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Noreen Claire

"found" $400... what do YOU do with it?

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Hypothetically, if you found $400 today (it is in your name, had been set aside 25 years ago and 'lost', definitely yours), what would you do with it?

I was thinking about either helping DS24 buy a new used car or getting a membership somewhere for a few months for my younger boys to work off some energy. My BFF said to 'unfind' it immediately and invest it. DH would probably say to use it on bills. (Boo! No fun!) My mother said use it for something for myself. What say you?

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2 minutes ago, Noreen Claire said:

Hypothetically, if you found $400 today (it is in your name, had been set aside 25 years ago and 'lost', definitely yours), what would you do with it?

I was thinking about either helping DS24 buy a new used car or getting a membership somewhere for a few months for my younger boys to work off some energy. My BFF said to 'unfind' it immediately and invest it. DH would probably say to use it on bills. (Boo! No fun!) My mother said use it for something for myself. What say you?

I'd stick half of it in savings to boost my much-too-small emergency fund and use the rest for whatever I had been wanting to do and couldn't afford--probably something for the kids because that's what brings me joy.

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I found $50 in my 9th grade textbook many years later. Stuff it in there to straighten the note. Whatever money I find that I know is mine for sure goes into fun money for me. $400 would be more than I need to spend at one time so I would use it to get a big ticket want item like DSLR camera lens and hopefully have some cash left for frappes or bubble tea.

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Half would sit and wait for my friend to finally agree to go to the black smithing class a few towns over, and the other half would get dd and I down to the beach to explore rock pools before the summer is over.

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Honestly? I’d buy myself the $170 Ecco shoes that I really want and wouldn’t spend that kind of money on even though they’re very good-for-your-feet shoes. Not sure what I’d do with the rest though. 

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Windfalls are easy to spend.
I've read that it's best to splurge with 5% of the amount, & use the rest for debt payoff or retirement fund.
Most advise to sit on the $$ for at least a month & think about the wisest way to spend it.

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I would first make sure that I had a solid emergency fund.  Then maybe spend $50-100 and invest the rest or possibly use it for vacation.

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I posted a thread similar to this about an unexpected bonus that we got closer to the end of the year.  

What DH and I came up with was we took a larger portion (about half maybe a little more, that I can recall) and put that in savings (we have a goal of saving for a down payment on a house.)  Then we split the rest evenly between some for him to spend with, some for me to spend with, and some to spend on the kids.  What he wanted to do was spend it all on more Christmas presents for the kids, but I needed to feel like we made *some* responsible decisions and put something towards our goals.

Now that Christmas is over and we have had some other discussions, and all the new toys (for the adults lol) have been purchased, I like to think we would put the whole $400 in our savings.  

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I'd put it in my Amazon account and buy myself whatever I wanted until it was gone.

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52 minutes ago, Noreen Claire said:

Hypothetically, if you found $400 today (it is in your name, had been set aside 25 years ago and 'lost', definitely yours), what would you do with it?

I was thinking about either helping DS24 buy a new used car or getting a membership somewhere for a few months for my younger boys to work off some energy. My BFF said to 'unfind' it immediately and invest it. DH would probably say to use it on bills. (Boo! No fun!) My mother said use it for something for myself. What say you?

This is so frivolous but we had that happen last year and I bought Taylor Swift concert tickets with it 😂. Two of them were for Christmas but one was for ME. 

Edited by sassenach
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It would totally depend upon our financial situation. If we had overwhelming bills with high interest rates, I'd probably pay it towards them. If we had no debt, I'd probably save it. If I only had one kid, I'd possibly help them buy a car, but if I had multiple kids, I wouldn't unless I could afford to help them all that much on buying their cars. 

But I'm not big on things, and practicality wins on most things. 

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Well, normally, I'd say "go shopping" and buy whatever thing. For me, maybe I'd put it towards a new sewing machine (I really want one with more "throat space" so I can quilt larger quilts on it).  

Realistically, with that much, I'd probably feel bad having it all for me even if it really was all for me. So I'd likely use it on something we all could benefit from -- a membership somewhere, or something for the house/yard, or....I don't know. Right now my boys (all of them, DH included) are eyeing some VR thing......if I suddenly had $400 to spend, that's probably what I'd do right now. 

Or, well, right this very now, we've got a LOT of unexpected expenses, so of course the smart thing would be "put it towards the bills" but.....ha. That's boring. 

