The Weakonomist is on vacation this week. Vacation is almost always about doing things you don’t normally do, and spending money for things you couldn’t afford year-round. Few people can afford to stay at the beach year-round for instance. My family is no different. But while on vacation my mind does like to wander when thinking about what the good life would look for me.
In my case, that brings me to the five things I’d own if money really wasn’t a concern for me. These aren’t million dollar toys by any stretch, that’s just not my style.
- Jeep Wrangler: I’ve wanted one of these since high school but they’ve never made practical sense. Since college, I’ve only ever had jobs that require a fair amount of highway driving to get around so fuel efficient sedans have been my go to. But I’ve always lusted after the rugged soft top with no doors. Should I ever have a short commute, or could afford the luxury of a second car, it would have to be a Wrangler. It’s a Jeep thing, and only a few people understand.
- Spy Hawk: Aerial views of the world are some of the most interesting available. Being able to fly Superman style happens to be my #1 superhero power as well. It’s not something I’m likely to obtain so this expensive toy will have to do. It’s a remote control airplane that basically works just like the spy drones the military uses. With an onboard camera I could get real-time aerial views of my surroundings. This device even allows for recording the video so I can bother friends and family with how I wasted my afternoon.
- Urinals and solar power: My household isn’t green by any stretch of the imagination. The Weakonomist is more focused on efficiency of resources than the environmental impacts of our current utility usage. Toilets use a ton of water and any man knows going #1 and then flushing is a necessary evil of modern society, but also wasteful. Having a urinal installed in the house would reduce water consumption by hundreds of gallons per year. Likewise, I like the idea of using lots of electricity all the time but hate knowing much of it comes from non-renewable resources. Installing some efficient solar panels on the house would allow me to run my toys with less concern and reduce my power bill. I hate making monthly payments of any kind so in my hypothetical wealth situation my solar grid would reduce that annoyance as well.
- Pool table: Pool is perhaps the funnest game that requires no prep and no strategy. It’s fun to play with friends or even alone, but better with friends. It’s a relxaing way to spend an afternoon especially when football games are on. And unlike vegging on the couch, pool does require stretching muscles and being upright. I love playing pool and a pool table would have to be in my wealthy house.
- Season tickets to my favorite sports team: This is a double win for me, because The Sheconomist happens to like football as well. She’s down for the whole experience from the tailgate to the tailback. We have a few preferred teams across college and pro; assuming we lived close enough to one of them in our wealthy world we’d be at every game.
To me, wealthy really just means being able to afford these things within the context of my life. So if I had a pool table I’d likely have a house with a large enough room to support it. There are other things I’d want like a house on the water (somewhere) but I’m a practical person and like living near larger towns so it doesn’t really make the list of the toys I’d have if I were wealthy, even if I did own a second home.
Wealth to me just means being able to afford these things without having to give it much thought. Others that may have more or less money may have different thresholds for when you can afford a Jeep as a second car or season tickets. The bar is different for everyone. I know I’ll be wealthy when these “toys” are easily in my perception of what is affordable.
What’s on your list? What are the material possessions (yes, none of that hollier than thou BS) that illustrate it for you?