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

One of my goals next year is to start graduate school. I'm not going to take out loans, which means I may only go part-time. $2000 would be a fantastic addition to my tuition fund.

Guest's picture

I would use it for a down payment on a new gas efficient vehicle. I'm tired of being chained to my gas guzzler.

Guest's picture
Tim Harrington

I would pay for all my wife's flights to interviews for her internship year (she's a Psy.D. candidate). Then I would take her out to dinner when it's all over, and reserve a campsite for a summer road trip before the big move.

Guest's picture

On December 31 I'm moving from my small Kansas town to Washington DC! So I'd use $2,000 for costs associated with moving, including trucking and stocking the new pad with the necessities.

Guest's picture
Delrina M

I would use $300-$400 to buy a laptop for school & put the remainder into my student loan. Need that laptop for school but can't afford one. I have 3 teens and am caring for my nephews 6 month old daughter since him and his wife are having a hard time right now. I have no money!

Guest's picture
Delrina M

I forgot to mention I had asked for a laptop for Christmas last year and didn't get one. I don't expect to this year either since our income hasn't changed. :(

Guest's picture
Angel H.

I know that $2,500 doesn't seem like very much, but it would do soooo much for me!

The first thing I would do is pay off my credit card bill ($600). Then, I would go ahead and buy the textbooks I need for my next semester in college ($200). I would use $1000 to buy a laptop for school, and I would put the remaining $700 in savings for an apartment so I can move out of my dad's house.

I've never had that much money at one time, and I would be oh so grateful if I were given the chance!

Best of luck to everyone!

Guest's picture

I would use the money to help pay off stupid car loans

Guest's picture

I would take the $2000 and donate it to Operation Smile. With the recession, charities have been hit especially hard and Operation Smile is a great organization that donates surgeries to repair cleft palate, cleft lip, and other facial deformities. The deformities make it difficult for babies and children to get nutrients, not to mention the social stigma of a cleft palate.

If I were to win this, please donate the funds directly to Operation Smile. An operation costs as little as $240 and $2,000 would cover at least 8 operations. Eight children will be able to live normal lives because of Billshrink and Wise Bread.

Guest's picture

It is simple, I would use it to get through the next few months while hoping that the construction business picks up again. We have a high school senior this year that has extra expenses such as SAT exams and college applications as well.

Guest's picture

Retire a couple of CC balances. Rather old school/old hat, but short, simple, & effective.

Guest's picture

I'd put away enough to pay any taxes....then I'd book
a trip to Norway to see my niece get married this summer!

Guest's picture
Donna B.

I am morbidly obese, and I have been most of my life and have several co-morbidities (I would be happy to provide any documentation or detailed information offline).

I've wanted to have gastric bypass surgery for a couple of years but it's specifically excluded by my employer's medical plan. I recently have found a local, reputable doctor who performs lap band surgery (with a very good track record) and I found out my insurance coverage would pay for that. My out-of-pocket expenses for the psychiatric evaluations, nutritionist consults, 1st year of post-op care (including fills) and co-pays is roughly $1300.

I would use the $2000 to cover these expenses, and put the remainder into a emergency fund in case there are any complications or to cover any shortfall from my STD while I'm out recouperating. If this isn't needed, I'll spend a portion of it for a new wardrobe (which I'll need once I lose weight!)

I try to live a fiscally-responsible life and will find a way to have the surgery without this prize, but it would definitely make it easier! This prize would literally change not only my life, but also change the lives of my family and friends who worry about me.

Thank you for considering my request.

donna at simplydab dot com

Guest's picture

Can I do it all? Keep stretching all the $$? Looking for job, no unemployment (child support, food stamps, plasma donations). Debts aren't bad yet. Trying to stay in the house. It's going to work out.

But winning the $2K would make the light shine so much brighter. 1) Pay credit cards off 2) Emergency funds 3) One (not expensive, but nice) dinner out with the kids 4) Carry on breathing easier :)

Guest's picture
Crystal cook

If I win this contest, I'll save half and pay down credit card debt with the other half.

Guest's picture

Invest in my home: some paint, some porch rails, some new flooring.

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Jill Hayes

There is a young family in our neighborhood who's husband just got laid off and I have helped them out would be nice to win this money to help put that money back in my pocket because I couldn't really afford to help them, but felt so bad for the 2 little babies that I felt it was necessary. Now I am struggling. But so it goes. Thanks for the chance to recoup some money from helping out others.

