People Share The Best Thing They Ever Bought For Themselves
**Money is a strange necessity for life. It buys cars, homes, educations, vacations, food, shelter, clothing and... life in general. There are so many ways for one to spend money. And no matter how much you have there are two things you should always find a way to to put a little aside for. You should always splurge a little on yourself and you should always find a way to help others. Both will make you feel better as a human being. **
$7.50 CAN GET YOU A LOT OF LOVE!
So, I walked into a Safeway today to find some Greek God yogurt, the honey variety and I stopped at the deli. A lady was waiting there. She looked to be an impoverished little elderly black woman (I am not being classist, or ageist or sexist or racist here, I just like to visually paint pictures) anyway, she said she had been waiting for 45 minutes and no one would wait on her. When they finally did, she asked the price of an egg roll and the fried wontons. It was evident she didn't have much. Finally in frustration, she said, "Forget it," and started to leave. That just felt so wrong. I called out, "Stop, stop, you can't leave, come back here. Pick your dinner out. I'll buy it." It came to a mere $7.50 or so. The thought of someone walking home hungry, feeling broke and mistreated just felt so wrong. I told her that I had just sold a book and the meal was no big deal. She asked about the book and I told her about my friend, Darryl's cancer and how it was important to get it done to honor what a gift he is to me and how much I love him. She said that her husband had cancer. We walked out and I grabbed her a copy of the book and signed it for her. She said she had a book she was working on. She hugged me and said, "I love you." For a mere $7.50 I got an _"I love you," _from a stranger. Best $7.50 I have spent in a long time.
HAVE A GOOD DAY!
I go to this noodle and bubble tea shop near my apartment about once a week. The food is affordable and I basically drink water or tea, so what the hell, right? Last Thursday while I was drawing some things in my sketchbook as I ate, the two girls next to me had a third friend arrive, late, seemingly upset. She then went on and on about how bad her life has been lately. How nothing since the new year has gone right for her. How her thesis is in trouble (so a senior in college?) and how this is the last time she can go out with friends (A noodle shop?) for the next four months. It might be a little bit dramatic to others, but you can tell she was unhappy and that's what I picked up. I felt like, _"Nothing good has happened since the new year? That needs to stop." So when I paid my bill, I went up to the waitress and mumbled to her so the girls didn't hear, _"Let me pay for her drink."The waitress was confused, "I overheard her talking and she seems unhappy, so let me pay for her drink." "Oh...Okay?" "I think she got the taro flavor?"Finally the waitress follows, tells me to pay about $4.50. I do so, and leave as fast as possible so they don't know what I did. Fast forward to the following Tuesday, I go back to the noodle shop for my weekly visit, I'm sketching again and then I get a tap on my shoulder. A girl starts complimenting my drawings and asks about me. She then goes, "Were you here last Thursday?" I pause, "Yeah?" "I was sitting with my friends next to you when you were here."I was startled cause I never expected to get a response,"Uh... Yeah." "You paid for my friend's drink?" "Oh, yeah. She said something like how nothing good happened this year for her and I felt like that needed to change a bit."She replied, \_"Well you made her day." _I always expected to be anonymous, but it was still nice to have confirmation that she felt better. I will do more random things like this in the future.
PAY IT FORWARD.
I was like 17 years old and was working part time at a local packing store for like a year... Not making much just enough to by myself a new computer after all that time. Well my mom is talking to my dad and grandma, I overhear them asking my grandma for money because my dad who is a construction worker, wasn't getting a lot of work at the time. They needed money for house payment.
Well I decide to put the money in my mom's saving bottle. It was like 300 something. I remember her calling my grandma saying she had found money and didn't need to borrow any. Made me feel good I could repay them for raising me and keeping a roof over my head.
4 years later... I'd do it over again in a second.
IT ONLY TAKES A DOLLAR!
Went into a dollar store once and saw these really small colored pocket knifes, I thought heck for 1 dollar it must come in handy at least once, so I buy a green one, next day walking in a park, I saw a group of children huddled around some flowers, I walk by and realized they looked to be troubled, I get near and first thing I noticed it was a class of young down syndrome students, and they were all looking at a small chipmunk entangled in this hexagonal plastic gardening net. the little fella was really screwed no way he was getting out of that one. Then it hit me "HEY! I have a new pocket knife!" so I got close, took off my socks first, to use as a mitten and hold him steady, wouldn't want the little guy to bite me and then I proceeded to cut him loose. I believe it was the first act of heroism those young kids saw in person, they were really impressed.
