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Essay Question

Congratulations! You just won the lottery! Unfortunately, it was a pretty crappy lottery. You don't have enough to buy an island or a fleet of Rolls Royces or a mansion in Monte Carlo. You aren't set for life, it would probably be a good idea to keep your job. You do have enough to send the kids to college and pay off your student loans and credit cards and even the mortgage if you wanted to, but doing all of that might not leave you much left from your winnings. You know, depending how much you owe.

But! You do have enough to spend on those mundane little things that may make your life just slightly better. What do you do?

Me? Well first, I would put all new windows in my house because I have spent the past two days shrink wrapping them and it is a pain in the butt and doesn't help all that much and they still get water and ice on the inside all winter long. And then I would have a vacuum cleaner for every floor of my house because I hate hauling that thing up and down the stairs. And then I would hire a ten hour a week nanny and get my gym membership back. There's more, I'm sure, but the taxes eat into the winnings and probably wise to leave some in savings.

So how about you?

Comments (56)

Cleaning service - Once a week. New carpet. New windows, except for the one we just replaced last year. Maybe the cash to enclose our deck and make it a play room so I can buy R the Barbie Dream House she so covets but we have no room for. A new Harley for my husband. And maybe I'd get the dogs' teeth cleaned more regularly.

I would buy a house. My hubby and I are saving every penny to buy one. Nothing fancy just a small three bedroom raised range with a finished basement. Maybe a new SUV for the hubby. We just bought a Toyota Yaris and while I was signing all the paperwork he was drooling over some massive gas guzziler.

Ditto on the vacuum cleaner for each floor. Also, I think I would get abdominal lypo so people would stop asking me when I'm due when I'm not pregnant.

And yes, I did just misspell lipo.

Lasik. Instantly. Then a professional decorator. Our house is in desperate need of some color, but I odn't have the decorating gene. Then I'd buy a couple motorcycles. And a babysitter so I could have time for myself occasionally (and we could ride our motocycles)

I think I'm going to use this idea as a meme, if you don't mind!

i have the same dyson that you do. i think it is one of the world's best inventions, isn't it?! but i don't like hauling it up and down the stairs either. that's why i've convinced my husband to the "the vacuumer" in our family. problem solved! now if only i could also have a dyson hand-vac to spot clean while he's at work...

i would so get use some of my lottery money to buy some cute yoga clothes and get a gym membership, too!

did you see brad pitt on oprah yesterday? sheesh. if i had a bizillion dollars, endless nannies, etc, i could raise six kids and save the world and get really into indian food, too!

I'd have to say new windows, new siding, work done inside, a new 3/4 bath (1.5 is NOT enough for 6 people), and someone to clean every other week. Do I have enough for all that?

Invisalign. I missed out on the joy of braces in my teens, and have always, always, always wanted to straighten my teeth. But it's a luxury, not a necessity, and therefore reserved for lottery winnings.

A Roomba for each room; a house cleaner for once a week; new furniture for the girls room from Pottery Barn Kids and a trip to someplace for my husband and I for our ten year anniversary next spring. Truly, we could afford to do these things, we just are careful in this market. We've pruned back our spending, just to be safe.

I'd also buy a lot of books that are sitting in my Amazon shopping cart and a Kindle, just cause it looks cool.

new house that I could afford even if mine never sold.

Nanny 10 - 15 hours a week, gym membership, house cleaning service once a week and a complete kitchen remodel and a new roof. OH! I would take the family on a one month trip to Italy (my husband's family is from there).

I fantasize about winning "the big one", but I also make little "deals" with fate/luck/godswhomightbelistening that if I won less I'd spend it wisely and then fantasize about *that*. Sad? Hopelessly hopeful? Moronic? You decide.

However, given I won something around a bit over our mortgage I'd put whatever into taxes was needed and then we deal with the rest. Of the rest, half goes to our mortgage, one quarter goes to the kids college funds (no, it wouldn't cover college, but it's better than nothing), one eighth goes to "home improvements" that we never have enough money sitting around collecting dust to do (finish the unfinished bonus room, radiant heat on the 1st floor, wood burning stove in the kitchen, deck/screened porch, tree removal, paved driveway, etc), the remaining eighth is vacation money to get us (plus or minus the kids, who knows) somewhere we dream of going (Japan, Scotland/Ireland, New Zealand, etc).

