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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Can't help but think about money

There are some things that you hear about, that concerns spending a whole lot of money, that just makes you out right sad. And today, is just another one of those, that makes me think.

$150 million dollars.

I started thinking about that monetary amount late last night. And then began thinking about what I could do with all that money.

I would pay off all my readers mortgages, that's a given. Then we would all have "disposable" income and be able to help get this economy going (were my eyes rolling like a teenagers?)

But what I would love to be able to do, is buy a large chunk of land, and rent out the Neophyte homestead to someone that needs it. And on that large chunk of land would love to open a school of sorts. Some thing that would teach and help families and individuals learn the basics, literally from the ground up. Everything from building a home to milking various animals, to gardening and butchering, to marketing and selling. The one thing I have learned over the years is that doing new things is always simpler if there is someone there to show you, and help you along.

But it seems a little silly when you write it down.

Your turn, what would you do with the $150 million?

I did see your questions on previous posts, and will be working on them over the week.

30 comments:

Donna said...

Pay off everything. Build a new house. Pay off debt of a couple of churches and donate to my favorite charities. Buy a Gold Wing 1800 Trike. Buy a Jersey cow.

You know what? I have so much of what I want right now (and we're not rich) that I can't think of that many things I want that I don't already have.

I guess it's time for me to be thankful, eh?

Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife said...

What made you think about that particular amount of money?

I would pay off everything and build a retirement home, with outbuildings, etc. on our piece of land. That could all certainly be done for well under $2 million, possibly even for a "mere" million.

Hey, if the budget is that big, you can believe I'm going to be a little self-indulgent. There would be a barn, a couple of greenhouses, a summer kitchen, root cellar, and of course an outdoor sauna/banya, not to mention a lot of solid fencing. Maybe even a walled orchard. It would add up quick, wouldn't it?

With the rest of that money I would look at revitalizing commuter train service in my immediate area, with connections between the hinterlands, and from the hinterlands to Philadelphia. This is part selfishness and part altruism. Charity begins at home, as they say.

DivaHick said...

I would start a legal defense fund for homesteaders/ simplified living folks. And I would challenge the laws that keep us from being autonomous over our own homesteads. (You know, like being forced to pay a tap in fee for sewer lines that you may not want?) And I would probably include homeschoolers under that umbrella.

Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

Since we're dreaming here, I'd use the money to buy a huge amount of land, and then break it down into smaller chunks to be sold/rented to homesteaders. I'd create a community center where we could share equipment (canners, dehydrators, greenhouse, root cellar, commercial kitchen, tractor, tractor implements etc.) We'd use the community center for gatherings and pot lucks. Okay, so communes WILL come back, right?! LOL I really like Kate's idea of a retirement center - that would be an awesome addition~ think of all that knowledge and wisdom!! And, I'd buy my dream camera, a Nikon D80 with a couple of super nice lenses. Oh, I'd also love a pick up truck - nothing fancy.

Phelan said...

Donna, only 1 cow? ;)

Kate, oh some guy is throwing a party that is costing a mere $150 million. I could do it for $500,000 easily. :D

Divahick, that would be great. I thought about the legal side of homesteading if I were to ever open a school. Oh, and I wold need staff as well. hhmmm. . .

Phelan said...

A retirement center for homesteaders that would be interesting. They could teach at my school. ok wife, I will teach them and then you can rent/sell them their own land. Sounds like a plan to me.

Howling Hill said...


Your turn, what would you do with the $150 million?


Easy: buy two terms as president. Think of how much good I could do in eight years!

Janelle said...

I'm with wife, I like her idea!!

Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

Phelan ~ Where are you going to be teaching classes this year? I heard that the park board in Wichita has some rec centers with kitchens that can be rented for day rate. Also, the park by the zoo has 2 shelter houses both with kitchens. I heard that the extension office offers lunch n learn classes, but I'm betting yours would be more fun and informative!!

Stephany said...

I know, I have been thinking about that this week as well.

I thought you might be interested in looking at this link:

http://www.thehomestead.org

It sounds like you have a similar plan.

barbara (in Tennessee) said...

Phelan,

I don't think that it's silly at all, I think it's wonderful!! I'll help!

Phelan said...

wife, what kind of classes are you wanting? I have thought about teaching a class this year, but haven't decided what exactly.

shinerbock said...

Move to Dubai and go lay on the air conditioned beach. :)

MeadowLark said...

I'm not as nice as anybody here. I'd buy property somewhere, build a partially underground, eco-friendly home and set up something so that my kids had to "earn" their money. 'Cause I'm mean like that.

Nothing noble about me. I'd most likely just disappear.

Janelle said...

I want a canning class for sure :) I'll have to think of all my other homesteading deficiencies and there are many so, how about homesteading 101 and then you can add more advanced sections :)

The Thinker said...

