BillShrink Giving Away $2,500 to Wise Bread Readers

Editor's Note:  Contest has ended.  Click here to see list of winners.

BillShrink, a free website that gives personalized money-saving recommendations on everyday bills, is giving away $2,500 to Wise Bread readers!

In addition to the contest, BillShrink CEO Peter Pham also shared some great savings tips later in this post.  But first, the contest!

Blog Comment Contest: $2,000

Prize:  1 winner of $2,000.  BillShrink representatives will pick their favorite response.

How to Enter

BillShrink wants to give you $2,000 to start your New Year with a money make over. 

Simply leave a comment below and tell us in 2-3 sentences about what you’d do with $2,000?  The best response takes the grand prize.

Would the responsible you pay down your credit card debt? Put the money in savings? Buy low in the stock market? Or start a college fund for your toddler? Or … would rowdy you blow it on a ticket to Antigua? Or buy 14 bottles of Dom Perignon? Or get a flat screen TV or a new computer? BillShrink CEO Peter Pham also talks about how he would spend $2,000. You might want to check out Peter's response get some inspiration.

Don't forget to enter your email address while leaving a comment.  We can't contact you if you don't leave an email address!

Twitter Contest:  $250

Prize: 1 winner of $250. Randomly selected.

How to Enter

Simply tweet one of these messages: 

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter.  It makes it easier for us to message you when you win.

BillShrink Facebook Contest: $250

Prize: 1 winner of $250. BillShrink will randomly select one of their new fans following them on Facebook.

How to Enter

Visit BillShrink's Facebook fan page and add yourself as a fan.  That's it!

(While you're in Facebook, don't forget to check out Wise Bread's fan page as well.)

Rules For All Three Contests

The Blog Comment, Twitter, and Facebook contests all end at midnight EST 1/08/10.  Winners will be announced on this post on 1/13/10. You can enter all 3 contests, but you can only win once. US residents only, must be 18 or over, void where prohibited (see official contest rules).

Interview With Peter Pham

According to your website, BillShrink has identified more than $1 billion in savings for more than 1 million people this year. Why are so many people overpaying on their bills?

Wireless plan and credit cards are inherently complex.  You have in- and out-network calling, overage fees, variable interest rates, annual fees – it’s really too much for a person to track. Each wireless plan, each credit card, markets their plans with different language, gives you options over different periods of time, and has different offerings, so it’s nearly impossible to make an apples-to-apples comparison.  BillShrink will do all that homework for you using technology that analyzes all of the fine print and tracks the best options on the market so you don’t have to.

Another reason people are overpaying is that options are constantly changing.  Credit cards, banks and wireless companies are competing for your business and continue to make new offers.  That’s why we’ve also built into BillShrink the ability to get alerts when a better deal comes along.  We’ll take into account all things like wireless termination fees, so you can see if you will really save more money in the long run.

 What was the best piece of budgeting advice you got or gave in 2009?

The best piece of advice I gave was to ignore those seeming appealing in-store credit card offers.  Salespeople entice you at the register with an additional 10-30% off your purchase and 0% APR promises.  But that impulse decision could cost you in the long run because after introductory rates, store credit cards are have interest rates that are generally higher than standard credit cards.  Not to mention that they are notoriously strict about late fees, which increase the rate dramatically.  All this and that’s not all, when you apply for a new card, an inquiry is made to the credit bureau, which may slightly lower your credit score.

How do you think people can save money on the necessities like gas and cell phones?  Is there a way to cut back without making sacrifices?

Absolutely!  Most people don’t alter their plan to better fit their usage, but like most, you may have selected a wireless package a year ago that isn’t the right plan for you now.  Most people are so afraid of overage charges so they buy tons of minutes or get the unlimited plans that they may not really need.

BillShrink assesses what you need and on average, we save people $300 on their phone bill, without them having to sacrifice any minutes or plan options.  For gas, many people by habit go to the same gas station.  But, if you can drive the same distance to a station that costs $0.50 less per gallon of gas, that could be a savings of $130 a year.

Do you think frugality will end when the economy starts to pick up?

I think frugality is here to stay, at least I hope so.  While this economically turbulent year forced many to change their spending behaviors, I think people will choose to remain frugal as it feels good to be wise about your dollars.  In particular, if people feel they are getting the same services for less money, the question simply is ‘why would I pay more than I need to?’ So maybe ‘Frugal is the new black!’

