HP Giving Away $500 to a Lucky Wise Bread Reader

by Will Chen on 31 August 2011 (856 comments)

Editor's Note: The contest is officially closed! Congratulations to Wise Bread reader Ben Marvin for his winning comment!

HP is launching a new blog for lifehackers, work-from-home entrepreneurs, and small business owners called Input/Output. It has a lot of relevant tips for savvy Wise Bread readers, such as 5 Tips to Cutting Hidden IT CostsHow Not to  Blow Your IT Job Interview, and 3 Ways to Print From Your Mobile Phone

To celebrate the launch of Input/Output, HP is giving Away $500 to Wise Bread Readers!

How to Enter

Simply leave a comment below answering the question: What is the smartest investment you’ve ever made? (Answer must be at least two sentences long.)

It can be any kind of investment—business, personal, or family investment. What is an investment that has yielded a solid return for you? Perhaps a degree, office equipment, cooking lessons, or a new suit?

Prize is a $500 Visa gift card.

Be sure to leave your name and email so we can contact you when you win!

Comment must be entered before September 23, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Contest Rules

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years or older.  Ends 9/23/11.  Winners will be randomly selected and announced on Wise Bread before end of September. See Official Rules. Void where prohibited.


One of the best ways to achieve success is to emulate successful people. HP's new blog features original articles from the industry’s most respected writers and exclusive interviews with technology leaders.

You can learn life and business lessons from the top business minds of our time. Some of my favorites include:

Enter the contest now by leaving a comment!

This post is brought to you by HP. For more information on HP and HP products visit us at Inputcreatesoutput.com.

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Andrea W.

My husband recently purchased an Epson P-2000 which can be used for storing and viewing media. He is a professional photographer so this has become a crucial element to his success! He can free up a memory card if he needs to by storing the data directly to it. He can also show models and clients the pictures or video he has taken in a portable, easy to use unit where his clients can ever mark their favorites! Best of all, he can hand the device around instead of having to hand around his camera!

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Joanna Smith

The smartest investment I ever made was when I was single I purchased a 3 bedroom home on Lake Ontario, in Upstate New York. I got married 3 years later and sold it, making a profit of $73K! That money gave us our down payment for the home we now live in which is actually down the street from the one I sold, it was a home I had been wanting and dreaming of. Had I not made that initial investment when I was single, we never would have been able to afford the home with which we now live in. Since then we have 3 young children & 2 dogs and sure could use some extra $$$!! Thanks so much for the wonderful chance to enter.

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John Eveland

The smartest investment that I ever made was the money I worked for and saved for my son's college education. There were times that it hurt to pull money from my paycheck each week, but knowing that he wouldn't have to work in the rain, snow, and heat made the sacrifice well worthwhile. With his degree, he can now have choices that I never had.

Guest's picture

My best investment was working parttime so that my 3 children could have health insurance while attending college. They got scholarships while I provided the security for their medical needs!

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Desiray Blackburn

The absolute smartest investment I ever made was to help my husband financially, long before we ever married. He has severe Heart disease and he needed to be able to live calmly and not worry about money. So, yes, I not only invested my money but also my home and heart.

Guest's picture

The smartest investment I have made so far has been my Bachelor's Degree because it gave me so much more than a piece of paper. I majored in Economics and Sociology, which gave me an understanding not only of how our nation's finances work, but also of how people work. I joined a sorority, and sat on it's executive council for 2 years being a vice president and then president, which taught me about my strengths as a person and how to be a leader. In my senior year, I was able to study abroad in Greece for 12 weeks which was the trip and experience of a lifetime. I learned about the ancient world, modern Greece, and I also got to experience another country, its culture, and what being part of a global community really means. I learned so much in my four years at college and continue to treasure that education and apply it every day.

Guest's picture

My greatest investment was my condo. I got it at a Sheriff's sale for a great deal and it's been my HOME ever since. Nothing is as nice as owning a home, not just a house.

Guest's picture

The smartest investment I've made and will continue to make is also the cheapest, it's a journal. Every year I buy a new one and in it I write my hopes, dreams, goals and daily happenings and musings.

Why is it the smartest investment? Because it helps me sort out my priorities, notice patterns in my life of what's working and what isn't. Perhaps most importantly, it's a recording of my life as it happens. When things are bad, I can look back at it be reminded of how far I've come and start to gain some of confidence back. When things are good, I have a place to store those great and uplifting feelings.

I also like to write my goals for the year in the beginning of each journal. At the end of the year, I go back and see how many of the goals I've accomplished. Surprisingly, I usually accomplish most of them. Writing down my goals in my journal helps me keep them in mind even when I'm not consciously thinking them. This has led me to travel more, get a higher paying job and reach my financial and personal goals. Not bad for a $5 investment.

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Susan Noel

My smart "investment" has been in marriage to my husband of 42 years - but who is counting? While we may not have a barrel of money as the song says, we support each other every day in so many ways. I love to use a computer to send him little notes of love and encouragement. He had a slight stroke and could no longer work in his chosen field. While I love doing genealogy work on my laptop; my husband has tried to start an online business. We love to send notes to grandsons, children and friends. Thank you for giving me a place to express love of my husband and computer.

