Ask the Readers: If You Could Have One Wish (Chance to win $20!)

By Linsey Knerl on 31 August 2010 (Updated 13 September 2010) 132 comments
Photo: ButterflySha

** Congrats to our winners! **

  • Comment from Naomi - I would love to have no debt--no car payment, no student loan, and no mortgage payments. If we didn't have those things, it would free us to up to provide health insurance for our entire family!
  • Tweet from @hannaincalgary:  that my parents were more prepared for their retirement 
  • Donna Kramer on Facebook

I often get emails from readers who tell me about their financial situations. Some are challenging, while others are heartbreaking. I have a hard time knowing what to say, and more often than not, it gets me thinking about what I would do if I had the power to do anything. What if you have a financial fairy godmother or your penny in the well really made your dream come true? What if you could be granted one financial wish? What would it be? How would it affect your life (or someone else's)?

We want to know what you would wish for. Would you ask that your financial loan be paid? Is there a job that you really wish you could get? Perhaps you have a mountain of medical bills that you want so badly to disappear. What is your most longed-for financial wish? Let us know your thoughts in order to be entered to win one of three $20 Amazon gift cards! Feel free to link to a blog post, if you've written on this topic! We'll include it in our post upon the conclusion of our giveaway!

We understand that dreamers aren't doers, but once in awhile, it's nice to imagine...isn't it?

Win one of three $20 Amazon gift cards:

We're doing three giveaways — one for random comments, one for random Facebook "Likes", and another one for random tweets.

How to Enter:

  1. Post your answer in the comments below, or
  2. Go to our Facebook page, "Like" us, then "Like" the update mentioning this giveaway (you can comment, as well — but you don't have to for entry.)
  3. Tweet your answer. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, September 6th at 11:59 pm CST. Winners will be announced after September 6th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • Only tweets that contain both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)
  • Only those who have "Liked" both our Facebook page and the contest update will be entered.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Emily

I would wish to have the college tuition for all my future kids paid off, have no mortgage, and no car payments. Basically, debt free!

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Shannon

I would have no debt.

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ryan

my only financial wish is to keep mr. murphy (murphy's law) out of my way.

i will handle the rest. . .

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Alison

I wish I could win powerball! I would pay off all my remaining debt and make sure all of my family and friends were well cared for. What a great dream :)

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Donna M Kramer

peace and happiness for my girl

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Jen

Extra money to set aside for my son's college!

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Kristy

I wish that my church would grow to the point where they could hire me on as staff. Right now I'm a volunteer minister and work three jobs to make ends meet. If the church could pay me, then I could quit one or two of those jobs and devote more time to the ministry.

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Tara

I don't live extravagantly, but the two things I do see the need to spend money on are education and travel (which usually is an educational experience in itself). If I had enough money to keep learning and going new places, that would be amazing, and really it would be like continually investing in myself, and never having to stop. Well, we can all dream.

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Shea

That's an easy one. I'd wish for cash to go to my son's tooth fund. He's missing 18 of his adult teeth and will eventually need bridgework and implants. The dentist told us it would end up costing us over $40,000!

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Camille

My wish would be to get enough money to pay off what is left of my debt, my mom's debt and house and my in-law's debt and house. Then we could all be free to use our money to save for our many financial goals

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Megan

I would wish my mortgage to be paid for so we could be more generous in other areas of our lives...

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lostAnnfound

I would wish that I had been educated about personal finance when I was younger (in high school would have been good) so that now, when my own kids are in high school, I would not have so much debt & I would be a good example for my teens (even though we are working on paying off debt, now that we know better). :)

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Betty

Having only one wish is hard! Being it's only one, and has to relate to finances, I'll pick a selfish one. I would wish for enough money to buy a home on the ocean in NJ. We could use it now on weekends and holidays, and eventually retire there.

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tg

For Capital One to be Capital Zero! I owe them way too much money :(

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Jillian L Schweitzer

A completely selfish wish, but since I've been unemployed for over a year now, all my debts paid. I would love the chance to start fresh, to build up savings, buy a house, start a family, etc.