What would you do with $2000?

My weakness is food; I’m a culinary snob.  I’d consider blowing it on a trip to NY and have dinner with my wife at Masa, where the pre-fix menu is $500/person.
Never mind all the bill shrinking -- what do you think is worth paying top dollar for?

Vacations.  When I get the rare chance to go on holiday with my family, I love a fine hotel with great service, excellent restaurants, and a gorgeous pool.  That comes with a price tag, but the rest and luxury is worth it!

Can the consumers be sure that your recommendations are objective?
BillShrink is independent and unbiased.  This means that we present the best options to users and have no preferential display of any wireless, credit card, savings or gas recommendations. Our rankings are calculated by complex algorithms that match your unique spending habits with all the available plans in the marketplace, so in essence, we’re your personal financial matchmaker. We think our best value comes in continuing to alert you when a better deal comes along that could save you even more money.

So far your focus is on cell phones, credit cards, and gas prices.  But couldn't you expand this to a lot more goods and services?  What are your plans for the future?

We intend to keep saving people throughout 2010 and beyond.  We’ll add services like TV and Internet services, as well as a host of other bills so that we’ll save Americans another $1 billion next year.

Update:  Announcing the Winners!

Blog Comment $2,000 Winner

Winner: Joe Wilson

I would use the money to help pay off my wife's battle with breast cancer. I am on a fixed income (disabled) 64 years old. my wife has to work for health ins due to my sickness 20 years ago. she is a 62 year old pharmacy tech and works 40 hrs a week. we are staying even due to our good credit rating (796) but I have a wad of debt. paying off the hospital and certain other tests she has undergone will allow us to continue with her prescribed medical needs this coming year using Canada to buy certain drugs due to pricing . thank you for your consideration joe and kathy Wilson

Jenny from BillShrink explains why this was her favorite:

Whew! Wonderful to see 1053 respondents for the contest.  We read some funny and some very heartbreaking stories about people who really could use the $2000 cash.  We liked the below entry from Joe  & Kathy Wilson.  We appreciated that Kathy keeps a full-time job and that these are hard-working people who have tried to maintain good credit, but have medical expenses that are beyond their means.  Again, this was a hard choice and... well, we had a few runner-ups that we really liked as well. 

Twitter Contest $250 Winner:

Winner: MMC67.  Thank you Michelle Carter for tweeting about our contest!

Facebook Winner:

Anna Labbe who wrote:

Just discovered billshrink! hope to put it to good use for a financially better 2010! Winning that $2000.00 would be great too! How about an article on how to get your spouse on the same "page"with savings and finance!! Thanks!

Thank you everyone for participating in the contest!  We'll be contacting each winner directly via email, Twitter, and Facebook.  If you don't respond within 3 business days we reserve the right to give the prizes to an alternate winner.

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Guest's picture

I would pay off bills, about $400 worth. It's behind, so I'd get my car serviced & pay any needed repair. Then I'd stock my kitchen & office supplies and deposit the remainder to my Roth IRA.

Guest's picture

I would use a little bit of that money to get a new garage door opener (darn thing died this month!). $200.00

I would budget the remainder of the funds to pay for school. I work full time, parent half time and go to school 3/4 time. Covering the cost of books and my portion of my tuition not covered by grants would be a huge weight off my shoulders. $1800 would take care of 3-4 semesters of school.

The money I would have spent on tuition will be used to make additional payments to the principal on my second home loan. With luck, that will be paid off within about 1 1/2 - 2 years.

Guest's picture

Some years ago I spent way too much and saved too little. After years of being frugal to clean up that mess and to provide a better financial foundation for our family I would love to splurge and take my husband and kids on a real vacation. Someplace wonderous like the grand canyon, somewhere so different and exciting to see. They deserve it.

Guest's picture

I live in Korea and my family is in Michigan. My sister is getting married this spring and I'd use the money to go home for her wedding. I so badly want to be there with my family for this.

Guest's picture

We are a one-income family so that I can stay at home with our children and educate them at home, so I try to find little ways to make money to help out our budget. After using some of the money to mitigate the radon in our home to make the air safer to breathe, and buying a Canon sx120 is (I do not currently have a working camera---ack!) I would spend the rest of the money on products to sell on eBay and shelves to store them on.

