Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What Would I Do With a Million Dollars?

(Reclaimed from Bubblews, where this "Bubble" appeared on 2.24.14. I checked Morguefile for a graphic associated with "frugal" and got this adorable bit of home decor from Seemann: No, that's not my dream bedroom...why would I spend money on that wooden bedstead when I have a metal bedstead and a board to lay over it? I like the heavy outer curtain that could be used to reduce the amount of space an electric heater would need to run long enough to warm up on a cold winter night, though.)

Thanks to Bethany1202 for suggesting this topic: What would I do with a million dollars?

Ten years ago, I wouldn't have thought I would need to save any of it for the future, since I'd rather work for more money than pay taxes on a savings account. Ten years ago, I would have thought about spending it mindfully and giving it to charities. The main thing I've learned during the past ten years has been how very, very, very wrong this kind of thinking was. I still don't plan to retire, but I now know how long that proverbial "rainy day" can be.

Here's the kicker--in a lot of ways I don't think my lifestyle would change much.

I'd replace the long-dead deep freezer, shop ahead, and be even more fanatical about buying groceries only when the price is what seems right to me (as I learned prices in the 1990s). We can all help to fight inflation by not giving in to it. (I'd buy more fresh vegetables in farmers' markets, though.)

I'd buy more arable land, plant more vegetables and fruit, and sell more produce in the local farmers' market.

I'd definitely open the bookstore-and-computer-center I want. As a nonprofit--hey, I'd need a tax write-off! And I'd hire people to work in it when I felt like writing or gardening.

I'd definitely put the family discussed here...

...into a trailer house. I'd agree with the church people that rebuilding a proper farmhouse is too much for them to ask others to hand to them, and should be something they work at, themselves, with help from friends. I would like to be one of the friends; construction work runs in the family and although the men are usually the ones who do it as a full-time job, quite a few of the women like to help.

The Cat Sanctuary would, of course, be looking beautiful. Positively a tourist attraction. 

I'd support charities...duh...with some emphasis on charities that do something useful to raise money, such as operating good secondhand stores. I like thriftshopping, I like good causes, and I love old books and odd, inspiring batches of yarn.

None of The Nephews (male or female) would have to take out a loan to go to college, provided that they worked more hours per week each year and maintained decent grades. 

I might adopt a few children...definitely not newborn, possibly a family group.

I would still buy all ready-made clothes, except shoes and underwear, secondhand. 

I would still want to use the Internet on public-access computers rather than having it at home.

I still wouldn't have a TV set. I'd still listen to music mostly on cassette tapes. I'd still cook on a wood stove. I'd still harvest my own wood from what falls on the ground and what's left over from construction jobs. I'd still heat most of the house only to 55 degrees, or lower. 
And I just might fund efforts to make pedal-powered electrical generators available to the world.