Ask the Readers: What Would You STILL Not Do, Even if Money was no Object?

Hi there, Mrs. 1500 today.

So Mr. 1500 and I flew to Florida last weekend to watch the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting with Mr. and Mrs. PoP from Planting our Pennies, Bryan from Income Surfer and Brian from Grumpy Goat Coffee. (Because we’re all dorks.)

Fast times in PoPland

But before I ask you about today’s question – and how I came up with it – let’s hear from Mr. 1500 and the answers from a question posed two weeks ago, How did you discover the FI movement?

Slow Dad found the message through JD Roth:

I’d just worked out the pending arrival of my second kid meant my existing financial plan wasn’t going to scale.

Around the same time I heard JD Roth on some random podcast I had stumbled onto while searching for details on fixing a broken client website hosted on Bluehost. From memory I’d googled bluehost web hosting and landed on one of those awful “this is how you set up a personal finance blog in 5 minutes” posts.

I gave it a listen, figured most of the “get rich from blogging” stuff the host was blathering on about was bullsh*t, but couldn’t so easily dismiss JD’s message.

Researching that led me to the usual suspects: MMM, Jim Collins, AffordAnything. I’m not a fan of minimalism myself, but the rest of what they discussed held up pretty well to scrutiny.

A few years on I’m FI myself.

Like most of us, Reader Adam was led to the light by MMM:

I was lying outside on the swing seat reading on my iPad, and somehow found MMM… possibly from a FB link. It was like a bolt of lightning (or a punch in the face). One of those moments where you know the world just changed and won’t be the same again.

Reader Libby:

I discovered the FI movement this past fall. I stumbled on a Frugalwoods post and went deep, deep, deep into the archives and read everything on the site. It was a huge lightbulb moment for me. I’ve never been a big spender, but it was like I had permission to stop spending on the things I didn’t care about, and start setting ambitious goals.

Joe from Retire by 40:

I discovered ER through Jacob at Early Retirement Extreme. This was around 2010. My job was getting really stressful and I hated it. I was thinking about getting a new job, but Jacob gave me another option.


And now on to this week’s question…


Ask the Readers: What would you still do if money was no exception?

Our local airport has super-expensive on-site parking, not-so-expensive off-site parking, and even-less-expensive-yet-somehow-closer parking. We chose option 3.

All options come with shuttle service to the airport. Our choice offers Valet service, covered parking and uncovered parking. Of course, these are listed in order of expense.

If I’m already not parking at the airport, why would I pay valet rates? That seems silly.

In addition to the myriad extras our parking lot offers, Valet service will give you their number so you can text them when you land, and they will have your car waiting for you so you don’t even have to wait while they retrieve it from what I can only assume is a very uncluttered lot.

(You can also have them wash your car, inside and out, starting at $20 and going all the way up to $155 for the ultra-super-deluxe SUV cleaning. We declined, because our vehicle is currently part of a scientific dirt experiment to see how long dirt can stick to the exterior of a vehicle. We’re at 7 years and counting…)

As we pulled into the lot, Mr. 1500 and I had a lively conversation about why anyone would choose the valet service, and he remembered seeing the sign on his last trip, offering the texting service. He said, “If I had 10 million dollars, I wouldn’t use the valet service.”

So naturally, I thought of you, my lovely readers.

What would you STILL not do, even if you had unlimited funds? What is such a ridiculous thing that you would not partake, even though money was no object?

Mr. 1500 note: Jeff Spicoli speaks for me:


Join the 10s who have signed up already!

Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.

*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.

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53 Responses to Ask the Readers: What Would You STILL Not Do, Even if Money was no Object?

  1. If money were no object I would probably still continue to work outside to maintain my house. Even though I could probably afford for someone to take care of everything, I like getting outside and taking pride in the work that I do. While not as perfect, I really enjoy it and feel like I’ve done a solid days work 🙂
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…Small Acts of Kindness, Big Results: Pay It ForwardMy Profile

  2. Team CF says:

    Now that you are mentioning it, paying for parking does come to mind! We really made that into a sport to not pay for marking the car, probably would continue that if we would have too much money.
    Other items on that list “still not do” list:
    get cable TV, buy fancy clothing, get a mechanical lawnmower and buy a dryer.
    Team CF recently posted…April 2017 Savings RateMy Profile

  3. Divnomics says:

    Interesting question. If money were no option, I would still not spend money carelessly. Although this sounds very general, I like the way of living a more minimal live. And only add (or buy) things that really adds value or joy to my life. This way I know I will always have everything I need, and be a happier person. Even though it might be far less than I otherwise would have, if I would not think before I buy.

