The Barenaked Ladies had some good ideas about what to do with a million dollars, but PH and I go even further when dreaming about what we would do if we won the lottery.
I’m naturally a dreamer and a what-if type person (this blog is If By Yes for a reason), so this is one of my favourite types of conversation.
What would we do if we won big money?
- Pay off the mortgage is first on the list, obviously, because WE DREAM BIG.
- Sharing a certain amount with family and friends, of course, because if you’re rich but your family and friends hate you, your life is not better.
- Invest a sizable portion of it, to get the interest yearly.
- Set aside a bunch for our children’s education/weddings, naturally.
Mostly boring stuff, because when it comes down to it, a tidied life with no mortgage and no worries about saving would be a huge boon just as it is.
We’re not big-house-fancy-car folks, so a lack of debt is a real dream for us just as it is.
For us, the real dreaming starts past the 5 million mark.
You see, PH has worked out that 5 million dollars, properly invested, would provide us with a yearly income of $250,000 which is more than enough to live happily ever after on.
That means that anything above and beyond that would be gravy and we could feel free to blow it as we see fit, along with a good portion of our annual income.
Obviously, the first thing we would do is distribute a sizeable portion of the remainder on Perfect Husband’s parents and siblings, as well as my own parents.
Then, of course, we’d want to treat our friends a bit.
We all have mental lists of things we wish we could buy our friends.
I wish I could buy The Domesticated Nerd Girl a summer home near her family.
I wish I could buy The Farm Fairy a farm.
I wish I could shower riches on my cousins, who have given us cash when we needed it and an iTouch that totally made my Christmas.
I have two friends who are struggling to complete their degrees, and I wish I could pay off their student loans and fund the rest of their schooling.
I promised a friend years ago that I would buy him the car from Starsky and Hutch when I was rich and famous. He hasn’t even spoken to me for years, but I’d still get a kick out of dropping it on his doorstep some day if I were rich enough.
My mother has assembled a long list of travel homes that I am to buy her when I am rich and famous. At last check, the list included a flat in London, a villa in Greece, a cottage in the south of France, and a houseboat in Vancouver. I’d probably start with the place in Vancouver, and she could flit back and forth between here and home all she wanted.
And then of course, there’s the discussion about what we would buy ourselves.
A Clydesdale or a Gypsy Vanner would be on my list, or at least a shaggy, gentle draft horse of some variety, probably from a rescue.
I’d also get a Shetland pony or similar for Owl so he could ride with me.
We would buy a home in Nova Scotia (possibly near The Domesticated Nerd Girl’s new summer home) except that I want to use it as a winter home. Summer in Nova Scotia is hot and full of bugs, while summer in Vancouver is a sunny 23 degrees with nary a mosquito to be found.
When the drizzle returned, I would head to the East Coast for the beautiful autumn weather and a white Christmas, then come back to Vancouver in February or March, when the cherry blossoms come into bloom.
We probably wouldn’t sell our current place right away. I’d like to enjoy having no mortgage, decorate it the way I always wanted, and simply upgrade it for a while. Crown molding, fancy fixtures, new furniture that isn’t 20 years old.
I like our neighbours and our neighbourhood. I just don’t like the shabbiness of our house’s interior.
But eventually I’d want a house with a yard, and then I’d start getting dogs.
I want a Cavalier King Charles and an Old English Sheepdog and/or Bearded Collie and a Rough Collie and a mix breed who looks exactly like SpokeIt’s dog and a ragdoll cat.
I’d still try to get as many as possible from rescues (easy enough thanks to Petfinder) and I wouldn’t get all of them right away.
That would be crazy.
I might even get PH the Scotty and the Irish Setter he wants. If we have room.
We would, over the years, take our kids to France, and Italy, and Greece, and Disneyworld… when they were old enough. Before that, we’d drop Owl off with his grandparents in Nova Scotia and flit off to Paris occasionally because WHY THE HECK NOT.
Come to that, I think a flat in Paris would be on PH’s list, and I’d be okay with that.
I’d time-share my parents’ villa in Greece, too. I don’t think they’d mind. My parents (and my mother’s sister, who has also sent us a lot of cheques over the years) could share our place in Paris in return.
And then, of course, there’s the question of what to do with ourselves now that our mortgage is paid and we have $250,000 in income yearly.
I would quit my job, although I could see offering to fill in the occasional day when someone was sick, just to keep an oar in and feel useful.
I would probably carry on with my dog training for the same reason, but on a very casual basis.
I would write.
…I would write A LOT.
And edit videos.
And travel. Stay in luxurious hotels with hot tubs.
Ooh, buy a whirlpool tub for our house.
It’s the kind of dreaming that can go on forever, that same joy that you got as a child when writing your Christmas list, knowing that while Santa would probably bring all of these things to the rich kid up the road, that no Power Wheels would ever appear under your tree.
But it just felt good to ASK.
But you know it’ll never happen.
…Then, yesterday, PH went upstairs to check our lottery ticket numbers, and he said, “WE ACTUALLY WON.”
“Ha ha,” I said.
“No. Seriously. WE WON.”
“Did we win a free ticket?” I asked suspiciously.
“No. We won!! A WHOLE DOLLAR!”
Actually, though, he is splitting our big win three ways with his coworkers who went in on the ticket with him, so it’s actually 33 cents.
We’re going to mail a dime to PH’s father. He’ll know how to distribute it fairly.
My mother may have to wait for her houseboat.