The Life-Changing Magic of a Fuck Off Fund
Ivan here. If you’ve been to a bookstore recently, chances are you’ve stumbled upon Marie Kondo’s international bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Do you enjoy flushing your toilet and thanking it for a job well done? When you brush your teeth in the morning, do you look at your toothbrush and ask yourself, “does this spark joy?” If so, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is the book for you.
But you know what’s even more magical than tidying up? What will literally change your life and open your eyes to all that this world has to offer you?
Having a Fuck Off Fund.
So lay off those bath salts, stop talking to inanimate objects, and embark on a magical journey towards financial freedom.
What is a Fuck Off Fund?
The Fuck Off Fund is hardly a new term and is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a sum of money you keep in your savings account in case you need to tell someone to fuck off. This could be anyone (or anything) from an abusive boss, a bad relationship, or a dead end job.
Basically, the Fuck Off Fund serves as your first line of defense. It’s the antidote to late-stage capitalism. The match you use to set fire to Lady Fortune’s stupid wheel. More importantly, it's an invitation to an exclusive club called Freedom.
The Fuck Off Membership Tiers
Did you know there are actually multiple levels of financial freedom? Here’s the rough breakdown:
1. The Basic Fund
At least 6 months worth of living expenses. This provides insurance for life’s small to medium sized emergencies. Everyone should have a basic fuck off fund.
2. The Premium Fund
Debt free + 6-8 months worth of living expenses. Insurance for even the most catastrophic emergencies.
3. The Domestic Fund
8-12 months of living expenses + enough to cover the moving costs to live and work anywhere in the country. For more info on this, check out our 20-Something's Guide to Starting Over.
4. The International Fund
A full year’s living expenses + enough to travel and live abroad doing work you’re passionate about, from any country where you can legally get a visa.
5. The Fuck Off Lifetime Status Club
Enough savings in the bank to cover one year's living expenses from interest and dividends alone, doing whatever you like, and answering to nobody except the law and your own mortality
For example, if you’re comfortable spending $30,000 a year, divide that by a conservative 5% annual return and you get a fund of $600,000. If you don’t mind living in a smaller city, town or in the countryside, you could achieve lifetime fuck off status on much much less.
5 Steps to Building Your Own Fuck Off Fund
1. Figure out your minimum expectations
Make a list of everything you need each month in order to (a) survive and (b) be reasonably satisfied with your life. The fewer Rolexes and mansions you have on this list, the cheaper you can buy your freedom.
2. Track your actual spending for 3-4 months
Be honest with yourself and figure out where you stand today. How far are you from your goals?
3. Make a realistic budget
A budget is like a marriage between reality and your aspirations. A reasonable budget means you don’t end up eating ramen by the end of every month. And don't try and compare yourself to others. Do whatever works for you (so long as you're doing it better than the person you were yesterday).
4. Set up a separate savings account
This savings account should be out of sight and out of mind. Don't open it with the same bank where you keep your checking.
5. Set up automatic transfers
Set it up so that a certain percentage of every pay-check goes into your savings first. If you don't have a Basic Fuck Off Fund yet, you should be holding off on non-essential purchases until you've achieved that minimum. Having the patience to buy your freedom first is worth infinitely more than the new (insert name of status seeking object here) you don't really need.
And remember, over time, you need to make sure the balance of your Fuck Off Fund keeps up with your increased monthly spend.