Where to put $5,000 now

What would you do with a million bucks? That's easy. But what about five grand? With a handful of broad goals in mind, here are Money Magazine's picks.

When will you be debt free?
Enter credit card information
  CC name Balance
($)
Rate
(%)
Minimum
payment($)
1
2
3
Choose a plan
Minimum payments only
Fixed payments
$ monthly
Debt-free deadline
I want to pay off my credit cards in:
years and months
Goal: Building wealth
Best return with no risk: Pay off
your highest-interest credit-card debt
If you just pay the minimum due on credit card bills, you'll barely cover the interest you owe, to say nothing of the principal. The return on your investment is the interest you no longer have to pay.

"That's a no-brainer," says Rob Oliver, a financial planner in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The average household credit-card debt is nearly $10,000. It will take you years to pay off your balance, and you could end up spending thousands of dollars more than the original amount you charged.

The rate on a typical credit card: 13.9 percent.
Interest savings on paying off
a $5,000 balance over 2 1/2 years:
$857
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.