What would you randomly spend a thousand dollars on?
September 3, 2013 11:56 AM   Subscribe

What would you randomly spend a thousand dollars on?

It doesn't have to be that much, it's just an upper limit.

My computer is good enough. My phone is good enough. My car is good enough. My just about everything tangible is good enough.

So what would you get? Something interesting? Something entertaining? I have ferrets and cats, so if it entertains them, it entertains me. Is it even tangible? A cruise is out because of the pets, but I've been thinking about getting a massage package or something.
posted by Evilspork to Grab Bag (95 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Vacation. Pets can be boarded or you can hire a sitter.
posted by Kriesa at 11:57 AM on September 3, 2013

Definitely a trip somewhere. Happy and/or interesting memories enrich my life far more than any stuff.
posted by kadia_a at 11:59 AM on September 3, 2013 [5 favorites]

Nothing. Spend your money wisely.
posted by oceanjesse at 11:59 AM on September 3, 2013 [17 favorites]

I'd do some serious damage to my Amazon Wish List. Or put it in the rainy day fund, if it's not a must-spend-now situation.
posted by Etrigan at 12:00 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Really great bedding. A douvet, great pillows, maybe a feather bed, really great sheets... That is the gift that keeps on giving.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 12:01 PM on September 3, 2013 [22 favorites]

Is there a gun to my head? Then I'll buy a new pair of glasses frames, with fresh new prescription lenses inside. I like these, in blue.
posted by BostonTerrier at 12:03 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Multiple sessions with a trainer, yoga teacher and/or masseuse.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:04 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Redecorating my apartment.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:05 PM on September 3, 2013

Man, I'm a homeowner. I'd call the electrician to take a look at the circuit that I suspect is going to need to be rewired.

Besides that, I'd probably drop around $200 on a Lego set or a nice bottle of scotch, and leave the rest in the bank. If nothing springs to mind now, I'd rather wait for a genuine desire than try to fake something.

(These are hypotheticals, of course. If *I* actually got a random grand right now, I have plenty of current and immediate-future expenses that would eat it. Mostly travel-related, but planned travel, not random-whim travel.)
posted by restless_nomad at 12:05 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

A new hobby!
posted by kitcat at 12:05 PM on September 3, 2013

A lens for a camera. A weekend trip somewhere I'd never otherwise go. A class on something I wanted to get good at.

If nothing excited me, I'd invest it.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:08 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Two words: Donors Choose.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 12:08 PM on September 3, 2013 [6 favorites]

Equipment to try out a couple of different outdoor sports. Probably roller blades, a cheap (used) kayak or canoe, cross-country skis, backpacking gear. These kinds of things can really help you appreciate the world around you, and also give you lots of health benefits too.
posted by miyabo at 12:09 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

To clarify, this is extra money. My bills are paid, the pets are healthy, I'm just looking for an extra something and I set myself a limit that will not break the bank.
posted by Evilspork at 12:11 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Find something near you on Kickstarter that you like. Fund it enough to snag a high dollar pledge. That's venture capitalism.
posted by oceanjesse at 12:12 PM on September 3, 2013 [5 favorites]

posted by Capt. Renault at 12:13 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

I was just at an art gallery.

Buy art.

It's something made by a human being, it supports creativity and you can enjoy it for a long time.
posted by ambient2 at 12:13 PM on September 3, 2013 [5 favorites]

Cooking stuff. Over the years I have bought (on sale admittedly) three really nice knives, a Le Creuset stock pot (ding and dent at Filene's, which is a great place to get them), a couple of other nice pans and implements, and I've had them all forever - coming up on 18 years for the chef's knife. Never regretted it!

Also, get bedding, but not sheets - get a couple of good blankets and a quilt with a duvet cover. I really appreciate my good blankets and my (not super fancy but good enough) quilt.
posted by Frowner at 12:14 PM on September 3, 2013 [4 favorites]

I would definitely go for buying a series of facials or massages at a highly rated spa. That would run about $400-$700 for six, and if you spaced them out to one every month or six weeks you've got a pretty good relaxation investment. Or if you live in a wintery place some really good, classic looking, well made leather boots and a classic jacket.

