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.”