Not that I ever think about this. Much.

LOL, fun question. Definitely the nanny. Ah that would be awesome. I pay off the house and the cars and keep my job. I could do a lot each month for what I pay for those things.

Considering there is money left over after paying off cars, student loans, possibly a house/loft (or a really nice down payment) and revamping the IRA... I'll remain positive... :)

I think I would attend cooking class to revamp what I make weekly since I am vegetarian and my bf is not. Definitely a maid, I swear all the cups in the world find my sink. Maybe a nice get away vacation to San Fransisco or Hawaii?

I really don't know... I will be pondering all day! :)

Cable TV! A nanny for 20 hours a week! A cleaning service once or twice a month! A car with power locks and windows! Lots of earth-friendly disposable diapers so I could quit the cloth without guilt! God, I'm so greedy.

Easy...I have a plan already for every amount of money I could win in the lottery (too much time on my hands maybe?).

You didn't give a set amount, so I'll go with $600,000 (no taxes taken immediately here in Canada, so it's all mine!). We would put $500,000 down on a house, probably the one we're renting right now (it's market amount is approx. $650k), we would buy a second vehicle, pay for my daughters schooling (she is going to university next year, aaak!) and I would quit my job and go to school full-time for the next four years. I am currently taking courses at night as well as working, so I would be able to get my degree sooner that way.

I know it doesn't sound like much, but $600k would set us up very nicely.

You have no idea. THIS is what I fantasize about, this is my porn (without the arousal, you know what I mean).

First of all, like you said, I would get to zero. Pay everything off that we owe. Then I would pay bills as they come in. That is my greatest fantasy. Not to owe anyone anything, not to carry any balances.

As for the little things that would make life easier, I would put in a laundry room on the same floor as the bedrooms. Why the shlepping? Always down with the dirty, up with the clean. Why? I would also finish all of the started but underfunded household projects that make me nuts.

I'll stop as long as you know I could go on all day.

Get out of debt and put a healthy down payment on a house. I'm sick of renting and I want to shoot Dave Ramsey.

New windows, new furnace, maybe the small addition we always talk about, and that's all i can think of now but that would probably use up all the money. Oh! and I'd bring back our every other week cleaning lady!

I'd pay off the house because that would make me feel SO HAPPY to have it free and clear. Then I'd do our windows, too. Stupid 1960 windows. And we'd get solar panels, because Paul PINES for solar panels. Then I'd hire a weekly cleaning lady, someone magically trustworthy so I wouldn't have to be here while she cleaned.

A screened-in deck on the back of our house, an iMac for the kitchen, some nice artwork for our walls, and probably some fixes to cars and our yard, etc. I like the things I have, I just want them fixed up... by someone else.

I would hire a cleaning lady. She would also do the grocery shopping and plan my meals. I would cook them. I would go on a hot vacation once a year. You know, if the money allowed. If not, I would go this year :) As well, the money would allow me to bring a friend on the hot vacation.

FUNNNNNNNNNN! Hmmm I'd have my DH keep his job & I'd quit mine (that was the plan until the economy went in the pooper).
I'd keep the kids in the daycare/preschool they're in but just PT, 3hrs a day.
I'd redo our master bath & kitchen MUST have a steam shower in our bathroom & MUST have new countertops in the kitchen...oooh and a truely purposeful island.
I'd destroy my front loading washing machine w/ a hammer & buy an plain old regular top loader bc I can NOT get rid of the smell.
Add a 3 season room onto our home.
Buy a fancy expensive eliptical thingamabob for working out.
Go NUTS on ebay.
Put the rest if any back into the GD@#%!!&^*@ stock market.
That was FUN!!!

I have no debt (yay!). But I also only have $1K in savings for my daughter's college. So I'd put away as much as I could for that.

With the rest, I would buy a Prius. Having a baby and not having a car in the winter sucks. I would put said baby in daycare two or three afternoons a week. I thought I could do childrearing alone, but now am finding I could use a break, and she could use the company of other little friends. Last, I would take a yoga class every single morning. Serentiy now! :)

Ahhh yes. New slipcovers for the living room furniture? And I would TOTALLY spend a bunch of that money on turning our basement into a playroom so that the new slipcovers in the living room could STAY NICE.

