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If I had a hundred dollars

I have $100 burning a hole in my wallet. My parents gave me a $100 Visa card for my birthday in November, and I still have it. Untouched, pristine. When I got it, I promised myself that I would spend it on something entirely for myself: no clothes for Mia, no date night dinners, and certainly no groceries, even in the really tight months. And so I just haven't spent it.

I have a hard time doing this. Sure, I can spend $5 on myself, or even $20, but $100 is sort of a lot to us these days, and I'm scared to spend it. Scared to buy the wrong thing and regret it and not know where my next totally for me $100 is coming from.

At first, I was going to buy myself new jeans since I was too fat for all my old ones, but then I got my new jeans for $14 (and now I am too thin for them). Then I thought I would buy a hot new bathing suit for our beach trip in May, but I'm the sort that no matter how hot the suit or how thin my thighs I will never be satisfied that I look as hot as I would like to in it, so I ruled that out. New shoes? Sure, but I never wear pretty shoes these days and worry they would just sit in my closet and be forced to revel in their own beauty.

So help me out, dear internets. If you had $100 and had to spend it entirely selfishly, what would you do? Tell me, help me, and I swear that I will decide what to do by this weekend and spend the damned thing before the month is over.

Comments (80)


If I had a hundred big ones at my disposal I would go for a pedicure or massage.

I always vote for a day at the spa - a massage at least. I know it's nothing tangible to say you have after the money's gone - but it sure feels good. :)

Day spa. Absolutely. I received the some hot day spa action as a gift once and, holy crap, it was probably the second best gift I've ever received (The best gift? It was, like....oh, yeah. Trust me). You'll feel good for days. No regrets.

spa day, or clothes!

To me, clothes fall into the necessity column except for possibly the bathing suit.

If I had $100 burning a hole in my pocket? I'd go with something totally useless that I couldn't justify any other way.

My parachute is probably a different color than yours. For me it might be tickets to a Giants game or the San Francisco opera although I'd still have to spend another $100 on gas to get there these days. That probably wouldn't be your first choice although San Francisco is a lovely city.

I just read that. Baseball and opera? Told you I was strange.

I know exactly what you mean though about the guilt. I'd probably end up getting the girls new clothes.

I know you may think this wouldn't be totally for me, but I would splurge on some accessories for my house from one of those catalogs that I always get and never buy from - like some new throw pillows for the couch or some new wall sconces for candles or whatever... but that's just me...

A BAG. I can't believe you had to ask. Or a purse as you say over there.

Well, I got 100$ for my birthday in November too (mine is the 6th, when is yours?) and I spent it on MAC cosmetics. I don't wear alot of makeup and usually it's really not a priority for me (I am a drugstore makeup kind of girl....actually a "bought with reward points" kind of girl, usually)....

But this time I thought it would be nice to have some good I bought moisturizer, a foundation stick (for those tired mornings), some really good mascara, some perfect eyeliner and the world's best lipgloss....believe it or not...I am actually WAY more inclined to spend 5-6 minutes (Yes, I know, I am the queen of girly things) in the morning putting the stuff on and I feel pretty good about it...who knew that it would make such a difference?

I got $100 at Christmas and I spent it on an external hard drive so I could finally start backing up my computer like I've supposed to have been doing for all these years.

Prior to that, I have spent $100 on a CD player for my car (that I then installed myself--I am so proud of that).

My next $100 gift might go to a new ceiling fan.

Damn, I'm quite a geek, aren't I? mk

I had the same situation in Feb from my in laws. I had spent the gift card they sent for Christmas on a date night and some diapers, groceries etc. I promised myself I would not do that with the birthday one. So I bought a purse. And it is a fabulous, oh how I love it, everyone compliments me purse. So even if I do not have money just for me anytime in the future I am ok with that. Did I mention that I LOVE purses? Also it is big enough to fit all my stuff and a diaper, wipes and cup of milk and snack. Maybe people are complimenting because it is just better than my old army green diaper bag? I picked this instead of massage or pedicure (which I also love) because it would last longer and we do not have extra money either.

Definitely I would not buy clothes: those come out of the household budget.

