A neighbour of mine won €1 million in the Euro Millions last week.
As you can imagine, it was a big talking point over the weekend. We were full of what we’d do if we won €1 million.
I’ll tell you later what I’d do. What would you do?
We also talked about whether money can buy happiness, but more on that later.
When you think about it, €1 million is not actually an enormous amount of money.
You may well be worth €1 million, or are on track to be.
Yet if I asked you what you want to do with the hard-earned €1 million in your retirement fund or under management, you will be less able to answer.
While the money is there, in our heads it does not seem to be as available to spend as a windfall. We don’t feel the need to have a plan for it.
Winning €1 million seems to make that decision so much more urgent. Funny, isn’t it?
So, I said I’d tell you what I’d do with a €1 million lottery win. Well, I’d use it to eliminate some pet hates.
My number one pet hate is going to the barber. I detest queueing for my haircut. I hate having to ask for what I want with other people in earshot – I just feel self-conscious – so, if I won the lottery, I’d have my own barber come to my house whenever I needed a haircut.
I can’t stand ironing. I would have my shirts collected, laundered, ironed, and dropped back to me. That would please me no end.
As we talked about the lucky Lotto winner, we were all able to come up with little indulgences like the barber and the ironing service, but we also talked about boxing off some of the bigger worries in our lives.
Worries like elderly parents who could really do with professional carers, vulnerable relatives, children about to go to university, leaving something for the next generation.
For example, I am currently the sole earner in my household, therefore we as a family are vulnerable should I be unable to work.
But I have already put into place a series of insurances to make sure that risk is eliminated as far as possible.
I felt this was too big a risk not to plan for it. I pay for the insurance policies out of my everyday income. It’s just too important to wait until I win the lottery.
There were equally people who came up with big, hairy audacious goals like the guy who lives across from me who wants to start a micro-brewery, and he’s serious about it. If he won the lottery.
You have to dream big!
But what I find fascinating about the whole discussion is that we need a lottery win to galvanise us into making decisions about those big, important financial matters.
We need a lottery win to think about using our money to make us happy.
But you don’t.
Imagine what you could achieve if you just applied that ‘If I won the lottery’ thinking to your life today.