If there’s one piece of financial advice I’d give to anybody and everybody, it’s to start an FU fund.
An FU Fund. A Fork Off Fund. An “I Can’t Deal With This Anymore So I’m Out Of Here” Fund.
You get the picture. (I’m trying to keep it clean for the kids. Specifically my kid, who will likely read this and who thinks I swear too much. Which might be true.)
Essentially, an FU fund is an emergency fund that you use to get out of a bad situation. Regardless of where you’re at in your career or relationships, regardless of how happy and satisfied you are in the moment, it’s important to sock away some cash in case you ever need to leave, for whatever reason.
That FU fund is your escape hatch. It’s your parachute. It’s a powerful tool that will give you real options when you most need them.
The key is to start this fund as soon as possible, even if (especially if!) every aspect of your life is going swimmingly right now. Because if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that circumstances will change.
Example: A few years ago, I was hired into a position where my manager turned out to be the best boss I ever had. Support! Autonomy! Growth! Challenge! She helped cultivate all of that. I loved the job right up until the day she suddenly quit. The person who replaced her made my life hell, and eventually, I had to get out of there. My FU fund – though diminutive – bought me a couple of months to recover and find another job.
If you’re thinking, Cool idea, lady, and where am I going to get the money for this? I get it; I’ve been there, too. If it’s not in the cards right now because your money is being deployed for more important priorities (housing, food, etc.), then focus on your other financial obligations and continue to celebrate your wins.
But if you have any financial wiggle room at all, get that FU fund started! Put money into it consistently, even if it isn’t much. Toss a dollar, or five dollars, or whatever amount you can, into your FU fund every week, two weeks, or month. Be consistent, and make it a priority.
Even if your savings plan gets derailed (it happens! It’s normal!), an FU fund is still worth starting. At the very worst, you’ll have some money on hand for unexpected emergencies. At best, you’ll watch your money grow over time, build financial confidence, and cultivate a habit of saving, which is a useful skill in and of itself.