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It would depend right now we have no debt and and a good amount of savings. The kids are in activities if they weren't I would do that if it helped me.  So right now I would probably spend it on tattoos for me.  

 

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Thanks for your responses so far!

We don't "need" the money to pay bills/debt (though, if you asked Mr. Money Mustache, he would beg to differ). However, as I have only worked for one semester out of the last 8 years, I feel guilty spending money on myself. 

1 hour ago, maize said:

I'd stick half of it in savings to boost my much-too-small emergency fund and use the rest for whatever I had been wanting to do and couldn't afford--probably something for the kids because that's what brings me joy.

I like the "both" method! Win-win for everyone!

 

1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

I found $50 in my 9th grade textbook many years later. Stuff it in there to straighten the note. Whatever money I find that I know is mine for sure goes into fun money for me. $400 would be more than I need to spend at one time so I would use it to get a big ticket want item like DSLR camera lens and hopefully have some cash left for frappes or bubble tea.

There is always something that I really want ... up until I have the money, then I can't bring myself to spend it on myself!

 

1 hour ago, Rosie_0801 said:

Half would sit and wait for my friend to finally agree to go to the black smithing class a few towns over, and the other half would get dd and I down to the beach to explore rock pools before the summer is over.

That sounds excellent!

 

1 hour ago, mmasc said:

Honestly? I’d buy myself the $170 Ecco shoes that I really want and wouldn’t spend that kind of money on even though they’re very good-for-your-feet shoes. Not sure what I’d do with the rest though. 

Oh...I could really use some new shoes. That's an idea.

 

1 hour ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

I would just put it in the bank.  
 

I'm afraid that I would just nickle-and-dime it out, and it would be gone and I wouldn't have anything to show for it.

 

1 hour ago, Beth S said:

Windfalls are easy to spend.
I've read that it's best to splurge with 5% of the amount, & use the rest for debt payoff or retirement fund.
Most advise to sit on the $$ for at least a month & think about the wisest way to spend it.

Waiting is a good idea. I will make a note in my calendar to make a decision in a week or two.

 

1 hour ago, Ottakee said:

I would first make sure that I had a solid emergency fund.  Then maybe spend $50-100 and invest the rest or possibly use it for vacation.

I was just talking to DH about possibly going away for a weekend together...

1 hour ago, Katy said:

I'd put it in my Amazon account and buy myself whatever I wanted until it was gone.

This would buy a lot of books an loose-leaf tea for me on Amazon, that's for sure!

 

1 hour ago, sassenach said:

This is so frivolous but we had that happen last year and I bought Taylor Swift concert tickets with it 😂. Two of them were for Christmas but one was for ME. 

Hope you enjoyed the show!

 

1 hour ago, Bambam said:

It would totally depend upon our financial situation. If we had overwhelming bills with high interest rates, I'd probably pay it towards them. If we had no debt, I'd probably save it. If I only had one kid, I'd possibly help them buy a car, but if I had multiple kids, I wouldn't unless I could afford to help them all that much on buying their cars. 

But I'm not big on things, and practicality wins on most things. 

Oldest DS has been driving a totaled car for about a year, and this would be a huge help to him. The next kid won't be old enough to drive a car for 5+ years and has already started saving for a first car, so not a problem.

 

59 minutes ago, TheReader said:

Well, normally, I'd say "go shopping" and buy whatever thing. For me, maybe I'd put it towards a new sewing machine (I really want one with more "throat space" so I can quilt larger quilts on it).  

Realistically, with that much, I'd probably feel bad having it all for me even if it really was all for me. So I'd likely use it on something we all could benefit from -- a membership somewhere, or something for the house/yard, or....I don't know. Right now my boys (all of them, DH included) are eyeing some VR thing......if I suddenly had $400 to spend, that's probably what I'd do right now. 

Or, well, right this very now, we've got a LOT of unexpected expenses, so of course the smart thing would be "put it towards the bills" but.....ha. That's boring. 

I have been considering a membership to the YMCA, just to get the kids more active (swimming!) during the winter. The problem is that I would then have to get four young kids and all their belongings over to the YMCA two towns over when I could just be in my nice warm house having a cup of tea!

 

7 minutes ago, rebcoola said:

It would depend right now we have no debt and and a good amount of savings. The kids are in activities if they weren't I would do that if it helped me.  So right now I would probably spend it on tattoos for me.  

 

Oh...... I would love more ink!

