F$$$ You Money

Source: Urban Dictionary
Source: Urban Dictionary

Learning the art of frugality has proven to be important for a multitude of reasons. Not the least of which is that it sets you on a path to freedom. Spending little, saving more, forsaking consumerism. All key elements to quickly build up your stash. The stash that puts you in the position of being able to say, “Fuck you,” when necessary. It’s a lot easier to build up an adequate pot of FU Money when you need less. I certainly need less than the $2.5 million John Goodman speaks of here.

I’ve had lots of fantasies over the past couple of months of saying, “Fuck you, I quit.” This past week, I was “this close” to packing up my shit and walking out. “This close,” I tell you. I have no debt, other than my shrinking mortgage. I have enough non-401k savings to live on for a while. But I don’t yet have enough built up to retire, and I would like my current job to be my last. So I don’t say aloud the Fuck Yous I repeat in my head like a mantra. Instead, I remind myself that the fastest way to build up my stash to retirement level is to continue in my current position with BigLaw, living on a fraction of what they’re paying me, and putting the rest in Vanguard index funds. I’m getting there, but with BigLawBoss’s current shenanigans, not nearly fast enough.

There’s one more piece to the puzzle. A floating, nebulous piece. A piece I think about, and then push away. And then I relent, and run my retirement numbers again, with this piece in mind. I could walk out today. But then I squelch the thought. It’s like blood money. Like those “waiters” I was reading about the other day. “Don’t think about it,” I tell myself. But I do. And then I call my mother. We talk about the weather. Her cat. The new lady sitting at her table in the dining room. And then I get back to work this Sunday morning, making my way through BigLawBoss’s pile of weekend emails. All the while repeating softly to myself, “Fuck you.”


  • You are doing good! I gave up worshipping the ‘Almighty Dollar’ and being one of its mindless ‘consumers’ a long time ago. Keep saying your mantra and you will be okay!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I retired at 55, 15 years ago. I owed nary a farthing to anyone. No debt, period. I was divorced. I had just under $400,000 in Vanguard funds, stocks and bonds. I’ve always been frugal. I tossed or sold about everything I owned, hopped on a plane to Mexico, and I’ve been here 15 years. The first seven years I lived on savings and a small corporate pension, $540. That would not do much in the U.S., but it’s pretty useful in Mexico. When I hit 62, I started getting Social Security. I tap the investments now and then, almost always for something I could do without.

    Now, 15 years later, I have just under $300,000 in savings, plus a debt-free house, which I built, likely worth $200,000 or more. I paid $100,000 for it. My mother contributed half, I confess. My wife, debt-free but otherwise broke when I married her, and I have two cars which we bought new for cash. So, I have more monetary worth now than when I retired, in spite of the market crash of 2008 and not having any sort of paying employment, either of us. How this happened is a mystery, but I embrace it.

    Magic happens. Don’t chew on the idea of “do I have enough?” You likely do, especially if you move to Mexico, which is quite nice, by the way. Highly recommended.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very inspirational, Felipe. Mexico has crossed my mind more than once. But as a single woman, I wonder if I would need to stay near the expats in SMA or Lake Chapala, and then it wouldn’t be much of an escape; mentally or financially. If I did do it, I’d drive, not fly. The Three Black Cats are coming with me, wherever I go.


      • I generally do not want more Americans here where I live in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, (there are about 400) but you likely would make a good addition. I would make an exception for you. It would indeed be an escape both financially and mentally. It’s very nice here.

        Truth is that either San Miguel and the Chapala area would work too. You can live high on the hog there, or you can live cheaply or in between. Living in the middle of Mexico these days is quite sweet. It’s a fine vantage point to observe America committing suicide.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Felipe, it is so kind of you to let me in on your secret haven. And to make an exception for me. That truly is flattering. Although I expect we disagree on politics, we do agree that escaping America is a fine idea.


  • Like you, we’re waiting it out. We might think about the FU money from time to time, but we’re trying to take the long view and save up enough to be able to be comfortable for a really long time. Sucking it up for another couple of years feels super worth it, even if we’d rather be able to quit now. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you! I go back and forth between escape and saving more. Since I’m 52, I’m getting antsy. Not to mention, I do not like my work, unlike what I’ve read over at your place. My “comfortable” bar keeps getting lower.


  • I was wondering… do you think he would really fire you if you stopped doing work on the weekends? What if you passive-aggressively stopped responding to emails, but never honestly confronted him about it? How much backing away do you think you could pull off without losing your job entirely? After all, you are no longer interested in promotions or opportunities; you only want to maintain a paycheck. What work do you think you could let go of in order to make it easier for yourself to slave out the remaining years of drudgery?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rivka, this is brilliant. I think I’d have to do something spectacularly awful to get canned. Like having virtually no billable hours for months at a time. And even if I did that, I expect he’d give me a chance to turn things around. Funny you mention the passive-aggressive tactic. That is exactly what I’ve settled on. I can’t actually tell him I think he’s a complete and utter twat. So instead, I’ve been testing the boundaries on responding to emails after normal working hours (which, technically, lawyers don’t have), and so far have gotten nary a raised eyebrow. One thing I’ve noticed: I have a hard time being a slacker. I’m going to have to work hard to do it. Which is quite paradoxical. When I get close to the end of my time, perhaps if I push it even harder, he’ll let me go with a severance package. The Machiavellian plot is hatched!

      Liked by 3 people

  • I figure the tag of ‘early retirement’ (mis)led you to my blog! Completely agree on stashing away FU money. I quit once before, without a job, without thinking things through. Had to go back to work to earn some FU money. Am better planned now, though not as much as I would have liked. I free lance, which helps a bit.
    PS. I envy your writing style and cats so we are even!


    • Thank you so much! Yes, happily, the tag led me to your blog. I’m looking to pull the ripcord by end of next year, if I can make it that long. Free-lancing would be ideal. Something to look into….


  • Found this today when I googled FU money – I have that mantra going through my head at work every day. Wish I had thought about it when young, but then I used to like my job. At least my needs are becoming increasingly minimalist as I get older, so my FU stash doesn’t need to be large – saving more than half my income, so I already know I won’t need 80% in retirement as per usual financial advice. Looking forward to exploring the blog.


    • Lian, we are kindred spirits. The mantra gets me through the work-week. And once upon a time, I too liked my job. I have pared my expenses down to near Mr.-Money-Mustache level. At least once I give up my cleaner. (The last luxury of my former life.) The 80%-rule was so disheartening, until I learned it was bogus. Than you for your comment!


  • Been thinking about you lately, wondering how things are going. I totally get the ‘once piece’ that you think about, then push away. I have a similar piece. I wouldn’t consider us waiters at all. Just human, with human minds that sometimes go to dark places we don’t want to go.


    • Hi, Lou! Things have been a bit tumultuous. I’ve got so much to update, I’ve been suffering from overwhelm, and so not writing anything. (And, avoiding the blog as a result.) Maybe I’ll just do an update dump, and then move forward with a lighter load.

      Human. Yes. I’ll forgive myself for that. Thanks, Lou.


      • Hurray for update dumps! I always love hearing what you’re up to, which sounds weird because things have been rough for you the past few years. But I always look forward so much to your next post. Running away right now to read your latest. Happy Almost-Weekend!


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