Thought Experiment #1

I’ve been persuaded to take part in a ‘thought experiment’, where people give their own take on the same thought/idea or scenario.

Please check out Saving Ninja’s post which explains in more detail.

So here’s the first scenario:

What would you do if right at this very instance you got given £1 million? This could be from a lottery win, an IPO, a scratch card, you name it. No tax needs to be paid, it’s just been plopped directly into your run-of-the-mill bank account.  

Lucky me! 🙂

Ok, off the top of my head, I would….

…be Financially Independent and would be able to retire early immediately, but I wouldn’t, not right away anyway. It’s a lot of money, I’d like to think things through properly so yes, I’d still go into work! I know for a fact that I would not be mentally ready to give up working just yet.

…remain anonymous and tell only my immediate family how much I had won and tell my close friends I had won a ‘large amount’. Why not tell them the exact amount? I’m not sure – never really discussed money with my friends so not really sure how they would react to be honest.

…put aside £300k to be gifted to my immediate family – all members of my family are already a lot wealthier than I am but I would still want to share my winnings and good fortune.

…put aside £100k to be gifted to my close friends. No idea how I would do this but in whatever tax friendly way I can do it, be it paying for their holidays, etc.

…put aside £100k for specific charity needs. Rather than throwing it into a charity pot, I’d like to pay for stuff like school equipment, that kind of thing

…use the remaining half to buy a property which would ultimately be my primary residence, perhaps buy another small property to rent out and invest the rest in boring index trackers to enable me to have a ‘fat’ retirement!

…be lying if I said I wouldn’t change because that kind of money all of a sudden is life-changing, for me anyway. I would probably naturally become less frugal but I think I still wouldn’t be wasteful or flash with my money. I wouldn’t buy a new car, as there’s nothing wrong with my current one, although I could realistically consider a new electric car as my next motor.

…start looking at holidays to Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the USA!

Reading back on the above, there are probably some tweaks and changes I would make or add but the point of the exercise is to not dwell on your answers and just write what comes to your mind immediately.

What would you do in this instance?

Edit – Here are the other bloggers who took part in this experiment and their thoughts:

Ms ZiYou
Saving Ninja
Early Retirement – Early Freedom 
Steel Kitten
Inspiring Life Design

If you fancy joining in and want to be added to the experiment, send a tweet to @SavingNinja or send him a message via his website.

PS – I live in hope that I bag £1m with my premium bonds!

13 thoughts on “Thought Experiment #1

  1. Awesome post! This shows your kind nature perfectly; 500k dedicated to other people! We came to the same answer with regards to not quitting our current job.

    Maybe you’ll have to refer back to this post if you bag a premium bonds win 😀 😀

    Thanks for contributing!

    • Cheers SN – dunno, it just felt right to be sharing a large part of my win but yes, I’d have to refer back to this post if I bag that big premium bonds win! 🙂

  2. Great answer there Weenie – I love seeing what everyone would do and even how people interpret the thought experiment.

    I’d keep quiet about it too!

  3. What an honest post Weenie, well done.

    Giving half away upfront is a commendable effort. And kudos for not immediately pulling the pin on your current job, it is important to have a clear idea of where you are leaping towards before you jump!

    • Thanks indeedably – hanging onto all that money for myself just doesn’t sit right with me and I’d be in too much of a daze to stop working immediately as I would need some normality and routine to keep me grounded!

  4. I love the idea of this thought experiment Weenie – I may even have a go at this myself! I’m impressed by your huge generosity to family, friends and charity. I’m not convinced I’d be quite as generous, but each of these would definitely be in there as things I’d do too.

    Here’s hoping that big Premium Bond win is coming your way!

  5. The fact that giving away money is the first thing that comes to your mind shows how awesome you are! And regarding the “…be lying if I said I wouldn’t change…”, I would quit my job immediately, spend (way) more on traveling, but still keep my ‘before I got rich’ values high 🙂

    • Thanks Marc!

      Although I wouldn’t quit my job immediately, I’m not sure how long I would keep working – I think I would like to have decided on an actual plan (as regards travelling etc) before I didn’t anything. Plus, the way I feel about my colleagues at the moment, I would not like to leave them in the lurch.

  6. I have done this experiment quite a few times with friends over the years and my final answer is along the following lines:
    -I would tell no one apart from my other half
    – Pay off any debts immediately
    – redecorate the house and fix those things that you can now afford to fix including solar panels and double glazing!
    – Book a one off amazing holiday with business class flights
    – max out isa and sipp’s limits for current year only
    -10k into emergency fund
    – The balance goes into setting up a charitable trust. Income from the investments is distributed to charitable groups. I would administer and run this trust myself and pay myself the minimum wage or just expenses.

    Sad that I had a ready answer for this question

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