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Bobbi

I would wish for the money to buy my daughter a house, free & clear. :)

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Louann

I wish I could afford to send my daughter's partner to an endometriosis specialist so she wouldn't be in the everyday pain she's in.

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Rachel

My husband and I have only been married for five years. We just paid off another debt: a student loan. All we have left is the mortgage on our house (and though it's not a huge mortgage, we won't be paying that off for several years). I would be thrilled if our mortgage was paid and we were completely debt free in such a short amount of time!!!

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Kristine

I wish I would maintain the will to live within my means!

Guest's picture

A house with rental opportunity in Brooklyn that doesn't make me broker than broke. Just mildly broke. That's all.

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sylrayj

If I could have one financial wish, it would be to have enough that I could find therapists for my kids. The local school board doesn't consider dyslexia to be a learning disability to handle, despite the fact that 75% of those who don't get help before Grade 3 will never read at grade level. I don't want it to be too late for my son, going into Grade 8. I don't want my kindergarten daughter to not get supports that will let her excel. And yet, I don't know how to find it on my own.

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fairydust

I wish I could easily afford to live (well) in the UK. It's a lifelong dream, but it really would take a financial fairy godmother!

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Red

I would wish to be debt free, of course. To live without debt sounds like paradise to me.

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Holly

I would have all of my debt paid off and fully funded 529 accounts for my girls.

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Sushi

I'd take a job I like and my student loans paid off.

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Mikee

The über wish... to be debt free. Second to that, I'd wish to know what I now know about being smart with finances back before I built up this debt load.

Blasted retail therapy...

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Elaine

For now my wish is just to see my family who I haven't seen them for almost 4 years :(. And after that, of course, debt free!

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Kelly

I'll leave the Amazon card to someone else that needs it more, but just to put my 2¢ in, I would obviously pay off my student loans (which are rather small compared to most, but still a pain to have to keep paying off). After that, there really isn't anything more to wish for - I make enough money at my job to have some extra money left over at the end of the month (to use or save as I wish - mostly save), if I get sick of having to pay a lot to maintain my car I can really just start trying to live a car-free life, I can always buy less food, etc. Nothing really big. No mortgage, no medical bills, no need to win the lottery. :)

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Bunny

I wish for tuition money for both myself and my husband! We're both 26, recently married (ahhh, bills!), and he is going back to school full-time for his undergraduate degree while I'm attempting a part-time masters degree while working full-time.

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Elizabeth

I would wish to have enough money invested that I could live off the earnings without touching the capital. I would still work, but I would have much more flexibility in future life decisions. I could quit my day job to work from home without the fear of financial ruin, or I could become a full time volunteer, or a full time homemaker for a few years later down the road.

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gt0163c

I'd like to have enough money to "retire" from my job, maintain my standard of living, occupy my time with varoius volunteer work and give generously to the causes I believe in.

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Guest

I'd love to be able to give it to a friend of mine, and tell her it has to be used to invest in something that will ultimately save her money. She has a hard time envisoning that kind of spending and now that she's on disability I'd like to redirect her thinking a bit.

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Lisa H.

i'd wish to be hired asap for a job that i liked and paid well enough to cover my families small costs.

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leslie

My wish: security and savings. Even with a massive reduction in income recently, I am thankful to say that we still eat, pay bills, and don't go without our needs. It would be nice to be able to bring in enough money to save some, and plan ahead for things.

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Patrick

As others have said, debt free (house paid off), 529 fully funded for my daughter and enough for me and my wife to retire ($3 million). I'd add enough so my daughter can live comfortably, namely so that the debts she'll owe and higher taxes she'll have to pay to make up for this generation's mistakes don't financially cripple her. She's done nothing to deserve that.

