The 10 Million Dollar Question

The 10 Million Dollar Question

Post Summary:


What would you do if you all of a sudden had 10 million dollars?

Once you think of something you would with that money, figure out what it is about that particular thing that appeals to you.

Is there a way you can enjoy that same thing without the money?

If so…you just got a little bit richer!

Money isn’t an END it is a MEANS to and end.

Find a worthwhile END and the money will come.

You have to have dreams worth saving and sacrificing for otherwise you will spend your whole life chasing money not the dream.


Money…it is all consuming. It is so crucial to our existance here, espically in first world countries. The quest for money, the spending of money, the transfer of money is what most of our daily lives are made up of, but in reality the signifance of the money is way overplayed. The quest for money can blind us to the true joys of life. Money is so consuming that sometimes it can be hard to even know what we really want because those dreams are so tied to money.

I had a very interesting conversation with a friend who has started reading our blog latley. He and I talked about this idea of doing a mental exercize that allows us to throw off our blinders and figure out what we really want in life.  It is simple in principle, but difficult in practice…here is how you do it:

Answer the question “What would you do if you had 10 million dollars?”

  • What would you do if money weren’t a factor in how you lived your life.
    • Would you travel? (We defiantly would!)
    • Would you volunteer your time to helping people in 3rd world countries?
    • Would you check out and just sit on the beach?

The answer to this question can help you realize what is really important to you. What really brings joy into your life.

Then try to figure out a way you can have those experiences without the 10 million.

  • If your answer wasn’t an actual physical thing…ie a huge home, 5 cars etc…then there is a way to have that experience without the money.How could you travel cheaper? Camp? Housesit? Sell your home and use the money to travel? (We have a lot of posts on this!)
    • Can you volunteer in your community? Can you volunteer your time and services even without the money? Give your house to a charity auction for a week while you are out of town?
    • The beach…hey it doesn’t even take any money to do this!
  • If it was things then think about what those things would do to enhance your life…
    • What would a huge house do for you? Is there something about the house that would bring joy to you…having parties? Using it to some end?
    • Things in themselves are empty. They can’t bring you joy. There has to be a secondary reason why you want them. Try to find that reason and the “cheaper” option present itself.

Do those things and your life will be richer!

  • These are the things that will bring real meaning and value to your life.
  • Make these a priority and don’t let money stop you.
  • Money is a renewable resource…your time isn’t. Don’t trade something of infinite worth for something that won’t bring you joy.

Money is just a means. It can’t be the end. If your dream is to save a lot of money then you will never have enough and you will never really enjoy it. What are you saving for? How much do you need? If you have a dream, something that motivates you to save, work, skimp, sacrifice then the money for that dream will come. You will be happier in the persuit of that dream and there will be actual real fulfillment once you are living that dream. Don’t let money hinder your vision for what your life could look like. Don’t let life, obligations, routine keep you from dreaming about your “ideal” life. Analyze what makes you really happy. Keep your eyes on the true end, the dream and the money will find it’s true place in helping you fulfill that end.

This is how we came to have our dream of Working Less, Living More and Traveling the World with our Family. We realized we could do it for less than living here in the US. It motivates us each day to do meaningful work towards that end.

Try the exercise and let us know what you come up with.


Hi, I’m Monica.  If we’ve not met before, let me introduce myself.  I am a wife and mother to 3 kids 5, 3 and 2 months old. We lived in Santa Barbara for many years and after losing everything and moving into my parents’ garage, my husband and I began the exciting process of reinventing our lives.  As J.K. Rolwing said, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation from which I re-built my life.”  We’re now living a life of our own design, which includes our quest to work less, live more, and travel the world with our family.  You can check us out on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

  • It’s almost immpossible for me to answer. I’m sitting here trying, and I can’t do it.

    The only thing money would change for me is that it would allow me to be more creative. I feel the need for money, the need for security, holds me back. With money, your free to explore and make mistakes. When I don’t have money, I feel like I need to be more careful. I suppose to it would be very nice to not have to worry about running out of money.

    I wouldn’t spend more. I have no interest in that. I think I’d give my house away and start traveling at the end of the school year. Beyond that, not much changes.

    Nice Post! I was thinking of something just like it the other day!

    • Justin,
      I think you guys have already gone through this exercise, probably in a different way, but that is what your whole life is about now…Travel.
      You are so right about the security thing. In so many ways security=money. I guess for us since we have basically lost it all and are rebuilding it isn’t as scary. I do also agree that it would be awesome to be able to make mistakes and have it be no problem.

  • My thought was, I would buy an awesome home in Monterey, CA and hang out there. But instead, I think I’ll plan a cheap trip to Monterey and rent a house from VRBO. Doing that will probably be 95% as enjoyable as being rich and buying a huge house.

    • Perfect example!!
      Then you also don’t have to worry about the house when you aren’t there, don’t have to pay taxes on it or maintenance. You can also see different parts each time you go and if you decide that there are other places besides Monterey that you want to visit you have no ties there holding you back!
      You are a bit richer!
      Thanks for sharing!

  • Pingback: How 14 Nomadic Families Afford World Travel | The Nomadic Family()

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