  4. Gotta be honest…if I had unlimited money, I’d probably pay for the valet service (and the cleaning). Coming back from a trip and having everything go super smoothly after landing and returning to a car that is spotless would make me feel like everything is under control on the home front. So often we come back from vacation and everything feels chaotic and like we need to work extra hard to catch up that the feeling of control would be nice.

    That said, I don’t see any scenario in my life where I would end up with that kind of money. I’m not chasing it in my career and if I ever got a substantial amount I would probably end up spending it down through charity and activism.
    Matt @ Optimize Your Life recently posted…Make Space to Be WrongMy Profile

  5. Ms. Montana says:

    Most any luxury clothing items or jewelry. Spending $800 on sunglasses or for $1500 uncomfortable shoes would make me feel like an idiot and a sucker.

  6. Interesting post. In my experience, answers that come from “if money were no object” games have absolutely no bearing on the real answer when truly money became no object. Funny how our brain works!
    Ten Factorial Rocks recently posted…A Better Way to Track WealthMy Profile

    • RetireSoon says:

      ^^ this. Almost every post essentially says “I wouldn’t do much different” … because there’s still a mindset of conservatism. I’m guessing 1500 would not have been realistic Lal considering an NSX 4 years ago. His financial position has changed and now he is.

      If money were no object, say a $400M lottery winner:

      – I’d move to a smaller, but more expensive house in a walkable part of town or move all together to a more walkable, lively area (Boulder?).
      – a second home near the ocean ? That may be included in the above.
      – I’d vacation way more and fly 1st class. I’d include extended family in those vacations.
      – I’d get an interior design to help me make minimalism more than white walls
      – I’d hire a personal chef to eat healthy and well
      – I may drive a nicer car.
      – I’d have expensive bicycles where I outsource their service … in boulder, I’d need a $5-10k mountain bike
      – I wouldn’t buy jewelry … I don’t value it
      – I wouldn’t buy clothes … I don’t value them

      It’d be tough (impossible?) for my lifestyle to not change significantly!

  7. I don’t think my spending would change that much on aggregate. I might move to a house in a location on a lake, pay someone to clean my house, and perhaps buy an old Ferrari, but beyond that I buy what I want already. I.e. Still no cable, still camping and cabin vacations (what am I going to do, buy a more expensive tent?), still going to avoid pay parking, etc.
    FullTimeFinance recently posted…Intrinsic Motivation, how to change yourself and othersMy Profile

  8. wendy says:

    I would still clean my own place, wash my own clothes, buy & cook most of my own food, etc. I can’t fathom outsourcing basic care of myself and my possessions unless I physically loose the ability to do it.
    Enjoy the trip!

  9. I think I would continue to live the way I do now, however, I would probably treat Mrs. MBC and the kids to a really nice trip to wherever they wanted to go.

  10. Brian says:

    If I had unlimited funds I’m sure I would not be working, just volunteering my time. I’d still pack my lunch or make my lunch. But I find I always eat better and usually taste better when I make it myself.
    Brian recently posted…Work is a BurdenMy Profile

  11. Nancy S. says:

    If money were no object I still wouldn’t do my regular grocery shopping at Whole Foods or other fancy grocery stores. I just can’t see paying a premium for basics like paper towels and canned beans.

  12. Wayne says:

    Will always do my own lawn care and snow removal as long as i am physically able.

  13. Steve says:

    Another vote for cutting my own grass. It only takes half an hour and keeps me humble. It was my first job as a teen and I fondly recall how rich I felt having saved up a few hundred bucks and always having a stash. Plus I get a kick out of having a multimillionaire cutting my grass 🙂 Also, there is that Stephen King short story, The Lawnmower Man; don’t want to risk that!

  14. I wouldn’t buy a ridiculously overpriced fancy car. My little VW rabbit gets me from Point A to Point B, and even has AC for hot LA summer days. All I need!

