Congratulations, you just won the lottery! Even though they tell me that a million bucks really isn’t that much money, it’s way more than I’ve ever had, and seems like way more than I’d ever need, given my current budget.
Anyhoo, we’ve all played the What If game, whether up all night in the dorms, in the car with your mom, or pillow-talking with your lovah. So this week’s FFT is: What if? What if a million dollars landed in your lap? Where would you spend it? How would your life change?
Since we’ll be beaching it rather than sitting at computers, we thought we’d all contribute our answers in advance. Soooo:
s.o.a.l.g.: I’d save a chunk for (the hypothetical) grad school, I’d get a dog (pups are expensive to care for!), and Yankees season tickets. Beyond that, I’d give some to help out my grandma, and cut a check to the NYC hospital that helped me out when I was a sick baby. Okay, and I’d buy a lot more books.
But mostly I’d save it. I wouldn’t change cities, or even apartments, and I wouldn’t buy a convertible. I’d probably view it as a way to access things that make me happy (baseball, canines, education) instead of finding excuses to spend it on things that don’t really seem to make a difference in my life. At least, I’d hope so.
SarahMC: First I’d pay off my credit debt, which is the albatross that will not die. I’d buy a house with lots of land so I could rescue a whole bunch of dogs. I’d give some to my parents so they could live more comfortably and go on a nice vacation. Then I’d donate to animal rescues and keep the rest in savings. These exercises always make me sad because it starts to feel like this is really going to happen, and it’s not!
PhDork: Sorry to bum you out, SMC.
I like your philosophy, s.o.a.l.g.–access things that make you happy, rather than go hog-wild on stuff just ’cause you can.
So, lessee. I would put about half in savings/retirement, first off, because that is how my poor ass rolls. Then I’d pay off my Mom’s house and car (which really isn’t that much) so she wouldn’t have those worries now that she’s looking at retirement. Next, I’d endow a modest scholarship at my undergrad institution, pay-it-forward style. Other donations: to BARC, a no-kill shelter in Brooklyn I think does wonderful work (or maybe just write SarahMC a check for her dog rescue?) and of course, Planned Parenthood, since I used their services for years as a student and then as an uninsured adult. Then, since a little fun is in order, a long-planned trip for me (and the Dude, if he wants to go) to Costa Rica, to care for sloths. And maybe the rest is a down payment on a great apartment here in Brooklyn?
(Just to be clear, for this thought experiment, the $1M is free and clear, tax-wise. I mean, if we’re daydreaming, right?)
s.o.a.l.g.: Well, if it was tax free then I might also plan a jaunt to New Zealand…And I would also put some to my father’s care as he starts deteriorating.
BeckySharper: I’d write a few very large checks to my favorite charities, especially City Meals on Wheels and Partners In Health. I’d adopt two of SarahMC’s rescue dogs, since the money would mean I could afford vet’s bills and paid walkers (and two means they’d be less likely to get lonely during the day).
I’d seriously consider buying a bigger apartment, ideally in the same building as I live in now, since I love my neighbors and we have a pretty tight community. I might even renovate it.
And I’d travel—I could buy a lot of international business-class tickets with that money and hit the places I’ve been wanting to visit but haven’t had the time and money yet: Shanghai, Capetown, Rio and Salvador, New Zealand…
PilgrimSoul: With $1 million I could buy myself an investor green card. I mean, really.
PhDork: Wow, that’s a thing? Never doubt that money is power…