FU money… the dream of many a worker around the world.
If you’re not familiar with the concept, FU money (aka F-you money) is the idea that you’ve accumulated enough bankroll that you can tell your boss “f*** you” if needed.
Maybe you’ve just had enough and can’t take it anymore – you just want to quit and do something else.
FU money gives that power… that flexibility.
Perhaps you’re ready for a career change. On the other hand, maybe you want to take a mini-retirement – a break of sorts.
FU money can help.
Now don’t get me wrong, FU money is not necessarily financial independence. It can be, but it doesn’t need to be.
You might not have enough money to quit your job forever (if that’s your goal) like financial independence (FI) provides. However, FU money definitely gives you a little more choice in your life.
If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck or you’re stacked with consumer debt, you’re not there yet. On top of that, making changes to get there when you have these anchors in your life can be extremely difficult.
If you’re in that boat, you need to buckle down and get rid of that albatross from around your neck. I know the struggle – I’ve been there, done that. Even if you’re not on the journey to FI or don’t have a strong desire for having FU money, removing that hurdle can give you a cushion for emergencies.
If you’re already in a better position financially, congrats to you! Hopefully, you’re already FI, but if not, I implore you to at least work toward FU money.
Why, you might ask, is that so important?
I’ll tell you why – because this past year is when I finally realized that we actually have FU money and it’s been eye-opening, to say the least.
Once I realized that I don’t need my job as much as they need me, things have changed in a couple ways…
The power of FU money at the office
At work, knowing I have FU money has given me more confidence to question things. I’m still respectful to my boss (the owner of the company). I owe him for everything he’s done to get me where I am today.
He hired me with no experience and took a chance on me. I’ve been there for over 18 years and he’s always treated me well. For that, I’m very grateful.
However, not everything he says is going to make sense to do. And that’s Ok. Not one of us can make all the right decisions… ask Mrs. R2R – she thinks most of my decisions are wrong!
The difference is that when you live paycheck-to-paycheck, you tend not to question what your boss says as much due to fear of losing your job. If you take the money worries out of the equation though, that fear seems to dissipate.
That’s a good thing for everyone.
My boss respects that I’m not just a “yes man.” Keep in mind though, that on the periodic occasions when I do question certain things, I’m doing it respectfully.
I obviously feel better stating my thoughts. Sometimes he backtracks and makes a change in his decision and sometimes he doesn’t. If he sticks by his decision, I still just do it. I’m not trying to be insubordinate, just smarter about how we do things.
That’s better for the company as a whole to grow more effectively. One person can’t be right all the time and, as a smaller company of around 40 employees, it’s important to be careful in steering the ship.
He calls me into his office more often just so he can run thing by me first before making some of the bigger decisions. This makes him stronger and it makes me stronger.
The power of FU money.
The power of FU money at home
Mrs. R2R dropped down to part-time after our daughter was born. She stayed in that role for a handful of years until they decided they needed someone full-time.
They were eliminating the part-time position and creating a full-time position in its place. They offered her the job but she didn’t want to work full-time so passed on it.
She no longer works there (she got a nice severance though!). Instead, she decided to try starting her own side-hustle.
She’s now become a personal assistant of sorts for the neighborhood. As many side hustles tend to go, this is starting off relatively slow (but faster than I anticipated) and will hopefully continue to grow over time.
My point to this is that having enough FU money has given us the flexibility to make this choice.
She’s able to get our daughter ready for school in the morning. She’s able to drop her off at school and pick her up as well. Moreover, when our daughter has off school, it’s no longer a worry of figuring out who’s going to watch her.
All those chores that seem to be a pain for working couples to find time for (grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc.) fit in a little easier now.
Now, you might be thinking, “Didn’t this affect your journey to FIRE?”
And the answer is yes, it definitely made a difference. Living off and saving for FIRE on one income is harder. It’s doable, but still harder.
But that’s Ok. We’re still planning to reach FIRE by the end of 2019. And FU money has allowed this journey to be a little less stressful along the way.
Although the idea of FU money was something I was always aware of, I never realized we had it until recently. I’ve been so focused on reaching the end goal that I failed to realize exactly how far we’ve now come.
The path to financial independence provided that. As I said, we’re not FI yet, but this stepping-stone of FU money sure feels damn good along the way!
So if you’re just starting on the route to financial independence and you’re getting frustrated because it seems to be ages away, know that certain aspects get much easier the further you get on the journey.
Have you reached or do you dream of the FU money milestone?
Thanks for reading!!