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Serena

I almost feel selfish saying this, but I wish I could afford a better apartment for me and my two cats and still live within my means. As in a place that's clean (without a constant roach problem);with just enough space for us; less noise (I have trouble sleeping); less crime (I don't feel safe living here at night); and close to work, friends and family. It's so difficult to find good, affordable housing that accepts pets in my city, but I live alone and would go crazy without my furry family members. This one thing would make me: happier, healthier, and more able to pay down my debt and live in peace!

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Vanessa

I wish to be debt free

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Katrina

I wish.... that I would end my last year of college debt free...

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Therese

I would love to pay off my house with enough left over to travel every few months.

Guest's picture

My wish: to win the lottery so my parents can retire and have financially security and so my brother can go to whatever college he wants to go to. And (not going to lie) it would be nice to have financial security in my own life as well.

Guest's picture

My wish is also to be debt-free, which means somehow $20,000 of student loan debt - soon to be $65,000 - and $8,000 of credit card debt would just magically disappear. I'll take a $20 Amazon giftcard in the meantime, tho. ;)

Guest's picture
Guest

my wish would be to have professional ABA therapy for our four year old son who was diagnosed with autistim at three. We are trying to downsize to do what we can, but everything we try is more expensive then the last.

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cwaltz

My financial wish would be for my mother and sister rather than myself. My sister is a single mother of three and she is caring for my ailing mother. I would like to secure a place for them to stay Something in a safe nieghborhood with a yard that is paid for.

Christine
dazed1821@aol.com

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Olivia

I'd have to pick from several dreamy self indulgent ideas. Hmmm. A tree house in the woods, (to visit during stressful times). Plane fare to Italy to see friends and family with enough left over to explore Florence. A leisurely cross country trip including touristy places, quirky buildings, and stainless steel sided diners.

The tree house wins.

Guest's picture

My wish would be to go to sleep at night knowing that our finances and the finances of our loved ones are in good order. We're all facing some sort of financial difficulties, whether it's paying off a credit card or budgeting for the basics at the grocery store. To know that my family can make ends meet and still have plenty of breathing room would be the ultimate granted wish.

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Pamela

My financial wish would be for people to start ordering from my website and for it to start producing an income for me. I've put in countless hours in putting this website up over the past two years and have yet to receive my first order.

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Mariel

I would ask for me to be happy for what I do for a living, to be satisfied and to have every single bone of my body believe it, so that the next step taken by the universe would be to have money working for me, and never the other way around...

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Molly

Oh, I would love to have "enough" money not to work at a "real" job. I'd rather work on other projects - woodwork, knitting, cleaning, baking - and then have a part time job at a bakery.

Guest's picture

My wish is this:

I am on the cusp of having my two side businesses generate enough income so I can quit my "day" job.

I am hoping for the last little nudge to get me over the top and allow me to quit my day job!

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Nicholas

I would wish for either the housing market to come down a little more or to get a big enough raise so I can feel comfortable buying a house. It is just out of my reach as it stands right now.

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Nicholas

I would wish for the housing market to come down just a little bit more or for me to receive a raise so I can feel comfortable buying a house. As it stands now, it is just out of my reach.

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jamie g

I wish that speech therapist caseloads in the school setting would be limited to 25 students or fewer!! Be nice to your speech therapist--she probably has 50-60 students!!

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coco

my wish is for 60K. 30K for another adoption, and 30K for a new honda van to drive around my kids! (i have 3, but want 4 or 5) :)

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SmartCookieSandra

I wish for the money to own my dream lake cabin to enjoy with my family for years and years to come.

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SmartCookieKatie

I wish to have enough money to pay for my baby's ( now just bump!) education. I'de like to have enough set aside to pay for the very best in education.

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SmartCookieAndrea

I wish for enough wealth to set up a flagship office for my boutique marketing firm. Oh - and enough left over for a dream European adventure with my best girlfriends!

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Nicholas

I would wish for the housing market to come down just a little bit more or for me to receive a raise so I can feel comfortable buying a house. As it stands now, it is just out of my reach.

