Ms ZiYou Gamble

If I won £1m tomorrow … I would

£1m | One million pounds | £1,000,000.

No matter how you express it – it’s a lot of money.

What would I do if I won it tomorrow, and it was all mine to do with as I pleased?

The thought experiment

So, for today’s post I am linking up with other UK FI bloggers to play a thought game – what would I do if I won £1m tomorrow and it was all mine to keep.

The rules are as follows: a quick stream of consciousness post answering the question posed. If you want to join in please do and write a quick post of your own – then let us know and we’ll add you in.

So here is my post on what I would personally do if I won £1m tomorrow.

Firstly, I’m getting a little flashback to Brewsters Millions here – does anyone else remember that classic movie?



And the first thing? I think I would keep it a secret, at least initially. I don’t think I’d want people knowing I came into money. Since I already religiously practise stealth wealth, as some people treat you differently if they think you have money.

So you wouldn’t be seeing my pic online or in the papers, and everyday life would continue as normal. But I would be making plans to radically change my life with the money. And also turn to philanthropy.

First Chunk  – £200k

I’d invest this amount right away according to my investor policy statement.

OK, I don’t really have a written investor policy statement as I like to fiddle with things. But I do have a section of my money spreadsheet with my asset allocation.

Anyway, I’d throw £200k into the markets right away, according to the asset allocation in my spreadsheet.

As I already max out my ISA and SIPP, this would have to be in my taxable account.

Then I am FI

So, after that first £200k is added to my assets, I am considering myself financially independent or FI. Hence I would no longer need to trade my time for money. I’d then make plans to quit work.

As I work freelance I have contracts of specific lengths to fulfil. Being an overly conscientious Type A person and keen to do the right thing I’d make sure I worked till the end of the contract and lined up a replacement before quitting – I don’t believe other people should have to suffer for my good fortune (my do no harm value).

But once all the work ducks are in a row, I’d quit working and trading my time for money. I’d move all my energy onto the next stage of life. And my energy and excitement would be rising.

Donating and Volunteering – second chunk – £600k

Moving on to the actual money itself. The bulk of the money I’d earmark for good causes. I have many, many charities that I’d like to support.

In addition, my time would then be free to volunteer full time and really make a difference to non-profit organisations.

I’d be spending my time and money helping projects in the following categories.

Women’s Organisations

As a committed feminist, I am always keen to support women. I’m already on the board of a few charities, and I would ramp up my efforts here.

Financial Inclusion Projects

I believe financial education is lacking in the UK, and I already volunteer on the board of one project. It’s a no-brainer to also do more work here.

Cat Shelters

I have always aspired to be called a mad cat lady, here is my chance to live out my wildest dreams. Hell, I could even run my own cat shelter, that would be so much fun.

Women in STEM scholarships

I firmly believe we need to encourage more women into STEM Hence, I’d see what I could do to help fund scholarships for women and encourage them into a tech career. Moreover, tuition fees are rising at an alarming rate in the UK. And I don’t believe our scholarship offering have risen by anything like the same amount.

£200k – To be decided

I would keep some of the money in an to be decided fund.

Perhaps I’d want to spend some of this?

Or more likely I’d want to save this, or use it to support a good cause.

But I may also want to use it for a business idea, or funding my own startup.

Or I could just become an angel investor myself.

The possibilities are endless, so I would not commit myself to any course of action with the remaining funds. I’d play it by ear, and see where life takes me.

Why I love thought exercises like this

Let’s be truthful. I’ve very unlikely to come into £1m tomorrow.  I don’t really gamble – well I play the penny slots for free drinks, but that doesn’t count does it? And my family is not wealthy – all my grandparents died penniless.

Nonetheless, despite the extreme unlikeliness of this happening, I love this sort of thought exercise. As someone who is more rational,  scientifical and pragmatic, it’s good to work without boundaries sometimes. And see what would happen outside the box. One of the areas I’d love to develop once I no longer have to trade my time for money is my creativity. And to do that, I need to chill on the rationalising.

Have a read what others FI bloggers would do

As I mentioned, it’s not just me playing this game. Have a look at what some other UK financial independence bloggers would do with their £1m.

Thanks to SavingsNinja for organising this thought experiment – I’ve had great fun participating.

Over to you

  • What are your thoughts?
  • If you won the £1m, what would you do?
  • Do you enjoy thought exercises like these?

Thank you for reading – please leave a comment below and join in the conversation. You can also connect on Twitter or contact me privately.

