Thursday, June 26, 2008


As the world economy continues to shudder, money is on the minds of many of us. So, tonight I first pose three questions:

What would you do with a million dollars?
What would you do with 10,000 dollars?
What would you do with 100 dollars?

I am fortunate to have regular readers from around the world. So I have re-posed the question in the top three nation’s currencies, at current exchange rates:

What would you do with 1,046,026 Australian Dollars?
What would you do with 10,460 Australian Dollars?
What would you do with 104 Australian Dollars?

What would you do with 503,347 British Pounds?
What would you do with 5,033 British Pounds?
What would you do with 50 British Pounds?

What would you do with 7,937,500 South African Rand?
What would you do with 79,375 South African Rand?
What would you do with 793 South African Rand?

Then, ask yourself, what would you do with those different amounts of money if you couldn’t spend any of it on yourself.

Me? I’d take the million and pay off the mortgage on our home. We’re halfway through the note, with the worst of the interest already paid, but it would be a big relief to own it “free and clear” as the saying goes. Maybe we’d even have a mortgage burning party, the way folks did, once upon a time. Then I’d see what I could do for my family members’ mortgages. (I wonder how far that million dollars would stretch?!) Then I’d put a rush on the new roof, the new windows and the paint job. Oh! And I’d love to get off the grid, so solar and wind power here we come! Hmmm... I fear I’m already way over my million dollar budget!

$10,000? Well, after a million dollars, that’s a serious cut in pay! I’d pay some bills, and set the rest aside for the new roof, but I wouldn’t call to put the same rush on!

$100? This inflation is gobbling up the resources faster than I expected! I’d go to a bookstore with Chuck and then out to dinner. How much we spent at the bookstore would determine where we dined.

Now for the non-me-me-me version:

With a million dollars, I would still want to help out my family. There are mortgages and school loans and weddings and... But I would also look at the charities and organizations we support: like the MSPCA, Mama Maria, the American Civil Liberties Union, Friends of Acadia and the Alzheimer’s Association. Because this is a critical election year here in the United States, we would contribute the maximum allowed by law to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Then, even though I am registered as “unenrolled” here in Massachusetts (small “i” independent), I’d send some money to the Democratic National Committee, because without a majority in Congress we’re in for more gridlock.

$10,000? I hope my family will forgive me, but it’s all going out the door to the charities and Barack Obama’s campaign.

$100? Wow, where would it do the most good? How could I make the greatest impact? Or does even the smallest stone tossed in the pond still send out a worthwhile ripple? O.K. Half would go to the American Red Cross because they help people in the worst moments of crisis and devastation. The other half, no surprise, Barack Obama’s campaign, because I’m looking toward the future.

What would you do?

Is it just me, or does anyone else have the Barenaked Ladies song “If I Had Million Dollars” running through their mind right now?


Lailaa said...

Your post got me thinking (actually I fantasize about this "what if" every time I happen to play the lotto and dream about winning the jackpot ;)

My Me-MySeLf-I version would be:
- £500 000 to buy me and my hubby our own home mortgage free and start our family
- £5 000 to save towards a deposit for a home
- £50 on a new pair of shoes

My NON-mE-mYsElF-i version would be:
- £500 000 towards helping out family and friends and giving some towards charity
- £5 000 could fill some 'small holes' for family and friends
- £100 to a homeless person towards a few warm meals
Hugs, xx
P.S. I have to admit, I don't know who the 'Barenaked Ladies' are, but the tune going through my mind is Abba's "Money, money, money..."

barbie2be said...

all i hear in my head is my coughing from the smoking air... wait... no, i also hear pink floyd's song money.

i'm going to borrow this post for my blog.

Pink Granite said...

Hi Lailaa -
Thanks for participating!
It's so interesting to see the common themes emerge - starting with a roof over our head that's our own. Then it spreads outward. I like your decision about giving the final amount to a homeless person. It points up how deep and basic the need is for a safe place to call home.

As soon as I read your "money" song, it completely pushed out the BNL song!
- Lee

Hi B2B -
So sorry about the rough time you all are having with smoke in your area. Wishing for rain now...

O.K. Now my brain is ping ponging from BNL to Abba to Pink Floyd! It's going to be a long weekend!
I'm delighted you're going to use it over on your blog. I'll swing by and check it out...
- Lee

Wendy said...

A constant fantasy of mine when trying to get to sleep actually
me myself and I
£500 000 move back To Cape Town , like next week and buy a home for us and have some money to keep us until we find jobs
£5000 a bit of a home deposit for us
£50 I am there with lailaa buying those shoes
Non me myself and I
£500 000 I would spread it amongst my family and close friends to make life easier and I would love to set up a small holding of sorts in South Africa teaching people to become self sufficient and arming them with the tools to shape their future
£5000 spread amongst charity like amnesty international , aids charitys , cancer and altszheimers
£50 find someone who needs help with groceries and buy them a weeks worth

Pink Granite said...

Hi Wendy -
There's the home and hearth theme again!
I really like your idea of helping folks back in South Africa. Reading it, I thought of the saying: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Education and empowerment are so important.
- Lee

Roo said...

If I had a million dollars - I know I am going to go to bed rich and singing that damned Bare Naked Ladies song!! Thanks Lee :o)

Pink Granite said...

Hey Roo -
I should have put a warning sign up:
"Ear worms are contagious!"
- Lee

dancingmorganmouse said...

With S1,046,026 Australian? I'd pay off the mortgage, do all the renovations I'm wanting to, travel to the UK, Europe & America, bung some to Greenpeace, Amnesty & the eyesight people.
With $10,460 Australian? Either take another year off the mortgage or go on that holiday. Or, bung some to the same as above.
What would you do with $104 Australian? Bookshop!

Pink Granite said...

Other than Wendy moving home, I believe you are the first of the world travelers! But the housing/mortgage pattern continues. I guess that fits in with Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs!
- Lee

purpleronnie said...

Ok so mine is embarrassing at R7, something million to a million dollars - you think you guys are having a money crisis - hehe!

Ok For Me it would go:

R7 mil - pay off our home loans and travel overseas and put the rest away for Sarah's education

R 70000 - pay off the credit card and buy a new plasma tv

R 700 - thats a week's groceries, but hey I think I'll probably go and spend it at Baby City.

For others:

R 7m - definitely most of it would go to charity - probably Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and one for animals. I would try to help out the people I love who need it.

R 700000 - pay for Wendy's air tickets for as long as needed until she finally moves here. The rest to charity

R 700 - I think helping the homeless would be an excellent idea - maybe this would pay for them to stay a night or two in a nice hotel and get a really nice meal and be warm and dray for a night or two.

Pink Granite said...

Hi Ronnie -
Thanks for joining in!
We have another traveler! And of course Sarah's education is very sensible.
We have a Toshiba REGZA LCD HDTV and absolutely love it!
Clearly you and Wendy are on the same page about her heading back home.
I hope all our dreams for ourselves and others come true...
- Lee