Best buck I've spent.
ALWAYS HELP OTHERS! IT'LL HELP YOU!
I had a friend of the family fall into hard times, yet would flat out refuse any money from anyone. I went to the store and loaded up on diapers, wipes, shampoo, and a gift card for food, and left it on her doorstep. She still doesn't know who did it, and I couldn't care less. She was very thankful.
DOGS DESERVE THE BEST!
I think this is another one of those "see title, come in to comment, read OP's story, feel ashamed" times. Giant thanks to you for doing what you did, that was incredibly selfless.
I found a stray dog right outside my apartment a few years ago. She was a little Westie, and her white fur was so dirty I didn't even recognize the breed at first. I took her home, bathed her, and went to the store to get her something to eat. I spent $11 on dog food, some treats, and a squeaky toy. I took pictures and posted them on craigslist, livejournal, the local newspaper, and anywhere else I could think of. A lady that lived almost 50 miles away from me called three days later, in tears. She explained that she was pretty sure it was her dog, Lucy, that I had found. She asked if the dog would respond to that name. I called it out, and Lucy went mad barking and dancing around.
She came over the next day, and the sheer joy on her face to see her dog was worth the $11 I spent on caring for it for a few days. Apparently, her dog had been missing for almost two months and she'd just given up hope that she would be found alive. Eight weeks and 50 miles later, little Lucy was nearly shivering with excitement to see her mom again.
LOVE YOUR BARISTA!
Every morning I go to Bigfoot Java here in Renton. It's literally the highlight of my day, one of the few things I wake up and look forward to. The same two baristas work the M-F morning shift, so I see them often.
A few days ago, Seattle just got hit with a big snowstorm and the power was out. Freezing and miserable. I went in to work, because I had nothing better to do and I drive a beast of a vehicle. On my way in, I pulled up to Bigfoot... it was pretty clear they had no power, but both baristas were sitting there, bundled up and freezing their asses off. This isn't a Starbucks, it's a coffee stand that is basically a closet. They explained they were closed, but had to stay there because the company prides itself on "never closing". Weird. Anyway, I left thinking damn... that blows.
So I drove 15 minutes to Kent, picked up two hot chocolates and a few apple pies from McDonald's (one of the only places open after the snow) and brought it to them. The smile made it worth the 10 bucks, 30 minute round trip, and being late for a meeting.
Not the best money I've ever spent, but the best money I've spent recently.
$20 GOES A LOOOOONG WAY!
Found about 20 bucks in a store parking lot when I was about 13. Me and my dad were pretty poor at this point. Hell, we didn't even have a home. We were secretly sleeping where he worked.
I probably should have just given him the money but I wanted to surprise him. So I walked down to the and bought a few pints of Haagen-dazs (my dad's favorite icecream) and then walked down to where he was working. He took a 30 minute break and we sat outside eating it, just chatting about the world and how we fit into it. It really was one of the best memories I have from that time. From that point on I'd try to scrounge up little bits of money to buy us treats like candy, cups of noodles, ice-cream, or whatever I could manage. Just so I could sit and talk to my dad in between his 15 hour work shifts.
So, whoever lost that 20 dollars - Thank you. Those were dark times, and little moments of happiness like that is what got us through it.
$40 AND A WEDDING!
My girlfriend at the time, and I drove to Las Vegas on a whim. As we got closer I joked about getting married while we were there, she called me on my bluff. The next morning we had breakfast, got our marriage application and went to the Chapel By The Courthouse. For $40 we got a no frills, no pictures, 5 minute ceremony by a pastor (wrong word maybe?) by glasses so thick I could see his soul in his eyes. I got married in jeans and a t-shirt to my beautiful wife wearing jeans and a tank top. We drove back home to a friend's house to enjoy carrot cake and bottle of Martinelli's sparkling cider from a grocery store. 8 years later it's still the best $40 I ever spent.
IT'S THE SIMPLE THINGS.
