A handful of SUPER clever ways to spend $100 this holiday season :) PLUS: Our Christmas Stimulus winners!

‘Sup sup!

J. Money Claus here to spread the wealth, both literally and figuratively! ;)

Just spent three solid hours reading and responding to all the great entries from last week’s Christmas Stimulus giveaway (over 800+ comments!), and WOW was it fascinating! You guys are so freakin’ creative!! We had the usual “I’d pay down debts” or “I’d bank it/invest it” or “I’d give it all away to charity” responses of course, but I was blown away by the level of thought that a lot of you put into this too.

You’re good :)

But since I can’t give $100 to *everyone* who made me smile today (and also because I made this a *randomized* drawing vs hand-picking the winners), I wanted to showcase a lot of these gems I came across in case they help you with your OWN ideas for the upcoming holidays, but also just to show these commenters some love too. Perhaps the fame you get off it today will amount to more than $100 over time? I mean, this IS the most fantastic blog in the world, you know!

Before we get to all that though, let me announce the 5 people who DID win the contest so you’re not biting off all your nails and annoying your co-workers.

So drum roll please…. dum ditty dum ditty dum…

The 5 lucky winners of $100 a piece are:

  1. Nicole P.
  2. Maisie
  3. Sarah P. 
  4. Danny (Commenter #633)
  5. Mike (Commenter #756)

Woo! Congrats! I’ll be reaching out to you on the side to get your money, and be sure to not be strangers the rest of the year as if this was some sort of Church where you only pop over on the “important” days ;) Free education is better than free money, damnit!!

Now to the fun ways to use $100 this holiday!

(Or really, any time – because why only be nice once a year?)

We’ll start with the ones that made me laugh the hardest, and then go down the list to those that were just clever as hell, and then finally right into the ones that make you say, “awwwwww….”

Runners up to the people who mentioned: Chuck E. Cheese’s, doorbells, monks, manatees, accordions, tacos, sensory deprivation tanks (?), pickles, cabin escapes, tequila, fruit roll-ups, marijuana stock, escape rooms, “dutch ovens” (hah!), lunch tables, baseball cards, greenhouses, livestock water troughs, and finally to the one who almost made me spit out my coffee with their “Careergasm courses” line, haha… *goes to turn browser on “private” mode*

Now to the ones we’re paying in fame:


The Prankster

I’d take it to the bank and ask for all quarters, and then take the quarters and glue them to the sidewalk and sit on my porch with my phone filming all the kids so excited to see 400 quarters on the ground, and then me laughing at them because they can’t pick them up.

Then I’d start a YouTube channel with my daily videos and take my millions of dollars from my massive subscriber growth and buy a cabin up in the mountains and buy all the turtles from pet stores to start training them to fight terrorism and then set them free all around the world. – Lance


The Jeffersonian

First I would ask to be paid in $2 bills! Then I would stack those Jefferson’s as high as they would go and just admire them a bit. Then I would hop on my electric bike and head downtown handing them out to anyone in need, ending up at my favorite watering hole with just three of them left. I would then order my favorite IPA and drop my last three Jefferson’s on the unsuspecting waitress and call it a day! – bmiles62


The Convert

I’d convert the $100 all into pennies and leave noticeable and various pennies around the house to drive my brother crazy. – Kevin

(Editor’s Note: I don’t know why that would drive him crazy? It’s FREE MONEY!!! :))


The Goldbug

I would buy gold. Then, I would ask my friends what they would do if they had $100 worth of gold. The best response gets the gold! – Meghan


The Kidder

I would use the $100 on hookers and blow. Just kidding. Something boring like saving for my kids education. – Josh


The Original Zac Efron

I’ll buy 2 MyHeritage DNA kits at a discount. One for myself and another for Zac Efron. I wanna prove everyone wrong that he’s not my twin brother :) – Menard

myheritage dna kit

(Editor’s Note: I actually DO want this kit! It’s pretty cool!!)