But actually, unless you have a stocked emergency fund, I'd save at least half myself. Consider it F You money for when something strikes your fancy.
posted by itsonreserve at 12:15 PM on September 3, 2013

Music instrument or some other kind of related equipment.
posted by General Malaise at 12:16 PM on September 3, 2013

Send three girls to high school for a year?
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:19 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

I too would say art. I love this website, with a fair number of choices at your price range.
posted by thinkpiece at 12:19 PM on September 3, 2013

13.3458 shares of VOO.
posted by saeculorum at 12:21 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, actually - that's a thought...why not earmark X percentage of it for donations? I find that I'm always wanting to kick in a little money for all kinds of things (Black Girls Code, for example; someone who is fighting deportation; kickstarters for good documentaries)...and if you build that into your budget you can do it without worrying about your bank statement.
posted by Frowner at 12:22 PM on September 3, 2013 [4 favorites]

A great massage for me, a new climbing tree for the cats, something nice for my partner (would have to think about what he'd like), a great pair of shoes (Fluevogs, perhaps?), and then blow the rest on Kindle books.

In reality I'd make myself put some of it into the house repair fund, which means I'd probably have to pick massage or great shoes, not both. But let me enjoy spending my imaginary windfall!
posted by Stacey at 12:24 PM on September 3, 2013

An abundance of really good quality hand* tools for doing whatever you like to do, be it woodworking, fixing bikes, or just odd jobs around the house.

They will save you countless hours, they will bring you joy and satisfaction, they will help you, they will help you help others, they will be an investment and they will outlast you and one day do all that stuff for someone else.

*With maybe the exception being a cordless drill/driver.
posted by bondcliff at 12:25 PM on September 3, 2013

Take carpentry classes and build your ferrets and cats all manner of interesting obstacles to explore, runs to travel outside in, cages to live in, and shelves to perch on.
posted by lstanley at 12:25 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Pedro's Master Tool Kit 3.0 and a good bike repair stand.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 12:31 PM on September 3, 2013

Laser eye surgery.
posted by emilyw at 12:36 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'd book a years worth of monthly massages.
posted by Elly Vortex at 12:40 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

Stock in Apple after they release their phones on Sept 10 and everyone bashes them for not being innovative enough.
posted by jmmpangaea at 12:41 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Do you live in a house? How about a backup generator?
posted by dukes909 at 12:43 PM on September 3, 2013

Me? I'd buy a spinning wheel and classes to learn how to use it. And I'd take my husband out for a really nice dinner.
posted by sarcasticah at 12:45 PM on September 3, 2013

Since you literally don't know what to spend your money on, please read about money, happiness, and giving.
Here's some research!

Here -- here's a TED talk.

Or you might get a better idea :)
posted by amtho at 12:46 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

If I had no immediate needs, enough money in the bank and all that, i'd buy a shit-ton of diapers and formula and donate them to domestic violence crisis shelters and food banks in my city.
posted by ramix at 12:46 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

What do you send most of your time doing when you're not working. Figure that out and buy the best accessory or tool that you can find for doing that.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:47 PM on September 3, 2013

If $1k is a "soft" limit and you could push a little over, I'd recommend any of these upgrades. Purchasing them definitely made me feel more Grown Up:

- A memory foam mattress from Keetsa
- A bespoke suit
- An appliance upgrade to a modern stove or fridge (assuming you own your place)
- You could seriously upgrade your cookware for that kind of money. I don't recommend "sets" (you get a lot of pieces you don' t need), but you could get a couple All-Clad pots and pans and a Le Creuset dutch oven for about a grand.

You could probably also find a good knife skills class and have enough left over to buy 2-3 great knives.
posted by mkultra at 12:52 PM on September 3, 2013

This pen.
posted by dhruva at 12:53 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

new drum kit. Gretsch.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:04 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Last time I had that opportunity, I bought a new bed and some high-quality pillows. Totally worth it. Next time, it would probably be a full set of attachments for my KitchenAid mixer.

