Here in the South,which is all I can speak for because it’s where I’ve lived since I was 9, talking about money is In Poor Taste, taboo even. You don’t do it. Well, except for some people,who have such good taste in other ways they can get away with it because it balances out. I am speaking of a friend, who’s Southern Living Magazine House totally gives her a pass to complain about the person who’s late paying her fee (for sewing) and how much she paid for getting her porch painted.
Anyway, we don’t do it here, talk about money. Sometimes I wish we did, because it would help, I think. Perspective and all that. I have a friend who was griping about her income tax bill this April. $37K…the bill, not the income. It helped, because I was griping about $3K. Yes, her husband earns significantly more than mine (which I am not jealous of, because her husband is an obstetrician and has liability issues mine does not)…so it makes sense that he’d pay more in taxes. But that’s a hunk of cash in anyone’s book, I think. “Ouch!” was my response.
I get nervous and sweaty-palmed whenever I need to check the bank account. The honest truth is- I don’t want to know. I want my allowance, I want $20 in my wallet so I can go eat lunch with a friend or stop at the market and buy tomatoes for supper or have an afternoon coffee while buying tomatoes. That’s all I want. Beyond that, it makes me nervous and I get the Southern hand-flapping disorder. I used to manage the household money, and hated it. So now, Terry gives me a grocery budget (the main thing I spend money on), an allowance, and I am very content with that. We have an agreement that anything over $100 that either of us wants to buy, we discuss it with the other one. He has never said no to any request, so it’s not like he’s being an iron-fisted control freak, and it keeps me happy, because if I went out and bought a $300 pair of shoes,and discovered they threw off the budget that month, I’d feel terrible and hate the shoes forever.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen inf someone dropped a million dollars in my lap. Tax-free, of course (this is how you know it is a real fantasy,and not a possibility) What would i do with it? 10% to the church, right off the top. I’d ask them to spend it on the charities supported by our church- the local food bank, and the Presbyterian Children’s Home. Then I’d put $50K in 4 accounts,one for each child. There would be conditions attached, involving schooling and perhaps buying a house or something. That would leave $700K. All our debts would be paid off, ALL of them- house cars, everything. This would give Terry the freedom to get that teaching certificate and teach high school chemistry- something he has dreamed of for a while now. After his schooling is paid for, and we’ve lived off a bit of it while he was in school,I figure there would be about $500K left. 5 acres in the country and the perfect house would leave $250K (no,I do not want a mansion. I want 1800 square feet and a shop building for Terry). A motorcycle and a small Winnebago so we can travel during the summers while school is out, and there we go.
Not that I’ve thought much about it or anything. The real fact is, if someone dropped a million bucks in my lap,1/2 of it would go toward taxes. I’d still give 10% to the church, pay off debts, and set some aside for the kids. Just paying off the debts would huge difference in our disposable income. (oo, nearly crossed the taboo money-talk line!)
What would you do if someone gave you a million tax-free dollars? (or $500K,after taxes?)