In response to today’s Daily Post (also, using both the “$” and “dollars” is redundant):
I’ve thought about this repeatedly, actually. My daydreams always involve lower amounts of money than a billion dollars, however. Typically I envision winning about $5 million (post-taxes). This would let me invest it into an account with a minimum 1% annual interest rate… giving me an annual income of $50,000 without working. This is similar to the situation I’m in currently, minus the work… and so that would allow me more time and energy to devote to things that I enjoy, and that I would do if I didn’t have to work a full-time job. Example? Writing! I rather enjoy writing, and it’s always been a dream of mine to write something that will be published… and then, to receive recognition for writing it. The closest I ever came to this was having a poem published in a book… but that turned out to be a money-grabbing scam more than anything, so, bleh.
Would my lifestyle change dramatically, though, with that kind of money? I’d like to say no; overall, I’m very happy with my current living situation. I have a house that isn’t huge, but it’s a good size for what I need right now. I have plenty of physical goods (too many, in fact, which is why I’m selling some of it). If anything, I would like to put some real money into just improving my home: fixing and securing the chimney, rebuilding the back deck, and installing a new roof are the three most major things I’d like to get done. The fourth would be to clean out and finish the entire basement. All of these things take time and money; winning the lottery would provide me with both. I wonder, though, whether my appetite for spending money would stop there.
I can be pretty free in spending my money, it’s true. Sometimes it’s on myself (though that’s most often when I’m depressed or super stressed, which has become more rare lately). Oftentimes it’s on other people (because it makes me happy to make other people happy). With a billion dollars, I could make people’s lives better. I could ensure that my girlfriend wouldn’t need to worry about paying for her college tuition. I could help my friend and his family move out of his mother’s house and have a place of their own. I could… … and the list goes on. My questions about that, though, begin to stack up. Would I really be doing anyone a favor by giving them money? My girlfriend is one of the most capable and fiscally responsible people I know. She is also fiercely independent, and it’s quite unlikely that she would accept a monetary gift from me (even if I had money to spare). I can’t say that I’d blame her for that. Giving my friend money to buy a house for himself would be a kind gesture, but it could very easily lead to problems down the line. What happens if they need other things and come to me, expecting more handouts? What happens if they wreck the house, and I don’t approve of the condition they’re keeping it in? What happens if they divorce? Would it be a gift, or an investment? I’d love to give my parents money to take vacations wherever they want… but then, I’d also like to hire a company to help clean their house. They wouldn’t likely accept my aid for either. Even “smaller” purchases for myself would bug me. I’m a big fan of video games, and I like to get some of the new ones when they first come out. What’s the point, though, when I don’t even play them for months on end? Why would I buy myself anything unless I had time to actually use it?
At this point in time, there’s only one thing that I would definitely, without a doubt, buy myself if I won a billion dollars.
A nice, delicious piece of tiramisu to celebrate.