But a week-long trip someplace relaxing might be nice too.
posted by epanalepsis at 1:06 PM on September 3, 2013

Do you like sitting around listening to music?

Last time I was in this position I upgraded from having a "good enough" stereo to a fucking kickass one for about 2/3rds of that much. Spend the leftover on buying all your favorite albums on vinyl.

I did some Internet research, and bought a kick ass integrated amplifier, speakers, turntable, and CD player. All used/vintage stuff. The turntable was by far the most expensive part.

I could go on for hours(ok maybe not, but a long ass time) about how much enjoyment I've gotten out of this. Albums I've played a million times sounded new again. I noticed things I've never noticed before in stuff I've played since I was a little kid. I would say the $10,000 audiophile stuff(which I've tried/heard!) isn't worth it. But the upgrade from an "it's ok" basic stereo or low-mid end home theater setup to an actual dedicated music listening "mid-fi" stereo is pretty huge. If you live somewhere where the weather sucks fairly often that+reading is almost a panacea.

And thinking about that, it's probably as much enjoyment as I've gotten out of my bike... $1000 would get you a freaking kickass bike. Mine was once again, about 2/3 of that and I love it. It's fun and it makes you feel great. If you've only ever had a Walmart or other low end "it's ok I guess" bike like a cheap trek get on that shit now.

I know those are both tangible things, but they're both more of gateways to greater enjoyment of something else. And things that people tend to take for granted to an extent of "well that's how that thing works when it's working right" when there's a lot more possibility for enjoyment there.
posted by emptythought at 1:12 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'd eat at the fanciest restaurant I could. Alinea, Moto, L2o , Spiaggia, Topolobampo, etc.
posted by Fig at 1:13 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

As others said, really good bedding: sheets, pillow, mattress pad, duvet, duvet cover. The whole set.

Blinds/curtains. It may cost more, depending on what you get, but we got these cordless, top-down-bottom-up, light and heat blocking cellular blinds for our big picture windows. Since there's no AC in our area, it really helps keep the house cool on sunny summer days.

We installed a gas line and changed from an electric to duel fuel stove for around $1200 total. ($750+tax for pulling the gas line. $600 for the new used range. -$150 for selling the old range.) You may be able to do it for under a grand. It makes cooking a blast!

Do you have a hobby you always wanted to do? When I got into woodworking, I spent about a grand on used tools (saws, drills, sander, etc) and materials. When I tried hiking/backpacking, I spent about a grand on various sleeping bag, sleeping pad, stuff (and borrowed the rest). If you want to get in shape, maybe a series of personal trainer sessions.
posted by ethidda at 1:13 PM on September 3, 2013

Cleaning service
posted by bq at 1:13 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'd eat at restaurants I've always wanted to try.

But right now? I'd drop it on a new Macintosh.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:20 PM on September 3, 2013

I would not get A Stuff Thing unless I was going to use it every day, so a nice duvet would be an option. Otherwise I would spend it on massage because there is legitimately no possible way to describe how wonderful and useful it is to have someone therapeutically rub your neck/shoulders/butt until you have it done.
posted by elizardbits at 1:22 PM on September 3, 2013

A chest freezer and a quarter (or side) of grass-fed beef. Scraps would make the cats very happy, too.

Or, on an unrelated note, Bitcoins.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 1:22 PM on September 3, 2013

I cannot tell you because your question asks for a random choice. If I have any role in the decision, it is not longer random.

So, I have used the Random Amazon Product Generator and the result was Octagon All Purpose Laundry Bar Soap by Colgate - 7 Oz. At $26.89 per bar, I would by 37 bars of this soap.