Guest's picture
John Prokos

I am an an expat living and working in the villages of Nepal and we are living off my capital in the USA, but it's running out. This $2,000 would keep us in Nepal at least an extra year as living here is very inexpensive and much can be done with $2,000 when used wisely.

Guest's picture

The responsible me would merge it with what we have saved as a down payment on our home. The rowdy me would then quit my job because we could live off responsible husbands income ( then get bored and work part time)

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Johannah B

I would put it towards a new deck. Ours is currently and literally on it's last leg!

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Rebecca Ricker

If I won $2000 if would promptly park it at my credit union in anticipation of an emergency. I don't see any on the horizon, but one is sure to hit. At 43 years old, I'm finally ready to be a "big girl" and think ahead!

Guest's picture

That $2000 would buy a trailer to park outside our home for a childcare helper and home business assistant to live in exchange for the rent of the trailer. We can really use the help!

Guest's picture

I would help my granddaughter pay tuition. Can you remember the financial strain while you were trying to get an education? Do you still have monstrously-large student loans that are outstanding?
$2000 would be a gift that my granddaughter would appreciate greatly and which I could not afford to do unless I'm lucky enough to win it here.

Guest's picture

Well, there are many good things I could do with that amount of money but I would take my wonderful daughter, who just turned 28, on a long wished for trip to Ireland. I never had money to take her on vacations while she was growing up and then, when she was in junior high I was diagnosed with MS which prevented me from working any longer so winning this would be a dream come true for both of us. She has been the best daughter ever!

Guest's picture

I would take half of it and put that towards my savings for first/last/security deposit for an apartment of my own, then use the rest to find some way of thanking my parents for letting me live with them.

Guest's picture

$2,000 would give me enough money to justify a few road trips from NYC to Boston and perhaps Philidelphia. Provided the wife and I can stretch our budget with hostels and using public transit while visiting those cities, we'll be able to dump the rest of the money to pay off some of the interest on my wife's student loans (she is currently in school) to avoid it compounding later.

Guest's picture
Mariel Martinez

When I have the 2000 $, the first thing in my head would be to pay my mom´s bills and debt (about 500 dollars)
The second thing would be to stock up food for emergencies for my mother, my boyfriend and me (about 500 $ more) and then, make the repairs my house and my car need to function in a more efficient way (about 600 $) and finally, buy food to deliver in churches and give away to some of my family. That is all I need to be happy and feel tranquility... MOTHER BEING OK, FOOD AND TO HELP OTHERS WHO WOULD BE VERY HAPPY TO HAVE MY SO CALL PROBLEMS...

Guest's picture

I would really love to buy the laptop I could really use. But I would give money to my son for his tuition and/or transportation to school. Im not with them right now and out of work for the first time in 30 years, so they are really feeling the effects of all this.

Guest's picture

I'd like to lie to you and myself and say I'd do something wise and noble like paying off my credit card, paying down my "pet" student loans or padding my emergency fund. If I'm being completely honest with us both, I'd probably splurge and take my kids on the Disney trip they've been begging for (and we'll never be able to afford) before they're too old to enjoy that magical place. So sue me for wanting money to be "fun" once in awhile too, right?

Guest's picture

I will use money for vacation in the Dominican Republic. Will also take time to see family that I have there.

Guest's picture

We need to replace carpet in the living room - the large urine stain that by dog left is an eyesore. With 3 kids and a dog, carpet that is stain resistant would be an investment. Rest would go towards paying off bills.

Guest's picture

take the Money and fly to Germany and visit my Family and Friends and hit every Bakery and Bratwurst Stand on the way :) Its been a long time !

Guest's picture

I would help my daughter pay her bills. She is 24 and made some credit card mistakes, the same kind of mistakes many young people make when first starting out on their own. She is in a bind now, and I am on a limited retirement income and unable to help. $2000 would be enough to pay off what she owes and give her a fresh start. It is not a good feeling to have bill collectors hounding you and I know this would help reduce her stress level. She lost her full time job and is working part time while she is looking for another job. She had to move back home with me meanwhile, at least I can help her out in that way. But to be able to help her pay off her credit card bills would be uplifting for both of us. I think she has learned something and would now know better than to get herself in that kind of situation again.

Guest's picture

I would have no trouble finding a home for it! I've been paying off 2 hospital bills from the past year and we had to make some repairs to our home, a new roof and downstairs carpeting, and nothing comes cheap. My husband needed major repairs on his truck but had to do it because buying a new one would be too much for us right now. Things have been so tight that we opted not to buy Christmas presents this year. If all that weren't bad enough, his ex-wife took him to court multiple times and managed to squeeze out more insurance money for her in case anything happens to him, plus an increase in alimony! It has not been our year. :(

Guest's picture
Janine Willis

Would put 1/2 toward a new (used) car as DH's is on it's last legs.

