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5 Things I Would Upgrade If I Were Rich

by J. Money on Wednesday, February 20, 2013

billionaire mafia shirt

I was gonna title today’s post “Would you still be frugal if you struck it rich?” but then realized that a) 99% of you would of course say yes – cuz that’s how we roll! – and then b)it would be direct rip off of my friend Kristina’s recent post on DINKS Finance titled pretty much the same thing ;)

And her post is what got me thinking about all the stuff I *WOULD* change if I were a billionaire myself, as I’m not even gonna try and pretend I’d keep everything as-is ;) Yeah I’d still be frugal in a lot of areas, but you can bet your sweet patukis I’d want to upgrade a few categories too and live a little! That’s the whole point of being financially free – you get to prioritize stuff however you damn please!

Before we get to my 5 upgrades I’d do though, here were some interesting tidbits Kristina shared on how other billionaires still live frugally in parts of their lives. I’d like to think I’d be similar:

  • Warren Buffet (worth $46 billion) still lives in the same house he’s had for over 50 years now.
  • Mark Zuckerberg (worth $9.4 billion) still wears t-shirts and hoodies and drives an Acura. (He’s probably the closest thing to how I’d act if I ever hit it rich – I love me some hoodies!!)
  • Ingvar Kamprad (founder of IKEA, worth $3 billion) flies economy class and drives an old Volvo.
  • Amancio Ortega (founder of the Zara clothing chain, worth $57.5 billion) still eats lunch every day in the office cafeteria with his employees.  He also lives in an apartment with his wife.

It looks like she found these over on MSN’s list of “15 billionaires who live frugally” who got it from The Business Insider, who now you’ll get it from me, haha… This article sure gets around – what a slut! ;)

Anyways, when I hit billionaire status here are the 5 things you’ll definitely find me upgrading:

  1. My house. It’s no secret I’m not happy at my current residence, and once we find an area we prefer better we’ll be moving and starting a new adventure in our life. But wherever we end up in this world (I hear Thailand is nice? ;)) I’d love more than anything to have a really quality house close to walking distance to shops/cafes/bars/etc. It’s all about the location in my eyes, and unfortunately that tends to cost a pretty penny… You move our $300k house downtown and it automatically becomes a $1.3 million dollar house – it’s nuts. You’re paying for the location, and I’d imagine having billions of dollars can safely secure that.
  2. My car. As much as I love my pimp daddy Caddy, I can only revive her a certain more number of times :( And we’re looking into getting a bigger – more family oriented – one anyways, which a ton more money can fix no problemo. I’d grab a nice luxury SUV to hit up my yard sales and antique shops going forward, landing me even *more* junk in the trunk! (Bah-dum-ching)
  3. My clothes. Yeah, I’d still stick with my jeans and tees, and most importantly my hoodies, BUT but BUTTTT I’d pick up way better quality ones over the brands I have now which like to fall apart after all my heavy usage :( It would be nice to swap out my duds for better made ones that can keep up my lazy rockin’ style even more ;)
  4. My charities. Not much explanation needed here – I’d just heavily increase the amounts I give out and probably start something of my own that helps “causes” more near and dear to my heart. Like direct-to-people help over masses of people, if that makes sense? I feel like a lot of families get looked over because they don’t fit perfectly into any one specific “area” of assistance which sucks.
  5. My dreams. I wouldn’t be able to sit here and keep working the way I am currently as I’d want to put my goals on steroids and do something MUCH MUCH bigger and far-reaching than I am now – not that I’d stop blogging here or anything. I’d just use my super money powers to get the word out even more and affect a wider amount of areas than I can now. I’d feel like I’d be squandering my passions/skills/time if I kept my dreams on the smaller side still, ya know? Not any people ever reach billionaire status so I’d feel like if I did I’d need to do something much larger with it.