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Audra Hammond

My library card! With it, I can borrow books on vast topics, expand my knowledge and save tons of money by not buying books, and learning at my own pace.

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Marsha Hembrick

The best investment I have ever made or I am actually still making is contributing to a 529 plan for my daughters college education. I am a single mother, so it is easier to contribute a small amount every month, instead of tens of thousands of dollars when she starts college in 6 years.

Guest's picture

The smartest investment I ever made was to put some life insurance money I received after a relative's death into paying for my M.A. I loved my program, I met great people in it, and it helped to cement my field of study. I went on to a PhD from there, but I have been less than thrilled with that investment of time and money, unfortunately.

Guest's picture

The best investment I have made is backing up my husband in his decision to get his Bachelors degree. He has a decent job that he wouldn't have had if he didn't get that degree.

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Shawn Selig

My Best investment was my wife and kids. They are all grown up and all are doing well. I couldn,t be more proud of my wife and kids and what they have all done for me.

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Pravin Philip

For me it would be my education. Wouldn't be here doing what I am doing otherwise. Now investing couple of minutes to enter the drawing. Hope it turns out to be the next. Set :-)

Guest's picture

The smartest investment I ever made was to max out my 401k every paycheck. That way I got the full company match and it's really grown over time.

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Lori L Knight

The smartest investment I ever made was purchasing a laptop so I could start an on-line EBay/Amazon business. This allowed me to generate income after losing my job to the recession.

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p. kopec

my second hand laptop. With it i can comfortably find coupons and money saving deals.

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Lakwanza Lakeitha Williams

My biggest investment would be my coupons. Able to save for my daughter and able to have more money to go to something else. When u have become a single parent and have to make away for your child woundering how u going to do it. This just been the best thing for me when i can use coupons on grocery and house hold needs.

Guest's picture

The smartest investment I ever made is my MacBook. My laptop was dying on me and wouldn't allow me to work quickly or remotely. Now that I have my MacBook I can stay unplugged and keep working, and build my business online.

Guest's picture

My smartest investment was buying my 1st home. I was lucky to buy before all of the crazy market inflation and sell it just before the crash. VERY lucky indeed!

Guest's picture

My smartest investment has been a smartphone. I know, I know, I have become one of those people you shake your head at as you watch me try to walk down the sidewalk while texting. But it has freed me up to get out of my office during the day without being afraid I am missing important emails or other messages. That's crucial for a freelancer.

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Jacie W

Smartest investment I made was sending my kids to private school. While there are good public schools around my parents supported me financially and with their help I made sure my kids got the best and hopefully they realize how lucky they are!

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Rhonda Grisham

The smartest investment I have ever made was in my children. I raised 3 boys as a single mom, and sent them to college. they are all fine men now with families of their own. I am proud of them all.

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Elizabeth E

The best recent investment I've made is my e-reader. I've downloaded hundreds of free books and have read up a storm this past year. The money I've saved from purchasing paper books and the many conveniences of an electronic reader have made it a truly fabulous investment.

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Buying my brand new House!

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Thomas Bennett

Smartest investment: $257.00 wedding ring. All that I could afford at the time we eloped to Las Vegas in 1999; however the return on this small amount has been immeasurable. Three children that provide endless love, laughter, and legacy. A wife, best friend, confidant, and lover. Guidance through tough times. Encouragement to finish that degree and graduate summa cum laude which led to promotions and increased salary. Her willingness to relocate on a whim or for a job. Income tax breaks, insurance deductions, and medical savings. All this and much, much more for just $257.00. The single greatest investment with the greatest emotional, life, monetary, and happiness return one could hope for. Amazing!

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R Hicks

Many years ago I made an investment in an older fixer upper house at a bargain price. After living here over 20 years, my investment has quadrupled even in the face of today's slumping housing market

brich22 at earthlink dot net

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Tammy Pereira

The smartest investment I've ever made was putting my kids through preschool. It prepared them for the tough road that was kindergarten year. I'm so glad I decided to do that for them.

LayDeeBugLove at aol dot com

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Our son's college education! He now has a degree!!!

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Diane Zawislak

One of the best investments I have made is an adjustable computer chair. It makes life so much easier since my husband and I are different heights. Beides the fact that it is so comfortable.

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Amy DeLong

the best investment i ever made was buying a good stove,it has lasted quite a few years.Cost a little extra but well worth it!

Guest's picture

My best investment I made was meeting my 3 best friends in 3rd. We have
been friends for 47 years. We have been with each with our ups in life and
our downs in life. Their friendship means more then money to me.\
I am so blessed to have them for friends.

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Patricia Edwards

I think the best investment I made was in pursuing my college degree in Social Work. I enjoy helping people learn solutions to their social problems.