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10 minutes ago, Noreen Claire said:

There is always something that I really want ... up until I have the money, then I can't bring myself to spend it on myself!

Oh...I could really use some new shoes. That's an idea.

I have been considering a membership to the YMCA, just to get the kids more active (swimming!) during the winter. The problem is that I would then have to get four young kids and all their belongings over to the YMCA two towns over when I could just be in my nice warm house having a cup of tea!


I find my health going badly downhill when my husband was penny pinching unnecessarily. For example, buying things because they are cheap enough even though a more expensive item which we could easily afford would save me time and energy. So sometimes a want could be a more expensive (and better) version of a need.

Shoes are a health issue for me. Some shoes makes me more likely to sprain my ankles or slip on wet floors. So spending on shoes would be a need if I require a new pair.

I have a gym in my condo complex and I don’t even go there. I’m considering a simple exercise bike for me so that I could still exercise when it’s too chilly to take a walk. My kids could use too. We had YMCA membership when kids took swimming lessons there and we didn’t make the effort to go there except for swim lessons and summer activities. 

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This is TWTM forum.  I pretty sure you have to buy a vitamix, or save another $400 and get a Speed Queen.

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58 minutes ago, Noreen Claire said:

However, as I have only worked for one semester out of the last 8 years, I feel guilty spending money on myself. 

You haven't managed a household? Raised children?

How the heck is that not work?!?

What is it about the fact that your labor is unpaid that means it is not a major contribution to your family and to the world?

How does putting in thousands of hours without monetary remuneration make you undeserving of spending money that is legitimately yours?

The value of our life work is not measured by how much money someone pays us for it. And the fact that you are not earning money in no way makes you unworthy to use money for your very own personal priorities.

Yes I am giving that guilty voice in your head a lecture!

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It would go to the house improvement fund. That would buy trim or materials to make something to store our cast iron or materials for the next set of built ins or whatever. Doesn't sound exciting, but it would be the next step in continuing to make my house useful, and that would bring me joy every day. 

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Also, Noreen, you have worked plenty. Just because there is not a monetary salary, it doesn't mean you haven't worked. And your work has made it possible for your DH to bring in money. 

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Do you have room for a six foot trampoline? Might keep the kids busy without needing to drive to the YMCA. And you'd have funds left over.

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Just now, maize said:

You haven't managed a household? Raised children?

How the heck is that not work?!?

What is it about the fact that your labor is unpaid that means it is not a major contribution to your family and to the world?

How does putting in thousands of hours without monetary remuneration make you undeserving of spending money that is legitimately yours?

The value of our life work is not measured by how much money someone pays us for it. And the fact that you are not earning money in no way makes you unworthy to use money for your very own personal priorities.

Yes I am giving that guilty voice in your head a lecture!

Yes, yes! I have this conversation with my BFF every few months; she says the same things. I know this stuff, but... I worked as a single mom with multiple jobs, finishing my BS and getting my Masters, raising one kid and running my own household, all by myself for 10+ years. DH and I have been married for nearly 11 years and I left the workforce 8 years ago. I *still* have money issues - not bringing in my own income and having to discuss/rationalize purchases with DH is still a sore spot for me. I'm working on it, but it isn't easy!

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4 minutes ago, maize said:

Do you have room for a six foot trampoline? Might keep the kids busy without needing to drive to the YMCA. And you'd have funds left over.

We do. However, DS10 has already broken his arm once and I remember, waiting during the procedure to straighten the bones, reading all of the literature on how trampolines ARE THE DEVIL and ever since they scare the crap out of me! My brother (not quite 6ft tall) flipped almost completely out of safety surround of one once - he got caught on the netting on the way down, thank goodness!

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Buy new shoes.  The ones I wear are $270 in New Zealand and although they wear well I think they are coming up to 4 years and are less supportive than I need and pretty ugly. The rest I would put towards bills.

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1 minute ago, Noreen Claire said:

We do. However, DS10 has already broken his arm once and I remember, waiting during the procedure to straighten the bones, reading all of the literature on how trampolines ARE THE DEVIL and ever since they scare the crap out of me! My brother (not quite 6ft tall) flipped almost completely out of safety surround of one once - he got caught on the netting on the way down, thank goodness!

I read the studies on trampolines, my takeaway was that most injuries are relatively minor (broken bones but not broken necks) and most of those can be avoided with a safety net and a few rules. My kids have put in thousands of hours on trampolines (I've owned as many as four at a time, mostly for safety reasons since jumping alone a lot safer) with (knock on wood...) zero injuries.