We still have a few more years until I reach the billions, but so far that’s the plan ;) And maybe I’ll even do it when I hit the millions, who knows…. I’ll have to make a lot of crazy decisions then but I’m pretty excited about it! Haha… There’s nothing too crazy about that stuff up there anyways, though, right? I mean, I’d only be changing out a few things – after that I’d be laying low and in heaven…

How about you though? Could you honestly sit there and do the *exact* same thing as you are now? Wouldn’t you treat yourself to something finer in life, or take advantage of more opportunities now that you could? Either way there’s no right or wrong answers here, of course, but do help a brotha out and fuel his curiosity, will ya? ;) Long live the dream!

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[Photo by Melly Allen]


{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

1 My Financial Independence Journey February 20, 2013 at 5:41 am

I would upgrade my travel. Buy which I mean start taking epic vacations around the globe. I would also get a maid (no more cleaning for me) and a personal trainer. Finally, I think I would find a way to be a snowbird. I loathe winter have a strong desire to no longer ever have to be in the same place at the same time as that season.

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2 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:43 am

YES! Travel & maid – I could get down with that too :)

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3 Alex February 20, 2013 at 5:46 am

I’d hire a really good cook so we’re not wondering where the next (healthy) meal’s coming from. Oh, and I think I’d finally part with with my “It’s cheaper than a car payment” ’96 Corolla. She still runs well, but I’m afraid her best days are behind her.

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4 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:43 am

I want that too!! Haha… man…. my list is starting to grow bigger now.

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5 Sense February 20, 2013 at 6:22 am

I would for dang sure travel business class from now on. Maybe even a private jet, if I could handle the eco-guilt. But yeah–no more cattle class for me. I would do my job for free and volunteer doing exactly what I do now, but around the world. And I would pay for all education for everyone in my family, and make sure they didn’t have to live at minimum wage level anymore. I hate seeing people stressed out due to money. Oh and so many more things! The fundamentals of my life wouldn’t change, but the details sure would!

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6 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:44 am

Awwww, that would be awesome of you :) Education is key!! Not sure about that private jet, haha, but I agree with the rest.

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7 Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies February 20, 2013 at 6:43 am

Mr. PoP would buy an Eames chair in a second!

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8 chubblywubbly February 20, 2013 at 9:27 am

After debating for a year and lots of going back and forth, my husband and I took the plunge and bought one when it was on sale for 20% off.

Scheduled to take delivery of it soon and will be writing a post on it.

But other than the chair, I have not let lifestyle inflation creep up on me. I have been retired since 2009 and am in my early 30′s but I have spent less and less over the years instead of more and more. I am content with living simply and meaningfully. But then again, I came from an immigrant background and have first hand experience with poverty.

See my posts:

http://www.chubblywubbly.com/what-it-was-like-to-be-poor-in-china/

http://www.chubblywubbly.com/what-it-ws-like-to-be-poor-in-nyc/

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9 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:47 am

NICE!!! Way to be retired already – that is a distant dream for most people! :)

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10 chubblywubbly February 20, 2013 at 5:49 pm

My husband is still working. But that is because he has champagne tastes and loves buying all sorts of stuff for his various hobbies.

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11 J. Money February 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Haha, at least he knows himself well! And what it takes to keep up that lifestyle :)

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12 ashley February 20, 2013 at 7:36 am

“Ingvar Kamprad (founder of IKEA, worth $3 billion) flies economy class”

NO WAY. I spend a lot on travel – and I would totally splurge for business if I had that kind of money. Heck – with that kind of money I’d buy out the whole business section so I wouldn’t have to put up with anyone!

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13 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:47 am

You’d probably start losing a lot of your money if you kept that up, haha…

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14 Greg@ClubThrifty February 20, 2013 at 7:41 am

I’m pretty sure that we would upgrade our house and our traveling plans. You may find us in Fiji one week and Rome the next. Booyah! Of course, we’d also quit our day jobs:)

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15 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:48 am

I would come meet you guys everywhere too! We could be roaming finance bloggers!!

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16 Cat February 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I would also upgrade my travelling plans! I would love to be able to live in New England for most of the year, but travel during the cold months more frequently!

