★ Rockstar Giveaway: Money Shades


money shades

This is part of our weekly Giveaway series.
To see our previous giveaways, and who won them, click above!

If there’s one thing I know you love, it’s money. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of that to give away today, but what I can give you is the next best thing: money shades! I even splurged on the $100 bill ones too – nothing but the best for my people.

To get them, you must answer a riddle… Okay, well not a riddle, but certainly a conundrum!

Let’s say one day you’re approached by a magical money fairy. We’ll call him Warren Smuffett. One day, you wake up and Smuffett is sitting next to your bed staring creepingly endearingly at you. He tells you he has an awesome gift to bestow upon you: one year’s worth of salary, tax-free!

You jump out of bed and start hugging and kissing him all over, but he warns you that you must first make a decision, and it won’t be an easy one. He lays out the two options as follows:

  • Option #1: You can take all the money scot-free and do as you please (save it, invest, pay off all your debt!), but in return your closest friend/loved one in a financial hardship will be notified the second you receive it, and how you answered. You’re not allowed to give any of it to ’em.
  • Option #2: Instead of taking it for yourself, you can choose to give it all to that same loved one currently struggling. However, they will never know where it came from, and most especially that it came from you. (Anytime you try to hint, they automatically slug you in the face. True fact!)

Mr. Smuffett then leans over and asks you to whisper your decision to him as if he were Santa Claus. And in a weird way, he kinda is. Only with a warped sense of humor ;)

Which do you choose?

Do you take the money for yourself, or give it all away anonymously? Answer below in the comments (truthfully!), and I’ll award two of you a pair of these nifty glasses. One to rock in shame as you’re counting your briefcase full of cash (did I tell you it was a briefcase full of cash? It is!), and another to hide your tears of joy/possible regret as you watch your loved one receiving the money.

Give it to us real, baby! Life’s too short to fool ourselves!

money sunglasses

UPDATE: The two winners are Dkong who would give it to a close friend of his struggling hard (love it!), as well as Sundeep who would take the money, but then start a sustainable endowment so it continues to keep paying it forward. Was fun to read everyone’s responses though :)


PS: To see who won last week’s (2) CashCrunch Junior games, click here.

Jay is the founder of Rockstar Finance, and blogs about money over at BudgetsAreSexy.com. He loves all things finance, coffee, and hip-hop, and is the proud daddy of two beautiful little boys!

Last modified: February 15, 2017

46 Responses to :
★ Rockstar Giveaway: Money Shades

  1. Nicole says:

    While I normally would donate the money to someone I know who is struggling, this time around I’m going to take the money for myself! I am getting married next year and while my fiance and I are kicking ass at saving so we can pay for our wedding IN CASH, I’d love to have the extra money to splurge on a balling honeymoon to Australia. Not to mention, my hubby to be and I would rock the shit out of those glasses down under!

    1. J. Money says:

      Haha…. congrats on the engagement!

  2. I’d keep it and put it all straight down on the mortgage. I’m not sure who would be notified about it but would expect it to be one of my in-laws, I think it’d be about a 5 way tie between either of my wife’s parents or her brothers. It seems like all of her family is currently either very underemployed or unemployed right now and I’m fairly confident that all of them have substantial debt as well. But the really sad part is that all of their problems are self inflicted. Giving them a windfall like this probably wouldn’t do that much good in the long run. I came to grips a long time ago that I’m going to have to help support at least some of them at some point in life (I expect that my mother-in-law will move in with us when her parents kick her out or die). So be using this money to pay off the house and better solidify our financial standing we will be better equipped to help them long term.

    1. J. Money says:

      Oh man, sorry to hear :( But good insight on the $$$ prob not helping them out of they haven’t had their epiphany yet.

  3. Mr. SSC says:

    I would take the money without hesitation for 2 reasons.

    1) Any friends or loved ones I have that are struggling financially, has all been self inflicted. Me giving them more money, means they’d be back in the same spot in less than a year without really learning anything about how to avoid getting in that spot to begin with.
    2) We’re doing so well with our savings that if I really felt compelled to help out said struggling friend/loved one, I could do it outside of the extra bonus free money I just received, especially now that I have a bigger buffer due to the free cash. Plus, I could do it in a way that they couldn’t squander the money I gave to them.

