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What to do with a million dollars

Updated on November 11, 2011
Don't know where to spend it?
Don't know where to spend it? | Source

Predictable answers to the question, "what to do with a million dollars?", would range from taking a vacation to buying an apartment to donating to charity. You could very well go paint the town red, buy a Porsche, spend your nights away at expensive bars, use only Chanel perfumes and make Michael Kors your personal designer, but then don't expect your millions to last you a lifetime! Let's look beyond the obvious and figure out what to do with a million dollars (after taxes).

1) Invest and make sure you are set for life

If you go around spending your million dollars like crazy, you're going to be cash strapped pretty quickly. To make sure that you never have to take a second look at your savings account again, invest half or one fourth of your million dollars wisely. You could split your portfolio by investing in stocks, property, gold, art or just about anything that could replicate your millions, the legit way.

2) Start a business

Do you remember the time when you always wanted to start a restaurant or a coffee shop in your locality, but being cash strapped was an evergreen problem? With your million dollars, you can now start 2 restaurants, not one! There's a burning entrepreneurial spirit in almost all of us and you could use your a portion of your million dollars to feed and fuel yours – whether it is owning a pet grooming center, a cafe or a repair garage. Pick your passion!

3) Buy antiques and re-auction them

Now this sounds like fun, doesn't it? If you're thinking what to do with a million dollars, this can be a really good option for you if antiques are your passion. Antiques, art and other luxury items have great margins when sold. Imagine buying a vintage wine bottle, a film star's memorable or a painting of an upcoming artist who is all se to make it big. If you don't want to get into buying something so expensive, simply buy ordinary antiques and re-auction them. Sit back, relax and enjoy the multiples of your million dollars.

4) Network, network, network

Yes, this doesn't directly answer the question of what to do with a million dollars but look deeper into it and you'll know. When you have a lot of money, you can dress well, be groomed well and attend high profile events. This could be in any area of your interest such as business, movies, fashion, science, art, automobiles and much more. As they say "success breeds success". Only when you network in the right circles with the right kind of people, does your money have the chance to grow manifold. Observe where such people throw their money, get tips and ideas and strike a partnership or two with someone. Roaming around with folks in your neighborhood and thinking what to do with a million dollars is probably not going to help.

5) Own a farmland

Okay, this is easier said than done. For a lay person, buying a farmland may be faced with a lot of restrictions from the government, depending on which country you are from. But if there's any way you could get around to owning even a small piece of farmland or co-owning agricultural land with a legit farmer, it would be the perfect way of planning a million dollars. Growing veggies, grains, fruits, condiments, wine or exotic flowers can become your cash cow for life – with a little technical help of course!

6) Travel wisely

You have a million dollars and are not travelling? That is ridiculous. But if you're thinking of spending your million dollars by putting up your feet in a luxurious Caribbean resort, then you might want to rethink that idea. You may have your own ideas and personal tastes about how to vacation and can't be expected to go the shoestring and backpacking style. But why not considering going a little low budget and covering a significant portion of the world rather than blowing up your million dollars at a few luxurious spots?

7) Insure yourself and your family

If this sounds boring to you, it means you've probably not encountered young deaths in your family or shocking accidents. This is a good thing, of course. Buying sound medical, life, home and vehicle insurance policies may dish up heavy premiums for you per annum but will serve you well in times of unpredictable emergencies. This could also be a great gift for your loved ones – a security for life!

8) Indulge, but wisely

What's the use of having a million dollars but not being able to do things that you've always wanted to do? Betting on your favorite horse, gambling in Vegas, renting a Hummer for a week, buying a Leica camera or getting a full body exotic Asian spa treatment do sound inviting. Whatever your secret indulgence might be, make sure you spend for it but keep an upper limit for the same. Remember, the irony of indulgences is that they're one time memories that often turn out to be unworthy expenditures in hindsight!

9) Pay off your family debts

It's amazing how the excitement of planning what to do with a million dollars can completely make you forget the burden of your debts. Do you know that one of the worst things you could pass on in your family is personal or professional debts? Considering that your debts add on interest every single day, knowing what to do with a million dollars shouldn't be that difficult. And if you have money left after that, look at the other options in this article!