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17 Lance @ Money Life and More February 20, 2013 at 7:42 am

If I was a BILLIONAIRE… living on the interest alone would allow me to spend crazy amounts of money. Heck, even if I lived 100 years I could spend $10 million a year and if it didn’t earn a dime I’d be fine. That said, I’d buy that $1.25 million penthouse condo that looks oh so nice. I’d buy a sweet, but semi sensible car. No ferarri, but maybe that Saturn Sky or a Lotus or something fun and sporty. I’d help my family out in a major way and they wouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Of course, it is all dreaming. I don’t think I have a billion dollar idea… yet!

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18 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:49 am

You never know what can happen with internet stuff – one day all is calm, and the next something goes viral and you’re an instant hit! Not that I’d know anything about that, but I’m hoping to one day :)

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19 Tony@WeOnlyDoThisOnce February 20, 2013 at 7:43 am

Oh man, here comes the “if I won the lottery” hang.

I would buy back my old sports car. I miss it so much. Only if I had the cash, though.

I’m totally cool with my house, believe it or not, although I would love a nice apartment in NYC if it was an option. That’s about it, my man!! Cool post…

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20 Marilyn February 20, 2013 at 7:47 am

Things I would splurge on:
-I would hire a personal shopper like in What Not To Wear and then have all my clothes tailored so I look smokin haut. I HATE clothes shopping.
-Rinse and repeat for DH. Our sexiness would show on the outside as well as the inside.
-I’ve always wanted to go to a Christie’s auction and get some beautiful original artwork, or original letter by someone famous from history.

After that, I’m setting up some travel trusts for charities that target people with tough to diagnose and treat illnesses. It is unbelievably tragic that people can’t get themselves to the right doctor due to finances. They can’t work and then they can’t even travel to have a hope of working again.

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21 Cristalle February 20, 2013 at 10:09 am

@Marilyn–I completely agree with the personal clothes shopper!!! I hate clothes shopping but I do admine the well put together looks and if I had boats loads of disposable income I would have a personal shopper/stylist too :)

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22 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:50 am

I enjoy the process of clothes shopping, but I wouldn’t mind having my own stylist/shopper to help me look even more dapper. That’s why I gotta get on TV at some point so they can dress me up and I’ll know what to do in the future myself! :)

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23 Melinda Gonzalez February 20, 2013 at 11:28 am

Haha, Marilyn I love the personal shopper idea. I thought I was the only girl who despised clothes shopping.

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24 KC @ genxfinance February 20, 2013 at 7:52 am

I were rich, yeah, I’d pretty much do the same. Look for a better house (better, not necessarily bigger). I’d donate more to charity too and I would travel the world, experience different cultures. That would be awesome.

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25 John S @ Frugal Rules February 20, 2013 at 8:00 am

I would definitely upgrade our house and travelling. Our house now is nice, but you know how it gets with kids…AND we have three of them. I’d get a bigger house and throw in a pool to boot. I think I’d also pick somewhere new to go every few months and just go on a whim. On a side note, I live 10 minutes (or less) from Buffett. You’d never know he was rollin’ in the Benjamins by the look of his house.

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26 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:51 am

WOW really??? Have you ever crossed paths with him? I’d imagine he’s gotta have a security system in place that probably costs 10x as much as the house, haha… I’d be nervous without that!

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27 John S @ Frugal Rules February 20, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Yep. I’ve only ever seen him at the Berkshire Convention several times, but it was cool to see him nonetheless. I would agree that his security system has got to be out of this world.

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28 Joe S February 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I just have to bring this up, because the whole Buffet still lives in his first home thing is so tired.

1) Buffet’s first house currently appraises at $700,000; not cheap by any means.
2) But more importantly he also has a $4 million home in Laguna Beach, CA

For confirmation of this just take a look at Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Buffett

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29 J. Money February 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Interesting… I’m sure his first house wasn’t nearly $700k when he first bought it all those years ago though ;) And if he still lives in it most of the time then it’s still kinda accurate eh? He just goes to his vacation home during vacays? (Haven’t read the article yet, but it is good to hear more to this for sure – thx)

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30 Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle February 20, 2013 at 8:47 am

I want to be able to park my car in a garage so I don’t have to scrape it every morning when I go to work.

A cleaning lady for a couple of hours once each week would be amazing. I would do the day to day tidying but to come home and the showers have been scrubbed and the floors are shiny is my dream.

