Thank you everyone who responded to my question about how to spend $1,000. The reason I asked is because, well, I needed ideas. Dave gets regular bonuses at his current job and for the last year, we've saved that extra income or used it to pad ourselves for when we go over our regular budget. This time, though, we're going to save (and by save, I mean invest in the stock market) MOST of the bonus and then we're each getting our own little "allowance" to spend however we want.
My "allowance" is $1,000.
My first inclination was to save the money because that's just how I roll, but upon further discussion with my husband, I came to the understanding that if I go and invest the money? He'll get to spend HALF of whatever I earn on it, which basically means that I'll get HALF the return on my investment. Which is nice, right, because my husband is so FAIR and all, but still, I think I'd rather spend the money than to postpone my gratification for a lousy return.
By the way, it is nice that my husband and I share LITERALLY everything. We do our best to stick to our monthly budget, but anything, LITERALLY ANYTHING, that we want to buy or spend money on outside of our normal expenses is discussed. At length. We make completely joint decisions. The reason we've decided to give ourselves a little extra this time is that Dave's been at this job for over a year now and he could frankly USE a little fun money to spend. He works hard and it sucks for him that he never gets to buy any toys because there isn't money in the budget for them. So this is his chance. It makes working hard for extra money actually FUN, rather than just a boring way of padding the retirement account. Giving me an equal share to spend however I want was actually HIS idea.
So he's going to spend his portion on the judicious preservation of the second amendment by purchasing firearms. Hopefully this will lead to a hunting trip and a giant freezer full of meat, we'll see. Either way, he's spending the money 100% on himself.
My first inclination was to use the money to replace our center kitchen counter with a chopping block. I want one SO badly since I'm sick of all my pie crusts and pizzas having a square grid on the bottom. I really need a flat surface for all the cooking I do. So I did some research and decided on this one:
It's four-inch-thick American Black Walnut end grain and would match PERFECTLY with my dark hard wood floors. It's also thick enough that I could basically destroy the crap out of it, sand a layer of it off every year and never run out of fresh chopping block. But sadly, the size I need weighs 160 pounds and costs over $1500 NOT including shipping or installation.
Then I priced out getting a stainless steel center counter (honestly if I could remodel my kitchen I would have all stainless steel counter tops with a contiguous built in sink and a beautiful chopping block center counter. Like an industrial strength kitchen!), but YOWZA, it would cost even more than the chopping block. (I found this shocking!)
Then I started thinking that spending my share of the money on home improvements really isn't all that fair. It's not like Dave is spending his $1,000 on the landscaping he wants to get done or on upgrading the furniture in his office. Nope. He's spending the money ON HIMSELF.
What a novel concept!
Home improvements are one of things we're saving the REST of the bonus money for, so I decided I should really spend the money on ME. I loved reading all of your ideas. A lot of you had ideas worth considering.
The money came today and I STILL don't know what I'm going to do. I'm down to a few final ideas, though, so maybe you can help me choose.
1. Purchase a cheap sectional couch to replace our beat-up living room couch. Last night I punished Genoa for shoving a princess doll into the gaping hole on the side of it. The only downside is that it would definitely have to be fabric because we already have a nice leather chair and you can't match leather. And fabric + children = nastiness all over my couch which may or may not be worse than the current couch even with its lovely taped up arms.
2. Housekeeping. This is probably the idea I'm most leaning towards. I was vacuuming the floors the other day with the realization that I will never get that time back and how much BETTER my life would be if I wasn't always so concerned about the appearance of my house (and how it is either a TOTAL PIT or PERFECTLY CLEAN, depending on when I'm having guests over). Also? I haven't cleaned my own shower in so long that it could grow legs and walk out the front right now and I wouldn't bat an eyelash (no one ever sees my bathroom!).
3. A shopping spree of epic proportions. I was thinking it might be fun to call Rhiannon and ask her be my personal shopper at J. Crew. I need new boots and a new coat and it would be so fun to have my own little episode of What Not To Wear. I'm generally SO CHEAP about clothes that using the money to invest in a better wardrobe would bring me long(er)-lasting happiness. But I dunno, I can probably buy some boots and a jacket at JC Penney this month and still stay under budget.
4. Art for the house is another idea. At least one piece caught my eye when I was shopping in downtown Camas on Sunday. I also love the idea of having several of my own photographs printed onto canvas. Those run around $100 each, depending on size.
5. Part of me just wants to put the money in cash and carry it around with me (figuratively, not literally) until something catches my eye. It would fun to spend the next few months making the occasional rash purchase without worrying about the budget.
6. I could buy myself a Macbook.
7. Some combination of the above...
What do you think?