  4. I’m not gonna lie–I would take the damn money and run! I’m fortunate that many of the people around me aren’t in financial hardship, so I wouldn’t feel super guilty about not giving away the money.

    If I had achieved FIRE it would be a different story, but a year’s worth of salary would pay off all of our student loans and speed up our FIRE date. And once we achieve FIRE, we would be able to help our friends and family out more, whether that’s with our time or money. It all comes around full circle. :)

  5. Carrie says:

    I would take the money since the 2 people that could use the help unfortunately would use it to continue their addictions and not get help. Sadly they are 2 of my sisters and their problems are self inflicted. They refuse to get help for their additions. They haven’t been working or working much of their lives. I long ago realized I can’t help them because they can’t help themselves. One of them would probably be the one finding out about my windfall. It would add to the tension between us, but I have worked hard for everything I have on my own and fought my own battles/troubles. I would take the money and use it retire early!!

    1. J. Money says:

      That makes me so sad – I’m sorry :(

  6. Kevin hansel says:

    Option 2 give it away. I can always make more money

    1. J. Money says:

      The first person to give it away – awesome!

  7. Dkong says:

    I’m going to buck the trend and say give it to my friend. I have a good friend who hasn’t been able to catch a break financially for years now. His wife cheated on him and left, taking half of his (honestly fairly meager) stash. He has sole custody and is really struggling on his path to FI/RE. He can cover all of his and his daughter’s bills, but is left with very little to save. It kills me to watch given how much we used to talk about retiring early. I make pretty good money, so a year of my salary would be a serious shot in the arm to his investment accounts. I wouldn’t care that he didn’t know it came from me, I’d just love for my friend to catch a break.

    1. J. Money says:

      You are a damn good friend. I’m so sorry to hear of his struggle :(

  8. Wess Stewart says:

    Option 1 is the better option. Here’s why:

    The stipulation is that you can’t give any of it to them. But you CAN give them part of your dividends, which if you invest correctly will keep coming in. If you give them all of the money in one shot…it’ll be gone if they don’t invest it well. But if you control the stockpile, you can make more money that you are able to share.

    1. J. Money says:

      Haha… tricky tricky

  9. Jen D says:

    I really want to say Option 2, but unfortunately the friends I know that would get the money would likely use it to add to their debt (my guess is with a new vehicle or two). Let’s just say they took out a 30 year loan on a $100k boat last year… They are wearing rose-colored glasses when it comes to paying off and taking on debts and until they can remove the fog and see clearly, no amount of gifted money is going to help them. It’s tough love.

    1. J. Money says:

      The two best days of owning a boat are the day you buy it and the day you sell it. :)

  10. Sundeep says:

    Some good points mentioned above.

    If someone is in financial hardship they could definitely use the money more than me, but most of the time that hardship is self inflicted which means giving them money is just a bandaid.

    The riddle also mentioned you couldn’t give a struggling loved one the money, but like another commenter mentioned, did not say anything about dividends or returns you might get from that lump sum.

    That being said I’ve also always thought it would be sweet to start up a charity with a sustainable endowment, so I would take option 1 for myself and then anonymously help out struggling friends with the dividends spit out by the money.

    Thanks Mr Smuffet

    1. J. Money says:

      That’s an AWESOME idea. The gift that keeps giving! (and responsibly)

  11. I’m going to go with option 2- I think while sometimes it seems like these financial difficulties are self-inflicted, sometimes things are more complicated than they seem. We benefited a lot from having a somewhat large windfall that made us realize that we had the opportunity to really do something that mattered with our money…and we did.

    1. J. Money says:

      Interesting perspective!

  12. Steve Bootsma says:

    Give it away. I’m doing okay in life without the magical money fairy so I wouldn’t notice the lack of receiving the funds, but to always see the person that I helped would be enough of a gift to make it worth it. And yes, I know the person that would receive it.

  13. Tim says:

    My situation is just fine with all the revenue streams and protections I have put in place… I have a friend who is going thru a lot of financial hardship with a divorce and custody battle which needs to be fought as the father is a danger to the kids. He’s already demonstrated that putting them in danger several times… But he’s got money and she is a entrepreneur with a photography business and it has it’s ups and downs… she is a good person and just fallen in hard times.. I know she had the right might set and tools get past this issue, but just caught in a compounded set of events at the moment.

