Being frugal is all about understanding that our money is valuable and none of it should go to waste. Many people might think, “It’s only 10 dollars” and not think much about it, but not the frugal person. No matter how we make money, we see that 10 dollars as something we’ve earned and think hard about what we should do with it.
There’s a lot you can frugally do with a 10 dollar bill. Being frugal doesn’t mean we just don’t spend our money, it means we get the most out of our money. For some uses of 10 dollars, it’s all about what you can do with 10 dollars now; for others, it’s about what that 10 dollars will do for you down the road.
Mr. Alexander Hamilton would argue that it’s important to understand that even an amount as low as 10 dollars can make an impact on our lives in a positive way, here are a few examples of what you can do with only 10 dollars.
Pay Off Debt
The first thing you should be doing with any extra cash is paying off your debt. Interest is a financial killer, and even amounts as low as 10 dollars can add up over time to help you pay off any loans you have much faster.
Related: 5 Years in and I’ve Already Saved Time and Money off My Mortgage
Another super important part of financial planning 101 is having an emergency fund. Everyone should have an amount equal to four to six months of expenses available to them. This is a good use of the high-yield savings accounts.
Use that 10 dollars to get closer to the total amount needed and start earning interest on it now. Knowing your family will be able to weather any financial storm will give you peace of mind.
Buying gifts shouldn’t be all about the price tag. Do a quick google of “gifts under 10 dollars” and you’ll get tons of search results with great items you can get for 10 dollars or less on Amazon and other places. Find the right one for your recipient and everyone wins.
Buy Used Items
A big part of being frugal is knowing what to buy used. You can use thrift store or use some of the technology available to us today to find used tools, toys, clothes, and other items near you at prices well under 10 dollars that are still in great condition.
Fund a DIY Project
With so much information available, more and more people are jumping on the Do It Yourself bandwagon, and for a good reason. Hiring a professional is great, but not always needed. You can save a ton of money by doing anything from a big project or a simple repair on your own.
Buy a Cheap Video Game
We all need to be entertained, right? Video games are actually a cost effective way of doing so. Your more popular console games might run you $60, but there is plenty you can get for under $10 dollars.
Mobile games on your phone or even a game from small independent game companies are available on popular consoles like Nintendo Switch or Sony Playstation.
Investing is probably the best thing you can do with any amount of money, even as little as $10 dollars. Maybe you already have a brokerage account, or you need to open a new account.
Learning the basics of investing can easily be done with amounts like $10 with apps like Stash that let you buy pastoral shares of stock or Acorns that invests your spare change. With compounding gains, any amount of money invested today could make a big difference down the road.
Contribute to a 529 College Plan
Last I checked, college in the United States is freakin’ expensive. Every dollar counts when it comes to our children’s education. Like investing, $10 dollars now could turn into hundreds of dollars by the time your child goes away to college.
For as much as every $10 dollars counts for us, it counts even more for a lot of charities. Don’t think that $10 isn’t enough to donate. If more people donated any amount of money, even of small size, charities would be much better off. Find one that is important to you, take that ten-dollar bill and make that donation.
Buy on Sale
There is no law saying you must buy something simply because it’s on sale, but if there is something that you need or have already purchased, buying on sale is a great way to get value for your money. If it doesn’t expire or has a long shelf life, make sure to buy the maximum the store will let you get the most value for your money.
Related: Learn To Avoid Common Mistakes When Buying on Sale
Ok, maybe you can’t decide what to do with your $10 dollars right now. There’s no law saying it’s got to go somewhere. However, don’t spend without purpose. Although simply saving money hurts you in the long run, if you budget your money toward a short-term goal, you should be just fine.
There is no amount of money that should be used without a purpose. Even amounts as low as $10 dollars can be used to help us in the short term or long term. When creating a budget or financial plan, you should always make sure you are getting the most value for what you are spending.
Jeff is a fan of all things finance. When he's not out there changing the world with his blog, you can find him on a run, a Mets game, or just playing around with his kids