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

How would I spend $2,000? -- honestly, I'd use about half to put a sizable dent in my credit cards and dedicate 2010 to paying off the rest ('debt snowball' style).

I would put the remainder in savings -- towards a college fund for my toddler and his soon-to-be little brother (due in April, Lord willing).

Guest's picture

I would love to have enough money to pay for my first semester of grad school without taking out too many loans. This would give me a great headstart, at almost 50% of the cost of a semester in the med school I'm applying to.

Guest's picture

I have always wanted to study abroad and this money would allow me to do that before I finish college. I've dreamed of going to Italy for years and have recently been researching programs in Florence. I would love to be able go!

Guest's picture

With $2000 i would buy my girlfriend the expensive gift i couldn't afford for christmas, i would tell her this gift is just to show you how much i love you, and with the rest i would put it away for my books for next semester, and also buy some some equipment for my computer like a mic and new speakers i make beats and my included mic and speakers are worn out and in need of replacing.

Guest's picture

Perfect timing! Just today I sold some stock in my taxable account. That and $2000 from this month's paycheck gives me $10,000 for my 2010 Roth IRAs. But, because we're over 50 another $2000 from this contest would make it $12,000. Precisely the maximum contribution for us oldies in 2010.

Why wait. Max out your IRA contribution in the first month of the year! With the Roth all those gains are forever tax-free! For me that was a 49% return in 2009! Ok, lets not talk about 2008 returns...

Guest's picture

...I could add to our finish-getting-through-graduate-school fund. My husband has 7 months left until he finishes his doctorate. I've worked the early shift at coffee shops and cleaned houses (and juggled 2 children) and we've managed for 2 1/2 years to keep a little in our emergency account. $2000 would ensure we don't go in to debt before graduation!

Guest's picture

If I already had $2000, I'd give it to my mom and dad, but since I don't and even though some may say that I would be an idiot for doing this, I'd give the $2000 I won to my parents. They deserve it more than me, and it'd really make them happy. That's if they're even willing to accept it from me.

Guest's picture

I've been out of work since Jan 30, 09, with no new job in sight. My credit score is steadily plummeting. I'd use the money to pay off a couple of pesky credit card bills; especially since many employers are doing background and credit checks to determine employment with them.

Waiting to exhale. This would be some relief.

Guest's picture
Bri Adams

I don't often get the use of someone else's money-what a grand (pun intended) idea! $1000 to move a co-worker back into her own apartment which she lost after a serious illness and subsequent financial disaster. $500 toward replacement of my 25 year old bedroom & stairway carpet and $500 toward my frugalista October 2010 trip to ROME!

Guest's picture

What a true Blessing this would be. I'm a struggling mom inventor who is working to make a change in the lives of children who suffers from Nocturnal Enuresis (bed-wetting)

I would use the money to help me with the rest of my manufacturing cost. I have been seeking more funding help for quite sometime now and this would really be great!

Thanks for the chance!

Guest's picture
Michelle S.

With the severe damage in husband's leg it is difficult to walk long distance. By the time the bus trip to work is over leg is already hurting badly. I would put this towards a vehicle so that the 6 of us would be able to travel easier and my husband would get some much needed relief.
Thank you

Guest's picture

With $2,000 I'd go on a second honeymoon to Mexico for my 10-year anniversary in 2010. We could do it for about $1300 since we are frugal travelers. With the remaining $700, we'd donate $200 to Water For People (matched with an extra $200 by my work) and use the rest to pay down our debt.

Guest's picture

I would use it to do at leasr one of the following (in no particular order):
1. Landscape my backyard, aka the weed garden with the deck that's not to code
2. Remodel kitchen by getting new countertops, faucet, paint the cabinets, and add a new backsplash and tile floor
3. Remove the cheap carpet and replace with nice wood floors
4. Update one of my two 1985 bathrooms
5. Donate to a charity that supports animals and/or the less fortunate residents in the community
6. Pay down credit card and loan debt
7. Travel to see family I haven't seen in 2+ years

Guest's picture

I would put it towards my son's college tuition.