Time for work. I have to leave 10 minutes early today so that I have time to clean off the car.

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31 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:52 am

I like that you read my blog before going to work – that is dope!

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32 Grayson @ Debt Roundup February 20, 2013 at 9:00 am

I would upgrade my home (really just location, not really size), my tools for fixing up my hobby car, and my wardrobe. I like nice suits and dress clothes, but don’t really have any.

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33 Well Heeled Blog February 20, 2013 at 9:10 am

I’d upgrade my car, my house, and my vacation plans. Plus my charity.. instead of a $50/year donation to my alma mater, I’m going to do an endowed scholarship, baby! ;-)

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34 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:52 am

W00T!

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35 Trinnie February 20, 2013 at 9:24 am

I don’t think I’d upgrade the house…the new home we are in contract with in San Antonio is kinda rad, for us…plus we aren’t cool enough to live in the fancy neighborhoods. I’d upgrade the furniture, TVs and all that good stuff.

I’d for sure update the whip. My PT Cruiser has for sure seen better days, it’s time for a new car.

Clothes, I wouldn’t get too crazy, just get fancier stuff, and SHOES SHOES SHOES!!

I like to keep it real. :)

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36 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:53 am

I’ll admit I’d get a whole closet made just for some nice kicks too… My favorite types in all different colors to match my daily hoodies ;)

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37 Brian February 20, 2013 at 9:37 am

I’d buy a boat… in general there are many larger money sinks than a boat, so if I were rich I could probably get one.

I would probably also put a climate controlled wine cellar in and maybe buy some more expensive wines. Right now we only have a couple really really nice bottles, so I think I would probably up that too.

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38 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:56 am

That’s what I like to hear :) Though just reading that makes me even thirstier now that I gave up alcohol for Lent! D’oh.

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39 LG February 20, 2013 at 9:44 am

First, I would pay off my sister’s student loans, and gift the same amount to each of my brothers (she owes more then my brother does on his condo!) Then I’d pay off my parents house and fix that up and make it easier for them as they get old. I’d buy a house downtown, try and make it carbon neutral and get a couple foster kids. I’ve always wanted to have foster kids, they just need help from someone who cares. I would get a new Jeep, with heated seats and a remote starter. Also, I would go on a shopping spree and get a whole new wardrobe. I already travel a fair bit, I think I would just get better accommodation at my destinations.

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40 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:57 am

I love the idea of fostering kids!! Good one! We want to do the same too, but only after our kids grow up and leave the nest… though we may not be able to wait that long.

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41 Michelle February 20, 2013 at 9:59 am

I am definitely with you on this list! I would buy things, but make sure I could still afford it.

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42 RichUncle EL February 20, 2013 at 10:44 am

I would stop working my 9-5 corporate office job, travel 6 months out of the year, give to charities, and upgrade car, home, clothes, and pay off all the homes for my immediate family members. I would not upgrade my TV, sneakers, couch, or wife as these things I love with a passion. LOL.

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43 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 10:58 am

You wouldn’t upgrade your sneakers??? After that guest post you just sent me? I don’t believe it ;)

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44 Chris February 20, 2013 at 10:59 am

I’d upgrade mi madre’s casa. I’d also upgrade my wardrobe. Only reason I haven’t bought more stuff is the price tag. I wouldn’t mind having a couple of quality dress shirts. Right now they are basically off the rack at JC Penny’s and never fit right.

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45 J. Money February 20, 2013 at 11:01 am

I can get down with that. You’d probably feel more like a baller too :)

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46 Leah February 20, 2013 at 11:05 am

If I were billionaire status, I’d live completely differently. I’m not too shy to say that it would fundamentally change everything about my life, except my dog and my husband!

First big purchase would be a yacht–and a year-long trip on that yacht to every beautiful coastal destination in the world.

