Monday, February 23, 2009

Another Thousandaire's Thoughts

Ian had an interesting post a while back. Here is part of the blog entry:

So, by this stage of my life the only thing I want to spend money on is (aside from the obvious like mortgage, food, cable and transportation) is travel. That is never money badly spent.

So, you can imagine the joy in my acquisitive soul when blogger Leslie offered me a cool five grand. That’s right. In her tagging of me she said $5,000 would be laid on me; my personal bailout, if you will. All I have to do is respond to a simple question: What would you do if given $5,000? A nice little sum that. Not a half million, but tolerable. So, when she tagged me you can imagine how jubilant I was.
All I have to do to get my five grand is suggest a worthy use for it. Excellent.

It was only a while later that I realized that the sum was strictly symbolic and that no filthy lucre would change hands between her and me.

I have thought about Ian's challenge. He did not challenge me (insert pouting lips here), but I will take up the challenge nonetheless.

If someone would give me $5,000 with the stipulation that I use it in some way that has an impact on my life, I think I know what I would do. But before I reveal what I consider to be a great answer, I would like to tell you a few things that I discounted.

My first thought was concerning my 401K. Yeah, it needs a little bit of life breathed back into it. I thought about adding to my 401K, but not only is that sort of boring, but it also might not be a good idea as well. I still contribute monthly, but I can't help but thinking I am throwing good money after bad.

Next thought was education - $5,000 will probably be enough for about a year worth of classes at a public institution. It would be an investment in me. But do I really want to go back to school and get a Master's degree. Probably not.

A down payment on a car. I mean, I think automobiles are a bit on sale right now. And my car is getting older. But you know, I think I can stand another year or two before the car starts giving me problems. And it is paid off. A paid off car drives so much better than a car with a note. I don't know why, but there it is.

A ticket to Los Vegas and $4,000 in chips. That would be one way to spend five grand. I have been gambling before, and I just can't get into it. It gives me little joy.

But after careful consideration, I decided that the wisest way to spend $5,000 would be to use it to purchase hours in an art class. A small class where I would learn to paint. When I was in high school, I was a student that enjoyed creating art but was a bit disappointed with what I created. I guess my imagination was at one level, and my skills were at a lower level. I would want to learn to paint, and then paint. And paint.

When one thinks about writing one's own obituary (not that I am sick or wanting to die), one may want to include skills that makes someone unique. I enjoy writing and would eventually want to pen a book, but if I had $5,000 to spend, I would want to buy paints, hours in the presence of an art teacher and canvas. Then turn the blank canvas into something special. Five thousand dollars is not really a lot of money, but it is enough to change someone's . . . anyone's . . . life. The thing is, you have to know how to spend the money.


~Deb said...

Hmmmmmmmmmm.... I was happy to hear what you would spend that on. That's awesome. To invest money in what you love to do in life is the best thing, in my opinion, that you can do. I invested in self-publishing, purchasing good quality musical instruments for my love of music, and now investing in good quality cameras and other devices to enhance my photography and videography.

It's so worth it. I'd rather be paid little for what I do than a ton of money to do what I hate.

I hope you get that $5,000 + much more to create something beautiful!

~Deb said...

(This blog is a piece of artwork + it's free!)

Ian Lidster said...

Thank you for the plug my beautiful friend. Please don't pout because I thought of you as a person whose thoughts I wanted to share (that's because I do tend to think about you regardless), but I thought you hated being tagged so I refrained.
I think your art school idea is brilliant. A wonderful way to spend the paltry 5 grand. The bit of painting that I do liberates me from the mundane in a powerful way and I love doing it, though I remain unschooled. You'd never regret it if you took such a class and you'd find a whole other realm for your already significant creativity.

LarryLilly said...

I would use the money to buy a travel trailer to use to travel. I am planning on buying one later this year since it is something I do now, in a popup, but having a dedicated trailer where weather is never an issue coupled with my ability to take off whenever I want would be a great use. It fills the original idea and yes, traveling is never bad.

Leesa said...

~Deb: when I was younger, I was into photography. I had a few really good (and expensive) lenses.

Ian: Always willing to plug a blogger. Now I just need a bit of spare time and I will be set.

Larry: I did not know a pop-up cost only $5K. It took me a while to learn that traveling was a good way to spend money.

kathi said...

I'd use it to move. :) I dream of moving somewhere I don't know anyone. Did it when I moved to Texas from Indiana, would love to try New Mexico.

Anonymous said...

The 5 grand could be spent as contest prize money, given to the person coming up with the best way to use 5 grand to change someones life.
With all due respect, the suggestions here are things you could do on a shoestring if you really wanted to.

Awake In Rochester said...

You said that you don't want to go back to school for a Master's degree. Apparently you have a BA, or BS in something? What is your degree in?

Since my wonderful employer hardly has any work for me these days, I would spend the money on basics like food & bills. Especially since the bills are pilling up. Also I might give 10% to donations of food, and clothing to help others.

Leesa said...

annon: canvas and lessons (at about $30 to $50/hour) is not nothing. $5K would be spent in a year or two.

awake: BA in Liberal Arts (Psychology). Not terribly useful for the job search, or in real life, it turns out.

Xmichra said...

I would go to Egypt. I eat dream and breathe it.. lol.. it is on my life list (or bucket list one may say). I figure that's important.. checking off that list :)

Leesa said...

xmichra: if you don't finish your bucket list, do you still die?

Anonymous said...

$5K wouldn't get me further than $5.

kathi said...

I guess I could buy myself some memory games because I was sure I'd commented here...hmmmm. Anyway, I'd use the money to start over somewhere new, maybe New Mexico, where I didn't know anyone. Loved it when I did that years ago, moving from Indiana to Texas. Time for another change. :)

Leesa said...

knot: you sound like the Federal government.

kathi: wow, good luck on the change. Sounds scary and exciting at the same time.