Things I would spend money on if I were rich, in no particular order:
Get a stem cell transplant for Siroons. Siris has really bad arthritis. When she was about six, I found out she had really bad elbows – she had surgery on one, which slowed the development of the inevitable osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease, but at nearly twelve, she’s pretty sore. As a result, she’s on an NSAID daily for life, and even with taking these, and taking glucosamine supplements, she is still lame on her front right leg. She’ll have days where her elbows are hugely swollen and where she needs to be carried down stairs. She moans and groans when she lies down and gets up. And it breaks my heart. She’s still active, she still wants to run around like a lunatic, but sometimes her body won’t let her, and her leg gives out on her. On these days, she trips mid run. She has trouble getting in and out of cars. If I could afford it, I would try anything so she could be pain-free and fully mobile again, and the idea of a stem-cell transplant appeals to the veterinary nerd in me.
Go on more volunt-ouring trips. I would go back to Uganda to visit everyone I met there. I wanna hang out Central and South America, maybe helping in schools. I would love, love, love to volunteer on a behavioural research project and work with gorillas or chimpanzees. Oh, the adventures I could have. How much I could see and learn and immerse myself in, if I didn't have bills to pay.
Pay my parents back my school debt. Because owing my parents money sucks, and I don’t like the strings-attached feeling of it, even (especially?) when I don’t know what the strings are.
Ramp up the investing. Yeah, cause I’m sensible like that. I would hire one of those mysterious financial planners I hear so much about , and do all the things I’m supposed to have done by now. Like make sure I have a decent investment portfolio, that would set me up for retirement and make sure I have any emergencies covered, and blah blah blah. I would see that I’m contributing more than a measly $50 a month to an RRSP. And then I’d relish watching my savings grow, and feel secure in my financial future.
Buy a house in downtown Toronto with a basement apartment and an upper level one too, and a nice backyard. My little brother could live in one of the apartments and I could rent out the other one, which would hopefully cover my property taxes and homeowner expenses. I would have little patio parties in the yard, I would grill veggie kebabs and roast corn on the BBQ. I would have a sweet little garden.
Rent a downtown space and open a business. I would set up an all in one doggie daycare, training centre, pet supply store, and grooming salon. I’d do training classes at night, and have a store in the front/day care in the back during the days. I’d hire a bunch of dog nerds, equally giddy about obscure dog breeds and new dog training tools and philosophies. We’d be the best place to work and the best place to bring your pooch. A portion of our proceeds would be donated to worthy animal shelters and rescues, and we would always have a resident foster dog. It would be magical.
Own a car. Nothing fancy, but wheels to get me from A to B. No more slumming it on public transit. It would make my grocery shopping easier, I could lug around pet related items like giant bags of dog food and kitty litter, agility equipment, etc. I could take off for a weekend if I felt like it, and just drive to wherever, because I felt like it.
Get laser hair removal. What? Okay, yeah, it’s a bit superficial, but I would treat myself. I hate shaving. (Waxing? Is also annoying.) If I never had to do either again, and I could have silky smooth skin that lasts forever with no effort, well, that would be fabulous.
Treat myself to whole new wardrobe. Again, this is a superficial one. But I’d love to buy whatever clothes I wanted to, whenever, regardless of price. Yay, fashion!
Employ a life coach. But not an annoying new-agey one, and there seem to be a lot of those. Just someone who I could bounce shit off and who would tell me if I was being an idiot, and who would pump me up when I need it, and help me put things in perspective. What about my friends, you say? They’re great, but they rarely call me out when I’m being an idiot. And while I was at it I would also hire a personal trainer, and a nutritionist.
Support people who are doing good things. I’d give a ton of cash to people and organizations who are doing great things. Invisible Children. Toronto Cat Rescue. Bullies in Need. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Doctors Without Borders. African Child in Need. Plus, probably a ton more. Then, I’d start up a not-for-profit organization myself. And I would buy all my art from local artists and all my food locally grown, no matter what the cost.
Of course, this is a very partial list, but a good example for now. It's a bit random and all over the place - yes, I know that some items on this list would be achievable with me making (just) double or triple my salary, while others would require me to actually win the lottery, but you get the idea.
Money shouldn’t mean much, but damn if it can’t be a colossal barrier sometimes. Sigh.
What would *you* do if you had a crapload of cash?