So, use the Random Amazon Product Generator. One shot and that's it. No rerolls. Otherwise, you are just kidding yourself about making a random choice.
posted by Tanizaki at 1:24 PM on September 3, 2013 [21 favorites]

This is such an interesting question because I think many of us are in a position where $1000 would go a long way with bills and debt so it's hard to remove that as our default thought when considering what we'd do with the cash.

Given your initial parameters, however, I think I'd have to choose between these spending "packages":

A: Proper haircut, dye job, keratin treatment, new glasses, and a new wardrobe that makes me look like the new higher up that I finally am.

B: Disneyland passes, and a weekend's stay at the Grand Californian for me and my parents to honor their first date anniversary.

C: Invest in my collection of art and rare books, then spend the rest on Kiva and Kickstarter.

D: Fund four friends' classrooms and get them new supplies for their students.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 1:26 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

A watch.
posted by wrok at 1:43 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Don't buy bedding, buy a bed. Seriously, a nice bed will get more use than anything else you could possibly buy, other than a house. You spend about a third of your life in bed, and buying a nice one will go a long way to helping you sleep better. This assumes that you don't already have a nice bed.

If you do, than get a nice chefs knife. The difference in the cooking experience between using crappy knives and using a really nice knife is like night and day. You will find yourself cooking healthier with a nice knife.

Or, you could buy a nice musical instrument. $1,000 is reaching the point where you could buy an American made fender. This is assuming you have an interest in music.

Sign up for one of those organic food coop delivery services that give you a bag of organic veggies and fruits every week.

Buy a nice camera, or a new blender, or some other appliance that you use, and get the best that you can.

Buy a set of lessons for something you'd like to learn, like playing music, or painting, or homebrewing, or surfing, or whatever. Make an experience out of it (which studies show will bring you more happiness than just buying a thing).

Buy a $200 bottle of tequila, scotch, whiskey, gin, and wine. Have some friends over once a month to do a tasting, ask them to bring some fancy cheese or something nice that would go with whatever you'll be trying, and then do a proper tasting of some fancy liquor. If you went through half a bottle of each one, and you spent closer to $100-150 for each, you could do this for a year or more.

If you want to contribute to artists, you could buy art to hang up in your house. Alternatively, you could spend that money buying shirts and other merch from each of your favorite indie or local bands, which would be money going directly to musicians, and you'd have some cool shirts and other stuff to show for it.

You could hire some bands to come play music at your house. Artists such as Marian Call do house concerts all over the country, and you'd have a lovely night of music with you and your friends.

Install a sky light in your house (assuming you own your house).

Buy a gym membership and prepay the entire thing for as long as you can. There's no better incentive to go than giving them your money.

Hire a flower service to send you or a loved one fresh flowers to work every week.
posted by markblasco at 1:43 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

Exchange all of it for pennies, and then have an event at a local fountain where people can come and make wishes, using your gigantic pile of pennies. In the end make sure the money goes to charity. Hell, you may even get on the local news for something like this. I can't think of a cooler story to tell my kids than that.
posted by markblasco at 1:44 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Having a small cushion for savings isn't sexy or fun, but I get a ton of piece of mind having a couple thousand dollars in savings for those rare weird things like a cat requiring emergency vet service or helping pay for a family funeral or all the other sorts of unforeseeable emergency purchases you have to make in adult life. So I'd put it in a special savings account you couldn't spend quickly or easily unless it was an emergency.
posted by mathowie at 1:46 PM on September 3, 2013 [5 favorites]

Buy museum memberships, season tickets for your local arts center, whatever. You get a year's admission and all the perks to your favorite places, or maybe you get to go to concerts and plays you ordinarily wouldn't have thought you could afford, and you get to support art and culture.

Or buy a work of art you really love--a painting, a sculpture, whatever. I collect Navajo weavings and Pueblo pottery from New Mexico and the Four Corners area, and I'd be putting the money toward something really beautiful that could also, in theory, increase in value over time. The last rug I bought was woven by an eighteen-year-old weaver, a young woman with a small daughter, and I chose it not just because the rug was charming and well-made but because I thought it would be great to encourage someone who was just starting out.
posted by tully_monster at 1:56 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Paying for an experience rather than a thing would have the most lasting value.

