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Would $10,000 Change Your Life?

Would $10,000 change your life?

I am a massive fan of the cooking show Chopped. I don’t watch much TV these days (I’d rather spend the time with my son), but Chopped is one show I make an effort to watch each week.

I’m genuinely amazed at the meals the chefs prepare from a bunch of random ingredients. I dream of making 5-star meals from the leftover components in my pantry, and I often use the search capabilities of all sorts of websites to help me make everyday, edible meals.

Free Money to Change Your Life

One of my favorite aspects of the show is listening to the chefs describe how they will spend the $10,000 prize. Their desires run the gamut from opening restaurants to buying engagement rings, paying for weddings, and extinguishing debts. Some plan to use the money to move to new locations, while others hope to take their families on luxurious vacations.

What surprises me most, though, is how many chefs say that $10,000 will change their lives. I don’t know anyone in the food industry, so I looked around the Internet and found that salaries range from the low $20,000s for assistant chefs to $90,000 and upwards for executive chefs.

However, the average appears to range from $40,000 to $60,000. (If any of my readers have a better idea of salary ranges, feel free to leave a comment.) The less you make, the more $10,000 feels like a significant windfall, so this may be an ample reason for this repeating sentiment.

Is $10,000 a Lot of Money?

I am in a phase of my life where $10,000 would be very nice to have, but I wouldn’t consider it life-changing. I have no debt other than my mortgages, and $10,000 would barely make a dent in those.

I already own a car and could get to and from work if I decided to get a job rather than staying home with my son. While it would be nice to buy a larger vehicle to get my son in and out of that certainly wouldn’t be life-changing, and $10,000 would only partially pay for that.

I’m sure I feel this way in part because I previously earned a six-figure salary. If you make a six-figure salary, $10,000 might be a month or two worth of earnings. However, if you make only $20,000 a year, $10,000 is the equivalent of half a year’s worth of pay!

Don’t get me wrong; I think that $10,000 is a lot of money, and I clip coupons, search for sales and live frugally to save dollars and cents every day!

A Life Changing Amount of Money

I recognize that $10,000 would certainly help pay for a car that could get you to and from work. In addition, it will help fund all sorts of training and education programs if you need specific skills to acquire a higher-paying job.

Depending on where you live, it might even provide a significant portion of a down payment for your home. But in my case, I already own a car and a house and completed an undergraduate and graduate degree. I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to recognize that $10,000 would not be life-changing for me at this point in my life.

So what do you think? Would $10,000 change your life?

jennifer h

Friday 14th of February 2020

10000 would definitely change my life I would no longer be living paycheck to paycheck wondering if we were gonna eat next week it may not be a lot to some people but it would be a big game changer for me and my family

One Frugal Girl

Saturday 15th of February 2020

I think $10,000 would impact a lot of people. It can provide the buffer for an emergency fund or the money to dig a family out of debt. Thank you for your comment.

A Post President’s Day Roundup » JoeTaxpayer

Sunday 26th of February 2012

[...] Frugal Girl asked Would $10,000 Change Your Life? I agree with her, that it would be nice to have an extra $10K, but it wouldn’t be life [...]

Beth M

Thursday 23rd of February 2012

It would change your life... you'd have $10,000 that you didn't have before! How much of an AFFECT that change has on your life, well that's another story, but regardless it does change your life.

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 23rd of February 2012



Saturday 18th of February 2012

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Half the world lives on $850/year.

Median US income is $50K give or take. I agree with you, $10,000 is now less for me than the daily up and down to my savings from market fluctuations. I'm older, though, and can remember when $10K actually did change my life a bit. It was a settlement for a car accident, so no tax due. I used the $10K to pay down a mortgage a bit, to get to 80% LTV, and get a lower rate. The $10K turned into a $400/mo savings to me, and during a time when cash was very tight, this really helped a lot.

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Saturday 18th of February 2012

[...] Would $10,000 Change Your Life? via @OneFrugalGirl [...]