Got Cash? Here Are 7 Ways to Spend Your Dough

Scott Painter, CEO of, a Web site that tracks vehicle transactions nationwide, said that the Mercedes Benz you've always thought was above your pay grade may now be attainable.

"If you're looking to buy a car and you're a Mercedes buyer, it's the best time ever for you," Painter said.

He said all Mercedes models are selling at 10.2 percent below their sticker prices. "It's a buyer's market," he said.


With home prices having dropped nearly 20 percent in the past year in most major metropolitan areas, industry insiders said that now is a great time to purchase that second home you've been eyeing.

"There are deals to be had," said Glenn Kelman, the CEO of Redfin, an online realty company.

"There are plenty of people who went and put half a million dollars into a new home who are now sitting on a giant pile of regret that you can buy for a song," Kelman said.

Kelman said that areas in Arizona, Southern California and Florida -- places that were hit hardest by the real estate crunch -- will often boast the best deals for consumers looking to buy.

Jesse Loomis, the vice president of business development at Bid4Assets, an online auction site for high-value items, agreed that real estate is a buyer's market.

"There is a lot of bank-owned inventory, which leads to very competitive prices," Loomis said. "Now is a very good time to pick up a second home or an investment property."

Fine Dining

People who never would have considered dining at their neighborhoods' ritziest restaurants can now do just that by taking advantage of the restaurant industry when its desperate for business.

"This is, obviously, one of the most challenging times for fine-dining establishments in several decades," said Hudson Riehle, the chief economist for the National Restaurant Association.

"From a consumer perspective, it's a great time to get a great deal at their favorite fine-dining establishment," he said.

Riehle said that restaurants are doing everything from offering more fixed-price menus to treating patrons with free desserts or appetizers simply for showing up. "There are innovative approaches going on within the industry to lure customers in," he said.

"There is no better time than now to get out and try that neighborhood fine-dining restaurant you have been wondering about."

Consumer Electronics

Have you been yearning for a new iPhone or BlackBerry? If you have the money to burn, now is the time to pounce, according to consumer electronics industry analysts.

"Consumers are finding great early-summer deals on consumer electronics products that are very popular this time of year, including netbooks, smartphones, GPS, e-books and, of course, the always popular high-definition TVs and cool new broadband-enabled video devices that allow families to download and watch movies at home," said Jason Oxman, senior vice president of industry affairs for the Consumer Electronics Association.

Oxman said that consumers should look out for great deals on electronics such as Blu-Ray players from LG and Samsung, which are available for less than $250.

And with the next generation of Apple iPhone's hitting shelves later this month and driving the cost of the original iPhone down to a mere $99, smartphones will continue to be some of the best deals on the market, Oxman said.

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