Guest's picture

I would use it pay off medical bills and help my daugther pay for some of her college loans.

Guest's picture

I would use it to pay off debt and in the process remove the burden and stress of it from my wife's shoulders. I just want to see her feel secure. This would go a long way in doing that.

Guest's picture

With this surprise cash,
Shopping, tempting; but no way.
Emergency fund.

Guest's picture

I would do what I have been wanting to do for years, give it to my Dad. My Dad has exhausted all of his savings helping his kids, including me. I would be so happy to be able to hand this money to him. I can never repay him for all he has done. but I'd like to try. Thanks for the chance.

Guest's picture

Our main goal this year is to set up a special needs trust for our son with DS. Being an active duty military family we don't live in our home state and would need to travel back to Florida, as special needs trusts are state specific (base legal provides only basic assistance such as wills.) Once all the paperwork is complete, we would hit the beach and visit friends & family of course!

Guest's picture

Travel’s my passion, not the expensive kind, but one where I can wander off the beaten path and get to know the heart of the people – and it all started with a ticket a friend sent 20 years ago for my first overseas journey, to Australia. I’d love to return to the land of my dreams and take a trip down memory lane with the same friend, without having to worry about my mortgage or saving for a rainy day, and start the new year by helping someone in need. And yes, $2,000 would more than take care of it all, thank you.

Guest's picture

I would pour every penny of the $2000 into fixing my teeth, which -- at the age of 22 -- are chipped, broken, decaying, and excruciatingly sensitive due to years of severe bulimia.

I am done hating myself. I'm done destroying myself. I'm ready to heal.

Guest's picture

if i get this much money just by writing on this forum.
ill definitely do meditation(that's my way of enjoyment!)
and would leave all the rest to how much the time demands me of the money. well if it was now i would definitely us it for my studies( i want to do my M.S from U.S ).
thanks for asking!!!!

Guest's picture
janet sigler

I would donate the money to the library in our town. Libraries are so important these days and are short of money, too. I work there and know that the library meet a real need in our community. The money would be well-used.

Guest's picture

I'd use it to pay off some more of our car and maybe put some flooring down in our house.


Guest's picture

I have a new daughter, and $2,000 would go in part to start her 529, and pay for daycare for the first month of next year.

Guest's picture

If I received $2000 unexpectedly, it'd go towards the next item on my debt snowball---my student loan. The student loan has been hanging around for more than a decade. Time to get rid of it!

Guest's picture

i would use that money towards funding my college education

Guest's picture

I would love to win this. I would most definitely use it to pay off some debt and probably put some in an emergency fund.

Guest's picture

I would use $2000 to run a social experiment: reverse panhandling. I'd convert the full amount to $1 or $2 bills, dress in street garb, then go down to NYC and attempt to give away the money ("Take a dollar, take a dollar?"). I'd be interested in seeing how many passersby would pay attention.

Guest's picture
Lesa S

My husband was laid off for 14 mos and we went through our sons college fund (90+K). He's a Genetics Major at Rutgers and an Editor on the school newspaper as well as Popular Photog summer interen maybe. He could REALLY use this cash for his education; we're running out of resources and don't want to use credit cards or take on debt (we try to live debtfree).

Guest's picture

With $2,000 I'd help transition one of my daughters out of college and help transition the other one into it. Tuition costs a pretty penny, and any help I can get would be phenomenal.


Guest's picture

I would literally shrink my bills! I finish off a credit card or 3 that have been up and down so many times I feel like they've hypnotized me. Save that extra 100 or 2 a month and build that emergency fund a little bigger. Mmmm.

Guest's picture

I would use the money to help my daughter who is starting college in September 2010. In true frugal form, I would save it and give her a little each week.

Guest's picture

Up to a few months ago, I would have answered this question frantically with "pay off my credit card!" but for the first time in my life, I have no debt of any kind. Poised to be able to buy a condo where I work in Santa Barbara, California (don't have a permanent place currently), I cleared all debt following the sale of a house (at a big loss).

Living frugally makes good sense to me and is something I've always done. Good thing, too, since the condo payments - if I get it - will be my major expense and I am prepared to live simply, frugally, as well as comfortably.

