If I had a million dollars…

Every few months, a lady I work with asks everyone around whether they would continue working if they won the lottery.  She must find it a fascinating topic, because I’m sure she’s asked me at least three times in the last year.  And honestly, I’m amazed at the number of my co-workers who assert that yes, they would continue working.

That’s not to say that I don’t think working has value outside of earning money.  I definitely think it does.

And while the question is really moot becuase I don’t play the lottery (it’s a tax on people who have no comprehension of statistics, in my opinion), I can confidently say that if I won or inherited or somehow came into a large amount of money, I certainly would not continue working at my current job.

The first thing I’d do is pay off all our debt — consumer debt, house, everything.  Yeehaw.

Then I’d sock a whole bunch away for an emergency fund.

Oh yeah.  Even as a milionaire, I’d still be a Dave Ramsey fan.

Then I’d put as much into my retirement fund as possible.  And then Chef and I would have a talk about how much to invest and how much to play with.  So we’d put a bunch in mutual funds, and then do some other things — maybe buy some land and build a house (we’ve talked for a long time about doing that).  I think it would be really fun to have a houseboat.  And I have a goal to visit all 50 states before I die, so maybe we could do a little traveling.  I’d make more trips to visit family.

But would I work?  Well, I certainly would be a homemaker, which is work.  I’d keep my house cleaner than I can right now, and I’d bake more often, plan our meals in advance, and spend more time in the garden.  While I wouldn’t earn a salary doing it, that’s work that would make our home a nicer, happier, more relaxed place to live.  And that’s very important to me.

There are certain jobs I think I’d enjoy, but if I were truly independently wealthy, I’m not sure whether I’d want a job.  It would certainly have to be a job I really loved and that was very fulfilling.  And there would have to be no ridiculous corporate policies that are senseless, and no arrogant bosses who treat employees like peons.

I might consider starting my own business (I have an idea that’s been rattling around in my brain for the last five years or more), or just doing more freelance writing.  Maybe I’d try harder to earn money from blogging.

Having a lot of money wouldn’t turn me into a lazy slob, I think.  But it would allow me to live my priorities — something I can’t do to the full extent right now because I have to earn a paycheck.

Of course, since I don’t play the lottery or expect any enormous inheritance, this is all probably just dreaming.

But when you’re dreaming, what do you do when you come into lots of money?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. riTa
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 13:40:39

    I like all your ideas, but favor the ones that have to do with writing–your gift!

  2. Rainy-Day Saver
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 16:45:16

    If I won the lottery, assuming it was more than a few million (hey, after taxes, we wouldn’t quite be left with a ton of money to play with after funding our retirement, and we’re only in our early 30s), I’d follow the same track as you: pay off consumer debt and our mortgage (or maybe buy a different house in the same neighborhood), then fund retirement. With what’s left, I’d travel, take care of immediate family’s needs, if any, and continue to be a writer. But not a FT (plus freelance!) writer/editor, like I am now. I’d write if and when the right opportunities presented themselves. I’d do a few pieces here and there, keep up my blogs and enjoy life!

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