Give Me Back My Five Bucks

What I would do if I won $1 million: 4 years later

On March 5, 2007 I wrote a post entitled, If you won $1 million, what would you do? It was interesting to read it again, four years later. And it’s really nice to know that while my life has changed a lot, my values really haven’t. My goals have always been to eliminate all debt, save money, invest in myself and my passions, and save for the future.

Here are my answers today, side-by-side with my answers from 2007:

2007: Pay off all debts. ($7,000) <– this was my student loan debt
2011: Pay off all debts. ($18,000) <– this is my car loan

2007: Max out emergency fund: 6 months worth of income. ($18,000)
2011: Max out emergency fund: 12 months worth of income. ($50,000)

2007: Buy a new 2 or 3-story detached house in my city. ($400,000) <– I was living in my hometown
2011: Buy a 3 or 4 bedroom town home in the suburbs. ($500,000) <– I want to live just outside of Vancouver

2007: Buy the dream car: Mini Cooper S convertible. ($45,000)
2011: I would not invest in a new car at this time, since I already own one. ($0)

2007: Take distance education courses to obtain my B.A. in Communication Studies. ($20,000)
2011: I would not invest in my education at this time. ($0)

2007: Set $$ aside to go traveling once I’ve obtained permanent employment. ($10,000)
2011: Set $$$$$ aside to go traveling. ($100,000) <– this would fund my traveling for many years to come

2007: Talk to a trusted financial advisor, and invest the remainder. ($500,000)
2011: Talk to a trusted financial advisor, and invest the remainder. ($332,000)

———-
Not much is different, except that I would have to pay more for a smaller home now that I live just outside of Vancouver, and I would definitely put away a huge chunk of money for future traveling. There are so many (expensive) places that we’ve always dreamed of going to – including Antarctica! :)

That’s what I would have done then, and now. What would you do if you won $1 million?

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


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