The Gamer

I would throw a $100 party. It would consist of me and my girlfriend maybe a brother or cousin in there randomly sitting on the couch at my place drinking crown royal (750ml) $22.97. I would eventually get off the couch, and cook up some ribs (3 racks $38) that had been marinating in the fridge over night (spices and various ingredients $10). After the food is consumed we would partake in a intense game of drunkin-go-kart on the Nintendo 64 (24 pack of Bud Light of Coors Light $20). With the remaining $9.03 we would donate it to a random homeless person. – Heath


The Gambler

Put aside for buying lottery tickets in all of 2018, because someone once said “Is $1 a week worth a chance to win $100,000,000 or even $1,000,000,000?” For me it is.
– Nitin


The Adventurer

We’re looking to convert a school bus over the next year and then take a leap year to travel with our 5 kids (ages 4 months-18yrs) all over the US. I’d add it to our school bus fund! – Aden


The Stealthy Kleenexer

I will exchange them into 100 $1 bills and treat my 10 friends with a box of Kleenex each for Christmas. And after the first couple of Kleenex, there will be surprises waiting. – Kim


The Money Oozer ;)

I would use an extra $100 to buy a bottle of Chanel Mademoiselle perfume. My kids love it when Mommy smells good and it makes me feel sexy – LIKE $$ MONEY $$!
– Rebekah


The Dollar Tree Fan

I would get 50 $1.00 bills and hide them around the Dollar Tree with my granddaughter. Then take her to lunch and leave the rest for a tip. What a fun day!
– Rose


The Financial Gabber

I would use it to pay you $100 for a 30 minute phone call for some financial advice. This would be the biggest gift of all. I feel like the hardest part is talking about money with other people (no one want’s to hear your problems) and it’s driving me crazy because I really want to talk about it and get good sound advice on how to get out of the mess I’m in. – Mike

(Editor’s Note: This is actually a REALLY good idea and there’s a big need for this in our community! Unfortunately I don’t do coaching anymore, but here’s a list of other people in our space here that do – in case anyone else is looking for a good money coach: Directory.rockstarfinance.com/coaches/money-coaches)


The Brainstormer

I have 2 Ebay stores that have been running for a few years now and need to know how to increase our sales… I would use this for a brainstorm session at our local Panera or Starbucks hoping to find someone that could help me with promotion of our sites – or run a contest online for the best idea. – Kate


The Quitter

I will put in my 2-weeks notice at my job for early/mini-retirement on Friday! – JP

(Editor’s Note: I sure hope $100 isn’t the only thing stopping you from doing this! :))


The Self-Promoter/Do-good-er ;)

I’d buy 49 copies of my book, Success: For Minority Teens (& Their Friends) at $4.99/copy, defraying the cost of taxes, and I’d give these to 49 of my most needy 8th grade students at school. So many need a book like mine but can’t afford to buy on Amazon. – Carlos Gomez

success for minority teens book


The Gardener

I would buy $100 worth of seeds, plant them and go back and give them out to all of my elementary school classrooms. Learning how to tend to a garden, getting your hands dirty, keeping plants alive and getting to enjoy the result of your hard work is one of those timeless lessons that is hard to recreate in our candy crush obsessed society. – Alicia

The Compassionate Knitter

If I won the money I’d use it to buy yarn to knit a blanket for my mother-in-law. The yarn is sort of expensive, like $70 per blanket, and it takes about 15 hours of knitting (so not a smart time or money investment) but it is a handmade blanket, and relationships with the in-laws are important. – Hannah


The Knowledge Pusher

I’ll use the money to buy books related to Investing and give them away to my coworkers. I have given 2 books away for my coworkers In the past years: Total Money Makeover, The Millionaire Teacher. – Vielka