So ... $2,000? I would split it and give half to my two children who are learning to budget wisely but are still burdened with undergraduate loan payments and that amount would be ten payments each. The other half? I would buy myself some clothes at a store that does not have thrift in the title and perhaps offer a beautiful meal out to friends who have supported me in some tough times.

Thanks for the opportunity!

Guest's picture
Melanie D

I would have to donate some to charity because I think its the right thing to do so that would be:

I would help my Mom with her heating & utility bills so that would be:

I would give to my sister who is barely making ends meet and that would be:

The last $1000.00 would be for me to put in a savings account because we used our savings this past year to make ends meet.
Now we are on the upswing financially and don't have any credit card debt. If we can't pay cash we don't buy it.

Thats what I would do with an unexpected $2000.00!

Guest's picture

$2,000? I'd spend it flying across the country to see the premiere of Iron Man 2 with my best friend. We've been writing buddies for years and we've made a pact to see it together despite the 3,000 miles between us.

Guest's picture
Josh Abrams

After 7 years without a vacation, I would escape to NYC to enjoy a 4 day dining and entertainment getaway. I would love to take my wife to fulfill her dream of seeing the Rockette's perform Christmas in NYC. What a historical group and excellent music.
Also, for my own little economic stimulus for the theater which is hurting in this economy ; I would attend a few Broadway shows and indulge in some fine cuisine, as well as, deli fare !

Guest's picture

Id use the money to pay down our credit card debt. My husband and I got married 3 months ago and while we tried not to go into debt over it, we realized it was a once in a lifetime thing for us, so although we'd been saving for almost 2 years for the wedding, we still ended up putting some on our credit cards.

Guest's picture

I would ensure the highest ROI by:
First: $200, donating to an animal charity (kind of 10% tithing).
Next: $900, getting a useful “toy”- replacement of my 4-yr old laptop.
Finally: $900, buying some emergency gadgets and supplies (portable battery charger, flashlight…).

Guest's picture

I would use the money to pay for daycare for my daughter while I attend chiropractic school starting January 4th until I find work. That expense is not included in my financial aid package. Any money left over I would use to pay off my carecredit account.

Guest's picture
A Friend

As much as we would love to use the $2,000 to pay down our debt and establish an emergency fund, we would give the money to our friend. She is supporting her husband and three young children while going through serious medical problems that can claim her life within the next few years. As if that weren't enough, they are facing bankruptcy with the medical bills and the burst of the real estate bubble. Her strength and faith while facing such challenges is an inspiration every day. The money would help us, but could make a life-changing difference for her.

Guest's picture

First I'd like to say I love WiseBread and BillShrink. If I won $2000 it would go straight into my emergency fund which is ever more important in this poor economy and with our new family addition. We have a 6 month old baby boy! He's an absolute joy!

Guest's picture

Despite the tight, I would even say cheap, budget we've set out for ourselves (husband was laid off 6-months ago, I just went back to work after a year of no income), we have racked up more debt than we would like just keeping our eyeballs above water.

So, $1,500 would definitely go to debt, credit card debt first, before the dastardly high new interest rates burn a hole in our pockets. Then, $500 would go into an ING Direct 6-month CD, so that we can use $200 for a camping/hiking/rock climbing 3-day weekend at the beginning of the summer, because the outdoors and physical activity is our idea of a luxurious, and green, vacation.

Guest's picture

$1000, I would give to my mother under the condition she sell her car and move to a cheaper location closer me myself.
The other $1000 I would use to purchase a Specialized Globe Live 3 bike for all of my future grocery store and light commuting needs.

Guest's picture

$1000, I would give to my mother under the condition she sell her car and move to a cheaper location closer me myself.
The other $1000 I would use to purchase a Specialized Globe Live 3 bike for all of my future grocery store and light commuting needs.

(sorry for the dup post, forgot to include my info on the last one)

Guest's picture
Tammy S

is take a chunk of it and take my hubby to this AMAZING restaurant near us. Restaurant meals were the first thing to go when the economy tanked!
The remainder would go towards adding a fireplace insert to my house to make it more efficient.

Guest's picture

With $2000, I would use the majority to pay off student loans from undergrad. I would use the rest to shore up my savings and donate some to charity.

Guest's picture

straight into our savings account as a buffer against my husband's job seatch not going well. $2500 would cover our mortgage for a month!

