Money Talks, So Should You

What's the best $20 you've ever spent?

Marie Gentile
by Marie Gentile, Staff Writer (@dimespring)

Andrew Jackson may have been one of our most popular presidents, but he's highly underrated when it comes to currency. At the risk of sounding like your grandpa (listen up, whippersnappers), $20 certainly doesn't go as far as it used to. Take out a $20 bill or two from the ATM and — poof! — a few days later it's gone without so much as a wave goodbye. However, for those who know how to get creative, those 20 bucks can turn into something more. We asked our Dimespring 30 bloggers to tell us about the best $20 they ever spent; here's what they came up with.

Newlyweds on a Budget: Spending $20 ... on my blog domain name

It cost me $10 to purchase my blog domain name, and about $7 in monthly hosting fees. When I first began my blog in 2010, I had no idea that I would ever make any money off of it. But the more I started reading other personal finance blogs, the more I learned about the importance of building a side hustle income in order to pay off debt and build savings ...

Little Miss Moneybags: Spending $20 ... on the book that helped me meet my husband

But it wasn’t so much the content of the book that made it the best $20 I’ve ever spent. “Strange Cargo” is, in a way, responsible for my house, my car, my cat, my daughter and my job. You see, my husband and I met in a science fiction book club, and “Strange Cargo” was the book that we read the evening we met ...

Frugal Babe: Spending $20 ... to help my son stop wetting the bed

We always used cloth diapers, so it wasn’t much trouble to throw a diaper into the laundry every couple days, but we could tell that our son was sad when he woke up in the morning with a wet diaper. For several months, I made a habit of waking him up and taking him to the bathroom right before I went to bed at night.  That helped him to be dry in the mornings, but he would often use the toilet while he was mostly asleep, with me holding him upright to keep him from falling into the tub. We knew we needed a better solution ...

Student Debt Survivor: Spending $20 ... for children in need

Hit hard by the recession several years ago (tourists weren’t coming the way they used to and lobster was being sold at historically low prices), many parents were struggling to find the money to buy Christmas gifts for their kids. The thought of those kids, my neighbors, waking up without presents almost broke my heart ...

Thrifty Wife: Spending $20 ... on thrift store gems

In today’s time, $20 doesn’t go very far. Don’t believe me? Just stick a $20 bill in your pocket and see what you have left at the end of the week. For some, $20 is a trip to Starbucks for breakfast and Subway for lunch. For me, $20 is the perfect amount to go thrift store and garage sale shopping. If you don’t think $20 is worth a lot, then you haven’t been to your local Goodwill in a while ...

Debt Princess: Spending $20 ... on financial self-help books

I decided it was time to really check out what Dave Ramsey had to say, so I headed to the library. I didn’t have a lot of money so the library seemed like a great place to get a book on personal finance. However, the wait list for the book was very long — months long. I didn’t want to wait so my next stop was a used book store. I found Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” as well as “The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach for about $10 each and happily purchased both ... 

Dealing with Money: Spending $20 ... on a childhood day at the lake

I miss those days. Those were the days before my student loans, before I had to file bankruptcy, before I discovered what a disaster money could be. Back then, I mostly understood that money could buy a lot of really important experiences ... 

Daily Money Shot: Spending $20 ... on Zumba classes

For me, though, every month I have a $20 budget for a Zumba master class. While it may seem like a waste when there are so many free ways to exercise, it’s actually a great way to spend my money. Here’s a few reasons why ...

Debt Destroyer: Spending $20 ... to build my first savings account

As a child, putting your money in a bank seemed like the last thing I wanted to do. However, my mom insisted that I reconsider. She wanted me to think about how even a little bit of money can change your life, especially when you don’t have it. She also pointed out that getting a bunch of stuff that I didn’t need would probably never make me happy. Having a little money in the bank just might, though ...

Budget Whisperer: Spending $20 ... on a much-needed car wash

Coming from the northern Midwest, I’ve never known anything about pollen or its ability to infiltrate any and every crease and crevice. I have never seen pollen outside of a flower, and never imagined it could turn everything within (and sometimes outside of) reach a strange yellow hue. It is truly an incredible phenomenon ...

Savvy Financial Latina: Spending $20 ... on a 16" oscillating fan

We rented a small apartment. It was the cheapest one-bedroom we could find near school, which we needed so I could take the bus to campus. It was about 450 sq. feet, and had only the essentials. We made it very homey as soon as we moved in, thanks to my mom and mother-in-law. I already had some furniture, and we bought other necessary items at thrift stores. Except for the fan ... 

Travel Junkie: Spending $20 ... on a unique thrifting experience

This wasn’t going to be any normal shopping trip; we were going to take the money to a thrift store and buy the other person the most ridiculous clothing we could find. Neither of us is prone to embarrassment, and this seemed the perfect opportunity to really push each other’s limits … and see if either of us would crack. We spent the next two hours sifting through piles of clothing, finding the good, the bad and the ugly. Mostly the ugly ...

 

What's the best $20 you've ever spent? Tell us in the comments!

Marie Gentile is a personal finance reporter and content producer at Dimespring. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Marquette University. A native Midwesterner, Marie is now living in Atlanta and adjusting to life below the Mason-Dixon.