36 comments on “If I won £1m tomorrow … I would

  1. Interesting that you come from a family with little wealth. Do you think that’s what’s spurred your savings on?

    My dad is from a poor background but is self made so I actually grew up in an upper middle class lifestyle but I was always brought up to be independent so have never ever relied on an inheritance. Other than a v small contribution to my first property I’ve always been conscious not to rely on anyone. As am only child and grandchild I should be in line to inherit a considerable sum at some point so this question could become a reality. I’ll certainly need to give it some thought. I’d probably invest some for my future child while teaching him how to handle money. Its potentially a double edged sword but There’s something amazing about allowing your child the financial freedom to be who they want to be that resonates with me

    1. Hi FBA – that’s an interesting question. My parents are very comfortable having worked as civil servants for years but are far from wealthy.

      I do like your Dad’s approach to make you independent despite the potential large inheritance coming your way.

  2. Yes i used to jealous of the trust fund kids i went to school with but now I’m glad as im completely self reliant to the point for instance now he’s retired he’s become quite generous and i was short to get the interest rate i wanted on my mortgage I had to be persuaded to allow him to help me get there .

    It wasn’t alot relatively to him (10k)but alot to me and i was more worried hed leave himself short. It wasn’t like i was going to splurge it on a car or anything lol

    1. I’ve never had the opportunity to hang out with trust fund kids – they always keep away from us commoners!

      And your Dad sounds cool – making sure you learn about money but helping you out when push comes to shove.

  3. Awesome post Ms ZiYou! It’s great that you’d give 600k to charity, it shows that you really do believe in the causes you fight for!

    I’m definitely with you on stealth wealth, it’s less hassle! I agree that it’s great to have these thoughts.. This question even helped me decide what I truly wanted in my life to be fulfilled. A lot of people just trudge on toward FI not knowing what they’ll do when they get there. Questions like this bring out the answer!

    Thanks for contributing! 🙂

    1. Thanks SavingsNinja – yes, absolutely I’m not one for collecting wealth – and I’d certainly make sure any windfall benefitted more than just me.

      Stealth wealth is always the way in my book 🙂

  4. with £1 million I’d buy some 4G masts for the Outer Hebrides! You don’t realise how reliant on the internet you are until there is none……
    (currently parked outside a Calmac ferry terminal hoovering up any wisp of wifi that makes it out of the building 😊)

  5. I love seeing how much of the windfall you would designate to charity!

    I would pay off my mortgage then probably invest the rest in savings and a brokerage account.

  6. Wow Ms ZiYou, that is a remarkable list.

    I greatly respect you putting your money where your mouth is when it comes to causes you believe in. Credit where credit is due for looking after yourself and looking after others… like they say on the airline safety presentations “look to your own wellbeing before you attempt to help others”.

    My only concern (speaking as the owner of a cat that could generously be described as batshit crazy), I encourage you to think carefully about turning your home into a cat shelter!

  7. Great answers – agree, there’s no way I would have my mug plastered in the news!

    I couldn’t just quit my job – although I wouldn’t have contract commitments like you have, I couldn’t leave my colleagues in the lurch.

    I seem to be the only one who’s going to share my money with family though – did you forget or did you make the conscious decision not to include them?

    PS – instead of cat shelter, a cat hotel is also a viable option!

    1. Hi Weenie – glad to see it’s not just me that wouldn’t do the press.

      That’s a good question on the family – I don’t have an extended family (my parents don’t talk to their families). My parents are very comfortable and have more than enough money with mortgages paid off and gold-plated government pensions now, and soon they’ll get state pensions as well. I’m pretty sure they’ve both got money on the bank as well. My brother is less comfortable now but is following their path I think.

      A cat hotel sounds like work!

  8. I’d need to keep a few hundred k for myself and and my fellow patricians for the underground bunker when the inevitable feminist uprising happens of course 😉

    I’m already collecting back copies of 1980’s lads mags so we can sit in our lair and talk about ‘the good old days’ 😂

  9. I played a similar game last year, with a little more money. But at the end of the day , until you actually get that money in your hands, you really don’t know why you will truly do.

  10. Great list and I’ll throw in some of my money for a cat shelter! Not that the other donations aren’t good…but I love cats!

    I never got past thinking about how I would quit my job by the way… 😉

          1. I can’t avoid the ‘quitting your job’ formalities of course, but as we have an extensive cake culture where I work I’d definitely bring a special FIRE-cake the day I quit 😉

  11. That’s a nice thought experiment, I should participate 🙂
    I’m tempted to answer what Warren Buffet once said “I’d just put everything in a low cost index fund. Next question please”
    Or maybe just donate everything to cat shelters 😀

What do you think?