ve spent my money on other things that are more important to me.

13 StackingCash

My hometown is Las Vegas :) If you need some ideas, let me know. Krystal from GMBMFB is headed here too.

14 Chantal

I would take my family of 7 to Disneyland!!

15 StackingCash

Absolutely Disneyworld! Thanks for the dream starter ;)

16 Jennifer

Expand my deck. I love sitting outside on the deck but mine is too small to really enjoy it. I’ve been wanting to do it but haven’t pulled the trigger. Maybe this summer! :)

17 T

Buy shoes!

18 Allie

A bicycle, a pair of designer shoes, and a vacation to NYC — I’ve always wanted to travel there, and Broadway tickets are not cheap, so throw those in as well.

19 Laura

5000 bucks?! First inclination is to hire movers for my upcoming move. Talk about spoiling myself. Not hauling boxes up and down stairs on a sweaty July afternoon? Money well spent. And with that left over dough, I could maybe afford a couch! A real couch! Ah, bliss.

As for what’s preventing me… all my savings are currently being saved towards grad school. So I will continue living couch-less and moving my own boxes. Darn.

20 Justin

I didn’t even have to think about it… I would buy a new camera body and a lens. Two if I could swing it.

I can’t bring myself to purchase them now because at the moment it’s just a hobby, I haven’t had time to monetize my photography yet. Plus, since we’ve only been married a year I’ve put it on the back burner as I’ve felt other things were way more important, like being a newly wed!

But once we’re moved and settled in, I’ll see what I can do!

21 StackingCash

I miss my 1997 Yamaha YZF600 too. I replaced it with my 2005 Acura RSX with a high end stereo system. Almost as fun…

22 Anon

It is a tie between 3 things:
1. Buy a house because that would bring my husband and I to our down payment goal.
2. Buy new furniture.
3. Travel – I am a travel nut and if I was being my younger-at-heart-selfish-and-free-spirited-self, I would probably choose #3. 

23 NDT

I would take $2k and go shopping for some luxury items. Things that I can’t get for myself because I would feel terrible spending my own money buying it. Chanel & Celine bags. Saint Laurent & Christian Louboutin shoes.

I’d take the other $3k and buy first class airfare to Asia. Vietnam – Hong Kong – Seoul – Tokyo in that order.

24 Bill

I’m going with a down payment on a new vehicle. my Current one is giving me problems and Is still owe money on it.

25 Erin @ Red Debted Stepchild

Bye! I’m heading to Germany! That would be the selfish thing to do. Less selfish would be heading to Jordan to visit my inlaws, but I would rather go to Germany.

A lot of debt keeps me from doing it :/.

26 Anne @ Unique Gifter

Take a trip!! Probablyh to somewhere in Africa next, as I’ve never been.
I haven’t been because I don’t have the vacation time I need to do so and we’ve had different savings goals lately. I need to get my spouse on board with the whole travelliing thing, it’s so awesome!

27 Adam

Spend $1k on some more forex education and then use the rest for travelling.

28 Ashley

Totally go on a lux vacation. Been dying to take a cruise, or to go back to Italy, but haven’t been able to “justify” the expense :)

29 andree

Toss up between doing the kitchen remodel of my dreams, or jumping on a plane to France.

I’ve hit the savings goal with the kitchen remodel, but I’m having to be ‘reasonable’ in my choices. France is on the books for next year: busy saving to make that happen.

30 Liz

I would go out and buy a bunch of pet supplies for my little fur babies, a trampoline, a bike, buy a BUNCH of starbucks gift cards ;) (loophole), and probably adopt another pitbull. I’m just a kid at heart.

what keeping me from doing all this? I have the money if my heart really ached for it…. but its in savings for my house. Some times I hate being a grown up and having priorities.

31 reddog

I would get my bathtub replaced, haven’t done it yet because we just moved in, and just got an estimate yesterday. that’s a lot of money to spend at one time though, not sure I would want to part with it!

32 Michelle

Ha love this! I went spend around $1,000 on a couple of kayaks, $1,000 on clothes, $500 on random things for my pups, and W would want mud tires for the Jeep.

33 Kyle

I would spend the money on a new TV (on the smaller side) and a new laptop, as well as the cable to connect the two. I would spend any money left over on a new wardrobe, since most of my clothes are super old and falling apart.

