Perhaps you found a $10 bill on the street, or you won $10 on a lottery ticket. Can you compound your good fortune by putting that ten spot to good use?
To be clear, we are interested in uses that have some sort of positive investment feedback, and not necessarily with money. Buying $10 worth of ice cream and eating it immediately has a very short-term benefit but several long-term detriments (like when you step on the scale). Instead, we provide ten examples that provide positive effects for your $10.
- Invest it – Add the money to any pool of investment money that you have, anything from a brokerage account to a peer-to-peer lending account. Granted, $10 isn’t going to make much difference, but anytime you can receive any positive returns on an investment, you should take the opportunity.
- Pay Down a Debt – You probably cannot eliminate any of your debt with $10, but you can put a dent in it. Every little bit helps, especially with respect to high interest credit card debts or installment debts that allow you to pay ahead.
- “Pay It Forward” – Use that $10 to pay a stranger’s bill at the coffee shop or the fast-food drive-through. You will be propagating your windfall through kindness. We hope the recipient will “pay it forward” and cover someone else’s expenses on a different day.
- Donate to Charity – Donation is another method of investing in goodwill. $10 does not sound like much, but every little bit helps. If you are concerned about how the donations are used in national organizations, look into local charities such as food banks.
- Shop Locally – Support your local shopkeepers and help to stimulate your local economy. Buy some fruits and vegetables at a farmer’s market. Invest in the works of your local artists. See what hidden bargains you can find at used bookstores, thrift stores, or flea markets.
- Catch up with Friends – Use your $10 to treat a friend to coffee or a similar inexpensive treat (yes, even ice cream). It can be a great way to relax and catch up with friends you have not seen recently. The companionship can provide a dramatic return on your investment.
- Treat Your Spouse – All of us who have been married for any length of time know this is the best investment you can make. A small gift or a simple date can keep you at the $10 mark and subtly remind your spouse that he/she is the most important thing in your world. $10 may not go far at a four-star restaurant, but it certainly can buy some flowers that can brighten your better half’s mood.
- Household Repairs – Replacing an old leaking toilet shutoff or buying a tube of caulk to seal up a leaking window are just a few ways that you can turn your $10 into an investment that will save you money over the long term. Besides, lots of guys need an excuse to go to the hardware store on a Saturday afternoon.
- Car Maintenance – $10 oil changes are hard to find these days, but any amount that can be placed toward maintaining your car pays off in fewer repairs down the road (pun intended).
- Save for Future Spending – An extra $10 in the new car fund or college fund for your kids is $10 less you will have to borrow.
These are just a few of the ways you can invest $10 and see returns, whether financial for you or societal for the greater good of all. We are sure you can think of more. However, we are still not going to consider $10 of ice cream for yourself as an investment, even if you do not eat it all right away.