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47 J. Money February 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Okay, I’ll let you do that as long as you take me with you :)

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48 Retire By 40 February 20, 2013 at 11:23 am

I love our area, but we could use a bigger home. I would just get a little bigger place. I’ll also take that round the world trip that I have been wanting to. :)

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49 Jose February 20, 2013 at 11:24 am

I’d start a chain of real estate investments throughout the Caribbean with a parent company to manage all the rentals. Of course I’d have to visit all of them at least once a year, have to check out the maintenance and make sure everything is up to par. I may also have to start a chain of dive operations, co-located with the rental real estate. That way I can take care of two business concerns with one trip :D

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50 J. Money February 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm

So if you were a billionaire, you’d pretty much start more businesses and make yourself even more rich? Haha… nice. At leas you’ve build some semi-fun into it with all those Caribbean visits ;)

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51 Melinda Gonzalez February 20, 2013 at 11:37 am

Considering my apartment is currently 600 sq ft. and missing vital furniture (like a table to eat at, haha) I would upgrade that first.

Next, I would steal Marilyn’s idea and get a personal shopper. Actually, just throw in a food shopper too. That way they would only buy healthy food and I would be forced to only eat that.

Most importantly, I would buy my dad a flight back to the motherland, Chile, which he misses so much. My biggest dream is to to get him a flight back there (he is 72 and hasn’t been back for 30 years) so he can see his family. I might even buy some farmland and a house so he could retire out there.

Last, I would start some type of school program to increase self esteem in young girls in lower income areas. It would include sports, learning how to finance and budget (yeah baby), and showing them different avenues for college or self business.

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52 J. Money February 21, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Some of the best answers I’ve heard yet :) Makes me want to help you become a billionaire!

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53 KB February 20, 2013 at 11:40 am

Many of the above – travel travel and more travel, upgrade house plus part time house cleaner and cook or have healthy meals delivered, foster kids is possible, better clothes for sure!

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54 Joanna @ Our Freaking Budget February 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm

We would upgrade our house and our location. The husband and I are definitely beach dwellers at heart. And based on how messy our house has gotten since we had our baby, I’d DEFINITELY hire in some help in that department! :) And I really like what you said about direct-to-people help… I would love to actually be able to make a difference in individual people’s lives.

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55 J. Money February 21, 2013 at 2:24 pm

And lots of money allows us to do more of that too :)

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56 Yana February 20, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I’m with you – I think we would upgrade to a quality home in a fine location/setting. My husband could retire, meaning we could be free from living around an employment schedule, and we could do a bit of traveling. Not big travel, but we can’t even take an 8-hour trip now because it is just too stressful due to time constraints. This will be the second year that my husband scheduled his vacation to sit on the couch and watch the football draft! Travel is more work than relaxation when you have to return to a job when the vacation is over.

We wouldn’t make big material changes if we were billionaires, and the lifestyle changes would be few but significant.

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57 Edward Antrobus February 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm

I’d upgrade the house and car of course, but it wouldn’t go crazy. A nice hybrid and a middle class home somewhere quiet. Where I would definately upgrade however, it the kitchen. I would seriously pimp out my kitchen if I had money.

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58 Financial Black Sheep February 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm

For me it isn’t when I get rich, but what I will strive for after school. Rich or not rich is like saying I have dreams, but only if a miracle of winning the lottery happens will I do anything. It’s too easy to never follow those dreams.

With that being said I will:

Live in a bigger city with better transit. Either taking my house with me or trading for a townhouse with a pool. Something about the same size, smaller, whatever, just more in tune with what I want at the time.

Travel twice a year or more depending on how much money I want to put towards it.

Continue learning in school, out of school, all the time, so not much change there.

Continue cooking at home, but integrate more organic. Keep having a garden…

Raise the amount of my fun money and hire someone to clean (yeah right, frugal is as frugal does lol).