And then I may also want to go to Ikea and buy pretty new cabinets (that close) for my kitchen and maybe a new counter top too, with rounded corners so that my children can stop running into it. Or if they do, then at least the corners are rounded.

Oh, and a child rearing expert to come to my house and explain to Lady why it's futile to throw a tantrum about the sun setting because she does not believe me when I tell her that it's going to get darker out whether she wants it to or not, and that the fact that it is night time is in no way unfair to her or anyone else.

And lots of wine. You know, on account of the whine.

After moving into a new house (century-old homes seem so romantic until you actually own one) I would ... hire a "mommy's helper for about ten hours a week so I wouldn't have to work when the kids go to bed and be able to work on some new projects. Does going on a big family vacation fit into the budget? I've always wanted to do a safari.

Oh an laser hair removal! That's first on the list. I can't believe I forgot that.

I have so many plans for when we win the lottery... sad but funny, no?

I would get better insulation all over my house and new ductwork in the upstairs and replace both cars with something more fuel efficient.

And new carpet maybe.

Okay, of course after the credit cards and college savings etc. I'd love to buy a house--in cash and be done with it. But I don't know if I'd have enough left from my winnings, so on to the mundane stuff:

--teeth whitening
--house keeper 1X a week
--professional photo session for Theo and us as a family
--new bedroom set complete with fancy mattress and bedding
--new clothes from J. Jill before they go under (*sob*)
--spa day

I really really love my house BUT it has purple and green countertops with grey and purple linoleum. And white berber carpet (um, hello kids and dogs? not so white now). That would all have to go. Also? I totally got to ditch our deck and have fancy ass stairs to the ground put in with a big concrete stamped patio and a ridiculous custom made fire-pit and one of those fancy outdoor kitchen set-ups. Ridiculous I know, considering we live in hellish cold 6-7 months a year.

I would also consider dealing with my back fat after this baby is born. It will never matter how skinny I am - the back fat is here to stay.

I'd hire an interior decorator. I am so decoratingly challenged it's not even funny. We've lived here over five years and I don't have window treatments other than wood blinds that I hate. I don't want a fussy house, just one that looks pulled together and finished.

I'm so with you on the new windows. I would also pay the neighborhood handyman to fix all the little things we've been trying to do ourselves, like finish scraping the wallpaper and plaster (which was on top of the wallpaper) off our bedroom walls, sealing the basement properly so we can set things on the floor and not have them get soaked, and also (here's the big one) PAY SOMEONE TO GET RID OF THE SNAKES THAT KEEP COMING INTO MY HOUSE.

Really, just that last one would be fine.

Well, that and regular pedicures at a fancy salon.

Bamboo flooring, new lighting for the living room, renovate the kitchen & main bath (NEED kitchen island & huge soaker tub), and then pay off the house. If there's loot left over then I'd like a whole bunch of new furniture.

Ooh, the options...
Down payment on a house, or a car...
Pay off school loans, or bank it for paying bills for years to come...
Start a Surrogate Mama/Adoption Fund...
Bank it for my parents to use toward elder care down the road...

Or get that boob lift and a couple of cup sizes tacked on :-)

After all the student loans were paid off, I would definitely quit my non-teaching office job. Just teach violin and buy a condo. Oh and buy health care for years to come. I would like health care.

first of all, I'd BUY a house. or a condo. or a townhome. or something that we'd OWN, because this renting thing? Sucks. (okay, I take that back. I live in a NICE down payment for a house! haha) Nothing insane, but enough that we have enough bedrooms to have 1 room I could turn into a craft room. And a spiffy hutch or something to put all of my yarn in. And a book case that actually FITS all of my books. and I'd put money into savings, for sure. :)

Well from this small lottery I would have a little more because living here in Canada the winnings are tax free.

I would put a good down payment on a house, buy a bit better of a car, put some away for retirement and go on a trip somewhere cool with my boyfriend. If I could get by I would go to working part time and go back to school and get my degree. If I had a little more the next thing I would do would help my younger sisters pay for university.

weekly cleaner, dishwasher, plumbing for same, proper de-molding...

actually, I might just blue it all on a house or a downpayment for a house, with a garden. and space for a dishwasher.

weekly cleaner, dishwasher, plumbing for same, proper de-molding...

actually, I might just blue it all on a house or a downpayment for a house, with a garden. and space for a dishwasher.

