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George Bush offers to give you $2 million, BUT…

by J. Money on Monday, May 19, 2008

One of my favorite games EVER is playing “would you rather” – especially on long road trips with all of my friends. While most of the questions end up turning out pretty graphic and need censorship (sorry, can’t post those here!), they always start out nice and thought-provoking like, “would you rather be super hot but smell horrible, OR would you rather be ugly but smell incredible 24/7?. Then there’s the “If you had to lose a limb, which one would you choose?” type questions that ensue.

Fun, right? haha… while the majority of the questions center around good looks and/or just really really childish stuff, they almost inevitably go down the money route as well, like the famous, “What would you do with a million dollars?” one. Not EXACTLY a “would you rather” question, but nonetheless interesting … and thus the reason for this post ;)

So the other day when i came across a questions and answer posting by Frugal Dad, I thought to my self – what better way to participate than by submitting my own wild question?

And here’s what i came up with:

“George Bush offers to give you $2 Million in exactly 3 years from now (signed contract and all), BUT in order for you to get it, you have to give up EVERY PENNY you have right now – all savings, retirement, etc. Would you do it?”

Before you answer it yourself, keep in mind the following:

  1. All savings, home equity, brokerage, 401(k), etc are all wiped out to a zero balance, both for you and your spouse/partner – so as of today, you’d have $0.00 to your name.
  2. BUT, you’d also still have your current salary, part-time jobs, etc., so money would flow in.

Basically, you’d be somewhat screwed in an emergency (as your emergency fund would also have been wiped clear), BUT you’d be all set 3 years from now! If you’re already in debt and don’t have much saved anyway though, then the answer is easy. But what if you have a family to feed, or have amassed quit a bit over the years? Is it worth the sacrifice?

Well, here’s how Frugal Dad answered it (w/out my further clarification) –

“Creative question! Well, you didn’t mention my income – would I have to give that up, too? If not, I suppose we could continue to live on my income and put off saving and investing for the future windfall. However, if I had to completely give up all forms of money and income, then my answer would be no deal. Maybe if I was a single guy I could just float though life for the next three years, but as a husband and father with mouths to feed I need to maintain a certain quality of life for my children. No amount of promised money in the future could cause me to sacrifice their well-being, even temporarily.”!

Smart man ;) I can only *hope* to make the same money-related decisions if/when I become a dad! As it stand right now, i’d have to take the $2 mil in 3 years for sure. Even w/ my super savings plan , I still have 15 years or so to go until I reach the $1mil mark anyways, so it’s an easy call. This, of course, is without running it by Mrs. Budgetsaresexy though! haha … I’m not sure she’d want to start out married life flat broke ;)

Either way, I always enjoy hearing how others would handle such questions. It certainly makes life more interesting!

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