It's Day 2 of the Alpha Consumer Challenge, which means there is still time for you to answer the question: If you suddenly had $1,000, what would you do with it? To participate, just post your answer below. After narrowing the entries down to three, we'll vote to pick the best one. The winner will get his or her name and photo posted on the blog and also receive a copy of Curtis Arnold's How You Can Profit From Credit Cards.
If my job didn't prohibit it, I'd use the $1,000 to get started investing in the stock market. I would start by putting it into a couple stocks and one or two ETFs. I'm so drawn to the stock market. Plus, being in my 20s with no credit card debt, I think I can afford to take on some stock market risk with the hope of making relatively great returns with my investments in a short period of time.
But back to reality. Much of that $1,000 would probably go straight to my savings account for the purpose of later being used as a fund source for my beach weekend fun this summer, including gas, food, bathing suits, and beach tickets. In general, I am a big fan of putting extra money away for a down-the-road expenditure. When I baby-sit, I store the cash usually in a mug in my kitchen cabinet. Weekends later I might tap into it for a fun night on the town or to help pay for ordering in sushi dinner.
Now, had this been five years ago, I'd use that $1,000 to pay down my Visa balance. I would always use cash windfalls—be it from birthday gifts, spot bonuses, rebates, etc.—as an immediate way to reduce my debt load.
Now it's your turn.