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Get new brakes for the car, all the miles put on being supermom for my daughter in college have worn those puppies out. Just started a new job and relocated so I need to catch up on some bills as the old me was in over my head and there are bills to clear up now....

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I'd feel really lucky. I'd put half of it into a 529 for my little monkey, and donate the other half to heifer international.

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I could take my 84 year old mother to her favorite place on earth: Disney World!

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$2000? I'd stick it straight into a mutual fund and not touch it until I retire. I've got 30 years until then so I can deal with market ups and downs for the time being. :)

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My husband and I remodeled our bathroom this summer for about $3000.00 dollars. We took it down to the studs and made two small rooms into 1 large room. Then we bought a stackable washer and dryer, so we totally depleted our bank accounts to make this happen. I would put that money right back into the accounts so I could feel safe again.

Guest's picture

With an extra $2,000, I would do one of many projects pending since my husband left me (and his five lovely daughters) 10 years ago, seeking greener pastures (which really don't exist): maybe hire an electrician to repair and upgrade fixtures; or replace the aging kitchen floor; or begin repairs on the roof; or replace the old fridge. Not a very glamorous use of money, is it?

Guest's picture

500- Give the money to 5 random people I find doing good deeds.

500- Will build something with my hands that will benefit my family

500- I Will Buy Fluenz/Rosetta Stone to learn a second language

500- Refinish the hardwoods in my home.


Guest's picture

$2000 would let me pay off my highest interest rate student loan. With that gone, I could put the $200/mo I currently budget for that loan towards my wedding savings account. Getting married would mean my fiance's very traditional mother would treat me like a daughter instead of her son's roommate. Being accepted by his family would truly be a blessing.

Guest's picture

Social Security is my only income and bills have been piling up. I would use the money to catch up on medical and other bills and pay a deposit to have the heat turned on again in my home. It ould be so nice not to have to worry about every penny and be warm this winter.

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I would buy an Around the World ticket and some orthopedic insoles since I have flat feet.

Guest's picture

I lost my online business in a divorce 2 years ago. I picked myself up, and I'm successful at freelance right now, but I'd really love to get a new business in place.

If I won this money, it would be used to carve out some time for development of my own business project.

Guest's picture

I cut costs and saved every penny I could in 2009 toward a down payment for a home. With the $8000 deduction extended I will be buying sooner than I thought, $2000 would go a long way in covering my closing costs.

Guest's picture

I would use the money to help with medical school tuition.

Guest's picture

I would pay $1,000 on my credit card, sponsor 2 more wolves at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary ($250), donate $250 to the Roadrunner Foodbank, give $100 to my daughters and my husband and spend the remaining $200 on books and Noro yarn for me.

Guest's picture
Taleena Kranz

Sadly, my husband was laid off 2 days ago. So, I would use this money as an umbrella because it is raining at our house!

Guest's picture

How i would use $2000 is to help my husband get home to Ghana Accra to bury his mom she recently passed away and neither of us is working for us to send him home. He hasn't be able to go home since he left in 1998. I praying that there is way I could help him.

Guest's picture
Regina Fobes

I am taking my sibling & myself to Tampa for my 50th birthday. We both live in Maine but haven't gone on vacation together in years. We would have a much better time with more money to play with.

Guest's picture

I would use half or so to pay down credit card debt and bills. I would save the rest to rebuild the emergency fund. My husband took a lower paying job 10 months ago in another state which has put a strain on the finances (not to mention the family).... until the house sells and we can move!

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I would plan a trip to Hawaii to visit my son who is stationed there, before he gets sent elsewhere.

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Barbara Ellen Smith

I would so like to add $2,000 to my talented grandson's college fund. He will not be able to go unless I help. The fund is not growing very fast as I am a retired nurse/teacher on fixed income. He is amazing and one way or another we will make sure he goes.

Guest's picture

I would use the money to get a Roth IRA started for a family member who will be graduating from grad school soon. As much fun as it would be to blow it all on a trip or a fancy schmancy dinner, financial freedom and power is most important for myself and my family. Then in the long-term, the money will grow along with additional contributions to make a significant reserve for his later retirement.

