The Power of F U Money
Save for your freedom.
OK, I didn't necessarily call mine F U Money, but I did have a fund setup in case I needed a break from the 9 to 5.
I first had this sense of wanting to get out of the race early on in my career. I had just graduated from college and was working full time in IT at a pharmaceutical company. The job itself was great, lots of perks and benefits and some days, fulfilling. During my first two years there, I also was attending graduate school on company dime. One year after doing the grind of working full time and going to school part time, I felt overwhelmed. So on a Tuesday, myself and a friend of mine decided to head to the Bahamas for the weekend. We booked our flights that Tuesday and were in the Bahamas from Thursday - Sunday. It was the best feeling to be able to just do that on a whim. No worries about money. It was, as some of my co-workers called it, a baller move.
Now, I'm not a baller, from from it, but I liked that feeling of freedom so I setup a separate fund in CapitalOne 360 to house my Freedom Fund. Over time, it grew, not by a lot, but enough to give me a sense of security and peace. Now, early on, I didn't have a clue that early retirement through financial independence was possible. I was just saving because that's what you were supposed to do so I'm glad I did that.
I never needed to leave any of my jobs desperately enough to just quit without lining up the next opportunity. I definitely feared not having a job and the income that it brought in. Regardless, I kept saving and funneling what I could. All of these years, in the back of my mind, I always wanted to do something on my own, I just didn't know what that was. The jobs I had were pretty good, well paying, intellectually stimulating, but in hindsight, did not ignite the true FIRE in me. I never had the guts really in the end to also leave the 9 to 5. Partly due to a lot of fear, a lot of insecurity and really not understanding the FI mentality just yet.
Fast forward a few years later, someone made the decision for me and I was laid off. I still remember that day they made the announcement to around 12 of us. Definitely not personal. I had and will always be a performer so I didn't take it to heart as I many other people did. When I received the paperwork, in the back of my mind, I was strangely glad. I started calculating how much I had saved up and no panic set in, just strange comfort knowing that someone just gave me an opportunity to try something different.
Now, again I never called my savings F U Money (on a separate note, I did create separate accounts for Emergency, Travel, Medical/Dental so that I could compartmentalize where things were going), but calling it Freedom Fund gave it a different meaning, purpose and life. It wasn't about turning your back on employment, but on facing forward to find your next opportunity with the security of your finances in tow.
Now of course, I wouldn't be where I am today without not only the financial support of my savings, but also the support for my family.
On a separate note, I chose to keep my savings in CapitalOne 360 for a few reasons. CapitalOne 360 supports multiple savings accounts without any fees so I was able to separate funds out. CapitalOne 360 is online so there was an extra step if I wanted to take out that money by needing to transfer it to a checking account. Of course, an alternative option is to invest in something with a higher and guaranteed return if you feel like you absolutely don't need the money right away (which I did eventually). FI thinking will probably ask you to find an investment vehicle that will provide greater returns but the same liquidity as a savings account.
I would encourage you to setup your own Freedom Fund. Perhaps, you don't know what that number is, but as you get more into FI, this will start getting clearer. Or perhaps, you like what you do and where you are and don't necessarily want to leave it. Setup a Freedom Fund anyways and when the time is right, convert it into something to reach one other dream. That's the power of the Freedom Fund, it can be for anything your heart desires. In the end, the Freedom Fund eventually becomes the FI Fund. Early on, you may not be thinking about financial independence and early retirement and this is OK. Regardless, the Freedom Fund will provide you great peace of mind as you move through life.