Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top 5 "If I had a Million Dollars" Christmas Wishes

Let's think about our Top Five "If I had a million dollars" Christmas wishes.

Now, here are the ground rules.

1. We know a million dollars doesn't get us as far as it used to, so you won't be able to buy your own 747 jet or anything like that. However, do use your entire million on each of the five--we're going for conspicuous consumption here.

2. Second, be relatively honest. Saying you'd give it all to charity? Unless you're Mother Theresa, nobody's buyin' that. So for our purposes, nobody is in need of charity. This is fantasy.

3. Third, this is a tax free zone and investment free zone. Don't try to figure out how much Uncle Sam would get. It's not like he's using the money wisely these days anyway. And investments and savings make for a boring blog. (I know--my first stab at this involved a lot of savings accounts and IRAs and put me right to sleep. This isn't real life, remember? In this game, we're going to pretend that we're debt free and have every basic need attended to.

4. Keep it clean. If you're going to spend it on making Gerard Butler your sex slave for a month, please don't go into any graphic details, okay?

Now, here's my top five list, in no particular order:

1. I'd travel the world for as long as the money held out. I'd love to go to the British Isles, to Australia, to all fifty United States (I've been to a few, but there are plenty I'd like to see). I'd visit a friend who lives in Zimbabwe, (because if we're dealing in fantasy, we're going to pretend it's a safe place to visit). And I'd visit the region of Patagonia, in southern Argentina, because it sounds like a fascinating place.

2. I'd buy a house or build a house with the biggest bathroom ever. I've never lived in a house with a big bathroom. Ever. I see marble floors, an enormous clawfoot tub, a separate shower, enough floor space that you could hold a cotillion there...

3. I'd take a few years off from my day job and write full time. With a million dollars, I could pay the bills while I wrote. I figure on a million, I could write full time for about ten years and still take care of my family. That would be heaven. (I know this kind of violates rule #3 I set above, but writing full time is a major wish of mine that circumstances won't allow for at the moment).

4. I'd pay for the trapping and spaying/neutering of as many stray feral cats in my area as possible. There are so many wild cats out there having kittens that either grow up to exacerbate the stray problem or end up as road kill. I've rescued numerous of these feral offspring over the years, but I'm just one person and I can't possibly keep up. So if I could put even a little dent in the feral cat population in my area, it would be a million well spent. (Does that violate rule 2 a little? I'm not sure I care. I love cats, and I really might use the money this way, if I had it).

5. I'd spend it on books, DVDs and CDs. The entire Dean Koontz collection. All of Dick Francis's books. I'd grab all of Jayne Ann Krentz's backlist I haven't read. I'd give Christina Dodd and Teresa Medeiros books a try, because they're both hilarious on Twitter. I'd buy full Seasons of my favorite shows, past and present--Scarecrow and Mrs. King, which I hear is finally coming out on DVD. All the seasons of Homicide: Life on the Street. Every Jane Austen adaptation available. All the great classic books I haven't read. (In this fantasy, we're going to pretend I have a huge house with a ginormous library and a big media room with lots of storage space).

So that's it. My million is spent, five times over. Now it's your turn. What would YOU do with a million dollars?


Crystal-Rain Love said...

1. Pay off my house, or even better, get a new one.

2. Pay off my brother's house.

3. Buy new vehicles for me, Mr.Man, and my brother.

4. Set up college funds for my kids.

5. Live off it while writing fulltime.

Kea said...

I have thought long and hard about having a million dollars at my disposal. LOL. Here in Canada, lottery wins *are* tax free, by the way. Of course, you still pay tax on the investment income, but the principle is not taxed.

I'm with you on #4--spaying and neutering.

Actually, I would prefer to move out of my townhouse and out of the city, just far enough for a bit of land so I could rescue cats. Barring that, a big donation to the shelter I currently support would be good.

But "realistically," here's what I'd do with a million dollars:

$500K into investments, because I haven't anything but my work pension (which is very small), I'm in my mid-40s, and I'll be up a creek when it comes to retirement.

That leaves $500K and it's not enough to quit work on, more's the pity. Maybe I could go to 4 days a week instead of 5.

