If I Had A Million Dollars: Episode 3

I’m in the middle of a one-month spending freeze, and this is the time when I start to really miss the little impulse purchases that are EXACTLY what my one-month spending freeze is trying to curb. So, instead of spending real money, I’m returning to one of my favorite day dreams: generating 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.


I’ve got my eye on a hiking day-pack that will carry enough water for 10+ mile hike, and also have room for snacks and layers and my camera and everything. I’ve got a smaller Camelbak, but I always seem to run out of water and the bladder/reservoir takes up most of the space in the pack. For the weather here (i.e.: one hundred degrees for the bulk of the year), I need something that lets me carry more water.


A new camera body, my DSLR camera has reached the end of it’s useful life with me; I’ve loved learning how to use all the settings and experiment with light and focus and everything, but I’ve outgrown it’s 12 megapixels and truncated distance f/stop. It is time to upgrade to something that will see me through the next 8-10 years (I think I’ve had my Canon for at least 7 years, and it was a hand-me-down to start with.)


At this point in my life, I would 100% spend this on far flung adventures. More than perhaps ever before I have a serious travel itch, and more than perhaps ever before I have more ties that are keeping me in one place. It’s a difficult combination for me and I find myself dreaming about far away adventures more than I ever have before: Peru, Norway, Iceland (always!), Egypt, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Paris…yep, definitely want to go everywhere.


I would quit my job and enter a full time Master’s program, possibly an MBA, but if the money was, essentially, free I may reconsider that as the ROI wouldn’t be quite so heavily weighted. (Coincidentally, applying for a Master’s program is one of my 2017 resolutions…so, my heart is in the right place, but man, that grad school price tag! Ooouuuff!)


In addition to paying off our house, I’d spend a fairly small amount ($100k?) doing some upgrades and changes to our current home to make it a little bit more functional for us for the rest of our time here in Arizona. One of those expansions includes moving an exterior wall, which I don’t imagine is cheap, and almost completely reworking the back of the house to give it some MUCH NEEDED SHADE (hello, full south-western sun, you devil!).

I would like to buy some land with views of jaw-dropping mountains to eventually build a forever home on, with plenty of room for a big library, a grand piano, a cook’s kitchen, and giant clawfoot soaking tub in the master bathroom.

And with the rest? I’d love to find some way to leverage it into a full time (or, 3/4 time perhaps) job for me that will help my community. I’m not sure what that job is, or honestly which community I’m talking about, but some kind of activist or access work, reaching out to those who could benefit from a leg up, and helping them figure out the steps and overcome the hurdles that are in the way. I know this is super loosey-goosey, but where I would previously have said “I’d travel for 3 years straight!” or “I’d buy a house with a 2-story library with spiral stairs and…” or something…I’d really like to engage in a cause that is fulfilling for me and makes my community a better place; whether that’s my literal neighborhood community, or the more at-large community of women, or whatever. I should maybe think more about this prior to investing in a Master’s program, yes?

So, how about you? How would you spend these magically appearing amounts? I know the most practical thing is “pay off student loans/mortgage” or whatever, but that’s not a very engaging day dream. What does your heart want? (And even if your heart also wants to pay off the student loan/mortgage, give me something else to swoon over, even if it’s a “and/or” statement! You can do it! It’s imaginary money! Let’s spend it!) You can see my previous lists of imaginary spending here.


7 thoughts on “If I Had A Million Dollars: Episode 3

  1. BrittI would also take a trip to Disneyland, and invite and sponsor a family that has never been.

    $100 – it’s sad that $100 is the hardest amount to think of something for. Maybe I would buy myself a pair of quality boots.

    $1,000 – some furniture. Maybe a new mattress, or perhaps armchairs for my living room.

    $10,000 – also furniture. But more of it. I’ll get the mattress and the armchairs and maybe some nice couches. definitely a high-quality kitchen table.

    $100,000 – Pay off my house!

    $1,000,000 – I think I would buy a nice middle class home in a place I really like And make it functional for our family. I would also take a trip to Disneyland, and invite and sponsor a family that has never been.

    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      The $1,000-ish we spent on a mattress about a year ago (Leesa, for anyone who cares) was probably the best money we spent last year. It has made such a difference for both of us! (Also, we finally had space to upgrade to a King and it is glorious in every possible way!)


  2. Stacy

    I’d start a bookstore. And possibly a wine shop. A neighboring town has the cutest downtown ever. The first time I saw the town square, I thought of Stars Hollow. It has about half a dozen candy stores in a four-block radius, but it does not have a single book store or a wine shop. I love truffles as much as the next girl, but books are priority.

  3. Britt

    Hm. $100 – I’d buy some new pants that I feel good in (weird postpartum belly is no fun!). $1000 – I’d fly to San Francisco for a week with my little family before going back to work. $10,000 – I’d go to Europe (including Iceland) for a month. Visit my friend in Germany, meet some family in Scotland, see Ireland and England. $100,000 – Quit my job. Go to school. $1,000,000 – All of the above plus buy some beach front property and build a house. 🙂

  4. katelin

    Oh man, I fantasize about all of this way too often. I would definitely take a trip to the UK and move. That’s all I really want right now. The little things right? Ha.

  5. nonsequiturchica

    If I had a million dollars I would renovate our house- but do everything that we want instead of cutting back like we currently have to. I would plan a trip to the Galapagos Island for probably the four of us, my parents, maybe some in-laws so that there would be plenty of people to watch our kids when we wanted to do things like scuba diving. I would probably plan a few other trips like to Iceland, Peru, and Australia. I would definitely give a bunch to charity.


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