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Time, inflation, and the future 1

Dear Bradshaw,

I’ve been thinking lately and have come to the conclusion that, to the best of my knowledge, you live only once. And, well, the thing is, if this is my only shot, my only chance at being a big cheese, I’d like to be a millionaire. I don’t mean forever, mind you, I’d just like to try it out for a bit, like trying on a pair of designer jeans to see how I look even though I know I could never afford them.

So I’ve got a plan, man, and here it is. I’m going to strip down to the bare bones of being by cutting out every nonessential expense. Anything that doesn’t contribute to my physical health or mental wellbeing is going to be gone, starting with coffee. Not that I drink so much, maybe an espresso a day. Meanwhile, I know coffee doesn’t cost much — about 70 or 80 cents for an espresso, which rounds off to 3 euros a week, and therefore about 150 euros a year — but this is just the beginning.

The next part of my plan is to stop drinking wine. Now hold your horses, Shaw, don’t get me wrong. It’s the furthest thing from my mind. I’d hardly have anything to write you about if I quit drinking, but I’m just saying: what if I did? As Francesca and I average a bottle a day, and each bottle costs 5 to 6 euros, that would be a savings of almost 2000 euros a year.

On to ice cream… Since discovering my high-as-the-sky cholesterol I’ve greatly reduced my consumption of ice cream, but if I were to cut it out completely, I’d save about 2 euros a month and, well, that’s 24 euros a year and though it’s not much it’s part of the plan. After that = DVDs. Francesca and I don’t watch TV but we do watch about one DVD a week. Often they are DVDs we already own but, more or less, I buy a new DVD every two weeks, give or take a week. In fact, we own over 200 DVDs and have little room for them in our small but humble abode. Anyway, if I stopped buying DVDs, I’d save 240-480 euros a year.

(I know what you’re thinking, Shaw. How in the universe am I going to become a millionaire with these petty savings? Wait just a minute, partner, this letter isn’t finished, and I’ve got the ace of spades under my sleeve.)

The next part of the plan is to quit reading books. I average 60-100 books a year, and though I often reread old favorites, I buy at least 50 new books a year. At 10-15 euros a book, that’s 500-750 euros. Holy Hiawatha, what a savings! Meanwhile, I’d also stop eating lunch. Though I rarely eat lunch anyway, I do occasionally splurge on a salad, a piece of bread, or a falafel. Let’s say I save 10 euros a week on lunch, that’s another 500 euros a year.

So we’re getting somewhere now, aren’t we? Coffee, ice cream, wine, DVDs, books, lunch, no frivolous expenses whatsoever, that’s what I’m talking about. The bare bones. Now here’s the ace… Inflation! That’s my coup de grâce: time and inflation. Heck. 100 euros today would have been 1000 euros fifty years ago. Right? More or less? Sooooo…. With the above savings, I’d be a millionaire in thirty, maybe forty years. If I save 100,000 euros in that time — with inflation — 100,000 would be about a million. Meanwhile, I could move to wherever the euro (or dollar) is strongest. I could move to Mexico, or Peru, or Chad, depending on what’s happening in the world thirty or forty years from now.

Anyway, as I said before, not a millionaire forever, but for a bit, for a tad, for a touch. I’d like to try those jeans on, to stride back and forth across the room for no more than a minute. So there you have it = my master plan. Jeez, Shaw, I’m excited already. I can already feel the fabric. Fantastic!

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  1. donnie says:

    sounds like a plan. just remember a plate of nachos and a pitcher of beer with good company every now and then is priceless. dont forget to live. make ya feel like a billion
    🙂 all the best

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