I’m a list person, always have been, probably always will be. I make lists for everything you can imagine (and probably a few things you can’t imagine) and consider list-making a completely legitimate past-time. One of my very favorite day dreams is coming up with a list of what I would do or buy with the following sums of money: $100, $1,000, $10,000, $100,000, and $1,000,000.
Now, one of the rules of this day dream is that one cannot put these monies towards something boring and sensible like “my IRA” or “my future child’s future college tuition.” I realize that may be super exciting for some people, but it makes this game an exercise in Who Can Act Like The More Responsible Adult, and that’s just no fun whatsoever. My day dream, my rules.
Splurge on all new underwear – new undies is one of life’s greatest pleasures, I think, and I do not treat myself nearly often enough.
I am dreaming about a new mattress, I don’t even know if you can buy a really great one for $1,000, but I hope so. I want one that basically feels like you are sleeping on a cloud, or on a pile of feathers from angel’s wings. My back is about 30 years more decrepit than the rest of my body (thank you, car accident), and a mattress to counteract these pains on a nightly basis would be freaking amazing. Blue Eyes demanded new, high threat-count sheets a few weeks ago, and they have been totally dreamy. Adding a new mattress to that? I’m counting sheep already!
Wouldn’t it be lovely to take this kind of money and go on some kind of extended around-the-world trip? I mean, you could also blow it in a week in New York or London if you stayed in fancy hotels and ate at all the amazing restaurants and went to shows and such. But I’m thinking of something a lot more low key with the large expenses being airplane tickets and living on a minimal amount per day. Of course, I’d probably need about 3 months of leave from my job, but that obstacle is not the point of this day dream. I’d start in China and move through Nepal, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. If there was still money I’d head to Patagonia and work my way up South America with stops in Peru and an extended wander around the Caribbean. (Alternately, this would be just as amazing wandering around Europe, North Africa and the Middle East for 3 months, but that isn’t my first pick.)
This number breaks down into a couple of line items:
- I would use this as tuition money for a Master’s degree. Lately I am leaning towards an advanced degree in Project Management because I feel it is marketable in a wide range of disciplines, yet also completely applicable to where I am right now. Now, to find the actual program.
- I would buy Blue Eyes a Harley Davidson, and buy myself a fantastic set of leathers to ride with him (who knows, maybe I’d also go for my own motorcycle?).
- New bedroom furniture; what we have is a mishmash of items that are either thrifted, handed down, or 15-year old IKEA-quality furniture. It’s time. (Yes, this could have been included in the $1,000 or $10,000 category, but, ultimately, I’d rather have a mattress and 3 months wandering the world instead of a new dresser, so that’s why it’s listed here.)
- Probably also a fantastic international trip to somewhere amazing, with a few luxury things thrown in. I’m thinking Paris or Rome or Spain or something where living is kind of expensive and good living is even more. Sign me up!
A house. Absolutely, and with no question, a house. (Technically I could put a hefty down payment on a house with the $100,000 sum, but it’s my list and I’ll organize it as I want to.) I love where we live right now, I’ve been in this apartment for 7.5 years and in the same neighborhood for another 5. But I am ready for a garage, for a garden, my own washer and dryer, and walls that I can paint. I would LOVE to be rid of my yellow tile + minty aqua tub combination; I fantasize about white subway tile and in more than one tiny bathroom. Houses in my neighborhood are crazy-expensive, even for the lackluster fixer uppers and the ones that are nearly condemned. There are a few other neighborhoods in my current city that I would consider living, but the real estate there is nearly as expensive. I mean, Blue Eyes and I could easily find something we loved for considerably less than a million dollars, but the inevitable renovation and furnishings (see: 15-year old IKEA-quality furniture, above), and that sum suddenly seems much, much smaller. Components of a dream house for me would be a dedicated library room, and a living room large enough for a grand piano. And then also, a grand piano. (See how that $1,000,000 shrinks when you add a Steinway into the mix?)
With the leftovers, I’d like to buy some land in Montana, somewhere in the mountains. Maybe near Bozeman? Or perhaps the Bitterroot Valley? I’ve only been there once, but it is one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever seen. Those soaring snow-capped rocky mountains always will feel like home, even if they aren’t the mountains that guarded my own childhood (which, for the record, also feel like home, but a good-sized plot of land (i.e. more than an acre) at their base is not in the $1,000,000 budget. Seriously. It’s insane.)
So, how about you? How would you spend such sums? And please, even if you would probably sock it away in a retirement account, or pay down your mortgage….give me something FUN to chew on, mmmkay?