Guest's picture

If I won $2,000 I would immediately use half of it to pay off some debt I have. I'd put $900 into savings, kind of a "just in case" fund. The other $100 I'd use to buy myself something fun, because hey, it's Christmas!

Guest's picture

I would get caught up on my bills that have fallen behind.
My husband has filed for disability and for a whole year we have had no income....Yes I said NO INCOME! You say, Why do you not work? Well, the system works like this. If we have no income we get the much needed medical card. If I work I loose his med. card. So in order for him to get that card I cannot work.
Needless to say $2000.00 would make me breathe easier.
God Bless.

Guest's picture

I would take the $2,000 and go to Hawaii with my husband for our 27th wedding anniversary. Neither of us has ever been and it's definitely a bucket list item.

Guest's picture

I would buy a new computer. Preloaded with all the bells and whistles that I would need to organize my finances, protect my bank accounts, and hold all my picture and music files.

Guest's picture

I'd spend the $2,000 on proper food and supplies I need to maintain my Diabetes condition. It gets too expensive for me to eat right and often my sugar levels are dangerously high. If I could but some good food for a change that isn't carbs and refined sugars that would be like a dream come true. We buy these foods as it fits our budget and is a cheap way to eat but causes me havoc so having $2000 for foods that would help me along with the needles and test strips that get so costly also would be so great!

Guest's picture

I would take it to my dentist and tell him to do his best. I have thin enamel and every year I completely tap out my insurance. I am constantly having to get root canals to fix things that I couldn't afford to get fixed earlier. I would like to know what its like to NOT have teeth that hurt.

Guest's picture

I would fully fund our emergency fund, bring our mortgage current, and take my lovely ladies out for a day of fun (wife and two daughters aged 3&5). I also would use some of the money to be a blessing to someone less fortunate than myself. P.S My back has been killing me due to a broken chair in my automobile also(major leanage)so I would buy a front seat as well.

Guest's picture
Jeff S

I'm trying to put 3 daughters through college. One word: Vegas

Guest's picture

If I won $2500, I would first buy two digital cameras. Then, I would surprise my mom with a fabulous mother-daughter vacation and put those cameras to good use with some serious memory making! Sure, I could use it to pay down debt but I spent far too long taking the most important person in my life for granted. Now that her health isn't the best, I've come to understand what it means to cherish family. Money isn't necessary for that, but I'd love to give something back to the woman who gave me so much.

Guest's picture
Carolyn O.

Put $1,000 in my money market account.
Use $500 for textbooks for veterinary school next semester
$500 to fund my eating out habit when the semesters (inevitably) spiral out of control and I don't have any food in my apartment anymore.

Guest's picture

A $2000 windfall - what a delight to just dream into what I would do with it. I'm debt-free, but I work part-time without any benefits, and we've had our hours cut for 2010. So $2000 could be my Fun Fund, allowing me to plan a camping vacation with a friend. It would help cover the hours I'd miss at work as well as the travel itself. And I think to honor such a windfall I'd want to pass it along by giving away 10%. A friend of mine carries $20 bills, and when she sees someone having an awful day or someone who could really use it, she'll leave one under their windshield wiper. What a blast to go on vacation with ten $20 bills to plant as surprises for strangers as I went!

Guest's picture

If I won the money - I would give it to my son & his fiancee who are only 19 years old. They are expecting a baby boy (1st) in March and don't make much money and really need baby furniture and cloths, etc... Thanks for the entry!!!

Guest's picture

My wife and I are friends with a couple who have had trouble with their spending habits; as a result they are now about $30,000 in credit card debt. To their credit, they are owning the responsibility of this debt rather than declaring bankruptcy and are now practicing a cash-only system. We'd love to put your generosity to good use by helping them redeem a significant portion of this debt.

Guest's picture

When we sold our business and retired, we had big plans to travel. But the recession took hold, and travel took a back burner. At that time I started putting away all the little 'found money' rebates, etc. in an envelope hidden away. My plan is to save it and save it, so we can take a substantial trip such as to Prague. When I win this money, it's going towards my travel fund.