I'd take my senior cat, Annie, in for the I-131 radiation treatment for hyper-t. Nearest clinic is two hours away and it's expensive. I hope to do it anyway, either in 2010 or 2011, depending on finances, but having the money would help.

Oh, I'd buy a car. At last. Forget public transit. My Honda Fit. I want a 5-door. Ever practical.

If I couldn't find a decent and affordable single-family home with a good-sized backyard, I'd renovate the townhouse. Both the kitchen and bathroom need to be redone completely, the floors need to be done...Oh, everything needs to be redone. And I need a new cat fence out back to keep the "kids" safely contained.

I'd buy new furniture, good stuff that will last, not cheap Ikea stuff. Ooh, a new camera. Yeah, I'd be running out to Henry's Camera pronto. A new laptop, new TV (I have an old analogue one). Things I just can't afford right now.

Travel would be great, if I could find someone reliable and trustworthy to care for my cats while I was gone. Otherwise I'd not enjoy myself. I'd love to visit New Zealand, the UK, Italy (I have an uncle in Italy, in Bergamo).

But mostly I would just want a well-designed, comfortable home with plenty of fun things to amuse the fur kids, lots of books to read, music to listen to...Hey, maybe I'd even get a cell phone. LOL. I must be one of the few people in North America without one.

I guess I would just spend the money on "normal" things that many people take for granted. Having already remortgaged my home twice in two years because of debt, I'd be very cautious with the money--I would not want to live with debt again.

Nice fantasy....

Jeanne said... dream like this, LOVE IT!'s what I'd do: 1. BUY A HOUSE!!! Then hire a gardener - no mowing lawns for me! 2. I'd pay off my sisters homes, buy one for my brother and get Mom whatever she wants/needs. 3. Glamorous or not - I'd have to put some in the bank to keep growing while I keep spending! Gotta plant that money tree! 4. Not necessarily that this is the 4th thing - but my heart has always sung the loudest when I get to help animals! So I would invest in doing that - and I would love every minute of it - rescue, spay/neuter, educate proper care/love/understanding,
etc...that's where my heart is and always has been! 5.Write, write and write some more - full time. I don't mean to copy you but that's also a dream of mine! Wouldn't that be the bees knees? Ok, anything else? Hmmmm, I think that's the top 5 - so let's hope I hit the trillion dollar lottery and I'll let ya know how things are working out!

Southern Girl said...

You mean in this fantasy world where rule #2 exists, I can't even pay my TITHES?! No supporting of the Cooperative Program?! (Only Southern Baptists are going to get that one... *g*)

*sigh* Okay, pure fantasy --

1. I'm with you on the travel thing. I'd take myself and my friend C. to Spain and explore to our heart's content. Then I'd pick a different friend and go to Australia and get my own koala bear. Back to the U.S. where my best friends K, K, and S and I would go to NYC, NO, and explore various parts of CA...oh, and spend a couple of weeks on the Mississippi or Alabama Gulf Coasts in a beach house.

2. Sell this house and buy one with a guest house out in the county near my brother and his family. My parents could have the house, and I'd take the guest house for me and my many orange cats I'd surely have. ;)

3. I would buy the world's biggest, fastest Mac. Also a fancy-schmancy camera and a huge flat-screen TV.

4. I'd hire landscapers to turn the back yard into an elaborate flower garden/water ways.

5. I'd buy all the gourmet foods and ingredients I can't afford now, and go on a tasting spree, after which I'd have a nice gastric by-pass. ;)

I love these kinds of lists!

Jemi Fraser said...

Ooooo - fun!

1. Travel - start with a photographic safari in the Serengeti, then a cruise through Alaska, visit Hong Kong just to see it, see all the art in Italy, travel the Greek Isles, see Machu Pichu... that would probably take up most of the 5 million!

2. Build my dream house with my dream kitchen and stock it up with all of my dream appliances and sign up for some cooking/baking lessons from the masters!

3. Sign up for all of the art classes I've ever wanted to take.

4. Sign up for all of the computer programming & graphic design courses I've wanted to take

5. Buy a book store ofs course!