Before I divorced, I failed to take the financial implications into account -- I just wanted out of this most terrible relationship and situation, no matter what it took. This resulted quite severe financial hits, but, at the time, these were worth it -- I felt my situation was that dire.
Although I was the main breadwinner of the marriage, this actually set me back financially -- my savings were completely decimated afterwards as he was a frivolous spender and received a good chunk of said savings as well as some other financial assets.
After being jolted back to reality after a few months of being in a strange emotional fog after the divorce, moving into an expensive flat and then subsequently getting fired from my job, I started working more intensely and consciously on improving my money beliefs and re-prioritizing my financial life.
One of the first things I started to work on was creating an emergency fund. This idea came from my mother, who was smart enough to have had one when she divorced my father (but why she didn't tell me of this before, I don't know...). An emergency fund is money set aside to cover any large emergencies such as unforeseen medical expenses, home repairs, a broke car or unemployment. Except I didn't want to call it an "emergency fund" nor did I want it just for emergencies -- I wanted it in order to reclaim my sense of independence. After doing some research on this topic, I stumbled across the term "Fuck Off Fund" and this was the perfect name to call this thing. Calling this money an emergency fund felt like very reactive; instead, if I needed to, I wanted to use this money as an act of liberation.
Living in Switzerland, I knew that I didn't need a massive emergency fund, initially at least. At most, my medical expenses would be CHF2500 (the maximum amount of my deductible), I have full accident insurance, I don't have a car and don't own any real estate (yet!). However, I wanted to have this Fuck Off Fund for when I needed to suddenly move into a new apartment (where the deposit is three times the rent), if things didn't work out with a love relationship, or if I wanted to quit a job that I absolutely hated and I didn't qualify for unemployment. Or I found my dream job in another country and I needed to cover expenses until I started. But mainly, I needed a Fuck Off Fund so that I could escape any predicament with a big middle finger without feeling like I was financially trapped.
Having this financial security to say "fuck off!" for a few months until I could right my sails after a bad relationship or a bad job (until unemployment kicked in), makes me feel that I never have to stay in a quagmire again because of lack of money. This is the sort of financial independence and freedom that I crave and need.
A Fuck Off Fund is a mindset of putting my long-term needs first and making sure I build a solid financial safety net for myself in case shit happens. In the meantime, I've extended this mindset to include to my other investments, as well. That is to say, I am unapologetically pursuing my financial independence. I see financial independence as a path to freedom to do the things I want to do, when and where I want to do them, which flies in the face of society's norms. Not only is my emergency fund a Fuck Off Fund, but so are the rest of my investments.
You need a Fuck Off Fund
The Fuck Off Fund is your financial foundation. You need one not only because a man and marriage aren't insurance against "when shit hits the fan", but you need one in case you want to quit your unfulfilling job NOW, or your cat gets sick with a CHF2000 vet bill. You need one in case you want to find out what your new career should be and you need a few months to figure that out, or to escape a bad living situation. You need one whether you're a woman or a man and having a Fuck Off Fund is super empowering. Having a Fuck Off Fund is about choosing yourself and being on the path to financial independence.
Top 3 Things to Consider for your Fuck Off Fund
Make sure it's super liquid: you should be able to access this account quickly and easily. That means, don't put money for this account into your investment accounts or retirement accounts that you can't access fast. Use a high-yield savings account or any free account that has no fees that's easily accessible via an ATM or a branch. I use neon and Zak.
Don't skim into it: that means, don't use this account for small shit that you don't actually need. This account is not meant to dip into if your debit account can't cover your latte; this account is mean for when the shit really hits the fan and you need a large amount of cash quick.
Keep it secret (or don't): This fund can be your little secret or you can tell your friends and mom about it. You'll have to decide for yourself which path is in your best interest. The point is, this fund is not meant to be thing to be bragged about -- instead, look at this fund as another tool in your "adulting" repertoire.