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Ask Me Anything #2: Marigold's Quandary

This question was sent by email from someone who prefers to remain anonymous, so we’ll call her Marigold.

Marigold recently won an overnight stay for two at a local hotel, breakfast included, valued at $160.

Marigold’s sole source of income is ODSP, which is Ontario’s social assistance plan for people with disabilities. It’s more generous than regular social assistance, but it still requires that one be unflinchingly frugal to make ends meet.

A friend of Marigold’s has offered her $40 cash for the hotel prize.

Marigold could definitely use the cash, but it would be a rare treat for her to spend a luxurious night in a hotel.

She has asked me to ask you for advice. Should she keep the prize or sell it for $40?

The voting booth is open!


The Ask Me Anything series will continue for the next little while. If you have a question, ask it in the comments or by email at zoomery at gmail dot com.

15 comments to Ask Me Anything #2: Marigold’s Quandary

  • Lalawawa

    I didn’t vote because she should get more than $40 for it. Her friend should offer her $100, not a penny less.
    Why don’t you auction it off for her.

  • megabytes

    Lalawawa and I are thinking alike! Auction time!

  • Auction! There must be a romantic person who wants to surprise their partner for $100 somewhere in Ottowa!

  • mudmama

    I agree with the others forty bucks is an insult. Auction!!!!!!

  • mikatana

    I didn’t vote either. I think she could get more than $40 for it and that she should try. Just think if she gets say $65 for it. Then, she could treat herself to a meal out and still be ahead!

  • heather

    If she really wants/needs the cash, I agree with the other commenters that $40 is an insult and she should only trade it for more. That being said… I try to live pretty frugally (probably not as much as Marigold) and a free night out in a nice hotel? That’s worth way more to me than it’s ‘actual’ value. Plus, she’s potentially saving a bit of money by doing it (not sure if she pays her own utilities or if it’s a fixed amount, but a night away from home means not using your own heat/hydro/water/etc). Not much, but it’s something, even if it’s just a chance to escape reality for an evening. AND a free breakfast? I’d be sold.

    I think she should take the prize and reconsider friendship with the person who tried to take advantage of her situation by such a shameful offer.

  • future landfill

    Wouldn’t surprise me that you could foster an auction and round up a couple hundred bucks for Marigold. (Surely she gets residuals from Polka-Dot Door??) Anyway, remind her, or whoever gets the free night, to do a quick look for bedbugs.

  • Kathy

    Depending on the hotel I’d be interested – but I agree with the person who said the treat is worth more than the money. A splurge is a splurge and 40 won’t buy much!!! Now if staying in the hotel won’t make her happy than she she should sell it – but yhea, 40 is not enough!

  • Jen

    The $40 offer is ridiculous. It sounds like her friend is taking advantage of her. She could get at least $100 for it by offering it on a site like Kijiji. She could probably even get more than $100 — people love to save money, even if they aren’t saving a lot (“$120 for a $160 hotel room and it includes breakfast? score!”)

    I think that if $40 is really the best offer she can get that she should use the hotel room herself. If she can get at least $100 for it then she should take the cash.

  • To me, this is “found money” and that should always be used for treating yourself or someone else. If Marigold isn’t interested, (and I know people who loathe hotels), she should sell it for market value and not 40 dollars and then use the money for something special.

  • fuzzpedals

    I vote in favour of the hotel stay. It’s a nice splurge. Marigold could also make sure she gets $40 worth out of the prize by having a big hotel breakfast, since breakfast is included.

  • reb

    Hi All

    Thanks for helping me decide

    First of all the person offering the money is also of limited means and well known in the community for her big heart and the time she gives to make people’s lives better.

    My birthday is soon I have already booked to use the voucher then.

  • Kathy

    Enjoy! Also, thanks for clarifying – we can all be so quick to judge – and Happy Birthday!

  • sounds like a great way to spend a birthday. have a great one.

  • Stephanie

    I voted to keep the hotel stay. I’m also posting because I wanted to mention that before she considers selling it, she should check with the people who had the contest. It’s not rare that prizes are non-transferable therefore it would be useless to try to sell the stay to someone else.