How to Spend Your Millions

loungingWhen I’m stuck in traffic, I will occasionally give way to the fantasy that I’ve won the Jackpot. To distract myself, I play the Spend like a Fiend game. (I’ve found playing the lottery-winner-driving-game calms the road rage beast that lives beneath my serene exterior. She’s prone to the excessive use of expletives and Formula 1 driving practices in turbulent situations. The game saves lives.)

My spending list goes like this:

  • Send email to work terminating my employment
  • Pay off any debit I might have at the time of winning
  • Set up trust funds for the kids
  • Gift something amazing to our immediate family members
  • Hire someone to organize the vacation of a lifetime for the family
  • Employ another to organize my spice cabinet, but then it hits me I can also hire a chef like the one Oprah has
  • Hire a landscape gardener to beautify the front yard
  • Assuming I hit the big one in the summer, I see myself flying to Barcelona to spend the days writing and working on a novel (WHAT! “You’re rich”, a voice in my head shouts, “Why are you imagining yourself writing. Are you mental or something?”
  • At the end of the summer I see myself in London sitting in a flat at Butler’s Wharf with a view of the River Thames. I am continuing my work on the novel or maybe a short story.  The nagging voice in my head is making puking noises
  • If I win big in the winter, my fantasy island trips are limited to school breaks, Hawaii and Panama come to mind.  Still I am writing.
  • I look up plastic surgeons and contemplate a tummy tuck. I panic something might happen under the knife and close the imaginary browser in my head
  • I think…oooooh, self-publish!  Then I see myself looking for a book designer.  Voice in my head reminds me I can afford to BUY a publishing company
  • Of course, somewhere on the list is putting a new roof on the house, hiring a housekeeper, and adding a room of my own to the house

I pull into the driveway and the lights in my imagination chamber dim. The game is over. My raging road beast is soothed. I still have millions to spend but not a clue what to do with the money. I’m sure I could run out and purchase a set of Gordon Ramsey pans, a bag of Henry Winston diamonds, or even a new body and face if I wanted, but I never do add those types of things to my list when I am playing the game.

I consider the little voice in my head and what she said about writing.  On one hand, she had a good point about being rich and spending my time writing. I could hire someone to write for me, but where would the fun in that be. The truth is for the writer in me, it wouldn’t be enjoyable if I wasn’t whiling away a few hours a day in my imagination chamber.  Financially challenged or sipping from a silver spoon, I’ve come to the realization that writing is hardwired into my chromosomes.  I might be sitting in a villa in the heart of Barcelona or in a flat at Butler’s Wharf, but in my mind’s eye, I have the trusty MacBook Pro open and see my fingers flying across the keys. The sound of clickity-clack-clack-clack manicured nails tap-tap-taping, is echoing overhead.

What about you, what would be on your list?

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I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

38 thoughts on “How to Spend Your Millions

  1. I’ve never played the lottery, so I will probably never win. But if I did have untold millions to spend, I’d buy a house for each of my kids, buy myself a second home in the tropics somewhere, buy a new sailboat to tie to my new dock, and spend the rest on helping to end homelessness and hunger, in the US and abroad.
    deborah brasket recently posted….Meditation at Lagunitas by Robert HassMy Profile

    • Hi Deborah – I can see you sailing again. I think it would be a great way to see the world with a different set of eyes and have the opportunity to blog about it.

  2. Brenda,
    First I like your “fantasy” to occupy the time when you’re in traffic. But if I had millions, I would do many of the similar things you had mentioned, but I would actually go to work and wait for the opportune time to tell my boss that I quit. That to me would be fun. But very entertaining post. Thanks a lot!
    The Funster recently posted….Angry Birds Air Swimmers Review!My Profile

  3. yehudit rachel

    IF I were to buy a lottery ticket and IF it was the winning number, two major assumptions which defy current reality, I would do the following things:
    1. Donate 10%–my fantasy has already chosen the organizations, schools, and charities that would receive varying percentages of the total.
    2. Hire a personal accountant–I’m not going to destroy my enjoyment of the windfall by worrying about taxes and budgets.
    3. Buy an apartment with decent plumbing, electricity, adequate closet space, and a balcony or patio large enough for a garden and a breakfast nook.
    4. Pay for the whole extended family to visit, including tour guides for special trips
    5. Set up an education fund for each grandchild.
    6. Hire a cleaning woman so I can write without being distracted by chores.

    • Rachel – Yes, to win the lottery as I understand it does require the purchase of a ticket! :-) I forgot about the roomy closet. I need to update my list.

  4. My list would include paying off the mortgage, setting our kids up right, giving to charity, and establishing some sort of organization which meets the needs of deserving families. Like you, Brenda, I would never, ever quit writing no matter what I have or don’t have materially.
    Oh, and I almost forgot – I’d buy a page ad in top-selling newspapers to promote my books. :)
    Great post, my friend!
    Martha Orlando recently posted….It’s Working!My Profile

  5. A white house with white couches and pink rose bushes, but just the faintest whisper of pink that I can see outside the long row of french doors that line the back of my white house. And a little orchard in back with apples and pears for the picking.
    A small place in San Diego with an ocean view and lemon and orange trees that surround an outdoor writing space, with vanilla scent at blossom time wafting around my cup of coffee. And a pool to dip in – donning a bathing suit by day, but nothing at night under the moon.
    Money to take trips with my children and their significant others and children if they have them.
    A private yoga coach and masseuse.
    A beautiful white BMW with soft as butter leather seats.