Guest's picture

I would use the money to pay down debt. We still have about 22.0000 in debt to pay and although we are going at it hard, this would really help.

Guest's picture
Toni Jones

I would use it for a deposit on a bigger place to rent because my husband shares a room with our 17 year old son and I share a room with my 15 year old daughter (for almost 2 years now) so that my mother-in-law can have our master bedroom. She is 89 years old with medical issues and needs her own bathroom, she is unable to live alone and can't afford a nursing home. I will say many prayers in hopes of a little more space for all of us before we go crazy!!!

Guest's picture

I will use $2,000 to pay off what remains of my credit card debt, which a year and a half ago was nonexistent, but then they started throwing around the "L" word at work and I decided that having more mortgage payments in my account was better than paying for everything in cash. Sure enough, I got laid off a couple of months later and am now serving in Americorps for a fraction of what I'd been earning and am very very slowly whittling away at my debts. Oh, to have that credit card bill gone would be such a relief!

Guest's picture

I would make my dream come true - i would visit the US for the furst time for a round trip around US.

Guest's picture

I'd pay off the last $650 on my medical bill, buy a tank of fuel oil (approx. $600) and a fat box of excellent quality chocolates, then give the rest to a local food bank. Here in Maine, something like 14% of households need food assistance.

Guest's picture

So, how would I spend $2000.00? As quickly as possible! The whole year I watch what I spend and it would be wonderful to have money to do with whatever I want. I wouldn't tell anyone. I would just let them all wonder how I got that new stove and new stereo and that new ...

Guest's picture

As a grad student, I'd put $1000 to student loans, $500 into the stock market, $300 to blow on clothes and hobbies, and $200 to a charity or church. Now if only I would plan like this for non-windfall money as well...

Guest's picture
Alejandro Rivea

My weakness is travel: so if I had an extra $2000k to spend this year I would use it to travel to China to be one of the last persons to sail down the Yangtze river before the dam is completed. They estimated to be done in 2009, but are a bit delayed. So there is still a chance. Once they flood the river and valleys up the Yangtze river. Hundreds of ancient artifacts, temples and beautiful and unusual rock and landscapes will be buried for ever.

Guest's picture

pay for the economic grad school classes I'd like to take to start my career change and finally do what I truly love. I want to get into a PhD program by next year.

Guest's picture

I would give $200 to my favorite charity. Next I would use the remainder to pay down my student loan. That would pay off my loan and possibly have a little bit of extra. That would go for an awesome gift for my wonderful hubby.


Guest's picture
Blenda Anderson

Happy New Year!!!

I decided to further my education as an adult, some 20 years out of high-school. Over the last six years, I have gotten my AS and BS in Business/Management and Lord will, I will be graduating with my Masters in Communications and Information Management this May.

While I enjoyed my education, I'm anxious about paying off the student loans--that $2000 would help in a uber-super way!

Thanks for you consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon!


Guest's picture

I would use two thousand dollars to pay off impulse store card balances, a nagging medical bill, and put toward car payments. Unexciting, but a windfall like that would easily cut out 200 a month in installment payments that could then be put toward other, bigger bills.

ok, maybe it's a little exciting.

Guest's picture

I would use the money to help my son pay his college expenses and expenses for a political internship he will be going to this spring.

Guest's picture

My use for the $2500:
$1500 paydown debt
$500 to give to a friend with 3 kids who has had her income cut in half and was too proud to let those around her provide a Christmas for her & her kids. Not until after Christmas did she admit they did not have a tree or any presents.
$500 toward a college lacrosse recruiting event that my son(potential Division 1) has been accepted to. He has to cover half the cost with his earnings & savings.
Sandy Hill

Guest's picture

We have old kitchen appliances using up energy. We want to purchase new energy efficient stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher.

Guest's picture

I would invest into my very first car (and insurance!)

Guest's picture

we refinanced our mortgage- not sure it was the best move after all the costs/fees but the $2k would sure take the sting of those fees away!