Is there an art class you've wanted to take? Language course? Have you wanted to try skydiving? Want to do one of those NASCAR road experiences? If it weren't for your pets, I'd suggest travel.

Not looking to do something just for you? How about helping fund something fun for underprivileged youth in your area? A friend of mine worked together with a skate shop down in Alabama and purchased a boatload of skateboarding supplies at cost to just hand out to the kids in the area. It got them involved in a great, active community that keeps them out of trouble and moving around.
posted by singinginmychains at 2:03 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just on the nonprofit-donation angle: take a look at what a $1000 donation "buys" from the organizations you might consider funding. For some (especially smaller and more local) organizations that might be the cutoff for a lifetime subscription/Friend of the Org/etc. tier of donors, which might make this feel more like a special gesture — on top of the usual warm fuzzies you get from writing a check to an important cause.
posted by RogerB at 2:03 PM on September 3, 2013

A really, really good hair cut.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 2:05 PM on September 3, 2013

$1000 on black!!
posted by JenThePro at 2:07 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

posted by argonauta at 2:09 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'd take a few classes on welding in the local community college.
posted by JJ86 at 2:09 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

A cheap old motorcycle that I can restore. Or a dirt bike. Whatever caught my eye first in my price range.
posted by mollymayhem at 2:17 PM on September 3, 2013

If you want to spend it on a tangible thing, the bed ideas thrown around so far are really great.

If I wanted to spend $1000 on a weekend adventure and couldn't go away on vacation, I might make it a two-parter. Get 7 friends or so and treat everyone to white water rafting on Saturday (probably about $480) and then take in an NFL game on Sunday (probably about $400 for the cheap seats, depending on your team/opponent). Probably enough left over to do some tailgating beforehand or a barbeque afterwards.
posted by cali59 at 2:31 PM on September 3, 2013

Cleaning service for the year!! Life changing.
posted by barnone at 2:32 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Massages in packages can decline with each since they've already been paid in advance. Instead, book appointments with therapists with unique specialities:

reflexology, Indian Ayurvedic (oil therapy), Chua K'a, Zoku Shin Do (Chinese), Watson (water therapy), Lomi Lomi (Hawaiian), Kum Nye (Tibetan).

Typically costly to try such exotic types, you have the option of indulging in several in order to find the best one (ones) for you.
posted by Kruger5 at 2:41 PM on September 3, 2013

Throw a big party.
posted by BibiRose at 2:55 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

A number of years ago, as payment of a debt from an ex-roommate, I received a top of the line, hand built racing bicycle; until then I had ridden a practical, "pretty good" bike. The difference was astounding, it was so much more fun to ride, and worked so well in so many ways. For the first time I gained an appreciation of why some people were willing to spend So Much Money on top end products. At the time (in the 70s), this bike cost around $1000, and a perfectly serviceable bike might have been $250. So my suggestion is, think of something you use a lot, that you'd normally pay $200 or $300 for, and go and buy the $1000 version of it. (for me, this set of chisels would be an option, or maybe one of these rugs.)
posted by mr vino at 3:29 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

A Roth IRA, or, if you are not within the income range, another type of investment.
posted by mlis at 3:29 PM on September 3, 2013

If the money really was "left over": model trains or other silly collector's stuff. Otherwise art yes, musical instruments no. Very difficult to get any type of worthwhile instrument at that price.
posted by Namlit at 3:31 PM on September 3, 2013

If we're talking windfall/money I've earmarked for fun stuff: I like to cook and bake, so I'd splurge on a fancy Kitchenaid mixer and good knives (which I think is a somewhat virtuous use of extra money, given that good kitchen equipment is meant to last for years), and spend the rest on a weekend trip to visit friends.
posted by yasaman at 3:42 PM on September 3, 2013

Hey everyone missing the spirit of the question, just pretend he has a 6th month emergency fund and has maxed out his IRA for the year.

