A couple weeks ago, I was discussing a lot of details of my childhood with somebody on a Zoom call. We discussed things I’ve done, things my parents have done, and how I’ve processed it. One important question that this person asked was, “imagine you’ve just won the $1,000,000 lottery. What are you going to do with it?”
The question obviously seemed a bit unrealistic, but I tried to seriously imagine what I’d do if I won the lottery. After taking a bit to consider my answer, I responded, “you know, I’d probably just buy a nice house and save the rest. I could spend it all on cars, traveling, etc., but then I’d have no money left. Living in complete financial security sounds really peaceful, and I’d much rather do that if I were to win the lottery.”
I believe the main reason for this response is due to how my family’s finances were growing up. We went homeless twice: once when I was 10, and the other when I was 16. We were evicted the first time, and the second time was just seriously poor planning when selling our house. I remember constantly being served eviction notices on rentals and barely scraping by, no matter how much money we made. When we got huge bonuses, even thousands of dollars at once, it was immediately squandered on wants instead of being saved. The idea was that, as long as the bank accounts were at $0.00 or above, nothing else matters.
This financial style was a very poor one (no pun intended). One forgotten bill, and you’re negative. I’d say that experiencing this risky financial situation is the largest reason why I’ve been pretty frugal since moving out on my own.
Not long after moving to Texas, I found really cool ways to save money, especially on food. Looking back, however, it’s important to find a balance between price and health. For example, I used to (and maybe still do) buy most of my food from the Sam’s Club cafe. I ended up saving a ton on items every month, but probably at some expense to my health.
Since moving to Texas in July of 2022, I’ve managed to save an amount that I feel financially “comfortable” with. While I try to be pretty frugal, I’ve lately been trying to find more of a balance and spend more on wants now that I’m financially stable. I only have one life on this earth, so I want to make some cool memories in my young adult life.
So yeah, if I won the $1,000,000 lottery, I suppose I’d just appreciate complete financial stability; no eviction, no worrying about any bills, and just overall financial peacefulness. As previously mentioned, I think it’s important to find a life lesson in every life experience. In the case of experiencing tight finances during childhood, I’d say it’s taught me the importance of financial responsibility. I’ve learned that it’s pertinent that I keep watch over my money and that I make smart decisions with it.