You Won A Million Bucks. Now What?

What would you do if you won a million dollars?

Well, that’s the fun question that Lance at the blog Money Life & More posed to his readers not too long ago. Of course, I absolutely love to think about this stuff, so I’m happy to oblige.

But first, let’s set the scene: Imagine me completely freaking out because I won a million dollars. Okay, deep breath. Now it’s time to spend!

The First Step Would Be Easy

I’d set aside the $400,000 to pay off all of the hubs’ medical school loans and both of our graduate school loans.

That Leaves Me With $600,000.

Time for some fun. I’d put 50,000 aside just for a vacation fund. That could easily equal 10 very nice trips or 5 fancy international adventures complete with first class plane seats. Hey, if I’m a millionaire now ($600,000-aire?), I can at least let my 6’3″ hubs have some legroom.

Now, What To Do About the 270 sq. ft. apartment?

Well, I’d keep it. :) We only have one year left in Grenada, my landlords are like my parents, and plus, I’m more concerned about other things like hiring someone to do all of my laundry, cook dinner, walk my dog, and tidy up for me. Luckily, labor in Grenada is very inexpensive. $5,000 for help for the rest of our time here should do it. I’d also put $50,000 away to help us with rent in New York when we move back to the States for the hubs’ clinical rotations and a future mortgage downpayment.

$545,000 To Go

Whew, I’m a little tired from all that math but not too tired to go shopping. I’ve always wanted someone more fashionable than I to help me pick out a new wardrobe complete with some fun, inexpensive jewelry. I tend to buy items at thrift stores and not as complete outfits. It would be so nice to have someone help me! $10,000 for new clothes and shoes for both the hubs and me would be really fun. Personal shopper, here we come!

Oh yeah, My Biz

You didn’t think I’d stop working did you? I love my job, and I love writing my blog. I’d keep working where I am now, and I’d keep writing in my little corner of the web. It’s too much fun to stop doing that! However, I’d spend $5,000 to hire a freelancer for one year to help me research opportunities to guest post and help with other forms of marketing. That should give Budget Blonde a good boost and help me to determine how to grow even more at the end of the year.

And Now For More Useless, Materialistic Stuff

I kind of love that new, white iPad mini! It’s amazing. I still have $530,000 of my lottery winnings to go so I’d splurge on the 4G one and a few years of service. I might as well throw a big iPad in for the hubs as well. He wanted one anyway. :)

Vroom Vroom

Is it boring that I’d still drive my current car that’s parked at home? I guess despite my (alleged) riches, I’m still a frugal girl at heart. Still, I’d set aside $20,000 to buy the hubs a car since he doesn’t have one right now, and I’d put another $20,000 aside for one for me once mine dies.

$489,000 left

I want to make sure that we don’t struggle in any way. We’ve lived paycheck to paycheck before, and it’s an awful feeling. I’d put $100,000 away in a form that’s easy to liquidate if necessary. I’d use this for emergencies, unexpected medical bills, and eventually help with raising some kiddos should we have any in the future.

Invest

I’d take the rest, $389,000, and invest it. Since I’m 25 years old now, this should be quite lucrative when I finally decide to retire. Of course, the hubs will eventually graduate from medical school and residency and start working, and I’ll also continue my writing. So, we’ll be adding to that amount as we grow old together. <3

So, what would you do with that kind of money? I feel quite content that I’d actually do exactly what I’m doing right now. I’d just feel a lot better about things, since I wouldn’t have that outrageous student debt over my head, and I’d have savings for just about anything we could possibly want or need.

Splurging & Saving: A Colonial Wedding

I have found that people in general always have something they love to splurge on and something they love to save on, whether they are the thriftiest people ever or the biggest spenders. So, I’ve decided to start a little series of posts over here that I’ll throw on the ol’ blog every now and then asking others what they splurge and save on. Today, we have the second wedding in the series. I hope you enjoy!

If you’ve ever been to Colonial Williamsburg, you’ve visited one of my favorite places in the world. As a William and Mary alum, the historic college that is just footsteps from Colonial Williamsburg, I frequently walked through the cobblestone streets and enjoyed everything that Williamsburg had to offer during my college days.

It was there that I was lucky to meet my beautiful friend, Ashley, who studied history just a year ahead of me at William and Mary. When she asked me to be in her wedding that was to take place at some iconic Williamsburg locations, I knew that despite living in Grenada, I couldn’t miss it.

Colonial Williamsburg Wedding

Her wedding was in the gorgeous Wren Chapel on campus, and her reception was at the Williamsburg Inn. Her biggest splurge was her reception and dinner package. She said, “The Williamsburg Inn offers a flat rate for space rental and food and drinks which, at first look, does indeed look extravagant. However, we got a lot out of that package and the convenience of having all of our vendors right at hand from the Inn – people who were 100 percent professional and non-pushy.  We also really wanted a unified, comprehensive dinner, drink, and space package that would complement the style of our wedding, which we received from this ‘splurge.’ Having an elegant, classy but fun reception and dinner was really important to us so we could express ourselves through our party while ensuring our guests had a rewarding and enjoyable experience.”

Judging by the picture below of the hubs and me sitting at Ashley’s table, I’d say Ashley got her wish. The reception was a hit.

Williamsburg wedding

So what was her big save? One thing she mentioned was the music. She had fife and drum players lead the wedding party and guests from the chapel to the reception venue and then played handpicked music on an iPod, which we danced to until midnight.

williamsburg wedding

Other saves included doing her own makeup Princess Kate style and having her charming dad serve as the “MC,” which made the reception a lot more personal, and according to Ashley, put the groom and her at ease. She also said, “Another big save was on my dress. For people who think they have to spend at least 2,000 dollars for a quality dress, it’s simply not true.  Alfred Angelo had some GORGEOUS dresses and ultimately the Victorian-esque dress of my dreams for an amazing price.  I don’t think a 2000 dollar+ dress would have been any better or even as good!” So ladies, take note. Stop being influenced by Say Yes To The Dress! There are many beautiful dresses out there for fractions of the cost!

Carriage wedding

All in all, Ashley’s wedding was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever been to. I was so honored to be her bridesmaid and so glad that the hubs and I were able to go and witness her special day.

What do you think of Ashley’s wedding? Does it make you want to plan a trip to Williamsburg? I am personally pining for the gorgeous Virginia fall days over here in Grenada as I write this…

[Note: Photos by Brad Howe]