You just got an extra $1,000 from a bonus, tax refund,
inheritance, or some other windfall. What do you do with the
money now? Of course, your first thought may be to spend it all,
especially since it's "found" money.
But wait. There are better choices. Here are six smart ways to
use that money to achieve impressive benefits and a fair dose of
1. Pay down credit card debt.
This should be at the top of your list. Paying off a
high-interest credit card saves you money down the road.
2. Start an emergency fund.
If you don't have one, $1,000 is a great starting point. The
general consensus is that you need at least six months of living
expenses saved in case of an emergency or job loss. Getting
started now, or even beefing up an existing fund, will allow you
to rest more easily.
3. Put it in an IRA.
If you don't have one, take that $1,000 and start one. Studies
have shown that Americans don't have anywhere near the savings
they should at retirement. If that sounds like you, this is your
chance to catch up.
4. Upgrade your home appliances.
If you have anything around the house that's giving you trouble
or is about to, $1,000 can go a long way toward fixing the
problem and giving you peace of mind. Doing home improvements now
will pay dividends over time, and you'll enjoy a more comfortable
home in the meantime.
5. Go back to school.
If your financial house is in order, how about investing in
yourself? Using some of the money to take some weekend or night
classes is a way to upgrade your professional credentials or
check out other career options. This could be a great way to
leverage that $1,000 into a promotion, a raise, or better job
down the road.
6. Join a gym or buy a bike
. Either option improves your physical fitness, and riding a bike
gives you the added benefit of saving money on gas and car
repairs. Moreover, studies have shown fitness and health have a
positive effect on productivity. However you do it, an investment
in your health can reap big rewards.
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