Now that F.U. money has been defined (see part #1) – I want to dive into the 1st of 2 real scenarios in my life where F.U. money was indispensable in making sure I was able to leave a job without a backup plan or another job to go to. Each scenario is very different in why I left and how I viewed and ended up using the F.U. money.
F.U. scenario #1 – Moving Across The Country
After working for a large Fortune 500 company for over 10 years and building a great paying career in Finance that I was happy with – our living situation had put us to a point where we had sold our home in the Twin Cities and were essentially living an ultra-minimalist lifestyle out of my mom’s house. She had recently moved to an independent senior living facility and was in the process of having contractors fixing up and getting the house ready to sell – the one we were essentially squatting in! Where were we going to go? We could have easily bought another house in the same area or even across the river in Wisconsin as we had looked at houses there while keeping our current employment situations. Mr. F.U. Money was not on board with either of those house buying scenarios and encouraged us to look more at the big picture of where we wanted to go – someplace far away, much much warmer, and completely different than what we were used to. We talked for a couple of years of moving to South TX – a place we had visited a few times on vacation, with affordable real estate, HOT weather almost year-round with zero winters, and the ability to live on the water. We watched houses for over a year online, knew the neighborhood we wanted, the price points, and had even viewed a few homes in person the last time we visited.
Over this time I had informed my employer that I needed a fully remote-work option (of which several coworkers had) and had gotten the initial approval. Fast forward a few weeks later and I was told there were not able to approve remote work regardless of how my current position was restructured. I was shocked – and furious! We were fast running out of a place to live and the next step was basically to rent an apartment or Airbnb to buy ourselves time to figure out where we were going. By this time we had plenty of cash saved up and rough estimate probably put us at 5x annual expenses (not including cash equity from the house we just sold). Also, the realtor that showed us the house 8 months prior that we like in Corpus Christi contacted me that the sellers were becoming more serious about unloading it as it was merely a vacation home for them. After a few days of offers, counteroffers, negotiating furniture (remember we didn’t have any!), and a few minor issues from the inspection report – we pulled the trigger and wired the proceeds from our house sale to buy outright without a mortgage.
So the next question… when should we give notice to our employers?
By this time my mom’s house was on the market, had an open house, and plenty of showings. I still felt the need to get a few more paychecks stacked up and a couple of months more of health insurance, and contributions to my 401k and HSA accounts to get as close to maxing out as I could. Mr. F.U. Money did the same. We talked nightly and focused on our strategy – sell off more of the things we didn’t absolutely need, what would fit into our tiny Pontiac and where to store it, and where our cat and her supplies would stay until we could get back to retrieve them. Exactly 17 days before we packed up our motorcycles to leave – we gave 2 weeks’ notice to our employers. It was terrifying and yet the most liberated I felt in a very long time. I was leaving a great employer, a great paying job with tons of benefits with the idea of riding a motorcycle across the country with almost no possessions and no job waiting for either of us. That was it and there was no turning back!
The next two weeks wrapping up our jobs and getting final plans of our trip down saw an accepted offer on my mom’s house, an inspection, and finally getting to that Friday before we left and our last day at our jobs. It was a short day of saying goodbye to coworkers, finalizing hotel stay reservations, Google-mapping our route one last time, turning in my badge, keys, and corporate credit card. That afternoon was a flurry of activity packing up the car mainly with Mr. F.U. Money’s tools, a couple of boxes of papers, some knickknacks, and clothing that wouldn’t fit on our motorcycles. The car was packed, re-packed, and then packed again. Finally – it all fit!
The next day, Saturday, it was dropped off at my mother-in-law’s pole shed for a month along with our cat Sally and her supplies in the guest bedroom in the house. Saturday evening was dedicated to packing up our bikes, cleaning my mom’s house a bit, and having a couple of beers to celebrate it all. Sunday morning 8 am rolled around, bikes finalized, and with that – we left!
NONE of this would have been remotely possible without F.U. money.
Money might not buy happiness directly but it sure buys freedom when you need it! Staying in a job that won’t “allow” you to move is really unacceptable in this day and age of technology that is available. Being stuck in one location is usually not conducive to most people’s life paths and simply to stay with one employer is not a way to live with an abundant mindset. There’s a lot out there so go for it!
The next post will be dedicated to my 2nd scenario of needing and having F.U. money to leave another job that wasn’t working out.