Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday's Opinion: What Would I Do If I Won The Lottery

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Although technically I'm writing this on Tuesday, and I'm looking out the window and seeing this:

or this:

Yep, that's right.  Blizzard Colbie has completely engulfed Connecticut, and they're predicting 14"-22" of snow by the end of the day.  Snow day!  The timing couldn't have been even more perfect.  I have a slight cold so a couple of days off is much needed to recuperate.

So while I'm snuggled up on my chair with a nice warm blanket and a cup of yummy coffee, I figured I'd type up my weekly opinions meme!

This week's opinion:

What Would I Do If I Won The Lottery

This has been on my mind a whole lot lately, and I think it's because of that couple who were on the news not too long ago; they went on a road trip, bought a lottery ticket on a whim at a quickie mart....and ended up winning 329 million dollars!  That's right, million.
Well, of all the luck!  So I started thinking: what would I do if I won that kind of money? Hmmmm....

Well, first, maybe I would do this:

Or this:

Okay, maybe not, but there would be a whole lot of screaming and jumping up and down, that's for sure!

All right, seriously though, if I had won the jackpot worth over $300 million, I'd have major plans with the money.  I'd probably celebrate right off the bat with a luxurious vacation or two (or three), and my hubby and I would probably go on a big shopping spree, buying all the house stuff we wanted but couldn't afford because we couldn't justify the triple-digit/quadruple-digit costs.  I could get all the remaining stuff on our wedding registry, we could replace all our old, crappy furniture with cool, new furniture, and I could buy some really nice bookcases and books to fill it with (*squeals with glee*)!

But once the immediate fun is done (hey, I'm poet and I didn't know it!), Dave and I would probably have a good sit down and discuss what to do next, because we are really not the types who would keep so much money just lying around.  I assume our plans would take this route:

1. Paying Off Our Debts

I think the first thing we'd do is pay off all of our debts.  I don't have a lot of it myself, just some credit card debt and a car loan, and Dave is actually fairly low in debt as well (car loan, college loans, and he's such a stickler about paying off his credit cards that he has no credit card debt).  I would also repair that dent in the side of my car that I've been meaning to fix but can't because it would cost me about $600.

2. Setting Aside For The Future
The next thing we'd do is set aside some money for retirement, and some for emergency funds, maybe $50 mil total (sounds like a lot, but I just won $300 million here!).  I like the idea of having money available if we got a little too careless with spending, or if someone got really sick or hurt.  Plus, it would feel a little liberating if we had enough money set aside for retirement to the point that we could retire anytime we want!

I'd also set up a trust fund for my future two children so they can go to whatever college they want, and still have enough left over to get them started in a new place once they've graduated.  I wouldn't want to leave an insane amount to them, mind you, I don't want to raise our kids to be rich and spoiled; just enough money for 4 years of college (tuition and food only) and enough for one year of rent for their own apartment (well, maybe six months, wouldn't want them to get too lazy when it comes to finding a decent job).  I really don't want to give them a gigantic trust fund; I want to raise my kids to know the importance of working for their own money.  When I was in college, my dad and I agreed that we would split the tuition bill and he would cover the books.  If my grades went below a certain GPA (I can't remember what it was, but it was really low), he would withdraw his financial support.  It worked out really well; I commuted from home, and I worked part-time through all four years of school.  I graduated debt-free, with good grades and with loads of work experience.  I figure I would do something similar with my kids so they would learn to be responsible and self-sufficient.  So, I'll help them with some of the college costs, but not all of it, even if I was rich.   Granted, if their grades are abysmal, they won't get a cent of it!

3. Giving The Rest Away

Once the future is taken care of, then I would look toward helping our families.  I would definitely give some of the money to our parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, and our aunts and uncles, maybe even our cousins (although there's a whole lot of them, I might have to draw the line there).  I would also like to give some cash to some of our closest friends as well.  I like the idea of giving away a lot of the money to the people who are closest to us, so nobody has to worry about financial problems for a little while. Maybe $1 or $2 million per person?

Finally, with the exception of $3 million (I will explain that later), I would want to donate the remainder of the money to schools and charities.  I mean, c'mon, what else would I do with $200 million?  I like being middle-class, and I like working for my cash.  All that money would corrupt Dave and I, and our future kids, so I would rather give away most of the money to organizations who need.
A good chunk would go to the Humane Society where I got my cat Miesha so that they could build a bigger facility and thus rescue more animals.  After I adopted my cat, I learned that, while no-kill shelters means they won't euthanize animals, it also means they can only rescue a limited number of animals from other shelters, so I would want the Humane Society to rescue as many as possible, and maybe get started on a few spay/neuter programs that would prevent huge feral populations.
I would also donate a hefty chunk to the performing arts, particularly in ballet and ballroom dance.  My dad was a ballet dancer, but since I was a little kid, ballet has deteriorated quite a bit in Connecticut.  We watched a performance of Giselle not too long ago, and we couldn't help but cringe as we watched.  Good ballet really needs to come back to Connecticut.

4. Start Up Our Own Businesses
So, what am I going to do with that remaining $3 million?  Well, Dave and I would each get $1 million to start up our own businesses.  Dave could do his yoga-teaching thing and tie it in with his clinician work, and I could open up my own dance studio, with 3 big rooms so there could be multiple classes and dance socials running at the same time!  That way, I could also rent it out to other teachers, and maybe my best friend Brandy could start that wedding planning business she's been wanting to do, and have her office located within the studio (we could do special wedding dance packages!).  I definitely could never stop working, but it would be great if I could run my own business without having to withdraw a loan right off the bat.

5. Build Our Dream House

That leaves $1 million for the perfect dream house!  I always dream about what my ideal home would look like, and I figure it would not be a gigantic mansion (too much cleaning, and I wouldn't want a big cleaning staff--that would be really weird).  Just a medium-sized, 4-bedroom suburban home, with a 2-car garage and a wrap-around porch with a good view of the street and of the sun rising and setting.  I love the idea of my home being within walking distance of the main part of town so I can choose to walk to the library, the grocery, etc....

I figure one third of the house fund would go towards purchasing the house, and the rest would go towards decking it out with loads of cool features!

In my dream home, there would be......

A slide

An awesome TV room

A lovely outdoor sanctuary for reading

An enormous library 

Plenty of reading niches

A secret room (just because they're awesome)

A fun play room for the kids

Cool stuff for my cat(s)

An indoor swing

A balcony and porch

Some type of cool loft area

Okay, so some of this stuff would be pretty extravagant, but some of this other stuff looks pretty doable with a little creativity!

So that's what I'd do with a lottery jackpot!  What would you do?

Happy reading everyone!
-Lisa The Dancing Bookworm


  1. wow, you really have it all figured out don't you? How much time went into planning this?

  2. this is what I think about in between my dance lessons, and right before I fall asleep. I have dreams about this stuff :)