"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 www.savingforcollege.com 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: www.educationalconsulting.org
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