I have one month to spend $1.8k in startup-related expenses, how would you spend it?

A couple of years ago I won a prize in a startup competition. It's not a "here's your cash" prize, more like they pay your startup-related bills if you can prove they're related to the business. Today they have informed me I have only 1 month to claim the remaining $1.8k of the prize. So far I've only used it to buy the typical stuff: Apple+Google app stores licenses, servers, etc. I don't believe in spending $$$ in ads unless the product has reached product/market fit (which it hasn't), so idk how to best spend the remaining money in a justifiable way that could potentially also be usable for other projects.

Do you have any software subscriptions etc that you use for your business and pay for on a monthly basis? Perhaps you could convert to annual plans of these, spend the $ and save a bunch all at once - perhaps you could buy lifetime licenses if these are available.

Is the hardware you require up to date? Could it use an upgrade? Spending some money here could give you a boost if not directly now, but in the longer term regardless of the projects you're working on.

I like this, this is probably what I'll end up doing – could I even pay like 5 years in advance if lifetime licenses are not available? I guess I'll find out contacting each service

congrats on your price! maybe some hardware, like monitors (don't depreciate as fast as laptop/phone) if you like to work with a extra monitor.

Thank you! I'm really tempted to upgrade my current monitor, but I'm scared I won't be able to justify the expenditure is directly related to the business and not me in particular 😅

A good domain name never hurts. Tend to hold their value as well, so you can sell it later if you need the money.

Edit: Oh, and switch to annual WIP plan ($150/year) 😅

Well played, Marc, well played :P I'll probably do it tho, hadn't thought of it, great way to spend these $$$

Domains I've never bought to invest, I'm afraid a) good ones are either all taken or too expensive (>1.8k) b) I'll never be able to sell them and get a return on the investment. Any tips for a total noob in this?

I missed the follow-up question when it was originally asked, but answering for future reference:

You can absolutely buy valuable domains for below $1,800. I've bought domains for hundreds of dollars and sold them for thousands. It comes down to patience, observing trends ( is helpful to determine sale prices of different categories of domains), and a bit of luck.

If I had $1,800 to spend on domains I'd focus on .co's as they are still relatively affordable, but also popular with startups. You can also spend some money on backordering domains, but that requires a lot of patience and you wouldn't spend the money until the backorder actually goes through.

Subscriptions to all WIP products 🤣

It’s hard to answer this without knowing what your product needs but I agree with ^ — prepay as much as you can on future subscriptions, and maybe hire/outsource anything you might need to take off your plate.

If you need a simple blog (or 10) for all your projects, #writeas is only $40 / year 😁

I think one of the best investments could be to put the money into some high quality content around your product's niche - guides, how tos etc that can bring you free traffic for years to come. Couple this with some download-ables in exchange for email addresses and you could be picking up many more potential customers and leads from the search engines over the years to come.

This can also help with the lack of product market fit - provided the content is reasonably relevant to whichever direction your product eventually takes, it can still help bring in customers well into the future, vs a one off ad buying spree which may not offer long term benefits

Thanks! I like this idea, but I have the feeling I could do this myself later in the product lifecycle, plus I don't feel like dealing with hiring copywriters/designers right now tbh 😅 But you're totally right: that would be a nice long-term investment rather than burning dollars in ads.

- It's free money
- It's going away
- You'll always have more to do, so you probably won't do writing vs something you do daily like coding. I like writing and feel I'm reasonably good at it. Number of articles I've written for my saas in the last 12 months? Zero.

Finding writers is pretty easy vs finding a developer or similar, and if done well so your content attracts links and thus even more traffic it's an investment that effectively compounds over time. That said, if you could pay a developer to eg write an integration for an app store like Shopify, Wordpress or similar that could bring you a steady flow of new customers that could be a great investment too.