I would probably buy books, maybe a magazine subscription. Maybe some pretty earrings. I would try to think of what I'd been hoping to get for birthday/Christmas but DIDN'T get.

To me, I almost NEVER buy clothes for myself, but $100 doesn't go far... so I might buy clothes, but I would be just as likely to blow it all on books. Or a good pedicure. Or a combination of the two. Or putting some of it on a Starbucks gift card so there was always coffee money handy. We're in home improvement mode, so I probably would buy something for the house. Which would totally blow the "just for me" rule. I don't know. I'm really lousy at spending money on me.

massage and facial.

well, since the new $14 jeans are too big (go you on the weight loss), then I say buy yourself some new fabulous slim jeans. Or the spa day always a good choice. And you won't feel bad about not wearing the new ones because you can donate them with this month's challenge.

Right now, if I had $100, I would either buy a whole mess of used books or some new clothes for the cruise we're taking in September. I'm also in desperate need of a new bathing suit.

Well, I'd run out and buy that really nice hardcover edition of The Stand, since my paperback is falling to pieces and I need something heavy duty like that... That's $50 down the chute... and then, since I'd already be at the bookstore, I'd probably buy a bunch of books that I wouldn't ordinarily get but really want.

And I'd tell you what my husband would do, but he'd do what your husband would probably do--buy cds. :P

Hmm, tough call. I'd probably do one of three things:

1. Get a few nice items of clothing for spring/summer -- tanks, capris, flip flops, whatever.

2. Book a massage and then meet a girlfriend for specialty coffee afterward.

3. Get a sitter and go out with my husband for a really nice meal.

I think I'd go for number three right now, because we've been so busy lately that we hardly have time to ourselves anymore. But that's just me. :)

Definitely books.

I agree with everyone, go buy a book or two, then take the rest and do something at a spa. A pedicure is lasting and you have mentioned needing one.... or a massage to work out the kinks from all your trips to the gym.

I would buy an obscenely expensive bottle of wine.

Go to Bed Bath and Beyond. Or the Body Shop. You'll find lots of cool stuff there.

You don't have to spend it all in one place, either.

The spa thing sounds like a really good idea, unless you have to dip into the $100 to pay a sitter.

Memory Foam mattress pad...sigh.

I'd totally spend it all at Barnes & Noble. I can never have enough books. Or a nice piece of jewelry....

Right now? This minute? Maternity clothes ;)

Manicure, Pedicure, some comfy new shoes that I COULD wear around the house, some music, I dunno... $100 would never last that long with me...

i agree with the spa day - massage, pedicure, etc.

a house cleaning service, top to bottom.

I'm like you. Anything over $50, and I break into a cold sweat. With that said, however, I'd go for a new purse...of course! Something small that you can look forward to carrying after you get rid of the monster diaper bag I know you carry now!

I like the house cleaning service idea, but definitely a massage.

SPA Day! A great pedicure for the start of sandal season and maybe a massage to work out the kinks of carrying Mia around. (And if you go, can I join you to work out the kinks in my brain?)

Right now if I had $100 to spend on me...I would spend a day at a spa. Massages...more massages. Pedicures,manicures....more massages and finally a massage. Can you tell I really want a massage...especially one with thos little hot rocks!

spa day sounds nice, and while it always is wonderful during, i always prefer to spend money on something that i'll be able to touch a week later..

so ruling out clothes, I think I would buy something nice for the house.. I love house spending, so it really would be for ME. My bedroom could use some curtains, so I might go for those. Other thoughts, maybe some plants (it's spring, perfect time!) house or otherwise, or maybe some herbs, kitchen goodies (love my counter top water boiler thingee) a fancy pot or dish..

I know what you meant though, $20 bucks, easy.. $100, all for myself? It woudl probably sit in my wallet for 4 months too.

I would go for maybe some nice summer clothing, cute undergarments or something. Maybe something for the house that I can't resist and otherwise wouldn't buy due to finances.

