Personal Finance Apprentice

What I Did With My 6K

What I Did With My 6K. It's not bad to enjoy our money, but we should also think about how it can improve our situation. Even with small amounts, it's possible to do something. And I think we should think carefully about the lasting value it can bring in our lives rather than just temporary enjoyment.

What I Did With My 6K

(if you stay patient and endure my babbling, I promise there’s actually a point at the end of this post…)

So I’ve finally gotten a taste of the “real world”. Not that I grew up privileged. But when you’re single, you have more control over your financial goals (as Mark pointed out before).

After saving (and investing) for our child’s college education, our retirement, and allocating some funds to increase our emergency fund, most of what’s left are for car and house payments.

In about 5 years my finances should ease up somewhat. But as it is, I don’t have a whole lot to just invest in stocks (for personal goals that is). Which is why windfalls are really welcome. And which ends my long-winded and rather self-absorbed intro and brings up the real point of this post. (finally!:)

So my company held a raffle and I won (which ups my win percentage to about 1 out of 10000, lifetime, for raffles. At least for the real, non-text-scam kind…)

But it wasn’t cash; it was an iPod. Not bad; I’d have to save for several months to buy an ipod.  But of course, I’d rather have cash. So I ended up selling it for 6K.

Which makes this 6K rather important for an otherwise relatively small sum. It’s not like I’ll get an extra 6k every month, right?

So what did I decide to do with it?

First of all, I used ~500 to eat out with my wife. As I’ve said before, personal finance isn’t about sacrifice, and you need to reward yourself every now and then.

Second, I used about 800 to join a paid-online-surveys site. Honestly, it’s not my thing, and I was rather wary of it being a scam. But I asked someone who’s done it and gotten paid (for some time too, I think), and I figured it’s worth the risk. (You can read my review of that paid online survey site here.

It’s a relatively small amount anyway, and my situation does warrant having additional income streams.

The rest I kept. Honestly, that’s not my first choice. I’m only holding it because ~4600 is too small to divide between a mini-mergency fund and stock trading. Plus, you should always have cash in your stock trading account anyway.

So I’ll just hold onto it until the right time comes – either a small emergency or one last big sale before the PSEi starts taking off again.

So now, you’re probably wondering why you suffered through all that babbling…

Well, you see it’s not my place to tell people what to do with their money. But I can always show how I managed mine. (I’m not perfect but still…)

It’s not uncommon to see, hear or read about people spending their windfalls (no matter how small or large), with rationalizations like you only live once or you can’t take your money to the afterlife.

But even with small amounts it’s possible to do something. And I think we should think carefully about the value it can bring in our lives rather than just temporary enjoyment.

Sure go ahead and enjoy some of the money. But also think about how it can be used to improve your situation. Because if you want things to change, then you’ve got to make changes. And often, it has to start with ourselves.

If it can be used to get a second source of income, great.

If not, capital growth isn’t a bad idea. (through direct stock investment, mutual funds/uitfs, or some other means).

There are funds that can be started with as little as 5k, and even a relatively tiny amount of ~500 can be enough to buy stocks (inefficient, but possible; and still better than just spending it).

If not, simply saving it isn’t so bad. Opportunity can come at any time. It’s not a bad idea to be prepared.

Even if it doesn’t, at the worst you’re prepared for an emergency. How can that be a bad thing?

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photo credit: Profound Whatever via photopin cc

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