I'd probably upgrade a few pretty good things I enjoy to great things, starting with the bike then the desktop.
posted by DynamiteToast at 3:53 PM on September 3, 2013

If I had less than a million in the bank I would just invest it. Nothing feels as good as freedom.
If I HAD to spend it, would take a trip to the big island in Hawaii.
posted by jcworth at 4:00 PM on September 3, 2013

A stand-up paddle board.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 4:09 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Go to decent restaurants where people don't tip big, and if the waiter/waitress was good and seems nice, tip 50% or 100%
posted by Jacen at 4:15 PM on September 3, 2013 [4 favorites]

I would buy the Architecture Bed and I would spend the next few decades being glad I did.
posted by 2oh1 at 4:20 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would buy a nice router and a table saw for my workshop. You can never go wrong buying good tools.
posted by Pecinpah at 4:28 PM on September 3, 2013

Long weekend trip. In my case, to Portland, OR in August. I could do that for $1,000.
posted by cnc at 5:35 PM on September 3, 2013

Personally, I would get a nice telescope, or purchase a basic set of electric woodworking tools, but those are my hobbies, not yours.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:36 PM on September 3, 2013

I have two broken pianos in the house right now. One is a 100-year-old player piano that we optimistically planned to restore (ha ha ha), the other is my electric keyboard which was thoroughly badass when I got it in 1997 and has finally given up the ghost. I haven't had a working piano in the house for over a year now and I miss it so badly, and I don't need one with all the crazy functionality like my old keyboard had; it just needs to produce a decent piano sound and have decent touch. So yeah, that.

If not that, then we were wanting to go to Corpus Christi for our kid's first plane trip sometime next year, so I'd probably book that.
posted by agress at 5:41 PM on September 3, 2013

I would advise you to give it all to me. Hey, it's Charity!

I'd donate a big chunk to a no-kill animal shelter, but spend the rest on a nice dinner.
I'd replace all my old Wal-Mart dinnerware with a special pattern of quality China that'll last a lifetime.
I'd take my mama on a trip to Ireland.
I'd convert my pool to saline.
I'd buy a puppy.
I'd get the cars serviced on schedule at the dealer instead of just going to Jiffy-Lube.
I'd go on a real honeymoon instead of just a weekend at a local hotel.
I'd go sky-diving (and scream the whole way down).
I'd give it all to the total strangers behind me in line at K-Mart who have 3 kids in tow and are trying to buy school supplies at the last minute.

And lastly, I'd put that shit in the bank - 'cause fortune is as fleeting as love and as tender as fresh grass... here today, gone tomorrow.
posted by matty at 6:11 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd get soapstone countertops for my kitchen (it's small enough that I think I could do it for a grand). And if there was any left over, I would pay someone else to paint the cabinets so I don't have to.
posted by raspberrE at 6:20 PM on September 3, 2013

Are winters cold where you are? Because that sucks but in recent years I have been moving over to the 'there's no bad weather, only bad clothing' camp. For $1k you could get seriously warm winter gear (look at military parkas; the right ones are all sorts of warm and even sort of stylish), down to sets of silk and wool long underwear and a cashmere scarf and silk glove liners and whatever other cold-weather luxuries.

If this itch is more towards the impractical, I'd blow it all at the (better-stocked, posh) liquor store. Wait, maybe not so impractical? That would also afford several years of warmth at just the right moments.
posted by kmennie at 6:53 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would rent a cabin in the woods for the week.
posted by hazel79 at 7:18 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd buy beer at the next meetup.
posted by srboisvert at 8:46 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

New bike!
(not that I just did this...)
posted by crazycanuck at 8:46 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ok, so I'd buy wood for a bonfire, or y'know, a trailer just to move stuff around, up to 200 pairs of rainbow glasses http://www.rainbowsymphonystore.com/laser-viewers-retailbox.html for maybe $100, and then about $100 worth of glowsticks (that's more than a thousand), and some fireworks, and throw a party.

