Humphrey Bogart always kept a $100 bill in his dresser drawer. It meant that no matter the circumstances, he could decline a bad acting job. Having that money set aside was the difference between taking any job he was offered out of desperation versus only accepting roles that were important to him.
Apparently, Mr Bogart said: “The only point in making money is so that you can tell some Big Shot where to go.”
Over the last few years, money used as a way to escape bad situations and swear at those who wrong us has been nicknamed ‘F*** You Money’, although it’s certainly not a new concept.
So how can you use FU money to your own advantage? And how much do you need?
FU money is about freedom
People used to dream of climbing up the socioeconomic ladder to a comfortable middle class life. They’d have a business built from scratch, a house in the country, a two-car garage and a couple of holidays each year.
While many do still want such a life for themselves, others want a different type of freedom.
They want to be so financially secure they can tell people to f*** off without worrying about the impact such a statement will have on their lifestyle.
They long for the freedom to upturn their desk, give their boss the finger, and perhaps even retire on the spot.
Rejecting things that don’t align with your plan
We’re not encouraging you to go around swearing at people, of course! But there is something inspiring about having the financial backing to reject things that don’t benefit you. Whether that’s a lower salary than you deserve or an opportunity that’d be more trouble than it’s worth.
Even as a business owner you might find yourself taking on clients or projects that you don’t really want. Initially, you might brush your concerns aside and pretend it’s a good idea, only to later resent every second you spend working on that particular job.
By following in Bogart’s footsteps, you can fill your life with things you love rather than with things you feel obliged to do.
Trapped in a middle class lifestyle
Many people become trapped in their lifestyles, even though from the outside it might look as though they’re wealthy enough to do whatever they want. We touched upon this in a recent blog post where we explored how high income earners can end up broke.
A high interest mortgage, two cars on finance and other debts that seemed like a good idea at the time can make it harder to reject things that don’t serve us.
Thankfully, this problem can often be overcome with forward planning and smart investments.
Work out what your FU fund is for
First thing’s first, let’s work out what exactly your FU fund is for.
Do you want to retire early or fund a sabbatical? Do you want a year to focus on nothing but growing a new business? Maybe you want to help loved ones in a tough situation. In this case, perhaps instead of telling a person to do one, you’re sticking your middle finger up at their debt.
Identifying what your fund is for will give you the motivation to work towards your goal while also putting you in a better position to work out how much you need.
What’s your number?
To get a ballpark estimate of the money you'd need, multiply the annual expense of maintaining your preferred lifestyle by the number of years you’ll need to fund.
If you’re planning on taking a year to travel, no maths required. If your FU money is for retirement, multiply your desired salary by the number of years you’re likely to live.
Err on the side of caution so you won’t run out during your later years. For example, if you want to storm out of your office at 40 and live for 50 years with £5,000 a month to spend, simple arithmetic indicates you'll need £3 million.
If invested wisely, your money has the potential to generate significant returns. Even if you have years where you contribute little or nothing, your freedom fund should continue to grow beyond what you invest yourself.
For a more precise calculation, you’ll need to account for varying market returns and inflation, which reduces your purchasing power over time.
Make the most of specialist planning software
If you’re yet to explore our WealthMap software, learn more about our innovative wealth building tool with the help of our free guide.
According to WealthMap, an investor who retires at 40 and has taken only moderate risks in the market could get by with just £2.1 million and still have a 90% chance of making it to 90 without having to curb spending in the golden years.
Get in touch with us today to work out how much you need and set a plan in place.