Guest's picture

I was unemployed for 9 months of 2009. I'm looking to make 2010 better and get a second chance. I would use it to start paying my credit cards again and help pay for my books for Spring quarter at Santa Monica College.

Guest's picture

I'd use 1200 to eliminate half of my debt, 500 to put towards starting to innvest and the last 300 I'd use to go to a super nice fancy resturaunt with my boyfriend to celebrate a better start and in the hopes with careful money management that it wount be my last time sipping real champagne from the champagne region of France and eating kobe beef.

Guest's picture

I'd give half to my parents so that they can pay off some lingering bills and I'd save the other half for groceries--I'm a college student and it would be nice have a diet of more than just pizza and mac & cheese!

Guest's picture

I would send money to my friend I owe him for renting a garage from him. He has been very understanding about my financial problems. Then I'd spend the money to fly to Hawaii to visit family and my dad's gravesite. What ever money left over I'd do my best to enjoy it. Maybe eat better quality food.

Remember to walk or ride a bike when you can. Amazing how much money you can save.

Guest's picture

Since my husband was laid off in 2008 and has returned to college its easy to find a way to use $2000. First, I would have our furnace cleaned, because it's way over due and then i have 3 creditcards and 2 of them could be paid off. There would be approximately a thousand left and I would put that into the savings for an emergengy.

Guest's picture
Deborah Heinz

I just recently was diagnosed with a life altering disease, which cause me to stop working. I would use the $2000 to pay on our credit card and medical bills that are falling behind. My husband is trying to keep up on things but losing my income has really made it hard on us and our savings is all gone now. This would be a wonderful blessing at this time if I won. Thank you.

Guest's picture

Our old heavy tv is starting to go out, so I'd buy a 37" flatscreen to replace it. On sale, it would be under $1000. The remainder would go to a vacation to Hawaii. I've never been there and have always wanted to visit. My wife was there several times before we were married and really wants to explore it with me, but we've never had the opportunity.

Guest's picture

I recently graduated with my bachelor's degree. That was only possible because of grants and scholarships. I'd like to pay it forward.

If I won the $2,000, I'd give it to someone who needed someone who really needed the money for school so they could get their educatio.

Guest's picture

Being that I spent all of 2009 caring for my grandmother who has Alzheimer's I would spend 2k on me! I would luxuriate at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (in NYC) using the winnings I would book the Thai Yoga Suite with deep soaking tub and water features enjoy the VIP Spa Suite with fireplace and private steam & shower and amethyst crystal steam room and finish it off with the Spa Cuisine.
Good Luck to all the entrants!

Guest's picture
Cora Laurenceau

Being that I am a freelancer who has been free for most of 2009 I would use the 2k on paying off debt so that 2010 will start with the reassurance I need to build the quality of life that I deserve! I would save 600 for a slow month ...

Happy New Year All!

Guest's picture

I am looking to move by Spring 2010. I would use that money for moving expenses. It is so tiring to move, I have put it off and it's time now. I would love the luxury of having someone come pack all my things and move it for me.

Guest's picture

2 Grand is half of what I need to pay off all the credit card debt I used paying my way through community college.

Guest's picture
Jennifer Woosley

I would catch up on bills and get a good start on the new year.

Guest's picture

I have been reading wisebread and other finance blogs for more than a year now, and I've whipped our finances into shape and we are now on the slow but steady course of getting out of debt.

My wife was aware of this but has been mostly leaving the family finances to me. Recently, precipitated by a conversation she had with her sister, she picked up one of Dave Ramsey's book.

As anyone who is trying to get out of debt knows, there's this moment of epiphany where you are suddenly realize that debt is REALLY BAD THING, horrified as to how you have been so lax for so long, and determined to the point of fanaticism to get rid of it.

That's my wife right now. It's nice to have us both on the same level of awareness and concern regarding this, though she is finding that I've done a lot of the first steps already (go, me!).

We are close to finishing our emergency fund and we are about ready to go headlong into tackling our credit card debt. That's probably where the money would go.