Right now our budget is keeping me from these purchases. We spend more each month paying debt (even if it were minimum payments) than our housing and grocery bills.

34 Zach @ The True Generalist

Geez, you bastard and your difficult questions! Especially after going through all these great comments, it actually can turn into a tough choice. Mo Money Mo Problems, but at least a bitch ain’t one.

Okay, outside of just throwing it all at student loans (which I’d totally do), laser hair removal sounds good, a bicycle would be nice, got $4000 left… I use frequent flier miles to fly everywhere, sooo… I guess I’d throw it at marketing for my new book coming out on Monday. Am I being unimaginative or do I really just not need much?

BTW, if you like FREE and/or science fiction, you should check out my new short story up on Amazon on Monday. It’ll be free all day long on the 20th. Just search “Mortimus Walker and the Secret of the White City” by Zach Turner

Sorry for the shameless promo, but you asked! ;)

35 Miss Amanda

Responsible answer: put it towards my student loan debt.

Selfish answer: I’d either a.) quit my job and use the money to take some much needed time off while looking for a new job or b.) go to New York City for a couple of weeks.

36 Angela

I would put a deck on my house. My backyard isn’t very big, so $5000 would cover it. I’m saving for this now but still have quite a way to go.

37 Kb

It’s a toss up between going backpacking in Europe for a month or laser eye surgery. Might lean towards the latter so I wouldn’t have to keep up with contacts and eye glasses anymore (blind as a bat is a pretty accurate description of my eye sight without glasses. Would be amazing to wake up and be able to see everything instead of griping around to find my glasses the second I wake up).

38 South Texas

Good for GN not letting you get a motorcycle. My dad was killed 5yrs ago on his Harley because a truck ran a stop sign. You never know.

Trying to decide: I would either fence in some of the back acreage and get some goats and a pony, or take the kids on a trip to one of the Natural History museums.

39 anon

I was stumped, as I tend to be focused on being responsible 99% of the time. Other than travel (Italy or Greece or Turkey being at the top of my list at the moment) I would LOVE to get laser eye surgery (thanks for the idea Kb). My eyes are so terrible that I can’t get the inexpensive “$400 per eye” version (or believe me, it would have been done long ago!) I was told it would be approximately $5000, which is such a low priority given our new home, my husband’s new business, our growing son in daycare, etc.

40 Larry

Either a trip to an expensive location I’ve never seen like China, Japan, or India; or a piece of fine art. Or I could remodel the bathroom, but if I’m going to spend $5K, I don’t want to waste it on something functional and dull.

What prevents me? Prudence. It would be easy enough to “find the money,” but as someone getting ever closer to retirement in a few years, I find myself almost unconsciously becoming more frugal all the time.

41 Packing Pennies

I would book next year’s vacation to Europe. London, Normandy, Greece, and Turkey here I come!

42 Jackie

Only $5,000? Gosh, you’re so mean.

Fine, I’ll go get the engagement ring I’ve been drooling over at Tiffany’s — the Soleste… The one I tried on in the store is only .34 carats but the thing looks freaking huge because of the the double halo.

I think my boyfriend is freaking out because I like a Tiffany’s ring, but $5000 is reasonable for an e-ring, right?

43 krantcents

I think I might take a flyer on a stock and maybe several. I would take more risk than usual and hopefully score big!

44 Trina

Easy!! New windows and doors for the new house…and a new garage door and, and, and. We have a long list. Goal is to budget, buy it and move on to the next goal ;). We’ll be at this for a while.

45 Grayson @ Debt Roundup

Well, since I am rebuilding a jeep wrangler, I would finish it up and buy some sweet add ons. That would be an easy answer for me.

46 SavvyFinancialLatina

VACATION! I would spend it on vacation. Go to the Caribbean, and wouldn’t watch what we spent. We could go parasailing, jet skiing! Yay!!!

47 Stephen Brown II

Responsible answer: Put it towards my student loan debt.

Selfish answer: Put it towards a Tesla Model S.

Of course, that would be incredibly stupid, since the monthly payment if I actually followed through on it would be about what I’m paying down on debt currently, and it would just add more debt! But at least I could get a test drive out of it, then cancel my reservation and go on a travel binge for a bit. (Hawaii? New Zealand? Yes please!)

48 Felicia

I would spend it on weekly spa experience until the money runs out. I’ve been wanting to do that but those spa visits are so expensive!