    What fun, this reverie. Thank you for the invitation to do so.

  6. A fantasy post! How often this question comes up in social circles! I think I too would write away, knowing that there was money available to pay the bills, and set some aside for the kids. But yes, a decent car (without double sliding doors, stowaway seats and DVD player!), travel, and some rest would also be part of my wishful thinking! I don’t need a chef but perhaps my own personal barista :)
    Astra recently posted….The New Year is a Time for PurificationMy Profile

    • I am not much of a social bunny, so I’ve no idea if it’s a hot topic. I just purchased my first non giant car. Sadly, it’s not a Telsa, but it is a Fiat and I am sort of loving it.

  7. I do this too! Ah, first things?

    I’m tired of being broke, so honestly I would do the boring thing and set up multiple (probably about 10) bank accounts and deposit the highest FDIC insured amount in them all as a cushion. Then I would buy some bonds, stocks, set myself up so my anxiety would subside (Now I sound boring).

    Buy a home in Chicago, one in Sydney, one in LV — that way I could travel and always avoid the cold weather. Clothing would soon follow, and telling my boss to go to hell.

    Oh… and the plastic surgery. I know I would, I’m not going to deny it.
    Jean recently posted….The Sex Issue That Shouldn’t ExistMy Profile

    • Jean – how can we not pretend we are not intrigue by the notion of being lucky. If we have the bucks, plastic surgery isn’t off the table.

  8. I love this, Brenda. My boyfriend and I play the lottery several times a week. I figure since I gave up drinking I would scatter a few dollars here and there and hope my odds of winning are in God’s favor now=)
    Depending on how big my winnings would be, I would probably end my two year agreement (which is going on eight right now) with my current job; immediately. I always imagined myself visiting schools and encouraging children to feel good about their egos and talents so if I didn’t have to work, I’d travel the world doing this. I’d write many books and since I would have more time to invest in publishing them, I’d make it my mission in life to do so. I’d retire somewhere warm but travel home to Jersey during the month of December. I’d make sure all of my close friends and family members were taken care of and my favorite ending to all of this would be waving a final goodbye to my boss; knowing full well that I would be able to sit at a desk and write for the rest of my life when not visiting schools and organizing charity events.
    Oh, and I would have a boat. Not something too fancy but fancy enough where it would have at least four bedrooms and a crew so I could take my family and friends around the world.
    gina recently posted….Fruit Stands, Cheese Steaks, and Snow CrystalsMy Profile

    • Hi Gina – I hope your boat allows for guest visits from fellow bloggers. I don’t but lottery tickets very often, but I should! I do play the lottery win game, it’s a good way to let the mind drift. I always get sidetracked when playing and drift off with a stray thought. Sometimes I manage to find a good story idea.

  9. Brenda, Alex and I play this game once a month or so. We do get a ticket at least once a month so you know our chances are good! We think we’d build a state of the art animal shelter, hire the best trainers (Cesar Milan?) around, and great vets and groomers and get unwanted animals ready for new homes. We’ve traveled the world, and eaten at the best places, and have all the “toys” adults could want. My kids are successful in their own right and don’t need out millions. Alex would probably continue to work since he loves what he does, and I would be busy at the shelter. (Yeah, my grandkids would get a little sumpthin’ sumpthin’. Enough to help with college, but not to spend on Porshes or Beemers.)

  10. First of all, Brenda, that is an outstanding list. I especially like hiring someone to plan a trip of a lifetime. Add to that for me a private jet for the travel and I’m in! I completely agree with you on the writing, too. I’m hard-wired to write and am pretty sure my brain would explode if I didn’t empty it onto a page on a daily basis. My own additions to the list would be a string of fabulous horses to ride both on the trail and compete with over fences again. But what I’ve always dreamed of is in line with Linda’s fantasy. I’d start a foundation to fund grassroots animal welfare organization. I’ve always wanted to do that. Guess I’d better get myself out and buy a ticket. Fun post!
    injaynesworld recently posted….injaynesworld “What We Do For Love…”My Profile

  11. Dale

    Strip clubs. Write about strip clubs. Revisit strip clubs to verify accuracy of writing.
    Repeat… it’s a tedious circle, but somebody’s gotta do it!

  12. Oo, I too play the fantasy spending spree in the car. After all the givens of paying of debt, family, etc, I’d buy a New York City apartment, a Maine cottage, eat at all the restaurants I read about, some really good wine, and a kick-ass writer’s studio in the backyard-maybe a tree house studio. I’ll always write.

    • Monica, I am not sure I want to write the great American novel, but I would be happy with a book contract to write stories that make be laugh and cry.As for travel, that is a given.

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