Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet, Fierce Girls. I have been in that particular hell they call ‘moving home’. And not just moving, also setting up a new home. Buying whitegoods, picking internet providers, assembling Ikea furniture – the lot.
You see, when my marriage ended, I moved in with an awesome flatmate who already had her own sweet apartment set-up. So I just brought my extensive collection of shoes, clothes and Tupperware and slotted right in.
Two years later, she has a bunch of stuff going on that led her to pull the pin on our Bachelor-watching, wine-drinking, bitching-about-men sorority house. And so, I decided it’s time to act like the adult I am, and get a place on my own.
But the last time I lived on my own was literally 1998, so I had a lot to organise and a lot to spend.
Which brings me to the Fuck You Fund (aka Fuck-Off Fund, depending on circumstances really. And sorry if you don’t like swearing – best not read ANY of this site). I always knew I would need to set myself up at some point, so I had mentally budgeted for it.
But still, it’s hard pulling together a month’s rent upfront, a higher bond payment than your old one, funds for furniture and appliances, and money for Burgers Anonymous, which is totally in walking distance and serves the best loaded fries EVER.
Luckily I managed it, admittedly with a little help from the old parentals, because I like to let them show their love that way.
And here’s the lecture part. I knew I’d need to do this all at some point, but I never knew when. To be honest, my flattie sprang the whole thing on me. We are good friends, but she had shit going on that I didn’t know about. So one day, I am living it up in Darlinghurst and the next, I am chilling in Surry Hills (admittedly, about 1.5km away).
And that’s the exciting but fucked-up part about life. You just never fucking know.
You never know when your partner will declare they are leaving you (just ask my ex, who swears it was a surprise).
You never know if you’ll lose your job to a round of redundancies (like a mate of mine earlier this year).
You never know if you’ll be diagnosed with cancer in your thirties (I lost an old friend to the disease, just a few days ago).
You never know when your top-floor apartment will be flooded and ruin all your stuff (happened to a friend last week).
Life is heartbreakingly unpredictable, and all we can do to guard against it is buy insurance and save our pennies. As Hamlet said, ‘the readiness is all’.
So the F.U.F is partly to let you leave a situation of your own accord, but it’s also a buffer against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (a little more Hamlet for you).
How much do you need in your F.U.F?
Well, how much ya got? No seriously, there is no magic number – some say three months’ salary, but that seems very ambitious. Just try and put aside some of your salary every pay, in a separate account, that you can’t see or touch as part of your normal banking (so, ideally, a different bank).
Still paying off a credit card? Then do that first. Keep a few hundred around in cash, but you need to get rid of that expensive interest-bearing debt first. Please do that, Fierce Girls. Like, with a payment plan and stuff, not a vague intention.
So, no complicated investment lessons today. Just a reminder that nothing is permanent, life is a total shit-show, and all we can do is save, plan, insure and laugh about it all.
Photo credit: Bill Dickinson