10 Creative Things to Do for Under 20 Bucks

We are all feeling the financial pinch of our current economy, but one must never underestimate the power of Andrew Jackson - you know that dude on the $20 bill.

Here are 10 creative things to do with your 20 dollar bill.

1. Become an Investor. Visit www.sharebuilder.com and buy some stock for $20. All you have to do is to set up an account and examine the list of companies that sell stock (or partial shares) directly to the purchaser for as little as $4 a transaction. A word of advice, make sure reinvest the shares so your investment keeps growing.

2. Create romance for less. Show the one you care by paying a visit to the dollar store and picking up some cheese, crackers, fruit, and sparking Chablis. And when he or she returns home, make sure to have a blanket and wine glasses ready.

3. Treat yourself (but not now). Purchase a $20 gift card for your favorite store, restaurant, or salon. Slip the card in your purse or wallet, so next time you need refreshment or reward for a job well done, take it out and buy yourself a present.

4. Read. How many times have we tried to read, but keep putting it on the back burner? I suggest you head over to Barnes and Noble or Border’s Books where you will find a myriad of interesting books under $20. Better yet, take a trip to your library and get a book for free.

5. Extreme make over - small room edition. Give your bedroom or bathroom a vibrant look with a fresh coat paint. For a small room, one gallon of medium-grade flat latex paint ($12 to $15) should do the trick.

6. Donate. Use your $20 to do something bigger than yourself and donate. There are plenty of places you can send that bill. For example, local schools, churches, and shelters would be glad to take your money. Hungry? Head over to McDonald's and order something from the Dollar Menu and place the change in the Ronald McDonald House Charities container. I promise you will feel better after doing it.

7. Bike Ride. What more can I say, but invest in a good helmet that costs around $20.

8. Buy random items at:www.coolshityoucanbuy.com/price/under_20/

9. Jump Rope. How would you like to burn up to 1000 calories per hour, increase your agility, coordination, timing, and endurance? Dick's Sporting Goods sells athletic jump ropes for about $13, but your daughter’s or niece’s rope will do just fine.

10. Play Golf. Rock Creek Golf Course located in NW DC, is a great place to unwind. The prices range from $16 to $28 (depending on how many holes and what day you go). For more information visit www.golfdc.com/gc/rc/rates.htm.

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