Hmmm.. Come to think of it, I'm a sucker for all that plastic/acrylic dishwear they load the shelves with every summer at target! Fun dishes! lol

mani or pedi or facial or massage. any combination. but since you are an active mum, a mani would not work cos it would start peeling the minute you wash a dish. a pedi lasts longer and makes you feel pampered if you pair it with a paraffin wax. facials are dicey cos they may end up leaving you with a pocked face and a massage doesn't last.

soooo... i say pedi with paraffin and a paraffin for your hands with no mani. ooooh!! and get your eyebrows done.


I would buy pretty underthings. There is just something so nice about new bras and panties. :)!

Lord! That is exactly what I do, sit on something like that. I still have $100 gift card left from Best Buy, also from Nov. What to spend it on? Sigh.

I second the book suggestion though. =)

Books or craft supplies!

I would think about buying some nice moisturizer (like from the department store, not Wal-Mart), then I would decide that the Wal-Mart stuff is fine and buy a nice spring jacket. I would never blow it on a spa day... like you said, $100 is a lot of money these days.

I would go stay at a hotel. by myself. no husband. no kids. no alarm clock. endless hot water supply for a shower.

A monkey. Haven't you always wanted a monkey?

I'd probably go for a spa day, and get a little pampering. Or a cute purse, maybe. Or blow it all on books.

Books and/or knitting yarn (possibly not much good if you don't knit).

Liking the day spa idea though.

$100 would buy a LOT of twizzlers!

I could probably list 100 things that I could and would spend $100 on, but I'm a selfish, materialistic prick.

I am glad someone else has a hard time with gift cards too. I always feel like I have to spend them on some extraordinary that I wouldn't usually splurge on, but what is that? I like the ideas you've gotten -- something from Barnes and Noble, a massage, and a nice piece of jewelry (a single pearl necklace?) are all super ideas.

Either jewelry, or a massage. A really long massage.

Professional photography / portrait
Shoes or any accessories
An insane meal with wine. Husband included.
...or lunch with treat!

I would buy shoes. Not pretty, dainty shoes that you nerve wear, but cool, comfy shoes that you will wear so that every time you look down, they make you happy.

For me, this would probably be something from the Clarks/Indigo line or Born or something of the sort.

Easy. I'd buy a new pair of Keen shoes. They may be a bit too granola/outdoorsy for the East Coast, but they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. I just got a pair of the greenish mary jane looking ones. They run around $80, so with the left over cash, I'd buy a latte and a few songs on iTunes. :)

hookers and drugs

I would buy a lot of books. Because that's what I do with every left over penny - buy books.

When I am looking forward to a vacation, a few months before I like to start buying new clothes that I really like and then not wear them until the trip. That way I can have a new outfit for every day of my vacation. I have done that for the past few years and it has been really fun. Also, you can't go wrong with spa day!

A new purse. Nothing makes you feel more like a new woman than a new purse.

How about some cool jewelry? Something that you can wear very regularly and really enjoy. I just popped over to Andrea's Superhero site and she's taking orders again for her necklaces. I have wanted one FOREVER and wish I could order one right now! But that's something you could have and feel a bit spoiled and pretty in.

Whatever you spend it on, have fun!

definately a spa day. Massage, mani and pedi!! Oh or maybe a fancy haircut and color.

I think I would spend it on maid service.

Purse, bag, wallet. Or knock yourself out with some outlet shopping, get clothes cheap so you get a lot of them. Or jewelery. Buy something pretty you could wear a lot, like nice earrings you could wear every day or a necklace or bracelet.

Geez, I can't guide you on this one, I still have a $25 eBay gift certificate I still can't spend!

A facial and a deep-tissue massage. Maybe a pedicure too depending on how affordable the salon is.

If it were me I would go to our local mall that has a used bookstore (with $1 magazines!), an Old Navy, and a Shoe Pavilion, and not leave until every last cent was gone. Old Navy has some pretty cute denim capri pants right now, you could get a pair in Extra Extra Skinny (although WARNING: the little girl's section is filled with the cutest dresses on EARTH and you might need a little extra Mia Mad Money).

Jeans. No contest. I LOVE them. And one can never have enough.

And a shirt. Because I don't buy $100-jeans and I would have money left over. But the shirt I bought would probably be a white button-up that would look Just Like the other 5 white button-up shirts in my closet and then I would lament my White Shirt-Blue Jean Insanity.