I would tithe and then I would give the rest to the local libray that got flooded.

I'd pay off my debts and then replace my wardrobe. I've not had money to buy new things for over a year and I live every day in fear that my pants will split at work because the material has gotten so thin :\

you didn't give me a this is kind of hard for me. hmmm.

probably i would spend money on the things that i don't because right now i can't afford it. i would get my hair colored more often. i would send the kids to school on the bus so i wouldn't have to drive carpool. i would buy the shoes i love. i would travel more. i would buy myself a damn blackberry. i would take a photography course. i would get my teeth fixed.


(i may steal this idea...)

I'd redo my kitchen, and hiring someone to clean the house would be nice.

Do I have enough to buy my mom a new car and help my brother with his student loans? Because those would be nice too.

I am assuming this is not a winner takes all tens or hundreds of million dollars, but a good chunk of change that will change my day to day life.

-Hardwood floors in my whole house
-Granite countertops
-New appliances
-Redone bathrooms to remove the carpet and retile (who puts carpet in a bathroom anyway?)
-Pay off ALL student loans
-New car for DH
-Build up DS college fund
-Pay off our parents' debts
-Finish painting the house
-Weekly housekeeping/lawn service
-Personal trainer
-VACATION (can you tell I need one?)

Well, if my student loans and mortgage and kids' college educations are taken care of, I will have more than enough money from my paycheck to cover whatever else I need (AKA a second car). However, I wouldn't mind if some extra lottery money bought me:

- a new dining room set: Luke and I are still using a small four-piece hand-me-down set from my parents.

- a little buffet that can hold our bill basket and extra food when necessary.

- a new mattress. Because we've NEVER had a brand new mattress, ever.

- New bedding to go with our new mattress.

Fun question!

Heated tile floor in the bathroom.

I'd pay off my mortgage, my car payment, the credit card debt and our home improvement loan. Then if we had anything left, I'd invest it in our 2 boys college education funds. Right now I'm looking at their future and would rather start when they are toddlers, than when they are pre-teens. I'm just glad that at this time my hubby and I have very stable jobs and are not in fear of losing our livelyhoods. I know it's not a fun way to use the money, but right now fun isn't in our agenda.

I'd pay off our unsecured debt, and put some down on the house. That would clear me to quit work, as my spouse makes more than enough for the cars and mortgage.

Then, housekeeper just for the floors, walls, windows and bath. Redo my kitchen so that it has a good layout, and a pantry. A deeper bathtub. A treadmill, a new sewing machine, and new laptops for both of us. New carpet in the bedrooms.

If there is any left after that, replace the lighting and flooring in the basement so it could be a playroom. Finish finishing the doorstairs bath. New fence. Trip to the beach.

New kitchen, new second floor bathroom, replace four of our windows, and stock the new fridge.

I'd redo my kitchen and bathrooms.

Then I'd get the cleaning people to come every week instead of every three weeks.

Then I'd buy a new laptop and new desktop and a digital SLR.

Pay all my debt off. Get a gym membership and put Meghan in childcare for two hours five days a week so I could go. Get married.

I'm late on this - but I so want to play.

Buy my own little house. About 1,600 sq. ft. with wood floors and a pool. A pool is a necessity in Las Vegas.

Pay off my credit cards.

Pay off my car loan.

Get manicures and pedicures weekly.

Hire a mother's helper from 2:30 to 5:30 every day to pick up the boys, help with their homework, start a load of laundry or fold one, and start dinner.

I daydream about this scenario way more than is normal. Actually, though, most of the time I daydream that I win millions or even billions, and then I wonder how much I could really touch peoples' lives. Anyway, for the little stuff:

House decorations! New dining room table, kid furniture and wall hangings for my daughter, pictures in the living room, flatscreen tv to do away with bulk, a bench to sit down on to put your shoes on near the front door, maybe even really nice bookshelves. Oh and office furniture that didn't look all garage sale.


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So the Fish Said...

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