Guest's picture

My journey with $2,000 would be quite different. I would go to my local bank and request 2,000 $1 bills. I would then ask Billshrink to send me a T-shirt and some advertising gear. I'd take my Billshrink gear and the $2K to a tall building in downtown San Diego. I would then scream "Hey, who wants free money from Billshrink?" I would then proceed to sprinkle the streets of SD with billshrink gear and money. All of this would be caught on tape of course. I might keep $100 of it for myself though :)

Guest's picture

I would use the $2,000 to put towards the honeymoon that we never had. This May 4, 2010 will be our 25th wedding anniverary! In this day and age that in itself is amazing, but whats even more amazing is that we are still best friends after 25 yrs., two kids and caring for a 95 yr disabled mother-in-law (due to stroke). IN 1985 when we were married we were very young & didn't have enough money for a wedding, a home and a honeymoon. So we didn't get the honeymoon. My dream has always been to be able to take our dream vacation/honeymoon/25th wedding anniversary (seriously anywhere would be great!). My long time dream would to be to visit Italy where my Grandparents came from. My husband and I have never really traveled much over the last 25 years and never out of the ocuntry. Since life is so very short (my dad passed away at age 70 and his father in his 70's as well) we feel that we should get our dream vacation/honeymoon to celebrate our 24 years of marriage, and best of all for remaining the best of friends through it all. I couldn't imagine my life without my husband or my family. Aside from the lack of the has been BLISS:)
Thank you for this opportunity to have a chance to bring our dream into a possible reality. ~ Kimberly

Guest's picture

As with any free money, I save 25% in high-yield savings account, spend 50% for my holiday shopping and give 25% to charity.

Guest's picture

I'm a junior biological engineering college student and my loans and scholarship leave me with a $1000 bill to pay. I'd use the 1st 1000 to pay my difference and I'd use the other $1000 towards my summer classes that usually cost around $3000.I go to school 12 hours away from home and out-of-state tuition makes me work 2 jobs.Please BillShrink! Help me out!

Guest's picture

I'd take 50% to pay off student loans and I'd take the other $50 and add it to my vacation fund.

My girlfriend and I currently live in Japan and we're saving up to visit Italy and France in August for a food and wine vacation. The rest of the money would definitely speed up the savings for that trip!


Guest's picture
Michelle Simons

First all I would call the oil company my mom uses and pay her oil to heat her house for the winter. Its around $800.00. I really worry about her keeping warm. and then my brother jerry, I would pay his drivers license fee of 300.00 so he could get back driving. Then I would help my nephew get his El Camino back on the road. He tore it apart to get new parts on it then lost his job and now it sits. He would need around 500.00. The leftover 400.00 I would take my mom on a little trip, maybe to the casino so she could have some fun cause she was in a car accident last year and is in alot of pain now all because of a lady talking on her cell phone and running a red light. She hit my Mom and didn't even get out of her car to see if my Mom was OK. SHAME ON HER!

Financial Samurai's picture

What a phenomenal give away btw. Thanks guys!

If I won $2,000 I would first splice it up into 10 different equal arrangements to extend the pleasure of the win.

For 10 consecutive months, I will use $200 to splurge on something desirable, such as a new pair of Andre Agassi retro tennis shoes and dinner for two at a favorite steak house. I definitely wouldn't hoard the cash and put it away in savings, because what's the fun in that?

Actually, not every month will be for splurges however. Some months will be used to pay the higher utility bill since winter is here. Other months will be used to buy presents for friends and families. While other months would be used to help out a local charity.

Overall, it's about making the money provide as much utility for as long as possible!


Financial Samurai
"Slicing Through Money's Mysteries"

Guest's picture
Diane Bassette

Thank you for this opportunity, I have a daughter who desperately needs braces, I would start with putting a down payment for them. I am in need of oil for my oil tank for the cold winter here in the
Northeast and I would fill that up. If there was any money left I would catch up on some bills that are behind because of the Christmas season.

Guest's picture

is divvy it up a few different ways.

First I'd put half in the bank and start a car fund - our cars are ok - but eventually we'll need a new to us vehicle - so time to start saving.

I'd use $500 toward the emergency fund and $500 toward the vacation fund - that way we'll feel happy now AND later!

Guest's picture

I would invest the $2000 into something great. I would probably split it up between my 401k and my Money Market fund.

Guest's picture

I would use the money to replaced my kitchen appliances. The appliances needs to be updated and energy saver.