I like the house cleaning service idea.
I also like the idea of splurging on beauty products you would never buy otherwise.
I like the sexy undies idea, too.

How about a nice bottle of perfume?

a handbag. or really pretty flip flops. I know you said shoes were out, but some fun flip flops will get worn to death.

i'd go get a bottle of wine or two, (i'm really loving yellow tail's new shiraz grenache (sp?) it's v yummy!), head to lush and get a couple of bubble bath thingies (anamondopondo (again, sp?) is my fave but I just got that and three new ones to try) and a couple of bath melts (makes the water all creamy and yummy) and a couple of either good books or escapist chick lit books and then make chris watch mia for one night a week for 4 weeks (or however many night as you have bubble bath to use) and have ONE NIGHT TO YOURSELF. no kids, no husband, just pure RELAXATION. :D

let me know what you end up doing!

$100 would get a lot in my penny-pinching, coupon-clipping, sale code searching world. I need clothes. Badly. I would spend the $100 on new underwear and jeans that don't make me look like I'm hiding spiral hams on my person. Basically, clothes that are stain and shred free that actually FIT!

I do like the idea someone had of going to a hotel for a day and night by yourself. As for the spa day, that's a total waste of money to me especially since you can have your husband give you a massage for free. You can get a polish change on your toes to get that just pedicured look for a few dollars. I love the idea someone had of some excellent quality makeup. A girl should always splurge on her makeup. Drug store bought mascara and powder just don't do and you'll want to take those extra 3 minutes to use it in the morning. Happy buying!

A Day at the spa...if that covers it...I wouldn't know :(

I have to agree that some kind of spa treatment would be my choice. Maybe a facial.

But I have to say, Angela Marie cracked me up. I have always wanted a monkey. Maybe buy a ticket and spend the day with Angela Marie.


Or Amazon.

I got a gift card for my last birthday and spent it on glasses...sort of dull but I needed them and I wear them every night, sometimes all day and I wanted good ones. But usually, when I get a chunk of money I want to buy something lasting, so I'll buy a little rug, or a piece of art or a great antique frame, or jewelry, or something like that--maybe an expensive book I would never buy otherwise. Because "a thing of beauty is a joy forever" and I am never ever sorry I bought those things.

Manicure. Pedicure. And as many boxes of Cheez-its you can buy. :)

Spa Day! You won't regret it and you'll feel fabulous afterwards.

The spa thing sounds nice but once it's's over.

Since $ is dear right now I'd want to spend it on something that will last. However, since it is a gift I'd not want it to be something practical.

So I vote for a new handbag or new shoes (how about a pair of Crocs?) How about some new undies, who can't use a new bra and some panties??

Whatever you do...enjoy it!

As a frugal mom I'm always thinking, buy something that will last. A great pair of boots or a picture you've been wanting....

but after you've had one professional massage you'll know what I mean when I say, blow it all on a spa day with massage.....omigod.

Hookers ...

No, I might try to invest it in something. I spend money on myself now and then. I usually end up buying something for my wife or kids. I like a good massage now and then which from a massage school is only $30. The swimsuit is a good idea. Maybe a good family portrait of you three. That would last a really long time and you could share it with relatives.


Okay, I know! Perfume! Do you like perfume? My favorites are by L'Artisan, and I know there are perfumes that cost more, but to me L'Artisan is big expensive. Like, $75 for a bottle. If I had $100, I would buy a bottle of L'Artisan perfume, and then I would spend the remaining $25 (assuming I got free shipping on the perfume) on samples of other perfumes I might like to try.

Or, I like someone else's idea of going somewhere like Bath and Body Works (the only scent I like is lavendar-vanilla, but I REALLY like it) or The Body Shop and buying some good moisturizers or shower gels or something.

That's if you're SURE you don't want jewelry. Because pretty earrings = easy way to feel fancy.

I vote massage.

I just did it (well, more than $100, but my husband's job gets me a great discount)... a few good bras. It's amazing how much better I feel now that the girls are where they are supposed to be. They aren't sexy or thrilling, so they are totally now for Chris. But they give me some semblance of a figure again. A couple of awesome bras are indispensible.

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