Showing up at an event with stuff like the above is way, way, way cooler than, for example, a much smaller quantity of alcohol, and many other forgettable purchases.

Seriously, for $1000 you could fund a picnic food for a lot of people. Just, hell, a free picnic. Theme it if you want. Zombie, whatever. Print flyers. Free food. How epic would that be? Or icecream.

People do boring things with money. Hey, I do boring things with money.
I'd suggest going to Thailand but you'd be better doing that with $2k.
posted by Elysum at 8:58 PM on September 3, 2013

Shoes. In a heartbeat.
posted by macinchik at 9:23 PM on September 3, 2013

It's nowhere near $1000 or even $100, but get a Juicy Salif 'cause it's cool.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:48 PM on September 3, 2013

I'm totally with emptythought here since I did something similar this year, upgraded my low-mid amp to a nice one worth a few hundred, and WOW. At the time I thought I might be spoiling myself, but no, a nice amp really is worth it. I can hear so much more, basically everything emptythought said is also true for me (though I don't have a turntable, sigh).

I originally came in to say "bike" too. You can get serious bike for a grand nowadays. Go to a local bike shop, that way they'll guide you towards something that will fit your needs, wants, and body. Usually a free, professional fitting is included with a bike purchase, too, which is absolutely worth it. I'm getting an 1100-euro road bike, went to the shop yesterday, woot.

One other recommendation if you go the bike route: never try a bike you can't afford. Especially if you like bikes. Because you will find a way to pay for it. I grew up road cycling, had to stop for various reasons, got a mountain bike seven years ago, and assiduously stayed the heck away from any other bikes in that time. It's a good thing, because when I got on the display model of the road bike I ordered in the bike shop, I was like, "Omigod this is a SWEET BIKE" and I didn't even move the wheels, only the pedals. Backwards. (On recommendation of the bike guy so he could evaluate preliminary fit.)

Music and cycling are experiences that really improve life, if already things you enjoy to an extent.

That and travel, definitely. No matter how hard-up I've been on certain trips, I have nothing but great memories of them.
posted by fraula at 7:24 AM on September 4, 2013

Something totally vain I usually couldn't justify- a few sessions with a trainer to help my form, fancy highlights, teeth whitening, some crazy spa skin treatment thing or a course of massages. Stuff like that. I'm happy with all my things and my wardrobe is pretty set in stone at this point- so I'd hit up the pure luxuries.

Or go eat at 11 Madison Park. It's supposed to be an experience.
posted by The Whelk at 12:52 PM on September 4, 2013

(oh and I have a separate saving account that I tip money into from time to time, it's just for stuff like Donor's Choice or Kickstarter, I'd maybe put 300 aside and start handing out 25 dollar drops on anything that struck my fancy one night.)
posted by The Whelk at 12:54 PM on September 4, 2013

If you want to give this money away and enjoy the experience of doing so, give a giant tip to a server, or several really big tips to several servers, in a restaurant. Videotape their reaction.
posted by Dansaman at 2:57 PM on September 4, 2013

You asked, so I'll answer: if you have so much money you're having a hard time figuring out how to spend it, you need to stop buying geegaws and give some of it away.

For example, give it to heifer.org. The number of people you could assist with _very_ direct needs, like securing enough food for their children, would be significant.
posted by ravioli at 6:31 PM on September 4, 2013

Oh I came back today from the dentist and just spent another grand, this time on porcelain fillings. yay
posted by crazycanuck at 9:09 PM on September 5, 2013

if you have so much money you're having a hard time figuring out how to spend it, you need to stop buying geegaws and give some of it away.

I haven't spent money on myself in so long I have no idea what normal people spend money on.
posted by Evilspork at 4:28 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

One thing you might consider, instead of buying a couple of large things, is setting aside a chunk for weekly fancy restaurant dinners or something. I personally would much rather eat out with friends more often than buy a new toy, and social dining is where most of my fun money goes.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:40 PM on September 6, 2013

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