Guest's picture
Rhonda Marie

$2,000 from WiseBread all for me?
Getting visions “like a psychic” of things I can buy for free
With fists full of dollars…Here comes the Queen Bee!
Giving myself a “fresh start” in 2010 brings me such glee
New dishes, silverware, appliances, bedding, a rug, lamps, and perhaps a few bottles of Chablis
Hmmm… maybe I should keep $500 for an unplanned event I can’t foresee?
Realize now I do have room for even some abstract art
Watch me “burn rubber” in the isles with my shopping cart!

IntuitiveFlow @Twitter

Guest's picture
kathryn compa

Hello ,Kathy mae compa here !I am on housing so i would put it into my VIDA acct. and it would become 8,00 toward a home higher ed for myself or my 4 kids or to start a small busines. boo ya!~Miss Kathy Compa

Guest's picture

Since this money would be a gift,

I currently have 2,000 in credit card debt. and a 1,100 medical bill in collections from a dental emergency I had when I was 20. I am now 25. I have a daughter that is 10 months old and have had to learn to be better with finances, grocery shopping, and all the other responsibilities caring for a kid brings on...

I would after taxes are adjusted on the 2500 gift earning take 1/4 and save it and use the other 3/4 to pay down my debt to be financially solvent for my daughter.

Guest's picture
Beth Carpenter

If I won this it would go towards living expenses since my husband was laid off in August after 29 years and is desperately trying to find a new job. We only have severance pay and health insurance thru mid-March. Worse thing we've ever been through in our lives!

Guest's picture
Cassee Miller

I would start a savings, no better way to start a brand new decade than to start spending my money responsibly! This decade will be the decade of my life!

Guest's picture

I would spend $2000. by paying off my credit cards.

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Donna K

I would use it to pay on my house.

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Guest's picture

With certainty, $2000 would complete a grassroots documentary about green travel and sustainable living (to be wrapped in March 2010) that will subsequently be included on a newly developing promotional website & blog that is destined to inspire a multitude of remarkable people to fearlessly travel and better the world (on a budget, em...). And surely, the generous and philanthropic BillShrink, Inc. will get co-producer credit and a lovely promotional "green" tote as a token of our family's appreciation:) Can you say "what a deal"?

Guest's picture
Meagan Estrella

I have a 2010 dream and goal of raising $5000.00 by the end of this year.

I would put this $2000.00 straight to the raising of $5000.00 to install fresh water systems for the poor people in the world, such as sub-saharan africa residents, who live - to gather unsanitary water leading to unnecessary death primarily among children.

I will accomplish this goal through the non-profit organization, 'Charity: Water'.

Thank You!! :)

Guest's picture

First I would tithe part of it. Then I would invest in an educational IRA for DD. The remainder I would use for a fund for some major home repairs we would like to do w/out taking out any loans.

Guest's picture

I would use the win for a personal trainer to teach me how to use weights to tone up. I am so intimidated at the gym & at my age I just want to tone & be healthy!

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First the children need help, so half for them, then half of the rest for investing and the rest for a little getaway with my husband.

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It would go towards the expenses of my youngest starting college this fall.

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We are planning to remodel our kitchen and this would definitely come in handy for that! Thank you!

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An external hardrive for my laptop.
Something nice for the boyfriend.
And a new carpet for the bedroom :)
The rest would be put in the food fund - eating something other than noodles and beans on toast for a while would be a nice change :)

Guest's picture

I would buy a new computer (a must since I want to be able to work from home) and since mine is 10 years old its impertive. Of course I would use wisebreads site to get the best deal on a computer! I would take $1,000 and invest it and I would take $500 to pay toward the taxes I owe this year.

Guest's picture

I would buy the love-of-my-life the engagement ring that she has been patiently waiting for from her newly frugal boyfriend. After buying her a beautiful ring, I would take her to our secret cliff in Canada and suprise her with a proposal she can't refuse; while overlooking one of the world's most beautiful lakes. :)

Guest's picture
Judy G

Well, I would like to say I would go have some fun with it but unfortunately, not! I'd be a responsible "adult" and pay on my student loans.