Guest's picture

Piano lessons have paid for themselves many times over. Granted, my parents paid for the actual lessons but I'm grateful to have that skill. I obtained my first degree on a full scholarship through music. Since then, I've been able to play in churches, weddings, funerals and teach lessons to make extra income. Good call, mom!

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Patricia Treskovich

My best investment was in learning to use a computer. I bought my first computer in 1990, and love to use it daily.

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Beth Elder

I live in a 120 yr old house with big rooms but no closets - they had clothes presses back then - you put your clothes in flat on a hook then closed the door quickly. I bought an IKEA closet. So much better and organized and enough for all my clothes!
Don't forget that your clothes are a large lifetime investment. This makes a difference every day when I get dressed.

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Tina Reynolds

Smartest investment was not giving up on love and signing up for a Match.com membership where I met my Soulmate and husband Chris. We have three beautiful children. So it was a wonderful investment he jokes best $50 he spent, I joke he was free I was on the trial : ) eaglesforjack@gmail.com

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Rosanna Judah-Elliott

My smartest investment was my IPAD2. It goes everywhere with me!

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Kandi Smith

My smartest investment was my HP laptop that I take with me when I visit Trade Markets to purchase merchadise. It allows me to check on-line competitors for profit margin before I make a big purchase. I can also use it to check on-line for new sales activity and questions at night and on weekends without ignoring my family.

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Michelle Pugh

I invested in Christian education for my daughter and have already seen a greater respect for herself and those around her.

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Michelle Spayde

My best investment was the purchase of an individual industry specific software license. Each module of the software is very difficult to master, but having my own copy allowed me to master the entire package, as well as run endless business scenarios. I turned this knowledge into a consulting business.

Guest's picture

The best investment I have made is starting to coupon 4 years ago. I started after I became a mommy and a single income family. We have saved so much. I wish I would have started sooner!

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Charles David Perry

great sweeps!!!

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Sue H

I bought the small building which i was renting for my antiques shop. The loan payment was less than my rent. I later sold it for 5x what I paid for it.

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brian e.

Thanks for the giveaway...the smartest investment I have ever made was finally finishing my degree; was sailing through school but some family issues made money extremely scarce, so I had to work practically full time, take out loans, max out credit cards, etc. Going into debt for a few years was well worth it because I got a well paying job, and with some financial planning am almost finally free of my substantial debt. The future looks brighter...

Guest's picture

The smartest investment I ever made, was buying a computer. I have used the computer for everything. Including winning lots of sweeps!

itsjustme62613 at gmail.com

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Kathleen Smith

The best investment I ever made was my daughter's dancing lessons, costumes and competitions. She was a Nintendo "couch potato" when she started and blossomed into a self confident, poised and beautiful young woman. Our family had experienced a tragedy and her dancing was a bridge back into living and facilitated our healing in many ways. It is by far the best investment I have ever made and I do not regret a penny or second that we spent on it.

Guest's picture

In lieu of child support I asked for my ex to put money into a four-year college program for our two boys. It was a third of what he was supposed to pay, only lasted for five years of payments (instead of the fifteen he had left for court-ordered support, and as an aside it relieved a ton of tension because he rarely paid child support, hating to do so). He gave me the money each month for five years, like clock work and I paid off the two plans. The oldest has already used his, and the second-oldest is going to use it for his two years at the uni (opting to take two years at the community college first, while living at home...this is his first semester). The college plans pay tuition in full, whatever the cost when it comes time to use them, and the earlier you start it, the less expensive it is. Easily THE best investment I've ever made.

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Deborah Wallin

My best investment was marrying my husband. Twenty-six years and six children later, we are still going strong.

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Ammie Herker

Buying my home was the best investment. Tax brakes and all in these times are greatly needed.

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latisha depoortere

The best investment I made was buying my Dell laptop never had one before always a desktop! I love it because I can use it late at night in bed without having to sit at my deck and being sick all the time I still can do things online from my warm bed ! Im greatful I have it would be lost without it!
tishajean@ charter.net

Guest's picture

My best investment was my laptop! I was so stuck in the deskjet era. Love the portability and ease.

Thanks for the chance to win

nolagirl727 at yahoo dot com

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Li Tsai

smartest investment I've ever had was buying google at its IPO price

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Aliya Abdul

My best investment is my nursing degree & licence. I was working dead end jobs & now that I'm a registered nurse-I have job security & the knowledge that I'll be able to find a job almost anywhere in the U.S. I did have to take out over $30,000 in student loans but I also have the option of getting those loans forgiven if I choose to work in a area that is in deep need of nurses. Many of my college classmates who had different majors are either unemployed or underemployed so I'm definitely better off. Overall I believe my investment has paid off.

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Liz M.

The best investment I ever made was the financial investment in my first degree-a BA in English. Sure, there has been an economic advantage to the degree as a credential (although other undergraduate degrees may provide a better ROI), but as far as I'm concerned, the payoff has been in my drastically improved critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These pay off both personally and professionally and are more than worth the price I paid!