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Glenda

I'd wish for a full-time job for my dear husband, the most wonderful man in the world, who is a born teacher, out of the classroom for the past 15 years and in this economy has had no luck in two years of intense applications. He's subbing and they love him but nothing in his area. We're close to the end of our rope in meeting our very bare-bones expenses and a full-time job for him (even if it isn't teaching) would put us back on track to meet our expenses and pay off what we've had to put on the cards.

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judyyy

I'm okay but I wish my kids were financially stable.

Guest's picture

My one wish is to have enough money to fund the overhead of a non-profit benefitting children in need. I would love to have enough to cover all of the expenses so that every penny went to helping those in need!

Guest's picture

Dearest money fairy, here is my Smart Cookie wish. I wish for enough money to buy my family a boat... a big boat... ok a Yacht, to sail around in, to laugh together in and enjoy time together in.

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Dawn

My husband and I have been waiting almost a year to adopt a child. Our journey to becoe parents has been a long and challenging one and...expensive! I have thrown many a penny, tossed many grains of salt over my shoulder, searched for lucky clover everywhere all with the wish of becoming a mother in mind. However, winning the lottery would be a big help in paying the adoption expenses. But, I know the minute I hold my child in my arms, I'll feel I have won something far more important.

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Dawn

My husband and I have been waiting to adopt a child for almost a year. Our journey to parenthood has been a long and challenging one and...expensive! I have tossed many pennies into fountains, wished on numerous four-leaf clovers, and tossed a lot of salt over my shoulder wishing to be a mother. Winning the lottery would go a long way to help offset the cost of the adoption. However, I know when I hold my child in my arms the first time I'll have won something far more important than money.

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Rachel

My financial wish is that my parents would go write their will. I don't care what they do with their money and property, but I want it on paper, lawyered up, and notarized. I'd sleep better.

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Lydia

If I could have one wish, I would ask for a complete clean slate. Debt (house & 1 credit card) be wiped out, all bills (utilities paid in full), receive a perfect credit score and a chance to start over and apply the financial knowledge that I have now that I didn't have before. I'd live below my means, give to charity, save for my daughter's college tuition, and only buy cars that were 3 years old or older.

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paula

i wish i could go back and start again taking everything i i have learned so far. my life would be better, my childrens' lives would be better, and i could have contributed much more to the world in general.

Guest's picture

My wish would be to go to cooking school when I retire. After being an employee for more than 30 years I think that cooking would be a great thing to do in MY SPARE TIME

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Nancy

I would be able to pay off my mortgage and equity line of credit.

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SmartCookieLisa

To pay off my credit card so I can cut it up and never use it again!!

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Naomi

I would love to have no debt--no car payment, no student loan, and no mortgage payments. If we didn't have those things, it would free us to up to provide health insurance for our entire family!

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Rebecca Z

My wish is for my mother to find a full-time teaching position. She earned her special education certification two years ago, but has yet to find a job. This is a big career change for my mother, who had to leave her previous job due to an injury she sustained at work. Instead of mourning the loss of one job, she took the opportunity to pursue a career that she was passionate about. However, after five years of taking classes and passing all the required tests, and the additional two spent job searching, she has become discouraged. She worries that her age, limited experience, and the bad economy will prevent her from ever getting a job in the field that she cares so much about and has worked so hard to enter.

My mother and I have been having financial troubles ever since my father left us, nearly a decade ago, and I have seen my mom sacrifice so much for me. Her disability benefits ended three years ago and it breaks my heart to visit her and see her nearly empty refrigerator. I try to help when I can, but she often refuses my assistance and, as a recent college grad with the requisite college debt and a job folding laundry, I'm not in the best financial situation myself.

I would like for my mother to be able to afford healthy food and to keep the heat on in the winter. I want her to stop worrying and being sad. I want her to be able to travel to the places she keeps reading about in her library books. I just want her to be able to enjoy her life.

I don't want to $20, I just wanted to get my wish out there.

