I have always found this to be an interesting ice-breaker question. There are the obviously “right” answers that abound – donate it to charity, give it away, and the like – which makes me feel like you have to dig deeper in order to really find out what’s going on. I mean, once one person in the circle says they’re going to donate the money, it takes reaching the class clown to change the answer more times than not.
My first instinct is somewhat altruistic, but still hits close to home. I would pay off my parents’ debt. I don’t know the exact numbers, but I know it involves my brother’s student loans, a couple of cars and some property, so it’s a fair bet that I could spend 200k right off the top without blinking. My parents have always struggled with debt and while they try to rise above it, they haven’t had the chance at a level playing field in a long time. They’re also getting older and I’d like to see them able to retire or at least work less so they have more time to spend with family.
After that, I would purchase that utterly overpriced wedding gown that I’ve been in love with since before I got engaged. Considering I’ve been married for three years now, that’s quite a while to maintain a love affair with a lacy dress. Since we have a wedding ceremony coming up on our fourth anniversary, I would even have somewhere to wear it. And then I’m shortening that bitch and wearing it again. Of course, my definition of utterly overpriced still isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things (sidebar: wedding dresses are probably the most frustratingly over priced items in existence).
Next up would be going ahead and getting both B and myself new cars. I don’t have one with the whole living overseas, military only pays to ship one vehicle per military member. He does, but I mean, we have a million dollars to spend by sundown. With that time constraint, we won’t even be haggling, just walking in and walking out with whatever cars we both want. Again, we’re fairly moderate people, so I don’t see either of us going for crazily expensive cars that we still have to insure and pay to gas. I still don’t think my total has hit 300k. Daylight is flying fast, so I know that I need to get to work spending that money.
I would book us a ridiculously opulent vacation. Like, Bora Bora in an over-the-water bungalow with private pool, kind of opulent. It wouldn’t be until next winter, when we think we’re going to go mad with the North Dakota winter. I’d also book us a trip to Australia and New Zealand to celebrate B’s 5 year mark with the USAF, that will come conveniently just a couple of months before our 5 year anniversary, so the trip can pull double duty. Finally, I’d go ahead and lock in a family cruise to Alaska, paying for both our families (parents, siblings, spouses, etc) to have balcony rooms. I’m hoping that all my extravagant planning will knock out another 100k, of course we’d be flying first class everywhere. After all, right now I’m just trying to spend this money.
By my count, I have roughly 600k left to spend and my daylight is rapidly fading. Visions of impractical jewelry dance through my head and I probably consider upgrading my engagement ring. That’s when I realize that I’m spending money just because I can. I’d probably slam on the brakes here, to stop and think about what I really want from this money. And would promptly turn around and invest it all to be spent another day. I’d purchase stocks that pay dividends and invest in mutual funds with most of it and maybe save some to play around with contrarian investing.
That’s how I would spend my million dollars, what about you?