I don’t play the lottery (aka “tax on the poor”), scratchcards, or indeed gamble at all. It’s not that I have any ethical/moral concerns about gambling but rather I just seem to have awful luck. I’ve never won anything in my life, and regularly bemoan the frequent catastrophes that I seem to have to put up with (yes, I’m a drama queen). This means that my only hope of ever having a million pounds is inheriting it through some long lost rich relative. It’s unlikely, but I never give up hope.
So. If I inherited £1,000,000, what would I spend it on?
Firstly, on £1,000,000 I calculated I would have to pay £270,000 inheritance tax. I’m a law abiding, tax paying citizen, so without having spent a penny I would actually only have £730,000 to buy whatever my heart desires. That should be enough to buy:
A decent size house
It was only yesterday I was telling you all about my ideal house: big kitchen, play room, home office, etc etc. I don’t really want to move too far away from where I am now, and a cursory glance at Rightmove suggests I wouldn’t have to. A decent size 5 bedroom property, within a half mile radius of where I am now, that would meet many of my dream house needs currently retails around £450,000:
Stamp duty on a £450,000 property costs £12,500. Solicitors fees etc would probably cost another £5k, plus moving costs and the rest, let’s assume that the total cost of purchasing one of these houses would be £470,000 which brings me down to £260,000 left to spend.
A new car
The next important purchase would be a new car. I currently have a Honda Jazz. I hate it. It’s an old lady car. It’s slow (although everything feels slow after I’ve driven Gaz‘s Celica), it’s not responsive when I need it to be and I have issues with it randomly jumping between low and high revs which can catch me out causing the car to stall.
I miss my old car, which was a Skoda, and have been lusting after a yellow Fabia for a loooong time. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like Skoda do a new model yellow Fabia (or not one you can configure through their site) so I’d be looking at a slightly older model, like this 2012 Skoda Fabia MONTE CARLO TSI 1.2 5dr:
…which would set me back £7,495, bringing my inheritance pot down to £252,505.
Fixing up an ‘old’ car
Gaz’s Celica, to be precise:
I fell in love with this bloody car not long after Gaz and I met and that love only strengthens every time I drive it. I know that the poor thing has a few issues at the moment though: some minor rust above one of the back wheel arches, the exhaust keeps getting clipped by a concrete ‘lip’ on my driveway, apparently the suspension might be playing up and I’m sure there’s other things Gaz would like to do with it. I’d happily gift him £5,000 to sort it out.
Having moved to my big dream house, my current property would of course be empty. I would pay off the mortgage on the house and get the decorators in to give it a fresh look from top to bottom (to deal with my half-arsed attempts at decorating, and the bodges left by the previous owner). With the current mortgage at around £96,000 and around £15,000 needed for early repayment fees and decorating that leaves me with £136,505 to play with.
University / job starter fund for the kids
I really wasn’t sure if I should put this one in here.
On one hand, I kinda feel like I started my adult life with nothing of value, no monetary support and no real job experience to speak of and I worked hard (and sometimes for free) to get where I needed to be so that today I can sit in relative comfort — albeit we have tight months (and months and months), an overdraft I regularly dip into and outstanding credit card debt — but I can raise my children fairly flexibly. I want my children to have to work hard too, so that they learn the value of the money in their pocket and know how privileged they are (comparatively speaking, we’re not middle class or ‘owt!)
On the other hand, if I were genuinely wealthy enough to be able to put money aside for my kids I know I wouldn’t be able to NOT do so. I want them to have a chance at higher education if that’s what they want to do. I want them to be able to enter the world unsaddled by massive debts or without having to worry too much about how they’re going to be able to scrape together their first months rent and a deposit when they set out in the big wide world on their own. I think I’d put aside £15,000 each for my kids, which means my total left to spend is £106,505.
I think it would be quite easy to spend £106,505 on a bunch of frivolous crap. Dresses, good food, gifts for friends etc. However, it would make more sense for me to put it into some sort of high interest account and pay myself an amount from it monthly to cover my highest bills, which would allow me more flexibility (and security) in my self-employment endeavours. Nobody said I had to spend it all at once!