10) Educate yourself

A million dollars may allow you to buy yourself a degree from a dodgy university, but it will not allow you to buy real education. Assuming that you have some time on hand because you have a million dollars, step back and indulge in educating yourself if you haven't already. Take up college courses, vocational courses or even part-time degrees. Educating yourself will give you a broader perspective as to what you can do with your million dollars and make them multiply into many more!


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    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Hi catfish33

      Sorry to hear about your family's battle with cancer. I'm sure your thought of donating to the cancer society will go a long way in bringing smiles on the faces of cancer survivors and patients alike around the world. We can only hope that everyone who makes a million dollar has generous thoughts like yours. Thanks heaps for stopping by on this hub.


    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 5 years ago


      You're right. Family debt including bills, mortgage and the lot are definitely on our minds. It is amazing how beautiful the world suddenly becomes without the thought of debt, isn't it?

      I hope you had a nice time about dreaming how you are going to spend the rest of your million dollars. And here's to the chance that someday soon that dream will become a reality. Thanks for reading and commenting!


    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Hi Kalux

      If what you say actually happens, our world would be a better place to live in.


    • catfish33 profile image

      Jeffrey Yelton 5 years ago from Maryland

      I would pay off all my debts first, and with the other $10,....just kidding,...I would buy myself a little place, put some money away for taxes, and make a generous donation to the American Cancer Society. It's taken my mom and my stepbrother, and my sister survived her bout with it.

    • profile image

      Richard 5 years ago

      Oh man, if I think paying off family debt would be at the top of the list. The medical bills paid off would be a HUGE weight off our shoulders. New cars big enough to have room for our big family would be awesome... Pay off the mortgage so that we don't have that overheard every month, man oh man, I can only dream! Education bills paid off? Wow, what I would do with the first third of the million is already spoken for. The rest? Invest, buy something nice and ride the interest for all it's worth. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to take a nap. I have a wonderful dream waiting for me there. :)

    • Kalux profile image

      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      Imagine if all the millionaires worldwide would help out the less fortunate.

      Wishful thinking.

    • profile image

      Irving Espinoza-Rockefeller 5 years ago

      As the song goes, "My mudda gave me a nickel to buy a pickle, I couldn't buy a pickle it cost a quarter!"

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Hi Phil

      Farmlands, if bought strategically are a great way not only to generate a steady revenue stream but also to have massive capital gains. You're absolutely right about building resilience at a time when the economy is down.

      Mortgage, renovations and savings is a great plan and surely your kids are lucky to have a parent that has a wise foresight.


    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Millionaire Tips

      Looks like you already have got a good plan up your sleeve as to what you are going to do with your million! I'm glad you liked these ideas. Thanks for stopping by.

      Hi arusho

      Yes, savings is an integral part of knowing how to multiply accumulated wealth. Did you not save anything that you reveived in inheritence?

      Hi felixkugz

      You are right. When people don't spend wisely, they come back to the same situation where they were in before earning the money. I'm glad you liked these tips.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      I think your buying farmland is a key - the way the economy is going it's a good idea to develop some resiliency.

      For me step one would be to pay off my mortgage, step 2 do some renovations on the house, step 3 put a large chunk in savings for a: kids education and b: retirement, and after all of that with whatever is left go on a nice family vacation.

    • felixkugz profile image

      felixkugz 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Quite interesting ideas... Unfortunately not many people think like this. They blow it all away thinking they have enough to last them a lifetime and they end up in a much worse financial situation than they were in before the money came. Great tips!

    • profile image

      arusho 5 years ago

      Great tips. Especially the most important one, save half of your winnings! There have been times in my life when I have received some inheritance money and used all of it instead of saving some! Now I know better.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      These are all great ideas about how to spend a million dollars wisely. I would also do some community service - maybe buy some houses that are foreclosed and in bad repair, and hire locals to fix them up for resale. If I could do that in a whole neighborhood, the value of the whole neighborhood would go up.