Guest's picture

My husband stresses out all the time that we don't have an emergency fund. He works so hard at his two jobs and we recently used all our extra money to fix both of our cars (over $2,500). I think having $2,000 in savings would help him relax and enjoy time with our two beautiful boys this Christmas.

Guest's picture
Christi Stagno

I'm making my attempt to win this money becuase I never win anything, I am one of those who just doesn't have any "luck." So here it husband and I have been married almost six months and my promise to him when we got engaged was that I would do everything I could to get out of my credit card debt. Even when we were saving to pay for our own wedding, our mortgage and other bills, I was still able to cut my debt in half. I went from having debt on nine, yes nine, credit cards to now 3! If I win this money, every penny will go toward my remaining debt so my husband will worry a bit less about my debt and how it consumes my life. Thanks!

Guest's picture

I would plan an overnight trip with my husband and daughter to see the Vogel collection at the National Gallery (modern art collected inexpensively), then buy a treat for all: a new model train for my husband, a pottery kit for my daughter, and some luscious yarn for myself. The rest would go for a rainy day.

Guest's picture

With $2,000. I'd pay our mortgage and make sure we keep the house, since my husband's business went under and we're BOTH job hunting right now. Thanks!!!

Guest's picture

It would go into my straw-bale cabin fund! I've been saving to buy a small piece of acreage in Northern California on which to retire. Over time, I'll invest in the land itself, a well or water cachement system, a solar electric system, and a straw bale house, and I'll pay for everything as I go. My own house, mortgage-free!

Guest's picture
Mike Carroll

I would use the winnings to ride my motorcycle to the Four Corners of the USA in less than 21 days this spring. Mike "Poet" Carroll

Guest's picture
Sage Norbury

I soon will be 61 and have no retirement savings. So, I'd put the money in an IRA and invest it. I'd like to be able to slow down my working at some point.

I have an acupuncture practice and things have been very slow in this economy. Since insurance doesn't pay for my services, patients have to pay from discretionary income. Needless to say, times are tough and business is slow.

This is a great thing you're doing. I hope I win.


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I would use it for my daughters tutor, to help her get caught up with her schooling.

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If I had $2000, I'd pay off my credit card bill! I hate to be in debt and we've had a rough patch during which it's been necessary to put all our expenses on the card. I can't wait to get that bill paid off!

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I would pay off $1,000 of debt, and give the other $1,000 to the Green Street Arts Center. The center provides in-need students great afterschool programming and is in finacial need:

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if i received the $2000 i would put it towards paying of debt so that i could try and buy my first home in 2010!

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If I win the $2000.00 I will give some money away, save some money and even spend alittle bit. I would pay down some debt about $1500.00, give away $400.00 to my church or other great non-profit such as red cross or habitat for humanity and I would get my wife some quality coffee.

thanks for the option.

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My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for 2 years. We would put that money toward fertility treatments that we will be starting up again in the New Year.

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Well this is the thing, I am a Mom of 3 boys and something always seems to happen to mess up my budget. The smart thing to do would be to put the money in savings towards our emergency fund.

Honestly though, I can see Cruise deals in my head as we speak. I am sure I would look for the best deal and take the kids on a 4 or 5 day cruise to the Bahamas. They are all teenagers and they grow up so fast!

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I have been struggling with trying to get into the frugality mindset because our family is going through a terribly nasty divorce. He gets what-she gets what-who pays what and who gets the kids. It's all very surreal, painful and overwhelming. I have been working to get to the place where I can manage my budget and my two kids on my own. Right away, I know a few places where this dough will come in handy: My teenage daughter needs a new mattress and box springs. She is sleeping on a 20 year old full size bed (still fairly good, but not firm enough for her back). My son, who is 12 and taller than me is sleeping on a twin. Remember that scene in Fred Claus where Fred is sleeping on the elf bunk bed? That's my son, Jack. So at least one mattress set. Then...I have three small credit cards and and a dental bill to pay. I know, I cards are a menace. I have three cards with balances just under $300. Paying off these three cards, putting a dent in the dental bill and buying a comfortable bed for my teenager would go a long way towards peace of mind for this soon-to-be-single mom.