While summering it up in Europe my sophomore year of high school, alone, I came across a homeless man with a dog pretty late at night in some British back street (I was walking back from an American friend's friend's parents' house to the hostel I was staying at). Anyway, the man was holding his dog in his arms, and it looked like they were both trying to catch some sleep. Without even knowing what I was doing, I walked across the street to a convenience store and bought a deli sandwich, a can of wet dog food, and a carton of milk. I went back to the alley where they were both still sleeping and quietly set everything next to the man. Right as I was exiting the other end of the alley, I faintly heard him yell after me "_God bless your soul young man," _and he started audibly crying to himself. I got pretty teary, but didn't turn around and just nodded my head instead. To this day, that was the best money I have ever spent.
TURN SOMEONES LIFE AROUND!
There was a girl on a the stair well down to the 8th L ave stop. I had been recently meeting my old boss at Soho house for lunches with clients and so over a span of three weeks I saw people mistreat and jeer her, not give her any money. I had finally gotten paid, made rent and had some extra cash from over time. I had a 100 dollar bill in my wallet, I knew it was either going to go to booze or drugs so I whipped it out, put it in my coat pocket and sat down next to the girl. We got to talking, she had moved out to NYC after she had received her degree and was laid off. She had a co-worker who was much higher on the food chain who was sexually harassing her. She complained, they needed him more than he, she was let go. Quickly her bills stacked up, her parents had just moved and being on the streets had her phone stolen. She was completely alone, after talking to her for a little while I realized she wasn't on drugs nor an alcoholic but just a person who needed a little compassion. I reached into the pocket and gave her the 100 dollar bill. She was floored, didn't know how to handle it and was torn between not wanting to accept such a large hand out and realizing how much it could do for her. She accepted it, about a few weeks later I see a girl at grand central in new clothes and looking like she was heading to a job and she looks familiar, we exchange the do I know you glance, her face lights up and she comes running over and plants a huge hug and a kiss of the cheek on me. She explains she was the girl in the sub way. The 100 bucks bought her a room at a crappy hotel and interview clothes. She was able to find a job and was now looking for sublets. She turned her whole situation around, which I knew she would be able to do. She said no one had ever been so kind to her. She tried to get my phone number to call me to pay me back, I said it was not necessary, the hug was thanks enough. I asked if she got in contact with her folks and she said she called them and was able to reconnect and they helped her out too. She was on her way to reclaiming her life, best money I have ever spent.
I'M NOT CRYING YOU ARE!
I had the chance to travel to rural Indonesia a few years ago
The group I was with encountered an extremely impoverished family that were sleeping on the footpath, they were all filthy and looked like they hadn't eaten a decent meal in some time. As we walked past the mother woke up (a mate accidentally bumped her) we pooled together 1 million rupiah (roughly Australian $100) and gave it to her, she literally broke down in tears and explained to us that she would be able to feed herself and her children for a long time. it felt nice to be able to help someone, I felt a bit guilty about not doing it more.
MY HEART IS FULL!
I was in india several years ago. my dad and i went to a mountain community called Matheran. they pride themselves in being remote and relatively uninfringed upon by modern advances in technology. Its a quaint and rather beautiful tourist destination. the main draw is to watch the sunset over the mountains from a cliff. we get there through some unpaved path in the woods, out to the open cliff area, lots of people there and before the sun finishes setting most people left. we thought,"they missed the best part!!" of course, we soon found out why.. we are now alone.. left without a flashlight or guide to traverse back through the woods with a thick enough canopy to drown out the moon light. steep cliff drop on both sides as this was a little jutting arm area we went to.. really stupid. we are linking arms with each other, taking small steps very slowly; in case one slips, hopefully the other will catch them. we miraculously come across a lone shack in the woods that has a lamp outside, dirt floors, no door. we ask the lady of the house if she has some sort of flash light or match or candle; anything that will help us see our way back because we are literally walking blind. she goes into the one room house. a little boy appears in the open door way; a dingy shirt, no pants, not even underpants, no shoes. the lady comes out with a glass jar containing oil and a wick.. she had fashioned this from the items in her house.. we offered her money (yes, take all the money) and sincere flabbergasted gratuity, and she flat out refused (the $). she said her payment is knowing we would get home safely with her help. this happened 13 years ago. to this day i still cant tell you what that exchange felt like; i can't put into words the magnitude of the fullness of my heart and the accompanying humility. and i have never since felt such goodness and kindness, especially from someone who, to me, appeared to have so little and wanted nothing in return.
