So what would I do?
I would pay off all of our debts: good riddance to student loans and credit card bills.
I would set aside a college fund: one for my sister, one for my brother, and one for my little Mikey.
I would buy a house in California, close to the beach, preferably overlooking.. nothing too big that it'd be a full time job to keep it clean, with just enough rooms: one for me and Mike, our two kids, and a guest room in case the grammas and grampas want to visit. I want a nice stoned fireplace in the living room with vaulted ceilings, a big kitchen with granite countertops and a huge backyard where little Mikey can play.
I would trade my Hyundai Elantra in for a better car... nothing super fancy like a Porsche or a Rolls Royce or anything. Maybe that Lexus I300 I had been eyeing, or a BMW 650i convertible..
I would buy my mom her dream house on a hill, but she's recently just bought that for herself, and she already drives a Mercedes Benz, so maybe I'll just help her pay off the house... and then send her off to a well-deserved vacation somewhere.
I would give money to Mike's parents too, maybe help them pay off their debts.. and then send them off to that same well-deserved vacation with my parents. They could go on a double date.
I would go shopping. Not Paris-Hilton-over-the-hill-kind-of-shopping... (in fact, I've been so brainwashed I'd probably still go for the sale racks) but just fun enough that I don't have to worry about how many hours I have to work for that cute sweater at Express.
I would start my own business.. which probably means I would quit my job, but only so that I could be my own boss.
And finally, I would invest the rest.
That's reasonable, isn't it? Even after Uncle Sam takes his bite into the 30 million dollars, these probably won't even make a dent to that kind of money. The argument started, I suppose, when Mike started questioning as to why I would need a new house and a new car for. Truth is, I can't begin to fathom what it would be like to have that much.. but what kind of comeback do you really have to that, besides a snotty "WHY NOT"? But by the time I realized I needed something a little more conducive than an almost childish "because I can", I was in deep trouble. The more I tried to argue that a new house and a new car are luxuries I wouldn't hesitate to spend on if I had the means, the more he made me feel like I was being impractical.
Perhaps that was it that set me off. I detested having my dreams being cursed impractical. I'm a simple girl, a living testament that there are girls who don't need expensive jewelry and designer purses to make their lives meaningful and complete. I wouldn't go as far as putting myself on a pedestal and claim to be the extreme opposite of high maintenance, but it pragmatically doesn't take very much to please me. His argument was that there's nothing wrong with my Elantra, and that having millions of dollars doesn't validate the fact that it's a reliable car and doesn't need to be replaced. And then I remember asking him if he didn't think I deserved a better car, and he told me that just because we have more money, that doesn't mean I deserve something better. Then he argued that I shouldn't use money to measure what makes me happy.Yes, I agree that money shouldn't be used to measure happiness. Money is a tool to help people achieve what they want, but is not an end in itself. I am also an avid believer that being grateful is its own reward -- that if you value what you have, you'll always feel as though what you have is enough. And I'm thankful for having the best partner I could ask for, thankful for the townhouse we now live in, thankful for the reliable car that I currently drive, and thankful that our families live comfortable lives. BUT... if we had the means to afford the house of our dreams and a better car, I don't think it is asking for too much to bump ourselves to an upgrade. And I'm sorry... I may be a simple girl, but every once in a while, I like to convince myself that I actually deserve a lot better than I can afford. That's why people go to college.. to get a better paying job.. to be able to afford nicer things.. isn't it? It's true that money doesn't buy you happiness, but if people were always content with the bare minimum, what will motivate them to do better?
Mike and I live modestly. And I glorify the fact that for the most part, we see eye to eye when it comes to prioritizing. And up to this point, we haven't really had any arguments when it comes to differentiating between what's a necessity and what's a luxury. So imagine how it blew me away that perhaps our first fight about $$ was over a fictitious matter such as how to spend our lottery winnnings. So I cried, and he questioned, and I cried some more. And the whole time I probably knew that it was such a silly thing to cry about, especially when there's no doubt in my mind that that man would do anything to make me happy.......
...... even if that means trading in my Elantra for a beamer.