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If You Had an Extra $100, What Would You Spend It On?

Readers share the surprising ways they would use a windfall.

Real Simple March 2008Lucas Allen

Spread It Out

I would purchase $20 gift cards at five of my favorite stores and restaurants and paper-clip them to my desk calendar on months when I might enjoy a much needed treat. I'd look forward to five surprises throughout the year―just for me.
Pam Pettit
Georgetown, Texas

I would take my dad's advice: “Save a third, spend a third, and give a third away."
Kathy Nielsen Viehman
Buffalo Grove, Illinois

Reward Friends and Family

I'd spend it on a romantic dinner with my husband at a restaurant we haven't tried. Or I'd just buy new bathroom towels.
Kelli Healy Salazar
Atlanta, Georgia

My husband and I believe that the key to a successful relationship is to cut down on stress, so every month we treat each other to a massage. I would spend the $100 on an extra massage for each of us.
Marlow Sipes
Tulsa, Oklahoma

I would have a party and spend the money on food, wine, and a good CD or movie. My friends get together so rarely, and it would be nice to earmark the money for something memorable.
Karen Mulligan
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

I would put it toward airfare to visit my best friend, who's in law school in Cleveland. We've been best friends since third grade but haven't seen each other in two years. It would be great to spend a weekend together.
Jakcee Bobel
Las Cruces, New Mexico

Invest in Learning and Culture

The last time I had extra cash, I enrolled in a creative-writing class at the local community college. For $92 I developed the beginnings of some great stories and got constructive feedback. It was a great way to spend that money.
Jennifer Urbanic
Columbus, Ohio

I'd buy a family membership to a local art museum. I'd enjoy sharing culture with my family and friends throughout the year.
Kathleen Godwin Brown
North Richland Hills, Texas

I would spend the money on books. Clothes don't last very long, a vacation is a nice (but short) getaway, and a fine bottle of wine is drunk all too soon. But good books last forever.
Brenda Ward
Bozeman, Montana

Spring for Fitness

I would use it to go horseback riding. I love horses and rode for two years after graduating from college, but I gave it up to save money when I started a family. I'd really like to ride again; I thrive on the physical and mental challenges.
Janet Hensel
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I go through a pair of running shoes every few months―I wear them down to nothing. The money would be well spent on a new pair.
Sarah Nicole Parker
Denver, Colorado

I would take golf lessons. Not only would it be fun and challenging to learn how to play correctly but I'd also enjoy spending time with family and friends who love the game.
B. Browne
Asheville, North Carolina

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