DID I DO THAT?
One time, after a night of drinking, I bought 50 dollars worth of moon pies directly from the manufacturer. Came out to 12 boxes of 12 mini moon pies. Totally forgot about it until they were sitting on my doorstep a week later.
AROUND THE WORLD ON A DIME.
Expedia had a promo code for $300 off any flight/hotel package to New York, Cancun, or Vegas. Round trip to Vegas including a night at a hotel ended up only being ~$340. With the promo code, it ended up being a $40 round trip. Best impulse decision ever.
YOU DON'T NEED EVERY PENNY.
I used to work at Walmart in Michigan 5 years ago, we used to get migrant workers come in to pick fruit over the summer...this one lady always came in with her kids, always bought the necessary stuff like bread, milk, baby food, formula....and always never had enough for everything. She always put some things back, which always just seemed to embarrass her and upset her, which I understood.
One year I got audited by the IRS, and my tax return was held up for what seemed like forever, I eventually got my $4,500 deposited into my bank...so I had some money to spend for the summer. So I am at work, I am called upfront to the check outs, I see the same Mexican lady with her 3 small kids, one is a baby...I was called up to put back stuff she could not afford, was not much, maybe $40 of baby formula and baby food and bread and milk but she looked REALLY upset saying in broken English 'I need to feed my baby'.
So I asked the cashier the amount of everything with the stuff she put back added to it, it was $70...I just pulled out my wallet and paid for it, added some candy for the little ones too, she cried and kept thanking me, I felt that she deserved some help, people always needed it. for that whole summer she made a point to come and see me at work, and the kids always said thank you every time too, totally worth it.
IT'S JUST FIFTY CENTS.
I was working retail around the Christmas season and we didn't have plastic bags - for $0.50 or $0.75 for the bigger size, you could get a reusable cloth bag. Most people just bitched about having to pay for a bag to put their stuff in. I hated asking people if they needed a bag, but the good part was the money went to a charity that helped kids go to Disneyland who had physical and mental challenges.
One day in particular, one woman started yelling at me when we had a long line-up and blaming me for not having a plastic bag for her. She said she wouldn't donate the money to the charity, but I should give her the bag. Keep in mind, her purchase was over $90, and it was only 50 cents that she would be out.
The woman in line behind her quietly spoke up. She had a son who was terminally ill and she was in the store buying things in anticipation of their trip to Disney the next week. She was granted the trip through the Make a Wish foundation. She was in tears, telling us about how wonderful strangers are, and how their change makes a difference to people like her. She has practically lived at the hospital for three years and because of the kindness of strangers, they were going on a trip. She explained that while we donate money to cancer research, these kids need to have something wonderful in their life right now. They spend their time going through pain, and enduring things most adults wouldn't have the gumption to face. She finished by saying that our charity helps parents and kids enjoy something in a life where they have TRUE struggle. She wanted to donate $20 to our charity, and leave the bag with us.
The woman who had been yelling at me was embarrassed, and left the store in a hurry. Everyone in line behind the woman with the ill child (and me!) were crying. Everyone in line donated a minimum of $10 to our charity.
50 cents can change someone's life.
KARMA COMES AROUND!
One time I was walking behind a store and a homeless man asked me for some money so I gave hime like 10 bucks so he could get some dinner. A couple of weeks later I was about to be mugged and the homeless guy scared the guys away.
LAUGH OUT LOUD.
I spent approximately $20 on a few Japanese Drawing pens for my Autistic Son. He doesn't really socialize with the anyone. He doesn't talk much either. When he got the pens he started drawing cartoons... he now draws cartoons every day and we both sit down and laugh our asses off reading them. Changed his life I believe. He has agreed to let me post them on a website to share with the World... Best money I ever spent.
WORLD'S BEST GRANDMA!!
My grandmother is on a fixed income (aren't most?) Around her 80th birthday I had just received a new job and a HUGE income bump and I took her to Scotland (her birth country) for a week. I didn't get to do anything like get drunk in pubs or go hiking. But I did get to spend a week with my grandmother taking her to places she remembered as a child, visiting with her distant relatives, and learning about the history of my family. It was worth every penny spent.