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smartcookiesabrina

to be able to keep the paycheck we earn for stuff we want to do now rather than paying for stuff we did in the past! Stupid credit cards.

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Guest

Smartcookies - for my DH to find a decent job for me to work less hard.

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Guest

My wish is to enjoy the freedom that financial security would offer.

To be able to make decisions purely by choice instead of need would be empowering.
I would love to be successful in creating a source of revenue for myself, to eliminate having to work to support the success of someone else's business, working long hours and still stuggling financially.

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Rose

My wish is to enjoy the FREEDOM that financial independence offers.

To be able to create a source of revenue for myself.
To pursue interests based on choice instead of need.

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SmartCookieTina

My financial wish is to be mortgage free.

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SmartCookieShelly

I don't want to win the lottery because there is so much responsibility with all that money but I would love to win enough money to pay off my loan and my credit cards. It's not a lot of money but it would take a big burden off my husband and I. We could actually go out without worrying about if there is money in the bank and we could buy things for our 2 children.

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SmartCookieLaura

As a recent Business undergraduate, my financial wish is to secure a position in commercial banking at one of the big five banks. I am eager to begin saving toward my own place and reach financial independence, without the help of my parents!

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Keri Johns

SmartCookieKMOMMAJ
I wish to be free of the sense of panic that comes over me anytime a bill comes in the mail or something necessary breaks. My husband just got a job after being unemployed for 11-months in a state and county with some of the highest unemployment rates in the USA. There are no benefits and it's about 2/3 his previous pay, but it's a job. We're still happy and healthy as a family, but the financial stress makes day-to-day living difficult.

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SmartCookieBrenda

I wish our mortgage was paid off <3

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Charlie Brown

I wish I could win $50 million dollars so I could buy my apartment building that I'm living in and get some much needed renovations done on it.

First priority would be to buy and install a brand new heavy duty elevator that wouldn't consistently break down every week and leave people terrify to use it. To that end, I would ensure it was well lit and a telephone install with a direct line to the elevator company. I would also install a message board both in the elevator and on each floor beside it so tenants could advertise used goods or just chit chat amongst themselves.

Secondly, I would no longer shut the boiler off during the summer months so that people would have to rely on their space heaters to keep them warm. The heat and hot water are included in the rent. The hot water isn't turn off during the summer months so why is the broiler?

Thirdly, I would renovate the apartment I'm currently living in and convert it into a meeting room/building lounge for the tenants. I would have meetings once a month for the tenants to review any complaints that are arising from their living conditions and have someone keep meeting minutes that would be posted in the lobby area of the building.

Fourthly, I would install security cameras, both in the hallways and staircases (as well as the elevator) for security purposes. To that end, I would hire security guards so that the building was secure 24/7. Their main station would be in the lobby area with hourly rounds of the building, both inside and outside.

Fifthly, I would install an outdoor fire escape on the north side of the building as that side has no access to the outside at all. If there was a fire in that area, the tenants would literally be trapped.

Sixthly, I would renovate both the storage and laundry rooms by buying new washers and dryers that wouldn't break down and leak water from the laundry room into the hallway area. I would redo the storage room so that the pipes would be replaced and enclosed from leaking onto people's belongings. Also the storage lockers would be larger and more sturdy.

I would also get rid of any old stoves and refrigerators by calling 1-800-JUNK on a weekly basis, instead of having them linger for months in either the laundry room or the basement hallway. To that end, I would do an inspection of each apartment and ask the tenants how their stoves and refrigerators are and if they have any concerns about them.

Seventhly, I would give the tenants a New Year's present by making January a rent free month. That would be a tenant appreciation month and allow tenants more money to pay their Christmas bills.

In addition to all that I would also plan a neighbourhood block party in the summer time by applying to City Hall for permits to block off the street for one day so not only do the tenants get to know their neighbours in the building but also along the street itself.

To that end I would also create a Neighbourhood Block Watch Program.

These are only a few things I would do with the money. There are many more ideas I would do with the building itself.

