Who hasn’t spent at least a few daydreaming moments fantasizing about spending money? Not just a few hundred bucks either, but huge, irresponsible sums of money, all on completely unnecessary luxury items? Most of us probably have, but sadly, reality tends to intervene. Just as we’re settling into a meditation about a chartered plane jetting us off to Aruba, the memory of that unpaid and overdue $250 phone bill intrudes and throws cold water on the fantasy.
If one were to make a completely uneducated guess as to what something like the aforementioned scenario would cost, $1 million would probably be a common conjecture. However, it’s 2011 now, and $1 million isn’t what it used to be. However, that’s in part because a lot of people simply don’t know how far $1 million can go, and the amount of time and effort that it would take to spend it. For all the grousing over the rent, doctor’s bills and car payments, it would be hard to blow through $1 million just on those average expenses.
What could $1 million buy you? Click ahead to find out.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 24 August 2011
According to the Harvard College Handbook for Students, the cost of undergraduate tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year is $54,561, including room and board. Based on this figure, it would cost $218,244 for a student to graduate. A family with five brilliant, enterprising children could send their charges to the esteemed bastion of learning for just over $1 million.
If sending one’s children to college isn’t a priority, perhaps accessorizing is. If that’s the case, why not look into Chanel’s “Diamond Forever” Classic Bag? At $261,000 a pop, it costs more than an entire undergraduate education at Harvard, so it will only be necessary to buy four of them to exceed $1 million.
It’s no secret that rental apartments in New York City are among the priciest in the country. Currently, the average monthly rent on a New York City apartment is $3,472, meaning that it would take a full 22 years to dedicate the amount of $1 million to rent.
Anyone wishing to spend the same money more quickly can retire this bothersome chore in one night by inviting 50 people over for a party and giving each guest a Mervis Diamonds iPad Case. The diamond-studded cover sells for $20,000, a full 25 times higher than the full retail value of the item it protects.
Just as renting an apartment in New York City isn’t cheap, neither is buying one. A 1,000 square foot apartment with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms can easily sell for over $1 million. Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Arizona the same money is good for a home with five times the square footage, plus three more bathrooms and four more bedrooms. The mind reels at the possibilities.
No matter what city is chosen as the place to drop anchor, the house one buys there won’t do much good without beds to sleep in. With that in mind, the person anxious to quickly spend $1 million can do so by investing in 16 Hästens Vividus beds, which retail for $64,950 each. The Swedish company creates each bed by hand, which accounts for its high price.
According to The Washington Times, charitable organizations estimate that the average person will donate between 3 and 5 percent of their annual income to charity. With the US Census reporting a real median household income of $49,777, that adds up to average yearly donations of $2,489. At that rate, it would take over 400 years for the average household to generate $1 million in charitable donations.
The Zafirro Iridium razor is another way to spend $1 million, and do it faster. Each one costs $100,000, a small price to pay for an advanced technology that makes men’s faces smooth and hairless with a blade of pure sapphire and a handle of pure iridium. It will be necessary to buy 10 of them to reach the $1 million mark, but this is a modest goal, as anyone knows who has accidentally dropped a Gillette Mach 3 behind the toilet.
Anybody who’s sprung for a wedding knows that the costs can quickly spiral out of control. According to TheKnot.com, beaming dads crying tears of joy should expect to pay an average of $27,800 for the event. However, unless he pays for 36 such events, he will not hit the $1 million mark.
Rather than pay for 36 weddings, a quicker and simpler way to spend $1 million is to take 40 friends to Serendipity 3 in New York City and get each one of them the restaurant’s intentionally-misspelled "Frrrozen Haute Chocolate" sundae, which is priced at $25,000. This can be done with less planning than preparing for a wedding, and it’s not necessary to find a caterer.
According to a 2009 report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the average person between the ages of 65 and 75 has $56,212 saved for retirement. Given this figure, the person fitting this profile would need to pool both his own resources and those of 17 contemporaries before coming up with $1 million.
The combination of funds would, however, be well worth it, because it would allow the group to purchase three Deveronvale Perfection Sheep. The sheep was auctioned in 2009 for $378,000, based on its “perfect” look.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends $7,681 on health care. This means that it would take 33 years for each person in a family of four to collectively rack up $1 million worth of medical bills.
That same family can spend $1 million in a fraction of the time if each member simply buys a pair of Dussault Apparel’s Trashed Denim Jeans. The pants are decorated with diamonds and 18K gold, bringing the sticker price to $250,000 per pair. This is a small price to pay to wear the same clothes as those worn by Criss Angel.
According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, the average cost of a new car in 2010 was $28,400. It would be necessary to buy 36 cars at that price to spend $1 million, and all you’d have to show for it are 36 average cars, emphasis on average.
So why buy 36 average cars when for the same money, it’s possible to get one supercar? Specifically, the Jaguar Hybrid Supercar, which is priced at $1.1 million and can exceed 200 miles per hour, making it the ideal vehicle for taking the kids to school or driving to Scrabble club.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average commuter spent $7,658 slogging back and forth to work every day, with a full 25% of that expense dedicated just to gas and motor oil. It’s a daunting statistic. However, the commuter would have to log 131 years on the job to spend $1 million on the travel expenses.
Rather than sit in bumper to bumper traffic, cursing his fellow motorists, this commuter should instead buy a Dodge Tomahawk V10 Superbike for himself as well as another one for the carpool member of his choice. They sell for $555,000 each, and they’re illegal to operate on any public road in the United States. However, those are minor considerations for the person weaving effortlessly between idling cars at 5:15pm.
According to the 2009 Consumer Expenditure Survey, the average person spends $1,725 a year on clothes. This means that in order to spend $1 million on clothes in a single year, it would be necessary to clothe not only oneself but 579 other people as well.
Rather than go through all that hassle, why not just buy five neckties from Satya Paul Design Studio instead? Specifically, the company manufactures a pure silk tie with a pattern using 150 grams of gold that sells for $220,000.
According to the 2009 Consumer Expenditure Survey, the average person spent $2,693 on personal insurance and pensions in 2009. At that rate, it would take 372 years to spend $1 million.
While you never know if you’ll need insurance, you’re certain to get phone calls. So bank on that certainty by spending $1 million on the Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot, a telephone made of pure gold and “encrusted with 45.5k black diamonds so rarely occurring in nature.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person spent $6,372 on food in a single year, both at home and elsewhere. At that rate, a family of four would have to eat for over 39 years to have any hope of burning through $1 million.
Those interested in eating and spending $1 million at the same time should consider the Yubari Melons of Japan. These melons are only grown in the city of Yubari, and in 2008 it cost $26,000 to purchase just two of them. A family of four would only have to eat 38 of them, or less than 10 melons each, to spend $1 million.
According to The Chicago Tribune, the average 2010 funeral cost $7,300. That’s without a cemetery plot, which will cost an additional $2,500. Without even a headstone, the whole endeavor will cost $9,800, making it necessary to have 102 of them to get $1 million spent.
A more pleasant way of reaching the $1 million mark is by purchasing 278 bottles of Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani, the water that costs $3,600 per 1.25 liter gold-plated bottle. Although its intended purpose is human consumption, the 347.5 liters that it would take to spend $1 million can fill a bathtub twice, hint hint.