    1. J. Money says:

      Ughhh the worst is when it involves kids!! Freaks me out as a father, I’m so sorry to hear.

  14. Chad says:

    I would take the salary for myself but use an IRS loop hole to help pay bills or pay another person extra money to help the friend out. Boom! Lawyered.

  15. Heather S says:

    Option 2 hands down. It’s just money. Thanks for the super cool giveaway! Cheers!

  16. whiskey says:

    Funny this pops up today. A biker brother has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins and is not doing good. On top of that, he’s over in Japan and has a rough go of it.
    I’d send it to him….

  17. Adam says:

    I’d definitely take the money for myself. The money fairy only says you can’t give any of the money he gives you to the friend/loved one. It doesn’t say anything about all the other money you have or will earn in the future. If I wanted, I could take the money, and give away my entire year’s earnings and still live comfortably and meet all my savings goals.

    It’s just clever accounting.

    1. J. Money says:

      reminds me of that joke – “the best way to double your money is to fold it over” :)

  18. I would give it away. 6 years ago I discovered FI and a am only 2 to 3years away from FI… so the money is not life changing for me, besides my life changing moment was this blog and others like MR money, Mad fientist, jl Collins ect. This money would help them more than me. Even though I could retire immediately with the money invested. I would be even happier if they discovered FIRE at the same time .

    1. J. Money says:

      I agree – some of the best blogs on FIRE out there :)

  19. Rich E. Rich says:

    My first instinct is option #1. I consider myself a good steward of money. A year’s salary tax free – while not life changing (i.e. I would still work) – would definitely accelerate my current financial plans.

    While exploring option #2, the people in my life that would be receiving the money are not as astute with their finances. That being said, the amount of money could be life-changing for them. Would I worry that they would blow through it irresponsibly – yes. Would I worry that
    they wouldn’t recognize the good fortune that fell in their lap – yes.

    Since this isn’t money that I earned (like a bonus or profit from a business) or money that I feel entitled to (like say an inheritance), I think I would choose option #2. My situation will stay the same and if I stay the course, I am going to be fine. If I helped out my loved ones, I would hope that they have matured enough to see it as an opportunity to change their life path. My people are older (>50) and hopefully beyond those temptations that a younger person might have when acquiring large sums of money. It would be an unexpected opportunity that I hope they would recognize as a chance to change their situation.

    As far as them knowing where it came from, I would insist that they never know. Charity should come from the heart, not for recognition. I would like to suggest too that when you give, somehow through the mysteries of the universe it comes back around to you.

    1. J. Money says:

      Thanks for sharing today Rich, very thoughtful comment :)

  20. SandyJ says:

    I’ve noticed that every time I give away unexpected money (although in much smaller quantities, mind you), God/the universe/Lady Luck/what-have-you blesses me in some other random way. So I’d give it away, just to see what unfolds….

    1. J. Money says:

      It’s def. magical, I agree!

  21. Arun says:

    I would whisper Option #2 and choose my wife as the loved one :)))))

  22. Trick question. Option number 1 would result in me causing hardship on my wife since she is my closest loved one. Which would also cause me harm for a variety of different reasons. The most important of which is the fact that my wife would be miserable but the second reason is that we share our finances!

    Jokes aside, in this scenario, I would select option #2 (assuming the loved one is not my wife and is a different friend/loved one). Sure, I could further enrich myself. But I am very comfortable with my financial situation and have the capability to successfully manage my finances, investment portfolio, and do all the things needed to retire early. So the money isn’t the end all, be all for me. On the other hand, if there is someone that needs the money and can turn everything around if they can focus on building themselves, their lives, and focusing on what makes them happy versus spending nights worrying about finances, working extra jobs, and doing what is needed to barely stay afloat, I would definitely make that decision.

    That’s a tough one though!


    1. J. Money says:

      The tough ones are the ones that make us think the most! Great answer :)

  23. Jim says:

    #2 – we’re doing just fine and a year of salary tax free would be nice but it’d be far nicer to help a struggling family member or friend. In fact, it’s better that they don’t know where it comes from… money is weird like that.

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