The Tree Gifter

I’d use $100 to purchase a bike for a little boy – there’s a giving tree at my local wellness center with tags listing gift wishes from local children in need. This particular tag has been languishing as it’s a request for a larger gift. I’ve purchased a few gifts to match other requests, and saw this tag when I delivered the gifts. It’s been weighing on me since – I’d hate for this little one to go without and will find a way to get a bike to him – Heather


The Perfect Wife ;)

I would use the money to buy my husband 10 movie tickets so he could get out of the house, take a break from the kids, and treat himself to a movie about once a month!
– Kayla


The Fiscal Librarian

I’d use the money for books that I want to read. Then I’d donate the books to my local library so everyone else will have a chance to read them too. Not a big choice for money management, retirement, investment, or financial books available and I’d like to change that. – Michelle


The Best Christmas Game
(Not really an entry, but still a fun idea!)

Every participant puts in twenty bucks cash. The wad of money is wrapped in paper, then more, then a box, then more paper, another box, etc. until you have a large box wrapped. You set a timer or play music and you have only so many seconds to unwrap. When the timer dings, you have to pass the wrapped wad of cash. Whoever touches the cash first wins it all!!! One year I used my teeth – she said it wasn’t allowed but I say house rules. – Victoria


And lastly, The Boobie Award

I’m not going to lie, I’d probably blow the $100 on food and drink for Christmas day… Probably why I’m in debt and reading this blog… – Kate

And that’s why they pay me the big bucks ;)

Happy weekend, y’all!

Links to Amazon products above are affiliate links, and I want you to buy 1,000,000 of those books/DNA kits so I can give away another $500 and keep being entertained by you all… Make it happen!

[Photo by Dakota Corbin via Unsplash]

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  1. Ms99to1percent December 8, 2017 at 5:48 AM

    These answers are so hilarious. Had to also go to a private browser and google « careergasm » lol

    Congratulations to all the winners.

    1. J. Money December 8, 2017 at 9:37 AM

      Yeah, never heard of that one before! Brilliant branding!

  2. Amy @ LifeZemplified December 8, 2017 at 6:17 AM

    Laughing and awww’ing over here, these are great, as are your award titles. Congrats to the winners.

    1. J. Money December 8, 2017 at 9:39 AM

      We like to have some fun up in here :)

  3. Jason@WinningPersonalFinance December 8, 2017 at 6:54 AM

    Wow your readers are creative. Maybe I can use $100 to hire one of them to write some posts for me. Well done J$. Well done.

    1. J. Money December 8, 2017 at 9:40 AM

      Hah! For real!! Creativity/personality is what sells in blogging… we need as much as we can get to spice up this $$$ world online!

  4. Ms. Frugal Asian Finance December 8, 2017 at 6:59 AM

    OMG hahaha the responses are awesome! I think my response was groceries, which was kinda boring. No wonder I didn’t win the $$$ hehe.

    I have been wanting to try the DNA kit too! I saw some Youtubers do it and want to find out if I’m 100% Vietnamese. If someone gave the kit for me for free, I’d definitely do it. If they gave me $100, I’d probably just deposit it in our joint account.

    1. J. Money December 8, 2017 at 9:41 AM

      I’ll put in a good word to Santa for you :)

      1. Ms. Frugal Asian Finance December 8, 2017 at 10:26 AM

        Haha thank you!

        “Santa, please give me a free DNA kit for Christmas.”

  5. Accidental Fire December 8, 2017 at 7:45 AM

    Wow, getting over 800 comments on a post should get you some kind of bloggy award!

  6. Budget on a Stick December 8, 2017 at 8:01 AM

    These are great!

    I especially love the one with $2 bills. They get a well-deserved pint at the end of the adventure for sure.

    1. J. Money December 8, 2017 at 9:46 AM

      Hell yeah…

  7. Brian December 8, 2017 at 8:12 AM

    Congrats to the winners! Certainly some creative ideas out there!

  8. Mike @ Balanced Dividends December 8, 2017 at 8:21 AM

    Congrats to the winners!