 

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9 hours ago, Noreen Claire said:

Yes, yes! I have this conversation with my BFF every few months; she says the same things. I know this stuff, but... I worked as a single mom with multiple jobs, finishing my BS and getting my Masters, raising one kid and running my own household, all by myself for 10+ years. DH and I have been married for nearly 11 years and I left the workforce 8 years ago. I *still* have money issues - not bringing in my own income and having to discuss/rationalize purchases with DH is still a sore spot for me. I'm working on it, but it isn't easy!

I would hope could make room in your family budget for some amount that you can spend however you want, without running it past your dh. I know some couples choose to talk about all purchases, but that would get very tiring for me. And I really hope your husband isn't one of those who thinks the person with the breadwinning job gets to control the money (you haven't suggested he is and I'm not assuming it, I just know a few husbands like this and think it is a lousy approach to marriage).

Edited by maize
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1. once married, all money is "our" money. 

Everything he earns is OUR money, not his. And money I "find" is OUR money, not mine. So we'd make that decision together, or split the money and buy whatever we want, if we were using it for fun money. Or for whomever needed something. 

Example: I got a royalty check, a decent one, this past week. I immediately told DH to buy the apple watch he's been wanting. for health reasons he will get good use out of it (recent health scare) and he wants one but we didn't have that money set aside yet. He was at first a bit surprised I said to buy it with "my" royalty money, until I reminded him that he wouldn't hesitate to do that for me with his bonus money from work. He blinked twice, grinned sheepishly, and got the watch . 

2. I think some fun, some debt paying, is the right approach personally. If it were me, and since DH already got his watch, lol, I'd use about $200 for a new to me used lawn mower, and put the rest toward debt. but I doubt most the women on this board would find a used lawnmower to be a fun, splurge purchase, lol. (I have a push mower and would get a self propelled Toro Recycler. With rear wheel drive and a Honda engine if I could find it in that price range. Not that I stalk facebook marketplace or anything, lol)

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10 hours ago, maize said:

I'd stick half of it in savings to boost my much-too-small emergency fund and use the rest for whatever I had been wanting to do and couldn't afford--probably something for the kids because that's what brings me joy.

 

Buying for my kids brings me joy too, but it drives my DH nuts.  He thinks I do too much for them and they are "spoiled."  Honestly, I think my kids are appreciative of what we do for them and never ask for too much, are not whiney about it, and take no very well when we can't do it.

That said, I am looking at getting a new phone, so it would probably go to that.

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Hmm

I don't work and all our money is our money.

We have a full e-fund

Retirement is on track

It would probably go to something for the kids.  More classes.  A little weekend away.  

Maybe a new piece of furniture. 

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I would use it for a weekend getaway w dh or to fund one of the household projects on our list.  We’re retired and keep lists of household projects and trips to take this year, so while it sounds impulsive, it’s really already planned.
In the past when we’ve received an unexpected windfall it feels more special to allocate it to something specific rather than just lump it into our bank account.  Even if it’s paying down debt, it’s been more meaningful to us to make it formal. We received a windfall a few years ago and decided to pay off our car. We deposited the check and as soon as it cleared we went to the credit union together and paid it off, then went out for ice cream.  We’re weirdos like that, though. 
 

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I agree that in a marriage and family situation, all money is our money. We decide together how to appropriate it and no one has more weight than anyone else. Luckily, dh and I have pretty much the same values when it comes to money and finances so this approach works well for us.

If we came into $400, and for whatever reason the check or whatever was in my  name, dh would probably try to convince me to buy an item I've been wanting but putting off due to expense. Or he would just go and buy it for me, lol, but I would do the same for him. Then we might have a nice family dinner, we don't go out much so going to a nice sit down restaurant would be a treat. Anything left would go to any projects around the house that needed some money thrown at them to get them done, or saved for a rainy day.

And, @Ktgrok if we still had a lawn that could be mowed with a mower, I would totally consider a mower upgrade an excellent use of the money lol. In fact I still have the push mower I "splurged" on ten years ago and it still works great lol! Our land is just far too sloped and rocky to use it now.

Edited by sweet2ndchance
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I keep scrolling past this thread title and musing. Then i remembered it while grocery shopping this morning. 

I would use it (as much of it as needed) to refresh my spice, oil and vinegar collections. Those items can take a chunk out of the weekly grocery budget. 

Anyway, just a thought. 

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