On a cold and rainy Saturday morning, nice breakfast of bacon and bread with cream cheese, played poker with the boys last night and more or less broke even, actually won 5 euros, had planned/thought that the 50euros I bet was gonna be lost amidst fun but it’s not the case. Considering I’m going on 10-day holiday next weekend, that 50euros could come in pretty handy. Then again, I’m donating 100 euros to a charity in Ukraine this week so perhaps the money could go into that. Or I just bought plane tickets to go home for Xmas so that could take a 10% chunk out of it. Man, if I only made $500,000 a year to make these problems seem a bit trivial!
So, Barack Obama is saying that if your company gets bailout money, its top CEOs and executives cannot make more than $500,000/year. One businessman was quoted as saying that imposing this on their top talent is “draconian”. Now I think I know what that word means but it doesn’t seem to make any sense in the businessman’s quote. Being forced to live on $500,000 as a salary is a wonderfully Vonnegut-like fantasy that could bring probably mostly good things in life. And here is the this businessman using a word that means, according to Miriam-Webster, “harsh or cruel”. Do you see what I mean? Harsh and cruel? Living on $500,000/year is harsh or cruel? Fuck you.
Excuse me, let me rephrase that. How would my life be different if I had to live on $500,000/year? First, I would think to myself that that is $40,000/MONTH, more than I have ever earned in a year in my whole life. I don’t want my rent to be more than 25% of my income ($10,000) so I’ll halve that and spend $5000 dollars and rent the nicest 6-room flat in the whole city. I would immediately be the biggest pimp in this city of 200,000 inhabitants.
So now I’ve spent 12% of my monthly allotment of largesse, what else will I spend money on? I would go to the best furniture store in town and one that I have fantasized about lightly and buy a few key pieces and spend $10,000 in there, picking up a sofa, dinner table and bed with a few accoutrements. That would be a large expense but should only be for the month. Normally that $10,000 will go into a safe and steady savings account every month.
Now I’ve spent nearly 40% of my monthly wages. I will now add $2,000/month for food/entertainment/clothes/misc. We travel a lot so I’ve got to allot $2,000/month for travel. This can be a weekend trip flying from Basel to Rome or Bordeaux or Stockholm and every other month a trip of 10+ days to somewhere like Thailand, Namibia, New Zealand, Kenya, Mexico, Iceland, etc.
So, 5000 + 10000 + 4000 = $19,000
All right, I’m almost halfway there. I guess now I will take 10% of my salary ($4,000) to go into a good and safe retirement plan. $2,000 a month will go to making the world a better place and here’s what I mean. I am donating 100euros to that Ukrainian charity this week and instead of 100 euros it could be 1000 dollars. That would be roughly 10 times as much help. Another $1000 can go to paying for people’s drinks, meals, surprising them in a store and saying, “I’ll pay for that.”
I’m going to buy a nice car, a BMW, that’ll cost $1000/month for car/insurance/gas. Where am I at now? $26,000? Damn, I’ve got quite a ways to go there. I need to figure out how I’m going to spend $14,000 this month. Fourteen thousand dollars. That’s a lot of scratch. I guess we can add another $2,000 for a person who cleans and cooks for us everyday, 500/month so her kid can go to a private school. 🙂 All right, and 500 for the lottery every month because I need to strike it big to get out of this numbing existence.
So now that $29,000. $1,000/month on spoiling my woman, whether it be jewellery or fancy dinners and theater trips to France, flying to London for a one night to see a musical, and whatever else she might desire.
Sweet, I’ve made it to $30,000. What else can I spend money on? Well, I’d be happy to spend $1000 a month on books and dvds and cds and stuff I like and let’s put $4,000/month into a college fund for my not-yet-as-born children.
$35,000. $5,000 to go. Any suggestions? I guess the other $5000/month stays in the checking account so there is liquidity and half of it goes to the savings account when it hits $50,000.
So now I’ve spent my $40,000/month salary but we have to remember that 25% of that was spent on furniture to outfit the new pad. What will be done with that $10,000 every month?
How would you live on a paltry $500,000/year?