I keep an Excel sheet of my monthly budget. Nerd alert! I like to be organized, alright? Nothing wrong with that (as she pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose with a juicy sniff and look of disdain). And through the years, this little budget of mine has clearly fluctuated. Going from being a poor student to a poor working person has clearly ebbed and flowed in most respects. I mean, 5 years ago I was sharing a room, going to school, scoring church buildings and school activities for the chance at a free meal, driving a blubbery car that ran on a prayer, and waiting for movies to hit the dollar theater so I could finally afford to see something on the big screen. Well, times have changed… slightly. I had less expenses as a student and have more expenses now as a working adult, but all is well. The blubbery car finally blubbered out and I am now paying for a 2006 Hyundai. Nothing fancy, but very dependable and I admit, I felt very proud of myself the day I said “I can now afford a car!” My rent has gone up simply because I now have my own room in a great location in a lovely little house. I buy vegetables now – and that’s a little more expensive than your basic boxed Mac & Cheese (though don’t get me wrong, I buy that too! Nom). I’ve been able to travel more – which makes me extremely happy. Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to see the world! All of it! And I’ve started accomplishing this rather hefty goal with modest trips here and there. Life’s trudging along for me it seems. Though I wouldn't mind it trudging a liiiiittle bit faster in the financial sphere of things. Eh? Eh.
So yes… there’s been some transition. An elevation of lifestyle if you will. I’m really starting to ease into some of the comforts of life: like vegetables and dependable cars and trips to Charleston, SC. Of course, there are stresses and a few more bills that go along with that as well… one big old bill called STUDENT LOANS to get specific. I chant in my head “investment… investment… investment” and I’m almost starting to believe it!
As I was budgeting out next month I thought, what would I do with a million dollars? It’s the million dollar question! Ba dum chi! I’ll be here all day! Truth be told, what I’d do with a million dollars today is quite different (some might say boooorrrring) than perhaps what I would’ve said 5 years ago. I guess that could be a good thing too. I don’t want to be the same person I was when I was 23 just as I don’t want to be the same person I am at 28 when I turn 33. Hopefully that all connotes a forward movement. I always want to be moving forward – even if its slow and deliberate – it must be forward.
So here’s what I’d do with a million dollars as a 28 year old:
- Pay off student loans. BAM! After that, who cares!!?!?
- Pay off the last year of my car (that’s pay off the Hyundai, not buy a new car. I like my Hyundai!)
- Buy a modest but lovely house in the Sugarhouse area (say… $250,000-$300,000)
- Take a trip
- Pay for a couple of friends to come with me on said trip (such a good friend!)
- Pay for my brothers college education
- Pay for my PhD anywhere I want to go (and that will let me in... psh)
- Donate a chunk to the perpetual education fund (double nerd alert!)
- Shop a bit (Of course!)
- Save the rest
And that’s as exciting as my million dollars gets. I guess a million dollars doesn’t seem like a lot these days, but I could pay for all of the above and STILL have a pretty decent chunk of change left over. In fact, if I crunch those numbers loosely, I’d still have a about $300,000 left. That’s pretty legit. And to think that celebrities and superstar athletes make eight times that in one year. I read the other night that Julia Roberts gets $20 million/movie. $20 a movie! Can you imagine? I don’t know if I could even begin to SPEND $20 million. But if anyone’s willing to let me try, I wouldn’t say no.
I guess what this list tells me, is I really don’t need anything fancy or extravagant. And as material prowess is concerned, I really don’t (see: Hyundai and modest house). If I could make enough each year to travel to some cool places once in awhile, buy a lovely home, and shop at Anthropology (hurray!), I’d be set! What more does a girl need than some awesome traveling experiences, a place of her own to lounge about with her cat(s), and a beautiful dress to flounce around in? I submit to you, not much!
So what about you? What would YOU do with a million dollars? Yeeeeah… just 1 million.