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59 Nick @ ayoungpro.com February 20, 2013 at 3:16 pm

1 – I would upgrade my house
2 – I would upgrade my cars
3 – I would hire a personal trainer
4 – I would travel…. a lot
5 – I would be at home with my wife and kid… a lot

:)

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60 J. Money February 21, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Number 5 is the best :)

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61 Brian @ Luke1428 February 20, 2013 at 8:27 pm

With four kids we would definitely upgrade the house and hire someone to do housecleaning and yard work. The wife loves to travel so we would have to throw that in. Maybe I could buy her her own island :)

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62 J. Money February 21, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I’ve seen small islands for sale! $1 Million to $3 Million even with a house on it and all – you totally should! :)

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63 RD February 20, 2013 at 8:28 pm

I would get a nice townhouse with an ocean view. My wife and I would be traveling all the time to support the local economies ;-) Maybe move to another country if we can find weather comparable to California. We are both happy with our cars, but I think we could be tempted to upgrade.

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64 stephanie February 20, 2013 at 10:01 pm

If I were a multi-super-rad-billionaire, I’d put together the sexiest football team evah! As in soccer, for you American football people. Oh yes, I’d pay my players, my coaching staff, and all others involved huge sums of money. And include budgetting classes!!!

I would make sure my family were all set up in their houses, and the childrens’ educations paid for, no question.

My maid and personal chef, and of course! my personal food shopper, would get paid a ton of $$$ to cook the greatest healthiest food and keep the house sparkling clean. Then they wouldn’t have to suffer making next to nothing and wondering how THEY will make it.

For myself, one of my charities would become one of my dreams: not just own that big ol’ funky house with LOTS and LOTS of space, but I’d become a one-person doggie and kittie (and rabbits and other furry creatures) rescue. I haven’t the slightest idea what it would cost, but I would definitely pay the right people lots of cash so there wouldn’t be any worries on their part. We could just help those little creatures who need our help. (and maybe I could buy stock in Imes doggie chow or whatever I’m going to feed all these animals!).

Most of all, I’d leave my job and volunteer til I was a tired bunny! And I would never ever let anyone shop for my shoes or my crazy clothes; it’s taken far too long to put together my style (but that’s using the word “style) very loosely!

So, when I become that crazy-a$$-super-wealthy-bitchin-billionaire, look out for me! I’ll be meeting y’all in those exotic locales you’ve already named, and hey! I may just learn to dive.

Love the blog today JMoney! It made me happy to dream a little dream.

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65 J. Money February 21, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Yayyy! Love your responses too – you’ve really put some thought into it all, haha… I’d work for your futbol team! :)

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66 Michelle February 20, 2013 at 10:55 pm

1.) I would create a charity
2.) I would travel
3.) I would take care of my mom’s retirement
4.) I would buy a slightly bigger place. I live in a 495 sqf codo. I feel like that’s reasonable
5.)I would live overseas for a year.

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67 Skint in the City February 21, 2013 at 6:11 am

You know, I’d keep my house and car. Both fine – not the world’s greatest but they’re fine by me. Ditto clothes – though I wouldn’t say no to a few vintage couture pieces! What I would buy more than anything else would be time.
I’d get a cleaner, someone to do the grocery shopping and cooking and take more taxis – all designed to give me more time to write, spend with the family and enjoy my downtime! For me, I’ll take time over money whenever there’s a realistic choice!

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68 J. Money February 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

If only we could buy more than our 24 we get a day! Rich or poor it’s still all we get… but you’re right that we can hire others to free up more of ours – I like that thinking :)

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69 Diane February 21, 2013 at 9:17 am

With more money ….. do I dare dream this since we are trying to get rid of $78K? ……. ok a) more activities for the kids to help them pursue their talents & dreams (i.e. personal coaching that all the rich parents pony up for), b) finish the basement of our house to maximize our living space, c) add a bedroom and bathroom to our main level so my mom can come and live with us, d) buy organic without knowing how much more it is compared to regular food, e) buy a newer younger model…..car. Husband can stay the same :-)

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70 J. Money February 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Hahhaha… good catch ;) I’d love for my mother to live with us too, like in one of those sweet little cottages in the back yard or something. I’m gonna finagle that whether I become a billionaire or not! Actually, two of them – one for each set of parents :)

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71 KK @ Student Debt Survivor February 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

Nope, I’d probably upgrade to a large home, and do a lot more traveling. The other things would probably stay largely the same. I’m not that into fancy clothes or following fashion trends. I would donate more to my favorite charities and I’d definitely help out my family more.

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