Would use the other half for an IRA.

Guest's picture

$2,500 dollars to change the world by taking care of myself! Thich Nhat Hanh once said, "Let's take care of each other by taking care of ourselves," and I am taking this as my personal motto for the next two years. Two years ago, I ran my own business working with autistic children, when my mother was dying, I shut it down, moved home, and took care of her. I loved my work, but the hours were long, my pay sporadic and I had no health insurance and scoffed at 401k plan. I decided to go back to school for nursing, and am currently in a two year program. I plan to take no loans out on this, and this money would pay for my first portion, LPN school. I would use it to pay tuition and books for my future! By taking care of myself, relieving myself of money insecurities, I would be taking care of the world.

Thank you.

Guest's picture

I know it's not sexy, but I'd use it to make a small dent in my student loans that just came due.

Guest's picture

I would give $1000 to my parents who are hurting right now from my dad not having a job due to his shoulders having surgery on to help pay off some of their debt.
The other $1,000 I would use getting my kids some new clothes as they don't have any winter clothing.

Guest's picture
Lisa G

I would buy my husband a shed for our backyard as we have a one car garage which won't fit the car in with his snow blower and lawn mower. Plus the many things in there very hard to get around let alone a car in there. This way he could put all his tools in the shed to give room to finally have room to walk and park a car in there :)

Guest's picture
Leanne G.

If I won $2000, I would use it to pay the back property taxes that I owe on my home. It sure would be nice to win some money!

Guest's picture

I would put the $2000.00 into the English program I am developing. This program has the potential to dramatically change the lives of urban students. After working on my program for 3 years, I am ready to launch it into the larger academic community.

Guest's picture

I would like to say I'd save it, or use it all for a noble cause... that's probably what will win. But the truth is that my US Army Ret. husband is 63 and I'm 50, and we work pretty much 24/7 running our bed-and-breakfast (The Elkhorn Inn & Theatre in Landgraff, WV), and we're POOPED! And right now we're in the middle of THE snowstorm and it's colder than a well-diggger's fundament out there! I would LOVE- and I do mean LOVE- to be able to take my husband on a wonderful, romantic holiday someplace WARM- and that is what I'd hopefully be able to do with a good chunk of that money! And I'd like to make a donation to the USO and LIBI, as these are organizations that have helped us, and it would be nice to be able to give a bit back...

Guest's picture

We have no credit card debt and only $4,000 in student loan (and a mortgage), so I wouldn't put it toward debt. I'd actually save it for a rainy day, since rain is threatening. I've been a stay at home mom, but my husband's business has been hit hard this year and we're struggling. Although I've been looking for a job in my field, no luck so far. We're living frugally but using some capital to survive, so that can't go on for long. I may be forced to take "any" job. This could forestall that and give me more time to get my final credential and find something in my field.

Guest's picture

I would use the money to pay off and then CLOSE one of my two credit card accounts. Then I would only have one left to pay off. Both are at their limits, and since I can only afford to pay one regularly, the late and over-limit fees add up. I never ever get ahead.
If I only had one left, I feel like I could afford the payments and there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. Since I'm going to be taking a pay cut in Jan. 2010 at my job, after having already taken an hours cut - I'm wondering how I will pay even one of them with any regularity.
It would be cool to build good credit instead of bad feelings for a change.

Guest's picture
Vicky Carlson

With $2000 I would pay off one of my credit cards. It would be a huge relief!

Guest's picture
Vicky Carlson

My twitter name is @tea4two20

Guest's picture

I'd use part of the $2000 to pay off my relatively small credit card debt and use another, larger portion to switch my book review business from completely online to a monthly print issue. Whatever was left would get split between repairs on my secondhand furniture and a highly anticipated week-long summer getaway with friends.

Guest's picture
Pamela B

Of course, like many others, some would go towards debt for the medical bills of our 3 children; the rest would be to take our children (all with disabilities) to DisneyWorld.....we've always dreamed about it, but never think it's ever gonna happen! thanks for the chance!

Guest's picture
T. Danielle

Quite simply, I would tithe $200. The remaining $1,800 would go directly to my emergency fund to replenish the hit it took to replace my totaled car.

Guest's picture

Pay my tuition. I am a full time student, mother of three boys, wife, and I work. I am taking an extra class this semester (total of 15 credit hours)so I will be attending classes Tues- Sunday in addition to working.

