Sandy @ Yes, I Am Cheap has posed the question: What would you do if you inherited $1M from your cousin Bertha, a cousin who you haven’t seen since you were a baby?
The first thing I’d do is wonder why on earth this woman I haven’t seen in 34 years has left me $1M. Then, I’d call my parents to find out how I’m related to Bertha and if she’s legit and not something akin to the Nigerian prince schemes. Once I find out that she’s kosher (and a relative), then I start making a plan for the money. Here’s what my plan looks like:
- Hire an attorney. I’m not exactly sure why but I remember reading somewhere that if you win and/or inherit a large sum of money, you should hire a lawyer. So I’d do that.
- Pay my taxes. I’m not cut out for jail and I don’t want to go, even if it’s good enough for Wesley Snipes and Martha Stewart. I like not having a criminal record.
- Set aside money for retirement and my daughter’s college education. This is because I need to be responsible. $1M, while a lot of money, is not enough for us to retire on. Both my husband and I would need to continue to work but we could work a little easier knowing that our sad little retirement accounts and our daughter’s pathetic 529 have sufficient funding.
- Pay off our house, car, and my husband’s student loans. These are our remaining debts and I’m tired of them. So I’d pay them off.
- Donate some. There are several charities that I know could benefit from donations, so I’d give about $25K (each) to 4 different charities. I’d handpick them, and I wouldn’t make them compete for the money a la trashy reality shows. I’d just fork it over. ‘Cause I’m awesome like that.
- Be completely irresponsible. For one month. Lest you think I’d go all Brewster’s Millions, I wouldn’t. I’d buy clothes that fit properly for both my husband and I, outfit my daughter for the upcoming year, book my dream vacations, put aside money for my dream kitchen and buy Mets season tickets. And I go spend a weekend getting spa treatments.
(See, Dave Ramsey? Even in a hypothetical scenario, I still follow the spend, save, give mentality. It is at this point I kindly ask you to extract yourself from my head)
While I think that the Barenaked Ladies had an admirable plan, what with their macaroni and cheese and monkeys and green dresses and Elephant Man bones, I like my plan better. But I may buy some mac and cheese anyway.