Well, gosh... if you are going to force me to take a whole $150m lol. Uhm... Buy the land I grew up on and outfit it with an off grid homestead, putting enough back for when I got to be too old or too sick to work. Then I guess I would have to pass the remaining $149.5 million on to the next homesteader who would promise to do the same thing.

I'm afraid my aspirations aren't very lofty.

On the other hand, I could pay off my house and all my debts and put my current home off grid for $150,000 so, if I somehow got one tenth of a one percent (is that the right number) of the original amount, I'd be good.

Everwild said...

I'd hire someone to organize and label my art supplies (so I can find them and also avoid buying duplicates). :/ I'd make sure my husband had everything he needs to be comfy. Set up trust/college funds for my nieces & nephew, and a few of my friends' kids, too. Plant more trees. The rest I'd invest in small businesses with products and services geared towards sustainability.

Annette said...

what a loaded question! Pay off debt; mine, yours, Ronnie's, my mom and dad's, ummm. Finish getting my current house off the grid, rent to a budding homesteader, buy acers and build an earth home, off the grid, knit, crochet have chickens and milk cows, keep the local farmer's market running all year, wow. I could keep going. =) Oh, and buy a cullet machine so the county can take recyclable glass and use it in road and home construction. *whew*

Deb said...

It is a rather large amount of money. I take it you're referring to the money spent on the Inauguration today? I was there today Phelan, and from what I saw, that money wasn't wasted. That money paid for an experience that touched millions of people (nationally and internationally), something that can never be taken from them. I know it meant different things to different people (and nothing to plenty!), but there are millions of people that came away today with a reaffirmed belief in their futures, their Country and their "neighbors" in every Sate. Millions of people, spanning several generations!

We need our symbols, our days in history, our memories. On a personal level, that's why when Christmas comes around, we all justify spending a little extra just to help set that day apart, to help build memories. $150 million is a lot on a personal level, but not so much nationally/globally.

I value what you do (hell I check in almost every day!), believe in frugality, and know that no doubt there was some money spent that didn't need to be, but to reach and include that many people, it was always going to be big bucks, and it was one of those times when it was worth the cost.

Gail said...

What a wonderful dream! May it come true.

American Way Farm said...

What would I do with $150 million? Well, I guess it depends on whose money it really is, mine or the taxpayer's. You can bet I wouldn't spend it on a big party though! With all the poverty and ignorance in this country I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to find a better use for it.

Anonymous said...

Oh to dream.. I would begin with paying off my debt and some of the people I know and love debts. Then I would donate some to the Farm to Consumer legal defense fund and Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty. After that I would build a community of self sufficient liberty lovers and perhaps develop a patriot defense fund. It's nice to dream on occasion!

Stephanie said...

There would be a paying off of our debt including the mortgage not to mention those of my "chosen" family. Then there would be some traveling and schooling (things like permacultre, herbalism, etc) There would be a massive land purchase...large enough for a small homesteading community and that also can accomodate a massive gathering for Dagorhir. I would like to have a place that is conducive to families...not just individuals..to come out and learn first hand.

Wendy said...

I'd give it back. There's no way I want the responsibility of having that much money. Make no mistake, I believe a lot of good can be had with that kind of money, but I also believe that for every dollar spent doing good we need $10 more to get the job done completely. I just think having a lot of money takes too much energy, and I'd rather have only just enough - which, for the kind of life I want, is considerably less than $150 million :).

Scott S said...

That's funny, I was just talking with a friend and her husband about building a place to teach basics here in Oregon.

Carla said...

Yep, I thought a lot about the cost as well. I'm sure that every hungry child in Africa could be fed for that amount. Of course I would also like to pay off my mortgage and I'm sure there would still be some left for other projects.

Phelan said...

Let's not take this post too seriously. It was not politically motivated. It is just an unattainable amount of money for most of us. If I was serious about it, I could have suggested the $100,000 some people spend on sweet sixteen parties. At least that amount is somewhat attainable for most of us, maybe. The question was more in good fun, a nice little dreaming.

Deb said...

Sorry if I came off too serious. I was responding to how you said that you were sad about the money that was spent and I was just hoping to share with you how many people it actually made very happy. Take care!

Miss April aka SilverSunbeam said...

150 million, eh? After the remodel, fixing the roofs, replacing the appliances and mechanicals, building a small studio and guest cabin I'm down to, oh, 149 million. Now I get to endow a couple foundations I'm connected to.... guess we're at a mere 100 million now. Hmmm. Gotta think retirement for myself and my parentals. OK, we're at 75 million (hey... Dad's got major issues!) for building sustainable mixed-use housing for poor people. A little Habitat for Humanity but not necessarily individual structures as lots of folks like apartment / town living and I could begin building beautiful, functional, needed structures.

Kymber said...

Hey...am i the only one here who read that you would pay off your readers mortgages????

it is at this time that i would like to state very loudly -

I READ YOUR BLOG ALL THE TIME!

thanks for an intriguing and thought-provoking post!

kymber

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