Guest's picture

Sorry if this is a repost but im not seeing my initial post! If I won 2K i'd pay my tuition... Im a mother of 3 boys, I go to school full time (6 days a week), and I work. My husband is military and is gone alot!

Guest's picture

The only debt I'm in right now is some minor school loan payments that I have to deal with. But as of right now, I'm saving as much money up as I can on a minimum wage job to pay off an engagement ring so I can propose to my girlfriend of two years. what is left would go into savings to either help pay off our student loans or go towards a down payment on a house.

Guest's picture
Liz N.

My husband and I have over $250,000 in student loans (only $15,000 of that is mine -- his med school was expensive!).

I would use the money to first pay off our credit cards, then put the remainder (probably around $500) towards making a tiny dent in our student loan bills. It would seem like a tiny drop in the bucket, but every little bit counts!

Guest's picture

I'd do a couple different things- some I would give to a family we helped out with Christmas since they are still struggling and haven't found work yet, and the rest would go towards fixing both my car and Ken's car as his is on its last legs and mine is not working at all- with a large family that's not a good thing at all- and about $1500 would get them both safe to drive again.

Guest's picture

If I won, I'd pay some bills. I'd give my mother some money.
If anything was left I'd buy a new pair of shoes.

Guest's picture

I would put the $2500 in my savings account for now and be very grateful! When I find another job, I will use that money (and the collected interest) to pay off my car. The leftovers will go to paying off my credit card. I might save a little bit to put towards visiting my dad in Wyoming later in the year.

Guest's picture

I would buy my family Christmas presents. My family (mom, dad, sister, and in-laws) have always been so generous at the Christmas season and this year (for the second year in a row) due to a job loss, my husband and I will be receiving gifts but not able to give. I am thankful for my supportive family and I wish I could spoil them this time of year.

Guest's picture

I would be paying off a long overdue bill!

Guest's picture

I would buy a bigger vehicle for my family of 5 so we would all have a seatbelt. Or i would by a nice big t.v and donate the rest to a battered women's shelter.

Guest's picture

I would use the $2,000 to build up two emergency funds. The first would be for my wife and I, and the second would be my mothers. She is close to retirement age and hasn't financially recovered from her marriage/divorce to a man addicted to drugs.

Guest's picture

I work for a youth ministry located in the heartland, St Joseph, Missouri. The majority of youth I work with come from low income living and are in the poverty class. Every year our youth ministry goes to summer camp. Many of our teens want to go but are unable. In the past our church would sponsor the kids and "take one of the team" so to speak, but this year that wont be possible. I would use this money to sponsor the kids in our youth group who were unable to pay to go.

Guest's picture

I would throw 1000 dollars at child support so I wouldnt have to worry for about 2 months. The other 1000 I would pay my credit card bills(I pay in full in each month)

Guest's picture

I would use it to pay off my medical bills from my emergency apendectomy!!

Guest's picture

I would invest $2,000.00 in my daughter's mouth for braces. I formerly worked as a Records Analyst, Administrative Coordinator, & Sales Representative up until four years ago when my mom had a stroke. My income has been significantly reduced to under $700.00 monthly for two people and I'm not able to afford to give my daughter the smile she deserves!

Guest's picture

Since I have been sick for the better part of 6 years, I haven't had the chance to go to school-Sure I graduated high school by the skin of my teeth, but I have been too sick to attend college. I would use the $2,000 to do what I really want and study holistic healing so I can help others like myself.

Thank you for this giveaway!

Guest's picture
Patricia Treskovich

If i won this prize, I'd use the money to buy presents for relatives, who helped care for my Mom during her 7 1/2 years of a serious illness. Any money left would go toward her memorial plaque for her grave.

Guest's picture

With $2000 I would probably buy myself one nice thing I've been wanting for a while, like a new watch, or a new espresso maker (something under a couple hundred dollars). That way I don't feel deprived, like I have all this money and I can't do anything with it. The rest I would probably divide between debt payments and a high-interest savings account. It would help build up my emergency fund, and pay down a good chunk of the debt I have left from when I was unemployed a year and a half ago. With the higher-interest account, I would have access to it in case of emergencies, as opposed to putting it in a CD where I can't get to it if I need it. Whatever I would do with it, it's more money than I make in a month, so it would be very much appreciated!!

Guest's picture

No questions asked I would use the 2,000 to pay down my credit card debt. I've been using the snowball method to pay down my credit cards and the $2,000 would help me pay off one card entirely! I want to be able to start saving money on a monthly basis instead of paying interest!

