Someone on Twitter asked, if given $1,000 and told you had to spend it today, what would you buy? We were told to make it good.
So I tweeted “Well, assuming I can’t use it on mortgage, retirement or investing…” Then I waited for inspiration to come.
As you can probably tell from the title of this post, I came up with nothing. So I just said, “Wow, I guess I don’t want anything.”
I thought about pricey purses or fashion very briefly. But I don’t like expensive fashion. I’m convinced I’d spill something on it. (Also one of the reasons I almost never wear white.)
But what about regular clothes? Maybe makeup? Even if I wanted enough stuff to add up to $1,000 — and I really don’t — and could spend that much on something so frivolous — and I really couldn’t — what would be the point? It’s not like I’m going anywhere any time soon, so it would all sit unused. Stupid pandemic.
House stuff? Nah
I also looked around my house and… Well, now it occurs to me that I guess I could’ve said some framed art. I wouldn’t mind a couple more pieces. But that wouldn’t be $1,000 for sure. Maybe $300 if I were going all-out — maybe $600 if I got a couple of new pieces of art and put a couple more in better frames.
As for the rest… I’m happy with my furniture. The recliners are cracking a teeny bit on the seat edges, and the cat has scratched up one chair’s arm a bit as she scrabbles up or propels herself off of it. But if I got newer, nicer chairs, she’s just scratch those up, and I’d be distressed by the damage. So why upset myself?
As we all know, I commit the cardinal sin of frugality — not cooking — so I wouldn’t invest in a super luxe set of cookware/bakeware.
I thought briefly about a hot tub for some reason. But I’m pretty sure they’re more than $1,000. Besides, I wouldn’t want the headache of upkeep just for the muscle relaxation the few months a year that aren’t scorchingly hot.
Admittedly, my first thought in all of this had been that I could buy the newest iPhone. But I immediately realized that I didn’t really care enough to replace my current one, which is working well. Even if this is “extra” money meant to be spent, $1,000 on a new phone (when I like my older one just fine) simply seems pointless.
I looked at my TV, but I don’t want, let alone need, a bigger/newer one.
I guess I could get a video game console, like the Nintendo Switch. The Zelda game looked pretty cool. But I suck at a lot of controls for more complex games, and most games controls are complex — at least when you grew up with NES’s A/B buttons and directional pad.
So there would be a very limited number of games I’d buy. Meaning that even at $300-400 for the console and $60 per game, I probably wouldn’t hit $1,000 of spending in a couple of years, let alone in one fell swoop.
I’m not interested in gadgets, so things like a 3D printer don’t interest me.
My computer was purchased by my boss. It’s not great — kinda slow — but it does the job. Besides, it might insult him if I got a replacement (and he would find out because he’d have to help me get it set up to log into the system remotely). So a new computer was a no-go.
What others said
One person said he’d get a grill. That sounds nice for other people — though would that really cost $1,000? — but I’m not into grilling. Even if I were, it seems wasted on me as a single person. I feel like grilling is best when you’re doing it for a group. And it’s not like I can hold parties right about now. But mainly yeah, just not into grilling.
Some people said online courses. Interesting, I guess. But I’m not much for virtual learning. Or doing much at all during this pandemic, for that matter.
This isn’t the first time
So… What does that leave? I’m guessing at least some of you could think of something for yourselves. But as for me, I’m stumped.
This is the same issue I ran into with my tax refund. Normally, I go by the 10% rule for windfalls. That is, you bank 90% (or put it toward debt) and 10% goes to something fun.
Last year, the “windfall” money was the remaining funds I needed to buy my iPhone 7. But this year? I couldn’t think of a single thing I wanted. So I just shunted all of the funds into my Roth IRA. Because I’m boring like that.
I’m just… happy
In normal circumstances, I’d say I’m pretty content with my low-key, not-terribly-materialistic life. Obviously, things are a little different right now during the pandemic. But while that changed the contentment I had in my social life, it hasn’t changed my satisfaction with material goods. I just don’t need a lot of things to make me happy.
I like watching TV and spending time with friends and all sorts of other things that don’t involve many tangible items, except a basic TV and maybe some cute outfits (which are bought from the thrift store because I can’t stomach retail prices).
I’m happy just kind of being. (And as I’ve said before, I think that just being is perfectly acceptable, even outside of a pandemic.)
In short, I’m good. And even if I hadn’t been, I’d like to think that the unrest and injustice recently highlighted would render any desires trivial. Because there are far more important things to worry about right now.
Living in such a materialistic culture, not wanting anything is kind of a baffling feeling. I’m not surprised I don’t need anything because I’m in a good enough financial position that I can buy whatever need arises. But to be happy enough with my (usual) life that I don’t want anything… That’s pretty weird. But also pretty cool.
What would you guys spend $1,000 on? It can’t be anything like investing, saving, donating, mortgage, retirement or paying off debt.