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What Would You Do With $100,000?

As far as potential windfalls are concerned, a hundred grand is an interesting amount of money.

It’s a tidy sum for anyone to be sure, but it’s hardly what Powerball jackpots and overnight retirements are made of. So, I want to know, what would you do with $100k?

While I would love to take a few months off to travel the world, buy a new car, and build my dream home on some acreage in Maine, my answer is pretty boring. If I were to receive $100,000, I’d pay off my remaining debts and sock the rest away in two accounts: one for a down payment on a home and another for general emergencies. If there were anything left, I guess I’d hit Hawaii in January.

What about you?

Published or updated on October 28, 2008

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.


We invite readers to respond with questions or comments. Comments may be held for moderation and will be published according to our comment policy. Comments are the opinions of their authors; they do not represent the views or opinions of Money Under 30.

  1. Jake says:

    Buy my boss out, being my own boss would be the most satisfying thing 100,000 could get me. Plus it would be more lucrative.

  2. Lagron Al says:

    I found a way to get 18% on the amount of money I invest on another persons debt to automatically be deducted into my bank account.

    With $ 100,000.00

    Plan A:
    I would pay off my credit card, and find some nice investment property like a multifamily home, or restaurant that I would buy with the remainder of the money. (Of Course it would not pay for it all, but a nice down-payment would ensure that I get the property that would bring in a couple thousand dollars a month).

    Plan B:

    I would pay off my credit card, pay 20% to charity, (don’t ask why I send 20% to charity of all my money every year) then buy a couple small online businesses, that would bring in even more money.

    ( I am one of those people who knows what to do with the money, so it does not go to waste, in my opinion.)

    I bet you might be close to having $ 100,000.00 and you are not sure what to do with it. (Feel free to contact me at my e-mail

  3. Mary Sue says:

    * Student Loans.
    * Charity.

    Aaaand, the money’s spent.

  4. Adam says:

    * 10k for instant gratification…new clothes, vacation, household items, home repairs, etc.
    * 10k to bolster my ’emergency savings’
    * 10k for playing around in the Foreign Exchange and Equity markets
    * 15k for my “New Car” fund account (following this general bit of advice: )
    * 55k for my Roth IRA

  5. Amy says:

    I think it depends on how I got the $100K. If it was won then taxes will take up around 40% so I’d be left with
    $60K. I would tithe 10% right off the bat to charity so that would leave me with $50K. I’d take $15K to pay off my remaining consumer debt and then put the rest into CD Ladders, fully funding my Emergency savings. If I assume taxes didn’t need to be taken out (this really is pretend now) then with the other $40K I would take a trip to Ireland and fix up my house.

  6. Meg says:

    I would put $25,000 in my money market fund (12 months of basic expenses), $25,000 in my bond index for real estate reserves (almost 12 months of expenses), $5000 in my Roth IRA, spend $5,000 on myself (clothes, vacation, spa, maybe a personal trainer)…

    And then I’d hold the other $40,000 in cash until I am ready to use it for a home down payment, a car, etc. Then I’d be able to suspend all short term savings and max out my 401k.

  7. I would take the whole works and invest it in dividend growing stocks over the next 6 months.

  8. Save it.

    I’ll have about $70k net in cash after I am finished this project in December, and that’s close enough to $100k for me.

    I’d just save it, put it in retirement, savings, EF, whatever.

    Even if I had a million, I’d just save it. There’s no point in spending it. I want it to grow so I can retire comfortably and provide for my future kids/family.

  9. Dedicated says:

    With youth a distant memory and retirement age getting closer, I am pretty much like you all. Except the money would pay down my home and debt with a bit left over to max out our retirement contributions and fully fund a self-insured life account.

    These rough times are not a stretch for you guys, they are a learning step. One that will help you to better reach your goals on the next step. I wish I had the lessons you all carry with you now, then.

  10. Jason says:

    House, for sure. It’s astonishing that for our generation, it’s such a stretch to aspire to such things.

  11. Russ says:

    Take a year off from work and do what I love.

  12. Bill says:

    Well I guess we think alike. I would pay off my car loan, stash the rest for a rainy day, and take a trip somewhere, probably Europe.

  13. Sheria says:

    I’d take the “boring” route, too. I’d pay off my student loans and save the rest for a down payment on a home. But, with no more debt payments, I’ll have more money to save towards doing something more fun (i.e. traveling and buying a new car).

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