Last Call for Submissions

To play, share how you would spend a grand.

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The Alpha Consumer Challenge will remain open to submissions until 9 a.m. Monday. To participate, just post your answer below to this question: If you suddenly had $1,000, what would you do with it? After we've narrowed the entries down to three, you can vote to pick the best one. The winner will get his or her name and photo posted on this blog and also receive a copy of Curtis Arnold's How You Can Profit From Credit Cards.

Here is what the blogger at Boston Gal's Open Wallet would do:

If $1,000 was suddenly to fall into my lap, my first instinct is to save it. I'm a saver, and saving money is generally what I do. However, I do have expenses and many needs and wants which require spending money to satisfy. Found or unexpected money mostly gets divided. Some goes into savings, some goes toward purchasing a need, and the rest goes toward obtaining a want.

Figuring out how much to save and how much to spend is primarily dictated by my needs. If I need to put some new brake pads on my car and that will cost $400, then I know that $400 will be earmarked for that need and the rest can be split between saving and fulfilling a want. So $300 goes to saving and $300 is left to spend on a want.

The want can be something as simple as prettier and sturdier garden planters, a couple of dinners at a nice restaurant, or a splurge day at my favorite clothing store. The savings are all for future needs and wants. I try to find the right balance between treating myself now and ensuring my future self is provided for.