I believe I have already mentioned that as part of Chinese New Year tradition, we young folk receive red packets (“hong bao” or “lai see”) from our elders. These red packets are filled with money (score!) and are meant to usher in a prosperous new year… or something. Call me shallow, but I don’t think that it’s unreasonable to say that this is one of my favorite parts of the celebration, hehe. I mean, hey, money is money, and given my particular knack for being able to spend it poorly, well… yes. Anyway, now that I am slightly richer, thanks to my parents, aunts, and uncles, it got me thinking. Which we know is always a dangerous thing.
What would you do if you somehow got your hands on REAL money? I tried to cleverly name this post after the Barenaked Ladies song, but let’s be honest. These days, a million smackers doesn’t actually get you that far. In fact, technically becoming a millionaire is something that is fairly reasonable for us normal folk if we work, invest, and spend wisely. But that’s not what I’m getting at here. I’m talking about winning-the-lotto, getting-an-inheritance-from-a-secretly-rich-relative, suing-a-company-and-winning money. Big and fast. Boom.
Aside from all the boring stuff that you should probably do — pay off any debts, hire a financial adviser, invest, give to charity, blahblahblah — what would you do if you found yourself with cash to burn? I’m not even talking dream-scenario stuff: buying an island or an airplane/yacht/submarine-hybrid or whatever other unnecessary things people might do. Just in day-to-day life, if money wasn’t really an object, what would you do with it? Here are my top 5:
1. Buy a nice house with a banging kitchen.
I don’t need crazy extravagance. I don’t want a house so big that walking from the living room to the front door makes me winded. But I would definitely go for something nice, a single-family home big enough to accommodate my someday-family and/or 5 – 10 more schnauzers, with a kitchen that even the stylists at Food Network would be proud of. And darn it all if I don’t finally get my Vitamix!
2. Hire a personal masseuse.
I don’t think that there is anything more beneficial to both your mental and physical well-being than a massage. However, at anywhere from $50 – $150 for a mere hour of blissful relaxation/pummeling (my massage philosophy: no pain, no gain), getting them more than once every few months is unrealistic for me. If I could afford it, I would get weekly massages in the comfort of my own home.
From last January’s cruise
Well this one is kind of a no-brainer. I literally grew up traveling. Every 3 – 4 years on the dot, my family and I would pack up our things and hightail it to a different international locale. Living overseas provided me with the opportunities to visit places that I might never have gotten to see otherwise: Thailand, Palau, Italy… the list goes on. Now that I’m an adult and on my own bankroll, I really miss traveling. My list of places I still want to go to is long (Greece, Australia, and Japan are at the top right now!) and if I didn’t have to, you know, work to have money, I would have been on a plane yesterday. Still though, whether it’ll be via first-class and five-star hotels or economy and youth hostels, I imagine this is one I’ll be crossing off of my bucket list regardless.
4. Get therapy.
So I know this sounds like a joke, but I’m serious. If I had the money, I would absolutely hire a therapist. Not for any particular reason necessarily, but just so that I’d have someone to hash things out with, for catharsis, to give myself some perspective… kind of like what I do in writing this blog, only more private. Because yes, there are things that even I, oversharerer extraordinaire, don’t divulge here, haha. I think that therapy is extremely beneficial, and shouldn’t be stigmatized as only being for those who have “problems” (though if that were a prerequisite, I bet my history and relationship with food could still use a few sessions just on their own). I always say that health is about much more than the physical, right? Of course, even without the stigma, it’s still fracking expensive — anywhere from $100 to $500 an hour.
5. Shop. (Duh.)
Well, c’mon. I’m still ME, after all! If I had disposable income, I would obviously have absolutely no problem disposing of it. I would just be raising the bar in terms of where I was spending all that easily-earned cash, of course! Between Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma, Kate Spade, Sephora… well, I think you get the idea. And these are just the places that I have at some point bought something (on sale) from in the past! When I start to think about opening the door to all the places that I wish I could shop at but can in NO WAY afford… oy. Louis Vuitton, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Christian Louboutin, Dior, Tiffany… okay, I need to stop. This is just getting depressing now.
So go on, tell me. If you had a million dollars (a couple times over), what would be on your list?