I love this question. I know it sounds weird, but I ask myself all the time – What would you do with $10 million, Nikki? And then I make a list. Usually with a glass of wine after everyone’s gone to bed. I know it sounds indulgent, but it’s really not. In fact, I think it’s a really, really important question that everyone needs to ask themselves on a regular basis – What would you do with $10 million?
Why waste time imagining a life you don’t have, you ask?
Because that’s how you identify all the things that you actually want so that you can start making them happen.
Because for the vast majority of the things we want, we don’t actually need $10 million. In fact, for a lot of things, we don’t need any money at all.
In fact, for most things all we need to do is identify what we want and write it down.
I know it sounds crazy and a little too good to be true, but I’m telling you it will work and you will feel like a million bucks (or 10 million) once you’ve tried it.
Here’s how it happens:
1. MAKE YOUR LIST
This is the fun part. Think of everything you really, truly want. And it’s ok to be extravagant if it’s really, truly what you want…but don’t be ridiculous just for the sake of seeming really rich. Here are some examples from my list:
- Quitting my day job
- Paying for my kids to go to college
- Going to a spa regularly
- Taking a family vacation 4 times a year
- Buying a new car
- Paying off the mortgage (or buying a new house)
- Living by the ocean
- Owning a yacht
- Being able to buy all organic food
2. FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO IT FOR FREE
I know, this sounds ridiculous. But hear me out before you hightail it out of here. Part of living a fabulous $10 million life is figuring out creative ways to get everything you want. Think about each and every item on your list. Do a little bit of research. Give yourself a few different options for obtaining what you want. Even if you can’t figure out how to get something for free, you may be able to come up with a way to get it for way less than you thought.
Here are some examples:
Buying a House/Yacht/Car/RV/Airplane
Times have changed a bit, but the same scary (yet exciting) truth remains: It’s not that hard to get a loan. But before you bury yourself in debt, you have to remember this extremely important, crucial tip: The only loans you should ever take out should be ones that make you money. Rent out your vacation home by the sea or join the ranks of trendy Uber drivers. Yachts can be rented for weddings or skyline tours, RVs for family vacations. Airbnb will help you rent rooms of your home. Property managers can help you rent out your in-law suite. Taking out a mortgage is not a bad thing if it’s going to make you money. It’s only a bad if it’s going to drain your money.
Paying Off Debt
There are so many different ways to pay off debt. If you can make this one of your top priorities, then you will be totally blown away by all the possibilities! Here are some suggestions that are quick, easy, and require no lifestyle downgrade:
- CREDIT CARD POINTS – If you are absolutely, positively, 100% sure that you can pay off your credit card bill each and every month, then you definitely need to switch to a card that will contribute to the principal of one of your major loans (if you are worried you won’t be able to pay it off, then don’t do this). I do this with my mortgage and LOVE it. I haven’t had to adjust my lifestyle at all (I only had to switch the card) and I have an extra $25 – $125 deposited towards my principal every single month just for using the card (in other words, that’s the bank’s money going into my account, not my own).
- GIFT REGISTRIES – I am soooo happy to see people doing this more often and I think IT’S BRILLIANT. If you use a registry like MyRegistry.com (that’s what I’ve used) they will let you set up a gift option for people to contribute to a loan or savings fund. I’ve seen wedding registries with house funds (either to contribute to the mortgage or save for a first home), student loan funds, and baby showers with college funds (I did that and it was a HUGE help). Most people are trending towards minimalism these days, so they’re happy to see gift options that aren’t actual things.
- LIFESTYLE SWITCHES – I’m calling these lifestyle switches because I don’t want you to think I’m telling you to give something up (even though I kind of am). This is slightly different – I want you to take a look at some of your biggest expenses and just see if there’s a quick and easy way to save that money by going a different route. The biggest and best example? Cut your cable bill and in it’s place subscribe to any and all TV services that would fulfill your needs…because even with those new subscriptions you’ll still be paying way less! Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and even HBO all range from about $8 – $15/month. If your cable bill is over $100 like most are, then you’re going to save a decent chunk every month.
- AUTOMATED PRINCIPAL PAYMENTS – This is oh-so-boring but the #1 way to save a ton of money and pay off a ton of debt. Set it and forget it. Put extra towards the principal each month and before you know it you’ll forget you were even making the payments.
Related article: How to Pay Off Student Loans Early
Luxury Items and Services
This one is easier than you think. The key is to having a very clear idea of exactly what you want so that you can be 100% aware of any deals, giveaways, or opportunities for discounts or freebies…because sometimes these can be amazing. Also, don’t forget to ASK for deals or opportunities. I know people that have gotten free preschool tuition for their child because they’ve agreed to be the receptionist during class time. Think of any talents or skills you have to offer and consider whether it’s worth it to barter or trade. It sounds weird, but that’s part of the millionaire mindset – you have something to offer them (not just the other way around).
3. ASSESS THE REMAINING COSTS
Ok, obviously not everything can be finagled for free. And even when we can find a great way to get something for way less than we thought, we still need some money for it. So now it’s time to assess how much you need to obtain what you really want. Hopefully and most likely it will be way less than you thought.
4. FIGURE OUT HOW TO COVER THE COSTS
Now it’s time to get your million dollar lifestyle! You know exactly how much it will cost, now you just have to figure out how you’ll cover that. Here’s some considerations to have as you go through this process:
Reworking your budget can be really powerful.
I don’t want you to have to give up something that you love, but you would be surprised how much money you can uncover when you make simple adjustments. Budgeting can be especially powerful when you’re focused on getting rid of debt that will ultimately open up a huge stream of income.
Natalie from The Finance Girl has developed an amazing pool of free resources related to budgeting, so if you’re really ready to tackle your budget, check out her page here → Budgeting by The Finance Girl.
Getting a new income source isn’t out of the question.
No one wants to think about this because most of us already have full plates. But there are lots of opportunities out there that don’t require a ton of time, or at least will let you be very flexible. And obviously the best investment you can make is creating a passive income stream.
Here are some great articles to help inspire ideas for side jobs and passive income streams:
- How to Start a Money-Making Blog by MBA Sahm
- 20 Passive Income Ideas to Build Real Wealth by The College Investor
- 44 Ways to Make Money as a Stay at Home Mom by MBA Sahm
- How One Crafty Mom Earns $70,000 a Month on Etsy by The Penny Hoarder
- How I Made $4,513.43 in Passive Photography Income in 11 Months by The Modern Tog
Don’t forget about bartering.
I mentioned above that bartering is a great way to get luxury goods and services for free – and it is. But it’s also a great way to get anything else covered, so the cost of that can go towards what you want.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t get what you want right away. If you can put together a 5-year (or even 10-year) plan, then you’ve made a huge accomplishment and your future self will thank you.
What’s the only thing better than being a millionaire? Figuring out how to live like one without the millions! 😉 Good luck!
Check out my Pinterest board for other sources of entrepreneurial inspiration:
Follow Nikki @ MBAsahm’s board Entrepreneur Living on Pinterest.