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I would use the money to become debt free, it's about the right amount to pay off that last credit card.

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I would like to pay my for my transpotation to get to college. I was awarded a scholarship but my car is falling apart. I recently went back to college to get my RN degree and I have 2 kids Im 32 and married.My husbands an Electrical engineer and he's laid off and has been for months were also behind on a few bills so I would defenitly PAY those first!!!Then the money thats left over pay to fix my car and gas money.I know it sounds like I would need more to do all that. But Im pretty conservative,or frugal with money.I can make it go a long way!!

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if i wont the money i would get it too this family in need to put there son to rest.. because i know they dont have the money for it....

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I would help this family out putting there son to rest...because they dont have the money to do it with..

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This would be a huge blessing. I'm trying to pay off student loans to become debt free. I would really like to use this for a huge payment.



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The answer to what I would do with $2000.00 is very simple. My mother is 79 years old and lives on a fixed income from social security. Due to some bad decisions she has almost $8000 in credit card debt with Bank of America and has no assets to sell and I can't afford to help her since I can barely keep my own head above water. If I had an extra two grand I would pay it on her credit card so she would have a little more to live on each month instead of having to pay such a huge credit card bill.

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Peggy Gould

When I win the $2000.00 I will use half of it to put down a kitchen floor. The other half I will save until spring and treat my husband and myself to a long weekend in southwest Tennessee.
Thank you.

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I was initially going to write that I wanted to spend the prize money on a laptop and a network-attached storage (NAS) system, but I decided that stuff can wait. My son's college tuition bill is due in a few weeks, and the prize money would be better spent ensuring that he has a decent shot in life with a college education. So, even though I wanted to write something else (oh, boy, did I ever!), I honestly think writing what I did was truer to who I have become as a person. I feel good about my entry and that's all that matters. Good luck to everyone. I know there are many, many (many) people who could put that prize money to good use.

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Charly C

I would invest in myself - I would take the 1st 1k and pay off my debt the second half I would invest into myself - go to the spa - take care of myself spiritually and physically ... I need a little indulgence! I've had a rough 2009

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I would use $2,000 to buy plane tickets for my mom and sister. My husband and I live as far as you can get from the Midwest without falling into the ocean, and I haven't seen family in a long time.

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Being a student, that traditional preparation for a satisfying life, ironically leaves little energy or money to devote to planning for the future.

Therefore my plan for $2000 would include:
$1000 for retirement, which is scary to neglect as my 30th birthday nears
$500 for my safety net, to build my emergency/long term spending fund back up
$500 for enrichment: probably travel to a conference in my field

Since I now have a few days before my life gets spring semester crazy again, perhaps I will stop to look for a few ways to make these things happen, if only in miniature.

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So many choices! I would definitely donate at least a quarter of it to Old Dog Haven, a wonderful dog rescue that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon when looking for a dog to adopt four years ago.
I have about $1000 on credit cards, so I'd have to pay that off next.
With the rest of the money, I'd buy my mom and I plane tickets to her timeshare in Cabo. She recently had to have surgery, so she can't afford tickets at the moment and this year's week will probably go to waste otherwise.

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Anna Labbe

It's taken me two DYI projects in the last 3 years and an unknown amount of wasted money that has LITERALLY "gone out the front door" and "down the drain" to realize when my husband proclaims, "that's easy I can do that!" (ie; install a new front door and replace our cracked tub with a shower stall) that's actually MY cue to hire a professional! Ironiccally,the estimated cost to fix both botched DIY projects,about $2000.00!! Winning money for this would be a GREAT start to 2010!!!

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I'd use the money to pay off the last(!!!) student loan that we have. In the past year we've paid off over $70,000 in credit cards, $40,000 in cars, and $25,000 in student loans. Yes, we do have a fairly high income, but it hasn't been easy. We'd pay off the loan by March, but the extra $2,000 would be enough to put it out of our debt column in January.

Next thing to attack...the house.

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I'd pay off that American Express Blue card that's been weighing me down. I initially applied for the card because I thought it was cool, made with clear plastic. Now it's just a leaden lump in my budget.