Thanks for the opportunity!

Guest's picture

No questions asked I would use the 2,000 to pay down my credit card debt. I've been using the snowball method to pay down my credit cards and the $2,000 would help me pay off one card entirely! I want to be able to start saving money on a monthly basis instead of paying interest!

Thanks for the opportunity!

Guest's picture
Joyce Bogoian

I'd invest it!

Guest's picture
Debbie B

My daughter is in her Senior year in college and I would definitely apply the $2,000.00 toward her tuition. It is my goal that she graduate from college with as little student loan debt as possible.

Guest's picture

I haven't had an honest to goodness vacation since 2000. I would take $1500 and take 4 days in Paris in May 2010 (yes, I have priced it out before... I can dream!)

The other $500 goes to a "family day" (my parents and brother) - a big dinner out and whatever else they'd like to do, maybe an amusement park or another kind of treat.

Guest's picture

I would use it to start a college fund for 4yr old granddaughter

Guest's picture
Carolyn Barnett

Hi there,Thank you for having this giveaway.If i won,I would repair our deck which is pretty rotten with holes in it and the rails are wobbly.

Guest's picture
Irene DeBerg

I would use the money to help my friend who just got laid off for the first time in his life. He has always done so much for myself, my children and grandchildren, that I would like to help him now. Have a Blessed Christmas!

Guest's picture
James Rogers

We are in the process of building a house and getting a combined construction and mortgage loan. By using the $2,000 we can either pay for some of the closing costs, or better yet, pay for points to lower our long term interest rate on a 30 year mortage. This way the $2K can go a longer way towards saving us money; not a short term pleasure, but a 30 year savings investment.


Guest's picture
amy lewis

$2000 would mean the world to me!
I am a disabled veteran and am looking to get back on track after losing a limb but not my life! Unfortunately, I have accrued large medical bills outside of what the VA can help me with, and I would love to be able to pay down some of my debt and return back to school to become a nurse.
This money would be a gift that would only add to my pride in serving my country and protecting our freedom--it would mean a new start for a humbled Vet, mom & friend.
Thanks for the opportunity!


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I would put the $2000 into our house savings fund. We sold our house to move out-of-state and I wish I hadn't taken owning our own home for granted. I can't wait to have a house that is actually ours again.

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dawn hild

My breakdown of what I would do with the 2k, is as follows:
$350 set aside for taxes, right up front.
(I don't want to make the same mistake as that "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch, and piss off the IRS.)
$150 to take my family out for a nice dinner.
(Especially to celebrate my oldest son's recent engagement, me finishing my cancer treatment, and my youngest son making it through another semester of college.)
$200 donation to my church's Matthew 25 pantry.
(Which provides food and household supplies to families in need.)
$50 to buy beautiful bouquets of flowers for the two women (Donna and Shelly) that run the office of my husbands employer -the city of Waterloo Street Department.
(Because those ladies put up with a lot from the guys!)
$300 to buy my youngest son, who will be graduating from college this summer, his first real suit.
(Got to look good to find a job... especially these days.)
$300 to buy some baby equipment for my soon-to-be-born first grandchild.
$150 for the oldest son to get a dental check-up.
(No insurance where he works and it's probably been 4 or 5 years since he has had a check-up.)
And with the final $500...
A 3-day weekend get-away for my husband Craig and I.
It's been a long year with the uterine and breast cancer.
He has been such a supportive husband.
More than I actually ever dreamed he could be.
Twenty-nine years of marriage and I'm still learning new things about my Craig!
That is exactly what I would do with the 2k.
Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year for us all!!!!

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i want money to have my owne money and begin little business ; because in my contry there is not jobs if you hava not uncle in some business i just want to rise my mony and do samething what will make this f..kin system disepiar and rise jobs in my contry(sorry for mybad english ==))

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Billy D Taylor

I am having shoulder surgery in a couple of weeks to fix a SLAP tear. The doctor's have taken me off full duty at work and there's no light duty work available. I am the main source of income for our family of five (a thirteen year old boy, 2 and 4 year old precious little girl's) and we could really use the money to help pay the bills for the next 4-5 months during my recovery. The injury happened at work so we are praying that workmans comp will accept my claim, and they only pay 60% of my wages. So if workmans comp doesn't come through then me and my family may be homeless for awhile. Unlke a lot of people, we have no family and friends that can help us.

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jules L

I would use it to pay off some credit card debt..

