Thursday, July 26, 2007

Kiplinger Asks: How Will $1,000 Improve My Life

Can $1,000 really make a difference in my life? The folks at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance think so. The staff sent me a list of what can be done with $1,000. I've added a few ideas of my own. The magazine's list, which is a preview of the August issue, includes:

"Boost Your Career With Professional Classes. New Horizons, a computer school with 148 locations across the country, offers software courses for less than $1,000. UC Berkeley Extension offers both career-directed and liberal-arts classes online. For less than $1,000 you may get a lucrative promotion or simply learn something new.

Let Time Cut Future College Costs. Contributing $1,000 to a state-sponsored college-savings plan is a great way to take a bite out of future college costs. Earnings through a 529 plan grow tax-deferred and withdrawals are tax-free if used for qualified educational expenses. Check out for more details.

Invest in Some College Advice. Worried about getting Junior into college or grad school? For $1,000, an admissions consultant can help your child narrow down thousands of options to a dozen or more schools that could be the right fit. For more details, visit the Independent Educational Consultants Association website:

Take an Energy-Saving Tumble. Front-loading clothes washers run about $1,000 and use 50% to 70% less energy than top-loaders. While a front-loader may cost $300 to $400 more than a top-loader, it will pay for its extra cost in utility-bill savings within the first few years of its 13- to 15-year life span.

Earn 18% Guaranteed. No investment can promise that rate of return—but paying down a credit card can. Six in ten of us carry a balance, many at a rate of 18% or higher. So put $1,000 towards that credit card bill and guarantee yourself $180 in savings."

Here's what I would do with an extra $1,000:

1. Invest in the Florida Pre-paid college plan or a 529 plan.
2. Attend a summer or winter writing workshop program.
3. Invest in a web designer for my blog.
4. Take a short vacation to Paradise Island and Atlantis.
5. Buy a new energy efficient refrigerator and freezer.
6. Buy a new AC system.
7. Hire a professional organizer to help me sort through my clothes, papers and junk.
8. Take a speed reading course.
9. Take off a week from work and donate 40-plus hours of my time to a charity.
10. Purchase subscriptions to every literary journal, newspaper or magazine I enjoy reading.


The Frugal Duchess Booktique
The Frugal Duchess of Beauty Store

Book Shop of Fear
The Poetry & Drama Queen
Frugal Jazz & Blues
Frugal Comic Book Connection


Amber Yount said...

I wouldn't charge you $1,000 to redesign your blog :P

Thats way too much for a basic one page design.

Zachary said...

One word and one acronym: "Roth IRA"

S said...


I enjoy your blog.

Your list of 10 things is a bit on the unfrugal side, though.

-Paying someone to organize: You can easily do that yourself. For free!

-A redesign of your blog should be very inexpensive, especially if you have friends or relatives with teenagers who are skilled at that kind of thing.

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...


Thanks for the suggestion!

Thanks for the offer.

S & Amber:

You're right. $1,000 is too much for a re-design. I wouldn't spend the full amount for a re-design.
But that's one of the items on my wish list.

Also S: About the reorg: Again, I wouldn't spend $1,000 for the services, but I work from home and it would be worth my money to streamline and get better organized. I know of a few professional organizers and I like their systems.

I'm really good at a lot of stuff, but organization is my achilles heel.

Thanks for your comments!