Previously I've daydreamed about winning the lottery. But recently a British survey (pdf) gathered people's opinion on what they would do for a million pounds (~$1.6 mill. USD). The options were not typical.

  • Be Photographed naked for a national newspaper (31%)
  • Have no human contact for a year (18%)
  • Have sex with someone you find physically "repulsive"(17%)
  • Give up a kidney (15%)
  • Not see sunlight for a year (9%)
  • Be water-boarded (8%)
  • Tattoo an advertising slogan on your forehead (2%)
  • Play Russian roulette (2%)
  • Cutting off an arm (1%) or a leg (0%)
  • None of these (42%)
Now if I couldn't opt out of any of the options, then the kidney one would be fine with me and the sunlight even would work, depending on what I could use to make up for the light of the sun. But I would have to have human contact and I don't want to have any tattoo on my forehead - like the above sad man who did it for 6 figures.

Some other interesting factors in the survey
  • Social grade doesn’t seem that important. 44% of those in higher social grades and 40% in the lower ones said they’d do none of the options for £1m.
  • 56% of women and 27% of men said that they wouldn’t agree to any of the above. 
  • Youth is a strong predictor of likelihood of doing these things for a million pounds. Which shows how much we value life as we get older - 18-24 year olds are much more likely to agree to Russian roulette than those who have already lived for over 60 years.
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Some grocery stores have coupons that print out when you check out, these check-out coupons are called Catalinas and I recently read all I needed to know to use them (@DenverBargains). I learned: Even though the coupons may be for a specific store, sometimes you can still use them at other stores if it is a national brand. And I learned that there is a real contact number and email if an expected Catalina coupon didn't print out. I don't use them often, but good contact info to have. Plus you can "roll" the Catalina coupons for more savings.

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With budget cuts going on across the country in different states, one of the items being looked at for cuts are public libraries. I love my public library and the mobile library (now defunct) that came to my neighborhood to save me gas money. In the UK, they protested these shutdowns on February 5th by having massive book check-outs and "read-ins".  I think it is wonderful that people across the ocean took the libraries to hold claim to them and let others remember that we are all "Children of the Library"- a great song by PD Cawley

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Some other links I wanted to pass your way:
  • I have "Frugal Fatigue" fatigue (@Surviving and Thriving)- I love Donna's perspective on this matter and appreciate the commentors.
  • How to get a great hotel rate (@CR Money) - I have a high school reunion coming up this year and I think I will try to take some of these ideas into consideration.
  • Playspent a "game" offered by the Urban Ministries of Durham (via Consumerist) that is a dose of reality when it comes to living a low income life.
    When I played it, I didn't go to a funeral, my gas got shut off, I got a speeding ticket but able to talk the cost down from 250 to 50 dollars and though my kid got to go to a birthday party with a gift, they were made fun of for the "free lunch" program they were in and stopped eating. I may have made it to the end of the month with money, but I have a new month to get through.


  1. Anonymous // Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:00:00 AM  

    If you appreciate your public library please make a point of talking to the government agency in charge of funding it. Let them know that the library is somewhere you expect your tax dollars to go.

  2. Anonymous // Wednesday, February 23, 2011 5:30:00 PM  

    I appreciate the point of the Spent game because in the last two years I was unemployed and had to take a menial minimum wage job and was worried I was going to die from not having health insurance.

    But they could have tried a little harder... for instance, my state requires employers to provide uniforms but not safety shoes, which are required but 'tax deductible' like that matters when you need money NOW.

    Similiarly the other situations needed work... federal student loans can now be income-based though that application can take a month to proccess. Also I got kicked out of my apartment because the rent was raised and Spent said I didn't have money for a deposit--in the real world there are leases and evictions take time or deposits would be refunded and applied--the point is you don't have time or energy for this kind of stuff when you work a crap job.

    so cool for rich, educated white people--kind of like that book, Nickel and Dimed. good in theory, but embarrassing for anyone who's lived outside the bubble.