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I would use the $2000 to help pay off my student loans since I'm in college.

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Steven Janiak

First off, I would buy a bunch of candy. After eating said candy, during a major sugar buzz, I would brainstorm and write down all the possibilities for the money on a sheet of yellow paper, in red ink. Then I would rip that paper up and toss it into the fireplace. At that point, I would call my collection agency and tell them if they want the money, they need to work with me, play the game, as it were. I would offer them a decent amount of the money, and also recommend some sort of bribe to the agent, then laugh nervously when he rejects it. After all that I would send some of the money with a bag of candy and a picture of myself. In the picture, I would have pulled my empty pockets inside out and let them dangle while I was making a sad clown face.

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nick piccininni

with 2,000 dollars i would give 1,000 to my parents for troubles n 1,000 for my self to do watever with like buy my first car

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We would save it toward a new(er) truck for my husband! We don't buy on credit and his current truck is a 1988- time for one in the last decade perhaps? LOL! I'm sarahsmom32 on twitter! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

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Judy Bradley

I am looking at an opportunity to travel to several times this year in conjunction with family events, one is to Japan where a son is stationed with the Navy and baby being born, one is to Washington Olympic Pennisula with friend to see her brother, in May a new grandbaby and grandson graduation in Iowa, and for a grand daughter's wedding in August again in Iowa. Life is too short not to keep up with family and friends. I live in Florida so all of these events require quite a trip.

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Lisa C

I would use the money to visit my family in Florida. The holidays just aren't the same without them here with me.

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My weakness is travel. I found a bargain 7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise for only $399 p/person. I would book for my family of 5, and would enjoy 7 fabulous days of fun, sun and cruise ship food...$2000 well spent!

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Shelita Sells

If I was to win the $2,000 give-away. I would spend it in my household since I just purchased a home for me and my fifteen year old daughter. It would be a great help for me to put some comfort into our new residence.

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monica saldana

This would be the addition to completing one survival semester of college. It's hard finding a realistic way to pay for college when you don't have any co-signers. I've learned that being a national honor society member, high school presdient and straight A student while having 2 umemployed parents just isn't enough when finding a way towards your dreams

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zebron watts


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Emilia Buddle

The first thing I will do when I win the $2000.00 is be inmensely greatful to the sponsor. The second will be to pay off my next to last outstanding credit card, (1 more to go - and will be debt free by 6/2010. The third and last thing that I will do is to use the balance $200.00 to take myself and my two children to eat a well deserved meal.

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Staci Brown

I would spend $2000 to pay off credit card debt so that I would be in better financial shape to send my son to the private high school at which I teach. I have spent my whole life trying to provide the best education for other people's high school students and this would help me provide the same for my own son.

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I would take that $2000 to Atlantic City and use it as my bankroll to play video poker. I'm a great player and this would enable me to play the high stakes machines. With my winnings, I'm going to take that Mediterrean cruise I've had my eye on.

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With a $2000 gift/prize I would purchase a CSA share and a gift CSA share where the farmer chooses the recipient. The rest would go to expanding our own garden so that I can put more food up for my family. I really like knowing where my food comes from.

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If i would win those 2000$ i would probably give half of them to one of the really good charity event ( ) . The other half i would use to fund my last year of college education, i was forced to renounce it in my 2nd year because my mother got sick and i had to take care of her.
In the end i guess there might be people that need these 2000$ much more than us here posting from a computer, and i hope the sum goes in the right hands. Happy holidays to everyone, and to everyone a good year.

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Ann A

I would spend the $2000 on a plane ticket to visit our family in Benin, Africa. Our kids have never met their grandparents there and we would to have a family trip there.

@unluckymrsmom on Twitter

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If I were to win the money I would replace our washer and dryer. Our current set is over 10 years old and has been repaired numerous times. It works okay but the dryer takes three cycles to get anything dry. The washer wobbles ridiculously hard and shakes the whole laundry room. With two active little boys I need a reliable washer and dryer to keep their clothes clean.

I would also like to purchase a laptop. I have never had one and our current desktop is a home built computer that is slow and outdated.

Thank you for the chance to win. Many blessings to everyone who enters!

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Josh Cookfair

I just brought my wife over to the U.S on a k1 visa (fiance visa) and we got married a few weeks ago. Now we have to do a change of status and a work permission form which is going to cost us around 1200 dollars. With her not being able to work yet and me only working 4-5 hours a day it is difficult to come up with the extra cash. So I would use that money to pay for the forms and to help support her until she can go back to work.