In Money

What does having more money really change in the end?

My parents were musing the other day about what they would do if they won the lottery.

I always thought that if you had more money, you’d just have the same stuff… but it’d be shinier, and nicer.

Like a gold-plated vacuum.

So when I was listening to my parents talk about the things they’d want if they won the lottery…:

  1. Dad would stop working, not Mom however
  2. Pay off the last $10K of their mortgage
  3. Buy a new car
  4. Go on a vacation, this time for longer than a week
  5. Fix that possible leak upstairs

Then they stopped.

They had no idea what else they’d do with the money. That was pretty much it.

All of those things, don’t take millions of dollars to achieve.

It takes saving money, yes, but not millions of dollars.

Happiness really is a state of mind.


Money, above a certain point ($50,000 I think it is), doesn’t really change anything or make you happier.

So BF and I were discussing this later between the two of us, and we came to the conclusion that the most outrageous we’d get if we had millions is that we’d move to Europe, buy a small shop and sell stuff (not sure what yet).

If the shop made money, great. If it didn’t, oh well. It’s just something to do to pass the time.

However, it’s something we can’t do now, because we really aren’t millionaires, and we still need to save  which is much easier in our actual careers.

Honestly though, if I had a sudden inflow of cash, I wouldn’t spend it on vacations or fancy cars, but on investing (read: saving) it instead.

Even if you wanted tons of clothing, how much clothing can you really own and wear?

Good food for thought.

What would money change for you?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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21 Comments

  1. Sarah

    I love all your thoughts on money & finance! Thanx!

    Reply
  2. Pyper B.

    I would like to think I would save most of the money, or even give it all to charities. I think if I had enough to pay off my debt and to live comfortable….not overboard. It would be enough.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      How much would be enough? 🙂

      Reply
  3. Lisa

    As much as I’d like to say that I would save it all, I’m not sure if that’s what will happen for real! I think I would pay off debt and go on a nice cruise or something. OH and get courtside seats to see my Golden State Warriors! I do agree, though, that more money doesn’t mean more happiness.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’d spend some of it for sure but… what can you really buy without having to incur costs to maintain it after?

      Reply
  4. MelD

    Hm, I don’t think much would change here in the way of material goods, we are lucky to live in a beautiful place and have all we need and more. However it would be nice if my husband didn’t have to worry about big mandates and could concentrate on the one he has where he gets to pass on his know-how to young start-ups, then he’d have more time for longer sailing trips and travel, spending time with family and grandchildren and I’d have his company more, too! For myself I see my “giving” in terms of family/friends rather than career as my skills are more domestic.
    But that will all happen in time anyway… Just keep it small is my motto!!

    Reply
  5. Sarahn

    I’d pay off my mortgage.

    I’d work less hours, you know like 6hr days, likely sleep in instead of being up at 5:30!

    I’d travel first class to Paris and New York and stay in five star hotels and at least one week in each city, one night go to the best restaurant there! This is my “dream” that I’m saving for slowly to go when my kids (I don’t have yet) are in university. I’d do it sooner with the lottery!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      First class. What a dream. And staying in a hotel and not a motel? OMG.

      Reply
  6. SP

    I would probably quit my job – but not right away. I really really like my job, but if I were truly free from the obligation to be profitable, I’d rethink how I want to spend the remainder of my life. I’d definitely want to spend even more time in/near the mountains and nature. I’d imagine I’d travel more at first, but in the long run, probably not. I’d like to pick one small area/issue and focus on helping there. Maybe something combining outdoors and doing good, similar to outward bound type things. I’m not sure if I’d be good at leading groups of kids myself, but I would find some way to use my talents for a group like that.

    I would really need to think about it though – I would certainly want “work” of some sort, but I haven’t thought about what.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Maybe work part time? 🙂 Or volunteer?

      I’ve always tossed around the idea of volunteering but maybe helping people with their finances as a non-profit org.

      Reply
  7. N'war

    Well, if I got that amount of money. First pay my student loans. Since my parents home and car mortgage already clear. Maybe I will give them a holiday and give money monthly. Since I’m so lazy, I will invest money and save so that I get the money rollings.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      The more you save, the more you earn. I noticed that once I hit a certain amount of savings.

      Reply
  8. Kathy

    If I won the lottery I would like to start a foundation to serve veterans who want to start their own business. I’d search out those who had proven themselves to be dedicated and persevering and find out what type of business they might be good at running. Then I’d set them up in the business. After that, it would be up to them to make it successful. Of course, this would take winning the HUGE lottery…like one of those hundreds of millions one.

    Reply
  9. Ksenija

    Hmmm… I would invest in real estate and live from that income. Then I will have enough time to invest in learning new skills (a lot of crafts basically, and a couple of languages). And last but not least, I would found a non profit organization to help young musicians. But I also think that I don’t have to be a millionaire in order to achieve it, so I am working toward that goal anyway. Although if it would happen sooner by the grace of lottery Gods, I wouldn’t complain.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      So passive income then? 🙂 I think working towards the dream any way is the key.

      Reply
  10. Suzi

    Not buy “stuff”!! I have no need for more stuff to manage (read; clean, organize, maintaine, rotate, donate, repeat). I’d travel, travel, travel, and pay off family mortgages. ;-).

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Oh stuff. I love stuff. Well.. certain kinds of stuff. I don’t buy furniture stuff but I do have clothing stuff 😉

      Reply
  11. Lila

    One study said $50,000 is the happiness point another study said it was $75,000. I feel like even if I won the lottery I would still do the same things I do now: spend time with family/friends, read, travel, & pursue my various hobbies.

    If I won the lottery…I’d like to buy a modest home outright (no mortgage). Not interested in the type of home where you have to hire a bunch of people to take care of it.

    I already have a nice used car I already drive so I don’t think I’d buy a nicer car because I generally don’t like driving and I try not to drive unless I need to/have to.

    I’d put a good amount into savings & investments, give a huge chunk to my mom, then set up scholarships each year to help college students in need and donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as they’re my favorite charity.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I like my old car. I’m no good with cars and parking so I can’t be trusted with a nice vehicle.

      Reply

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