  15. For me, I still wouldn’t buy new clothes. I do it on principle to prevent environmental damage (but hey, it also saves moolah), and that wouldn’t change if I suddenly became rich.
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What a Frugal Weekend! May 7My Profile

  16. Tara says:

    If money were no object, I would still not do things that are wasteful, like buy a solid gold toilet or a $1 million piece of jewelry. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should, especially if you live in a big city where probably a few miles away there are some people living in serious poverty.

  17. Joe says:

    I never use valet service. The only exception is when we go to our hospital and couldn’t find a parking. The valet is free so it’s a great service. I actually like it a lot, but not enough to pay extra for it. 🙂
    Things I’d still do if money was no object?
    Take public transportation. Much more convenient in the city.
    Borrow books and movies from the library. I’d rather donate to the library than buy a book.
    Travel – I’d still stay in budget places. They are more interesting. Expensive all inclusive hotels are very bland for us. Why travel when you isolate yourself from the environment. Well, maybe I’d throw in a night or two in a luxury place very week on the road. 🙂

  18. I wouldn’t buy a bigger house, even if money was no object. It’s not just the money but also the time and upkeep. So much time would need to be spent cleaning, organizing, fixing (but I guess I could just hire someone for that). Having a small house seems to keep things simple. Less furniture/stuff to take care of and maintain.

  19. Paying for parking always annoys me and I don’t think having unlimited money would change that much. Definitely wouldn’t ever buy a yacht or a McMansion. Used to want the latter because it FEELS rich to have more space than I need but now it just seems creepy to live in a house I rattle around in like a pecan in a watermelon sized shell. Don’t much care if anyone else does, it’s just not for me.

    Though I would be convinced if it was the only way I could in my dog rescue.

    I wouldn’t buy more than 2 of any luxury item. I could see having one serious spulrge item, maybe two, like the NSX for PiC and maybe something equivalent for me but I couldn’t sign up for a stable of cars or horses. One or two is plenty.
    Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life recently posted…On the home(buying) front: making the numbers workMy Profile

  20. Definitely won’t be seeing me in a high end Mercedes or any other super luxury auto. I ended up in a Lincoln MKZ as my current car, but only because it somehow was the same price as the Fusion it’s based on. Otherwise I’d be in a cheaper brand. No way I’m investing a ton in a depreciating “asset”.

  21. Kristin says:

    I would still live in a smallish house on a small lot in a neighborhood with lots of walk-able destinations. The idea of a big house with a big yard just stresses me out, even if I had unlimited funds. I would still have to coordinate the ‘care and feeding’ of all that space.

  22. Mr. Tako says:

    I probably wouldn’t bungee-jump or go sky-diving if I had unlimited funds. It just doesn’t appeal to me.

    I probably STILL wouldn’t eat at restaurants very frequently either. I’d hire a private chef instead…
    Mr. Tako recently posted…The Pants ExperimentMy Profile

  23. This is a slight variation to the question, but I wouldn’t pay more than $30-$40 for any one article of clothing. The amount of money people can spend on clothes baffles me. So even if money was no object, my clothing budget would remain the same.

  24. Kyle says:

    You lose an ability to connect with people when you project wealth and status. I wouldn’t buy high end clothes, or go out to eat often. I wouldn’t dine at 5 star exclusive restaurants. I still wouldn’t pay for an oil change lol. More habits I’ve formed.
    Kyle recently posted…StagnationMy Profile

  25. Mrs. BITA says:

    If money were no object I still wouldn’t do things that make that annoying, sanctimonious, judgmental Inner Voice laugh at me and call me a douche.

    “I’m going to wear the most expensive fur that money can buy. And the furriness of my fur will only be outdone by the sparkliness of my diamonds.” Inner voice “Douchey douchebag”
    “I’m going to buy a gigantic house with a terrible environmental footprint just because I can. In fact, I’ll buy four.” Inner voice “What a fucking douche!”

    If there was enough money in this world for me to order a hit on the Voice but leave the rest of me intact, this would be a whole other ballgame.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…How To Make Money Despite YourselfMy Profile

  26. Matthew in Michigan says:

    I really don’t think much would change for me, I enjoy my frugal/do it yourself lifestyle. I may consider moving out west to a more “outdoor lifestyle/bike friendly type of place”, I’m currently in southern Mi. Oh, and probably get an electric bike…..been wanting one of those for awhile……..