In addition, I would help out in the community itself. There are projects I would like to do like, for example, there's a couple of churches that I know that need elevators for wheelchair accessibility into their buildings. I might even open up a nursing home that would be LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) friendly and would not discriminate against anybody due to their skin colour, sexual orientation, religion, or gender.

I would also become a member of the City's Chamber of Commerce and learn about businesses that are looking for workers and advertise those job opportunities in the building.

This is just some of the ideas of what I would do with the 50 million dollars.

Guest's picture
echomyst

Without our mortgage, our lives would be a whole lot easier! We'd free up tons of money for education, travel, FUN!!

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Kate

I would wish to be debt free! And have the wedding of my dreams!!

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Guest

To be debt free...what a positive way to get to your financial dream!!

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sandy

To be debt free!!

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SmartCookieAlexandraShields

I would wish to never again have the stress of worrying about paying bills on time. So much wasted energy, and I would be so much happier if I knew I would never have to stress about that again!

Guest's picture
remy

I would wish to have my mortgage paid off. Since we're making wishes here, I'll also add to have my siblings tuition paid off also. Oh and probably some extra money to buy my parents a new car. They bust their butts making sure their children get the best of everything while they suck it up and drive beat up ghettomobiles.

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SmartCookie Kevin

My wish would be for the funding to be approved for my son for an IPAD.
He is 10 years old non-verbal with severe Autism.
The IPAD has amazing apps that are helping children with Autism communicate.

My son is really struggling with eating right now, only a few hundred calories
a day. It has been real stressful for him and our whole family trying to understand
what he wants.

The new apps put words together and sound out the words. We are hoping
when he gets the IPAD,he can finally be able to tell us what he wants.

Guest's picture

My daughter has been either marginally employed or on disability since age 20. She now has a job she can do from home, but health concerns (hers and, later, her husband's) meant consumer debt. They've paid it all off, but her husband has been unemployed for two years now.
As a result, they have very little ready cash. If my financial fairy godmother gave me a wish, it would be to have enough money to get them a house so they could stop paying rent. If this were a multi-part wish, I'd also wish that they could have an EF, a new (but practical) car and a job for her husband.
Oh, and a baby, too. Although that's one part they can do for themselves. ;-) But as things stand now, they can't afford to.

Guest's picture
Beth

I would wish for some money to travel with. I'm not making much money right now and trying to save as much as I can. It would be nice to have a little extra so I could take that trip I've been wanting to go on for years and still hit my yearly savings goals.

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smartcookiesdeborah

I wish I could have the financial freedom to travel my hearts desire!!!! I would LOVE to own my own vacationhome one day :))))))))))))))))))))))

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GuestsmartcookieLaura

I wish I could save enough extra money to send my parents on their dream vacation that they so deserve.

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SmartCookieLaura

I wish I had enough to make a difference in someone's life that needed just enough to start over. If I could help one person a day it would be even better.
One of my closest friends is homeless this summer with her childern. What a difference two months rent would make in her life.

Guest's picture
Lillian Bannister

IF I HAD ONE WISH IT WOULD BE TO HAVE HELP FOR ALL SENIORS WHO DONT HAVE FAMILY!!

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Lillian Bannister

I wis there was only four work days for me instead of five,,,the 5th 6th 7th would be volunteering

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Heather M

$20 would not buy my dream, but a financial downfall would get me my 10 to 20 acres of land so we could be selfsufficent. Which is have our own chickens, goats and maybe a cow and pigs. I need to get out of the city.

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Heather M

My wish would be....to have our 10 to 20 acres of land to be selfsufficient with our own chickens, cows, goats and pig (maybe).

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SmartcookieSalim

My financial wise would be to save enough money for a Aston Martin..... :)

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SmartCookieKatya

I wish for my old and ugly aunt Sallie Mae (worth $90k) to move out of my wallet, house and LIFE. I'll do everything I can to make this move happen ASAP. :)

Guest's picture
Jill H.

That my house would be paid off