If I Had a Million Dollars


“If you found one million dollars in the morning and had to spend it by nightfall, what would you do with the money?”

After deciding on a whim to participate in NaBloPoMo this month, I panicked and went to the official website for inspiration. This was the prompt. It reminds me of a comic book I used to like, Richie Rich, and one time Richie had to spend a million dollars in one day. That was before the 4 bedroom, boring, subdivision house down the street was on sale for $899,000 (I stopped and looked at the price the other day).

So, let’s think. Rules. I have to spend $1,000,000 in a day. I cannot give it to charity (too easy), I cannot buy a house (takes more than a day, I assume, and pretty much is no challenge at all because even the boring house down the street is $899k), I cannot divide it up with family (not really spending), I cannot pre-pay Maya’s college education (because of course, these are the things I would ACTUALLY do if I had a million dollars, but where’s the challenge, people? This is a MEME, not reality).

First, I would sign us up for one of those river cruises through Europe. They look amazing. I’m picking the cruise that goes down the Seine, because I love Paris. It’s almost $4,000. I’ll buy 4 tickets, one for each of us, and one for a friend for Maya, because she might like that. So that’s $16,000 spent. Wow, I have a lot left.

I’d like to get a contractor out here pronto, since I can’t buy a new house in one day, but I wonder if that’s cheating? Let’s assume it’s not cheating. I’d put in a new kitchen, new floors, new bathrooms, new landscaping.  New heater and a/c.  New appliances all around.  I have absolutely no idea what that would cost. Let’s say $75,000 for the best of the best, and maybe some furniture and so on. We live in a condo, so we can’t tear down walls or put on a roof or paint the exterior.

I’d buy new computers. Two new laptops, one new desktop, all Apple. Then a new PC for Maya to use, just for gaming. She’s always wanted one. Who knows if it’s worth it. Who cares? $7,000 estimate for all 4.

I’d buy 3 new cars. We don’t need 3 new cars, ours are a 2005 and a 2008. But what the hell. A Porsche for Ted, though he’d worry too much about it without a garage.  A Mini for me, because they’re adorable.  Whatever Maya wants for her, I don’t know.  I’d pre-pay a neighbor for 5 years worth of renting their extra parking space for Maya’s car.  I’ll bet I could spend $120k on cars.

I’d call a very expensive restaurant for dinner, and see how much it costs to buy our way in that night. I’ve always wanted to try French Laundry. With good wine I’ll bet we could spend $1,000.

I’d take us all shopping in San Francisco for new clothes. (This whole thing is starting to make me tired, are you tired yet?) We’d explore Union Square, and nothing would be out of reach. Clothes clothes clothes. I’ll bet we could spend at least $50,000 if we tried. I wouldn’t buy anything that wasn’t me just because it was expensive. I’d just buy the stuff we want.

I’d like to get a dog, but I don’t want to worry about vet bills right now.  It’s probably cheating to pre-pay a bunch of money at our local vet, right?  I don’t care, I’d do it.  (Why can I pre-pay the vet but not a college for Maya?  Paperwork.)

I’d buy us a trip to Europe for next summer. I don’t know how much that would cost, and I have lost interest in keeping track. I’d buy us a trip to the East Coast for Spring Break, and a trip to Alaska at some point as well. Lot of money.

I’d book a family reunion in Hawaii for the entire clan. Airfare, hotel, food, drink, spending money. I keep feeling like this is cheating, because it’s for the future, not the one day.

OK, I give up.  I’d call an excellent college, fax them Maya’s jr year transcript and tell them I’ll pay them today to get her through in 4 years.  She’s a very good student, and she’ll do great.  I can’t bear the idea of having $1,000,000 in my hands for one day, and then the next day worrying about college again.  With housing and food and so on, I’ll bet I could spend $300,000.

Wait, I just noticed that I found the million dollars, and now have to spend it quickly. I’m thinking there may be drug dealers involved. Breaking Bad anyone? Crap.

I quit. Maybe it can’t be done without buying real estate, donating to your favorite causes, or sharing the wealth with family.  Actually, this exercise makes me grumpy, because I start thinking about retirement, and how little we have saved, and how STUPID it is to spend all of this money in one day and not have anything socked away.  Maybe I’d buy gold.  Can I do that?

If not, then I’d buy a green dress, but not a real green dress…that’s cruel.

4 thoughts on “If I Had a Million Dollars

  1. That would indeed be a challenge. I think cars, pre-paid college, an expensive vacation, and a nice meal might get you to $500,000. I think the next best thing would be to buy the entire contents of a wine good store…although, then you’d have to store it. But, considering you have a half million to spend, you’ll be able to rent a place that’ll keep the wine. Once the money is spent, you could then sell the wine a little bit at a time for pocket change.

    • Hmmm. Good thinking on the wine. We might be able to finance our retirement, as long as we don’t drink it all first. 😉

Comments are closed.