  27. I would still not pay crazy amounts for “rare” craft beer. It is my newest pet peeve: that prissy little snobs are doing to beer what they did to wine, and turning it into a yuppie elitism, paying $150 or $300 for some small batch, rare bottle. Like, one twelve ounce or bomber of beer.

    No effing way, man. Not even if I had $10 million.

    Beer is for the people. It should cost between like, one and three dollars, max, for a bottle.
    Done by Forty recently posted…Stagnant Wages, Inequality, and Early RetirementMy Profile

  28. I would never own a huge house, it just seems like a waste of space. Sure, I dream of heritage mansions but unless most rooms were occupied it wouldn’t make sense. I’d also not pay for home services such as a maid, butler, cook et.c. Much like Michelle Obama being sad that she couldn’t even make her kids a grilled cheese anymore I couldn’t live not taking care of my own home and family.

  29. ESI Money says:

    Ok, did I miss it or did you guys buy the cool car you were considering a few weeks ago??????
    ESI Money recently posted…How to Retire on $1 Million or LessMy Profile

  30. Mrs PoP says:

    I rarely go for absolute like “never”, but Ill bit that I will never Buy an airplane. The numbers just don’t make sense for private plane ownership unless you are flying an absolute ton. Better option – net jets! =P.

    On more reasonable levels of “unlimited” funds, I don’t think I’d hire a cleaning lady. I just don’t like the idea of someone in all of our messes, and if I’m tidying before they get there, what the heck are they there for?

  31. A girl named Chuck says:

    I would still not own a car (no need in the city), or live in more than 1200 square feet (more space = more stuff and I just don’t need more stuff), or eat out more than once a week (for health reasons – eating out is generally not as healthful as what I cook). I would also continue to shop and cook for myself because I enjoy it and I like controlling what i eat.

    This isn’t the question, but if money was no object, I may hire a personal trainer from time to time or a masseuse to come to my house – but not regularly.

  32. Hm… Still NOT do… That’s an interesting question. I, probably, would not buy brand new cars and motorcycles. I would still buy them, but not brand new though. Since we bought our first and the last brand new car I have an allergy for a new car smell.

    Asked Mrs. FR and she told me that she still wouldn’t pay $$$ for dyeing her own hair.
    Friendly Russian recently posted…April 2017 Net Worth Report – $102,337My Profile

  33. Mark says:

    I would still take the train to the airport, the Amsterdam taxi service is one of the world’s most expensive. I would still have bought an 8 yr old campervan even if money wasn’t an issue.

  34. Fine dining would be something we’d still avoid. The food always seems to disappoint us. The reason is probably because we expect more when we pay more.

    I think not only hedonic adaptation, but also expectations make the rich less happy. When we fly first class, or stay in a five star resort, we just come to expect more. Then when we don’t get it, we are left dissatisfied. It’s just harder to appreciate something you overpay for 🙂

  35. I don’t think I’d change my life too much if money was no object.

    I’d definitely not work and probably travel more(probably using private planes to avoid the airport as much as possible) but I’d still dress and live modestly. There’s really no need for a massive mansion with 30 more rooms than I need or ridiculously overpriced “fashion”.

    Honestly my life wouldn’t change much except for buying more time so doing everything I can to avoid wasted time(airports and non-direct flights for travel, hire people to do menial tasks for me and such).

  36. If money was no option, I still wouldn’t pay to have someone regularly clean my house. (Confession: I did pay someone to deep clean my house after I returned to work from maternity leave, and it was amazing.) But I just can’t deal with the absurdity of being “too busy” to not have the time to even clean up after myself on a daily/weekly basis.

  37. If money were no object…
    – I still wouldn’t own a car. (sold it 4 years ago)
    – I wouldn’t have more house space than I need. (I might upgrade view or location though.)
    – I wouldn’t wear labels. (except maybe Patagonia)
    – I wouldn’t take a bunch of luxury cruises or vacations. (I’m much more satisfied traveling with a bit of roughing it.)

