human, being

20 things I’d do if I won the lottery
March 5, 2009, 12:49 am
Filed under: money | Tags: , , , ,

We all play the “if I won the lottery” game every now and then. I do it especially when the PowerBall jackpot’s digits add up to 11, which is my lucky number. Sometimes I buy a ticket in that situation, but usually I don’t because — drum roll — I once had a psychic tell me that I’d never win anything in the lottery, not even $20, so not to waste my cash. Yes, I occasionally consult psychics. I have two on speed dial. They’re usually right on the money.

But I digress. Even though I know the chances of me winning the Powerball Jackpot are about as good as Steve giving birth, I love t fantasize. Maybe I have a very rich uncle somewhere (hey, I’m adopted, it could happen) who will leave me $40 million in his estate. So after taxes, that gives me about $16 million to play with. I love this game, because it helps me fine tune my values and think about how I want to spend my time and money in the here and now. What’s interesting is I’ve had basically the same items on the list since I first started dreaming about winning 20 years ago.

Invest for the future

  • I’d immediately set aside about 60% for our retirement ($9.6 million) and put $400k into a cash reserve fund. We’d both get a monthly allowance, out of this and we’d quit our jobs.
  • I’d pay off all of our current debt, including mortgage, cars, student loans and credit cards, about $210k.
  • I’d give Steve $500k to buy a franchise. His job would be to run it.
  • I’d refurbish our townhouse to prepare it to become a rental property. To do it right, including finishing the basement, would take about $25k.
  • I’d set up $500k trust funds for both of the kids, which they would begin to receive on their 21st birthday as a percentage of earnings until they are about 35, and then they’d take charge of the principal. If they show they are financially responsible before that, then we’d move that date. I don’t want them to ever have to struggle, but I want them to work too.
  • We’d get married in style. I’d spent $20k on our wedding. What? Only $2ok? Yes! I think that’s plenty to have the wedding we have in mind, and we may actually be able to do it for less than that.

Give back

  • I’d immediately give 10% of the net away to charities. Right now, they would be my cancer center, The Children’s Hospital, two local animal welfare organizations and three great arts organizations that I believe are very important to my city. $1.6 million.
  • I’d take about $1.5 million to start a family foundation, and running it would be my part-time job. I think giving away money would be the best job in the entire world. It’s not a ton of money, but it’s enough, if, invested wisely, we spend off the earnings.
  • I’d give the kids each $1k to give away to organizations they like. They can do it over time or in one big fell swoop.
  • We’d take another $3k and pass it out in $20s to people randomly, just because. I’d do things like buy lunch for the guy behind me in line, and fill up someone’s tank with gas.
  • I’d give each member of our immediate families $10k each (about $80k total)

Get a better roof

  • I’d buy us a new (to us) four-bedroom townhouse with a two-car garage. I’d pay in cash. Maybe literally in $20s because how fun would that be? We’d spend about $400k in today’s market for what we want.
  • I’d set aside about $25k for any renovations and new furniture we’d need.

Keep learning

  • I’d set aside $100k each for Ryan and Lauren’s college educations. If they figure out how to pay for college on their own (completely or partially), they get the balance upon graduation to use as a down payment on a house.
  • Steve and I would each get $50k for education. I’d get my master’s degree in something I love, rather than something that makes sense: Photography. Steve could finish his bachelor’s degree and get his MBA, if he still wants to do that.

Go places

  • We’d take a long family vacation to several places, spending about $30k over six to eight weeks of travel.
  • Steve and I would have a beautiful honeymoon on a beach somewhere for about $10k.
  • I would put $20k aside for spur-of-the-moment travel over the next several years.

Buy some stuff

  • I’d buy Steve a new car and get mine fixed. My car, a 2006 Civic, works just fine but has minor body damage. Steve’s car, a 2001 Saab, needs a lot of work. His would be a new-to-him car, but probably not brand new, because that would piss him off.
  • I’d give Steve and me each $15kย  and each kid $2.5k in play money to use for whatever we wanted. Lauren would probably get a dog and use the balance to pay for caring for it. Ryan, that’s easy: video games. Steve would buy himself a laptop and a motorcycle. Me? I’d take my trip to Africa and buy a Nikon D90 with a couple of new lenses.

How would you spend $16 million?


3 Comments so far
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Wow, I’ve often thought about what I’d do if we won the lottery (I mean, a lot), but I’ve never gone into such detail.

I’ve gotten as far as paying off our debts, renovating the house and making donations, but only in a vague way.

Perhaps I’m just afraid of getting too caught up in the fantasy!
I would be nice, though.

Good luck to both of us, because I very rarely buy tickets in that sort of thing either! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Comment by Jane Blogs

this is a great list – and so well thought out! ๐Ÿ™‚

Comment by cavy

[…] | Tags: google documents, life, personal, spreadsheets The other night, I wrote my blog about what I would do with $16 million netted from the lotto or a dead uncle. Was that ridiculous or what? (I blame it on insomnia and […]

Pingback by Spreadsheet freak « human, being

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