49 Ryan

Macbook Air and a ton of Jack Daniels. Tech and whiskey are my two weaknesses.

50 Hounddawg

First Class plane ticket to Europe, either Athens or Barcelona. Don’t do it because I don’t have $5k I want to blow on a first class ticket. Would rather use miles or fly coach. WILL be going to Europe again at some point, hopefully sooner than later ;)

51 Amanda

If I had $5,000 I would put some of it towards my student loans because I would feel soooooooo guilty if I just went and blew it on other things while that large figure loomed over my head. After that is taken care probably go on a small road trip through New England because those are the handful of States on the East Coast that I have not been too.

52 Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans

I’d buy my first pair of Christian Louboutins and an outfit to match!

What keeps me from doing it? Well, for starters, I don’t have $5,000 ;)

53 SaintsFan

Long time lurker:)
I’d bye a 27′ iMAC and shoes with the left over money.

What stops me from doing it? Debt and a computer that is currently working just fine:)

54 SaintsFan

oops buy*

55 Jenn

I would book a trip to Europe for me and my husband. A mediterrenean cruise would be SO nice. We have the money, and I would love to, but I can’t quite talk my husband into it. Mostly it is very tough to get off work.

56 AlmostPhD

I’d put off my graduation another semester. It would really lighten my workload on this dissertation thing.
Why don’t I do that anyway? Because my funding is running out and I really like to eat. I’ve managed to avoid debt so far and I’m not looking to take out a loan now.

57 Lea

A cruise for my husband and I. What’s stopping us right now is just some house stuff that has to come first. Damn responsibilities!

58 Matt

I’d scoop up 2500 Powerball tickets!

59 Jillian

Hmm $5000 smackeroos?????
Laser hair removal for myself and my mother $1000. Surgery for my Aunt ($1000). A group cruise (weekend) for the ladies ($1600). $100 spending money for each (6 @$600). One housing payment for my sister ($800).

60 Steven J Fromm

I would by a Martin acoustic guitar and an electric guitar.

61 Alycia

You said by the end of the day, so I ruled out vacations or future purchases. I would use the $5,000 to buy all the little “wants” I have right now. A new laptop, some bookshelves for my bedroom, lots of new clothes and shoes, beautiful picture frames for my walls. Stuff that I might buy one piece at a time I would just go crazy on. I would probably spend most of it in Target haha!

62 Mercedes

I’d book a trip to the UK. Have always wanted to go but haven’t had the money (or the time). I guess technically I do have the money, but it’s pre allocated for something else. One day I’ll start saving for that trip!

63 David S

A new computer (technically the parts) as follows:
1. A nice full tower case like the Cooler Master Cosmos II)
2. 1200W PSU
3. 240 GB SSD (Primary Drive)
4. 5x 3TB Drives with RAID 6
5. Dual Xeon Motherboard and Procs
6. 2x Radeon HD 7850 Graphics Boards
7. Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro Capture Card
8. Dual Monitors
9. Kona 3G Board with Breakout Box

What stops me? Our current computer is just fine (albeit it just reached its 8th year birthday) and works for the video capture/edit/transmitting that we do. If I got this new one, I’d need to also get new video equipment that uses SDI instead of composite. Eventually we will get around to it, but most likely not for another 3-5 years unless I can turn it into a side gig and get paid for it as well.

64 Chris

That sounds like so much fun. It’s been a while since I built a new PC. I forget how fun it is.

65 Stephen Brown II

*drools*

Man that’s an excellent build list right there. Ironically, my laptop has just been given the DNR order, the screen is unable to be powered, and all testing/troubleshooting has been unfruitful… So I need to buy a replacement. Thankfully I have some money on the side and will be able to get a refurb fairly soon. It was going to go towards debt, but I kindof need the laptop. :-/

Eventually, I will also rebuild my desktop, but that’s a bit down the road as the laptop is more pressing for usability. Also remember: RAID IS NOT A BACKUP! But I bet you knew that already. Best to get an external storage bay like a Drobo or the like for all your precious memories.

66 David S

Yes RAID is for reliability not backup, when you are doing a live transmission with backup recording you need to reliability of the RAID. For the precious memories I have external backup on a NAS and also in the cloud. As we like to say, 1 is none, 2 is 1.

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