  38. JJNL says:

    If money were no object, I still would not want to wreck the planet or just waste the money. So things I would still never buy / pay for are:
    – a new car
    – a house that’s bigger than I need
    – loads of clothes. Designer label stuff. I would like to be able to consistently buy really good quality clothing that fit me especially well, but I still wouldn’t need a lot of clothes and would definitely not be willing to pay for a brand name. If money were no object, I would probably have the lot custom tailored. Down to my underwear: I LOVE the idea of having custom-made high-quality bras (you probably can’t identify – ask any woman with sizeable boobs) :).
    – lots of jewelry. That has never really done anything for me at all, and I’d only worry about getting burgled a lot more than I do now (i.e. not at all).
    – parking / car hire / car ownership if I don’t have to. Assuming I’d keep living in Amsterdam, I would keep my no-car lifestyle for sure! And yeah, that definitely includes airport parking at or a taxi to Schiphol Airport. SO not worth it. The only times I’ve caught a cab to Schiphol are when I was bringing a huge load of luggage for the group I was meeting there and I could not physically transport it all by train (i.e. multiple tents, pairs of snowshoes and sleds).
    – anything hip / faddy / designery that I don’t really enjoy in and of itself. For example the stuff in my house. Right now, my interior decorating style is basically ‘ikea through the ages’ and I like it just fine. I would love to own a really, really good bed (I know some people who have splurged on that and I trust their word that it’s worth it, especially for people with back problems like me) but other than that I probably wouldn’t even notice the difference between what I currently own and expensive designer furniture.

  39. Andre says:

    Business class whenever I’m flying.

  40. Jason says:

    Travel. I don’t think I could ever stop, particularly exploring historical wonders

  41. Elizabeth says:

    I still wouldn’t own a vacation home – but that’s about the only conventional trapping of wealth I’d avoid even if I had many millions of dollars! I just prefer to have less real estate to maintain and pay for, plus I don’t enjoy returning to the same place repeatedly (maybe the same city, but not the same hotel/lodging). Travel is fun for me because each trip is new and different. I’d feel pressured/obligated to visit my vacation home(s) if I had them.

  42. spiffi says:

    My friend and I had this conversation one time. Her thing she would absolutely do if she came into mega-money, would be to stay in an ultra-fancy hotel/villa where it costs thousands of dollars per night – that’s something I would *never* do – doesn’t matter how much money I had.

    I wouldn’t buy much in the way of luxury items – fancy cars with big price tags don’t do it for me (I like my Mazda). My friend’s neighbour sells high end mattresses – I wouldn’t spend $10k on a mattress. I don’t do designer labels on purses, shoes, sunglasses, clothing etc.

  43. Steveark says:

    This isn’t a hypothetical question in my case. I already had enough to retire early when circumstances gifted me with a large windfall. That helped me decide to walk away from my more than full time job, but otherwise no big purchases. I could have replaced my used cars, with well over 100,000 miles on the odometers, with a new Corvette, or Raptor truck or a Porche Cayenne tricked up to $150,000 with crazy cool options, could have paid cash for a huge new house or a lake house or both. Could stay in fancier hotels than the Hampton Inns we stay at on our hiking excursions. Could eat out more, travel more but none of that has happened in the two years since. We were very happy with our lifestyles and just don’t want more stuff.

    • Love this:

      “We were very happy with our lifestyles and just don’t want more stuff.”

      Congratulations on not losing your mind with that large windfall. Sadly, most folks don’t handle it well.

  44. Cher N. says:

    I would never quit couponing! I would much rather have that extra money (regardless of how minuscule) in my bank account versus the grocery store’s. 😜

  45. I would continue to travel the globe on the cheap with no reservations. I hate fancy hotels, I like staying where the locals do and eating what the locals eat. The best adventures always come from the less convenient paths. Last year we drove 26 hours through Mexico to surf for 3 days. Along the way we blew a tire in the middle of the desert with no Jack, twice, surfed epic waves, saved a mans life after he severed a femoral artery, and made a ton of new friends. We could have flown for $180 per person, but what fun is that?

  46. I’d still not-use the dryer, continuing to hang clothes out or on racks because they smell better and last longer that way.

    I’d still not-use the more expensive way (Amtrak) to get from Philly to NYC and continue to opt for the Megabus. Fares as low as $1 each way, and free wi-fi!

    I’d still not-dine-out, choosing to continue frugal meals with my partner. He says our food is so good because it’s prepared and shared with love. I agree (especially since he does more than half the cooking).

    One thing I *would* shine on? Buddy passes. As planes get more crowded, standby travelers get bumped more often.
    Donna Freedman recently posted…Here’s my Swagbucks story.My Profile

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