This post is part of a Yakezie post meme created by Sandy @ Yes I Am Cheap. Participants are supposed to imagine that we’ve inherited or won $1 million and discuss what we would do with the money. Go check out the roundup of all posts in this series.
It’s hard for me to think seriously about what I’d do if I won or received a million dollars. After all, it’s not like that ever actually happens to people! For the sake of this meme, though, I’ll do my best.
What I’d Spend it On
First (and most important), I’d hand half the money to someone smart enough to invest it for me. This would allow me to stop freaking out about retirement. Well, actually I guess I could somewhat stop worrying about money in general! I know this sounds boring but it’s the best thing I could do with a lump sum of money. (Remaining balance: $500,000)
Second: Pay off debt. This includes my house, car, student loans, and my parents’ house and car. Altogether this would eat up probably $300k, which is totally worth it. (Remaining balance: $200,000)
My next step is probably the most fun to think about – I want to give away a crap ton of money. Like leaving a $1000 tip for a waitress. Or walking up to a mom struggling with three kids in Walmart and giving her $10,000. Or paying the guy who sells produce in a local parking lot $5,000 to take a day off and hang out with his family. Of course, this would require a camera crew so I could capture the looks on their faces, but I’ll assume someone would donate their services for something so awesome. I would do this for total strangers only, not the random friends and acquaintances who I’m sure would be lining up with their hands out. (Remaining balance: $100,000)
Finally time to do some selfish stuff with my money!
I want to finish my basement. I want some flipping bedroom furniture already! I want my backyard fenced in and a new deck. I want a pony. (Seriously. I really do.) I want clothes that actually fit, more shoes (like I need more shoes), and one of those super expensive stand mixers. And I’m sure my son could come up with a billion video games and toys he can’t live without. (Remaining balance: 0)
How My Life Would Change
Obviously that fictional million dollars would change everything. No more debt, no more working full time for someone else, no more using a stepstool for a nightstand.
I would have unlimited time to spend with my friends and family. No pressure to do things because I “have” to. To be honest, I worry that I’d become incredibly fat and lazy! I can’t imagine a world where I wasn’t either preparing for something, stressing about something, or wishing I had more time. I could picture myself having a nervous breakdown and begging for my job back just to have something to do (shudder).
I don’t know how people occupy themselves when they don’t have to do anything. And I know a million dollars isn’t all that much money these days, so it’s laughable to think it would solve all my problems. But as I’ve moved from a consumer mindset to one of concentrating on what truly brings me happiness, I find that it’s less about using the money to get stuff and more about using it as a tool to get where I want to be.
I don’t need a lot of things to be happy. I’ve got way too many things as it is. I just need the peace of mind that would come with being out of debt and financially secure. And that’s why I’m writing this post on this blog right now, and why I stopped recklessly spending in the first place – someday I want to know what it’s like not to freak out and worry. Is a million dollars going to fall into my lap tomorrow? Nope! But it’s nice to know I’d still be me either way.