You just inherited $1,000,000 from an aunt you didn’t even know existed. What’s the first thing you buy (or otherwise use the money for)?
Twenty years ago, a million dollars would have bought you so much, nowadays, it really doesn’t buy you much. Most people are probably going to say the same generic things like, buy a house, buy a car, go on a holiday, go shopping etc… but the money wouldn’t really stretch that far if they wanted to do all of that.
If you found one million dollars in the morning and had to spend it by nightfall, what would you do with the money?
Well, let’s assume that if we found it, we were responsible citizens and went to the police first, and the cops turn around and say “Well, nobody has reported it stolen, so it’s all yours to do with as you wish”… Then it would begin.
In the grand scheme of things, yes, a million dollars is a lot of money, but at the same time, doesn’t really get you very much for your money. People talk about winning lotto and how they plan on buying houses and cars and trips overseas… yeah, that’s a great idea, but then what? Did you think about what happens after you do this? Did you factor in what it would cost in upkeep for all your houses, and how much your insurance is going to be for all your Ferrari’s and Lambo’s?
Of course not. Fool.
I would be a lot more responsible with a million dollars. Growing up and not actually having money, I grew to value it a lot more than other kids did. Whilst they were all focused on getting the bestest brand new label backpacks / shoes / clothes; I on the other hand, was more concerned about whether my various fees were being paid. They were all wanting the latest Nike Air Max for sport (granted, for the sports they didn’t actually play!), whereas I chose to go without because I knew if I wanted fancy new footwear, I’d have to miss out on going to camp – and I couldn’t have both.
And camp was MUCH more satisfying than trying to keep up with the Jones’ at school.
You’d think that this appreciation and value for money would have continued into my adult life, right? Wrong. Once I moved interstate and started working and earning my own money, I still paid all my bills first, and then got to enjoy whatever was left over – whether it was a fancy dinner, or that pair of fancy shoes I’ve had my eye on for a few months, or saving for my next new electronic device (read: Playstation). Over the years though, as my income has increased, I find myself doing the complete opposite… buying first, bills later.
DISPOSABLE INCOME!! SO MANY SHINY PINK DOLLARS TO DO WITH AS I PLEASE… *ugh* Bills. Maaan, bills are such a pain! Meh, they can wait.
That became a mantra of mine for a while, before I found myself eating nothing but 2minute noodles and tinned tuna for a fortnight – wondering what the hell I’d spent all my money on… oh yeah, that’s right, paying ALL my bills, (both current and overdue), and rent, etc etc.
“I need to start a budget”, I’d tell myself. “I need to be smarter with my money. I need to SAVE”.
6 years later, nothing has really improved. well, It’s a lot better than that, but it’s got a lot of room for improvement.
Not having savings really depresses me, but at the same time, I have credit cards. The root of all evil.
Feeling a little sad? Why not shop yourself a little happy?
Feeling a bit bored at work? I wonder what’s new on Amazon.com?
iTunes credit low? Best you get a couple of iTunes cards when you’re out at lunch!
Whilst I became of the mindset that I wanted to be able to enjoy my money here and now, in this moment, others were busy putting all their savings away into loans and mortgages; bumping up their superannuation; investing in stock portfolios. Me? I was hanging out for the Tomb Raider pre-order date from EB Games, or buying tickets to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball tour… but oh my that’s a whole other story!!
And now that I’ve conveniently gotten myself well and truly sidetracked – this is my writing problem – dealing with tangets (DAMN IT – I’m doing it again!!) where was I again…?? Oh yes… that million untaxable dollars.
(and in saying that, reminds me of this. skip to the 2:53 mark…)
But yes, a million bucks. I wouldn’t go crazy with it. I’d pay out all my bills, pay off my credit cards, buy myself a nice apartment or something, and with whatever was left over, I’d donate some money to charity and put some into savings / term deposits. Given that an average apartment (well, one that I would actually like) would go for anything between $500 – 700k, it’s not much left to play with when talking about investing.