Answer this question: What would you do with $10 million?

Yes this is a variation on the age-old question of “What would you do if money weren’t an object?”

But there are a few characteristics that make this question better in my view.

First, the specificity of the figure helps you not feel overwhelmed. Rather than providing grounding and clarity, I’m compelled to think about the entire universe and then feel guilty for not emerging with answers. Sometimes boundaries are our friends.

Second, you answer the question differently with a dollar figure rather than conceptualizing infinity dollars. With a cap, you need to budget. The very construction of that budget makes you prioritize. Because the real purpose of this exercise isn’t in making a laundry list. It’s about clarifying the priorities specific to you and your values.

Third, I picked this amount mostly because it feels like enough to dream bigger than the present while prompting immediate action. Among the many things my fellow Millennials and I are faulted for, it’s a lack of savings. Making my $10 million budget showed me how I need to step up investing. I’ve shifted how I budget this year to save more aggressively and live below my means in the most expensive city in the country.

At the end of the day, the way we spend money is a reflection of values and priorities. While I may be saving more for my future, I also set up a travel fund because that makes me happy and I consider travel to be a form of self-care. Carving out spending and saving for self-care is a way of reinforcing that I am worth indulging and caring for.

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