How would I spend a billion dollars, if I had it?

Photo by Pixabay on

Ooh, I love today’s prompt! A billion U.S. Dollars, huh? The prompt reminded me of the following iconic scene from The Social Network:

A billion dollars is a lot of money – I mean, a LOT. With “billions” being so oft-repeated in the media, people seem to have forgotten the value of money, so it may not seem like a huge some of money after all, but trust me – it is huge. According to the Readers Digest this insane amount of money can get you a private island, a major league baseball team, or even The White House!

Capitalism wants us to believe that all of us can get rich and potentially become billionaires in our lifetimes, if we work hard towards it. But let’s be real, I’m going to guess that none of you reading this post (myself included) is going to be a billionaire in U.S. Dollars, in this lifetime – unless the U.S. Dollar loses its value, of course in a major inflationary disaster.

Which is why this question sounds tantalizing – the possibility of having an insane amount of money and what one would do with it.

I would have had a ready set of answers not to long back about what I would use this money for. I would invest a bulk of it (in diversified investments of course) and spend the rest to live a fairly comfortable life in anonymity, while doing my best to help people.

But my answer has changed now.

If at all I were to get a sudden one billion dollar windfall there is a real possibility that it may not have been 100% ethical. Also, while the possibility of getting one billion dollars sounds exciting, there is a real chance of your newfound fortune being a proverbial damocles’ sword, as demonstrated by the experiences of a person who lives not too far from my neck of the woods that literally regrets winning a mere (emphasis mine) $3 million-equivalent lottery. He literally regrets his fortune, which has now attracted a sea of tormentors who want a share of his winnings, some of them not unwilling to harass or loot him! Since $1 billion is more than 333 times the winnings of that hapless Kerala man, I face the real threat of being abducted or killed for money.

So, should that windfall come to me, I will politely decline it, and keep on living my happy comfortable life keeping a low profile, while hoping to retire with fairly decent savings with the help of some intelligent value investing. A very interesting book that I read recently called The Psychology of Money exhorts readers to define what “enough money” is. Based on the principles of that book, I have calculated what my “enough” is, and I will avoid getting even a penny more.

Should my investments ever blow up, and if I were to gain a billion dollars, I will do my best to shed the rest, keep my “enough” and live the rest of my life heart’s content.

At least, that’s what I hope for.

But let’s be real, we’re all human beings, with our own foibles. I know I am fallible. The reason why I love the TV shows Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul so much is because it shows how the pursuit of money corrupts the souls of human beings. I might stand on a high horse and say all these things, but actually getting a billion dollars of hard cash might tip my scales to the other end – such are the vicissitudes of us petulant and puny human beings.

To conclude, if I were to get a billion dollars, I would ideally like to reject most of it, just keeping what I need – but there is also a real possibility that it might turn me into a Walter White style megalomaniac – for the simple fact that I am a human being.

And if that happens, I hope I will have the will power to go the former way!

This post was written as part of the Bloganuary challenge of Bloganuary is a month-long challenge, where bloggers are challenged to write a new blog post every day, based on a daily writing prompt. You will need a account to get the prompts, but you can blog on any platform of your choice – OR even journal privately. Oh btw, there is no bloganuary police – so you can pick your own prompts if you wish to!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s