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First I would give $100 to a refugee resettlement charity that I volunteer with. That $100 could buy a houseful of secondhand linens and dishes for a family coming to this country with nothing. I would use the remaining $1,900 to pay down my debt. It's not an exciting answer until you consider everything that I could accomplish after that debt is reduced. A $2000 dent in my debt would put me 4 months closer to being able to save for my retirement, for my son's college education, and for tuition and books for my master's program. $2,000 would put me $2,000 closer to so many goals, and to showing my son what it's like to pursue a dream.

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I would use the money to buy a safer car for my two kids and I. The one I'm driving isn't safe and it scares me to drive it sometimes. Thank you.

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In 2008 my daughter gave birth to a beautiful daughter but she was 10 weeks early. Since then, it has been a constant struggle for my son-in-law & daughter to financially stay afloat. I would pass this $2000 on to them.

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I would pay off one of our 2 credit cards (which we aren't using anymore). Would still be in (too much) debt, but that's a start towards getting out of debt.

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I would use the money to hire a web designer to design me a blog for teaching musician's ways to use social media to further their career. Then over time I would hopefully build up a readership and that money will have helped me on my way to sustained profitability!

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$500 to World Vision fund
$500 to Sallie Mae loan
$500 to Chase card
$500 to monthly bills because we're out of work
and $500 to my wonderful husband, who would give it back to me, who would put it toward more bills.

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Jennifer Woosley

With $2000 I would probably pay up my bills for a few months. It would be so nice to not have to worry about paying bills for two months and living with no cares in the world. Thats priceless.

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We're considering a big move, which in turn would involve selling our house (yes, in this market) and also a new rental/purchase. We don't expect to walk away from the sale with much, if any, cash, so we could REALLY use $2000 toward this move!

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Jennifer Tischer

I would finish remodeling our bathroom, which is in shambles and purchase baby gear that we so desparately need! $2000 would allow me to take a few more weeks of maternity leave as well.

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Jennifer Tischer

I would finish remodeling our bathroom, which is in shambles. I would also purchase baby gear that we so desparately need! $2000 would allow me to take a few extra weeks of maternity leave as well!

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I would use the money to get invisalign on my teeth.

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Cathy R

If I had an additional $2000, I would do three things:
1) Hold enough back in a savings account to handle the tax obligation
2) Put at least $1000 towards paying down some debt
3) Use what is left to pay for massage therapy (that my medical insurance doesn't cover) to help alleviate some of the issues I have from my genetic collagen defect that has lead to chronic pain and muscular tension/knots/spasms

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I would put it towards some more lessons in cake decorating. I'm getting pretty good and $2k worth of cake lessons might just send me over the edge into a fulfilling career!

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I'd go to Vegas and blow it all! Just kidding.

What I'd really do is add it to my anemic emergency fund.

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Sarah Cary

I was "downsized" a couple of months ago so I would pay the mortgage with it. This recession is making me broke and boring!

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Sarah Cary

I would pay my mortgage. I was downsized after 10 years of service a few months ago. This recession is making me broke and boring!

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I have been saving up for an engagement ring for about a year now and if I won the $2000, that would mean I don't need extra financing that some of these ring places are pushing on me.
Of course, with my savings I will have about half of the $2000 left over which is going straight into my emergency fund.
Oh did I add that I am a current graduate student (graduate student being synonymous with Ramen-eating and penny-pinching) :-)

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I'd use the money to take my stay-at-home-mom wife on a Caribbean vacation. She organized our effort to become debt-free and she raises my two wonderful daughters. What two things could possibly make her more deserving?

For my wife's sake...PICK ME! (sorry for the shameless begging)

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I am okay with savings and emergency fund.

I want to cut the cord to Comcast, so I would spend part of the $2000 on getting some things I need for alternate TV viewing - an HDTV to replace my 20-year old tv, a Dell Inspiron Zino, and a Netflix subscription. I'd put the rest (approximately $500) into a fund to prepare for some car repairs I expect in the next 9-12 months. Oh, and I'd take the $100 I'm *not* spending on cable each month and donate half to SPCA and spend half on a meal out.

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With $2K, I would pay down my car loan. If I win I will pledge to match $2K of my own money to match that payment. My goal next year is to go a full year without eating out in order to put all the $ I would have spent eating out on paying off my car loan. What a great head start this $ would be.

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I would use the $2,000 to invest in the small consulting engineering company that I work for. I have recently been asked to become a partner in the firm, and $2,000 would certainly be helpful for those plans!