    I got really excited when I saw “Mike” but then I looked at the Social Security Administration site: from 1949 to 2010 in the US, Michael was a top 5 name for males (and number one for many years). I guess my odds of being the selected Mike were slim.

    1. J. Money December 8, 2017 at 9:47 AM

      Haha… sounds about right.

      You need to go as Mike Money or Mike Hustler or something ;)

  9. Katisha December 8, 2017 at 8:57 AM

    Congrats to all the winners! Those answers were hilarious and SO creative! Makes me glad I stumbled upon this blog. :-)

    1. J. Money December 8, 2017 at 9:50 AM

      Well good! I like to think this blog is more about the fun with $$$ nuggets sneaked in than the other way around ;) Finance is pretty boring on its own!

  10. Lily @ The Frugal Gene December 8, 2017 at 9:37 AM

    Some of these is one of those times where I’m wondering what in the world is going on in people’s heads (& your readership base!!) :)

    I’ve always wanted an ancestry test (for my husband) and we almost brought one on Cyber Monday but it didn’t have the health history feature. I think it’s is more practical of a bundle to know family history and prone illnesses.

    1. J. Money December 8, 2017 at 9:54 AM

      Ahhh that’s pretty interesting! I didn’t even know that could be a part of it?

      And you leave my readership alone – THEY ARE UNIQUE INDIVIDUALS!! Hahaa…

      (And you’re a part of them fyi! :))

  11. Renato Fruggiero December 8, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    This is awesome!!! I am new to this blog and totally expected the same boring responses from everyone “saving it” “investing it” etc. but wow am I blown away. Super creative! Looks like we’ve all won today, for starters making us all smile and laugh. Amazing!

    1. J. Money December 8, 2017 at 5:56 PM

      Haha, I’m glad it was a nice surprise for you :) Never underestimate a sexy budgeter!!

  12. Dave @ Married with Money December 8, 2017 at 10:36 AM

    Hahah some of these answers are gold. Thanks for picking out the good ones!

  13. Kendall December 8, 2017 at 11:17 AM

    Duuuuuude. This was such a fun post. Reading about how you almost spit out your coffee and then picturing you going to “incognito” mode for the Careergasm comment, made me almost spit out mine haha!

    These ideas are so clever and people really do have the biggest hearts. Leaving dollar bills laying around the Dollar Tree for some unsuspecting person to find? How freakin’ adorable. I’m a sucker for a good, anonymous random act of kindness.

    J. Money, goodonya for doing this amazing giveaway. Very generous of you! Congrats to all the winners!

    1. J. Money December 8, 2017 at 6:02 PM

      Glad you enjoyed it, Kendall! I hadn’t originally planned on doing a recap of them actually, but after reading the first few really good ones I just had to blast them into the world ;)

  14. ZJ Thorne December 8, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    It’s always fun to see what folks value. Thanks for running this little “contest.” Happy weekend, y’all!

  15. Lance December 8, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    I’ll be honest, I still feel like I’m the big winner in all of this. Off to glue quarters and let everyone adore me and my new famousness!

    1. J. Money December 8, 2017 at 6:09 PM

      Haha… It’s good to be YOU!

  16. Kris December 8, 2017 at 6:08 PM

    Lol, really hilarious ones on here. Sure got some great characters on here. Thanks for running this contest J!!!

  17. Heather December 8, 2017 at 7:06 PM

    I’m going to have to try that present game. What fun!

    1. J. Money December 11, 2017 at 5:48 AM

      Right?? The entertainment alone is worth the $20 even if you don’t win :)

  18. Menard Solve December 10, 2017 at 12:27 AM

    I’m still awaiting the result of my DNA test (results in 4 weeks), will keep you guys posted :) Thanks for the shoutout, J!

    1. J. Money December 11, 2017 at 5:48 AM

      Thanks for making us laugh over here :)