The Truth About Having A Fuck Off Fund
It’s a privilege not to be taken lightly.
It’s the season of so many new beginnings and resolves that the air seems to move electrically. There’s something so inspiring about being in new year energy, where so many have resolved to simply do better than the year before. I’m energized to tackle the projects that sat on my to-do list for far too long at the tail end of the year prior, while making room for new ways to pass my time. But one thing that’s consistent about that? The consciousness that comes with better cultivating my “fuck off fund.”
Growing up, my mother instilled in me many nuggets of wisdom, but the most important was the idea that independence could be liberating. If I were to go on a date, I always had to have enough money to pay for my dinner and get home on my own — even if my date offered to pay for these things themselves. In high school, it meant getting a job at the mall so that I could start paying for my own entertainment and non-essentials. To be honest, I didn’t think much about how the idea of a fuck off fund was so tightly linked to freedom until the year following my undergrad graduation. I was still contemplating exactly what I wanted to do with my life, and the idea of having at least a part-time job of my own (or in my case, the beginnings of my freelance writing career) was something I clung to tightly, because that lifeline of independence to pay for a movie or treat myself to lunch on a Tuesday afternoon just because I felt like it was too powerful for me to give up.
The idea of a fuck-off fund isn’t one that’s surrounded completely with negativity, out of being afraid to face scarcity and necessity. And trust me, these things are very real and very valid reasons to create a fuck off fund. But for me, there’s something appealingly liberating about choice. Money and power, being as interconnected as they are, tie themselves together with that idea — the ability to pass or take on a project, job, or any kind of activity not because you need it but because you simply desire it is one of the most liberating feelings that we can experience in our capitalist society. To have a fuck off fund of any size means that you have the privilege and ability to move a little easier through life. It allows for you to present yourself as the close to your true self as you dare to go. And what’s better than that?
As a writer and creative, the idea of having a fuck off fund is even more essential. I’ve always seen myself as someone that would be self-employed, and I’m lucky enough that I was able to achieve that so early. I get to wake up and work from wherever I choose, on topics that strike my curiosity and attention in a way that it simply wouldn’t if I was told what my tasks were everyday. But choosing this life also allows for me to make time to do the things outside of work that inspire me: I help run a podcast, I’ve created a Harry Potter book club, and am studying for my sexuality education certification. And while it’s not required, having a fuck off fund make it easier for me to explore these passions.
There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with having a fuck off fund. As a queer, black woman, I exist at the intersection of other identities. I know that I can’t remain unaware about how money and power dictate my life, and how it doesn’t erase the hardships that I will have to face because of my identities. In many marginalized communities, having a fuck off fund is — — quite accurately — — a sign of privilege. It says that you are able to move easier through the world that others without this unearned right simply cannot. To exist as a responsible and ethical person, I can’t overlook that.
However, I don’t think that being a marginalized person with a fuck off fund is something to be ashamed of. Having a fuck off fund doesn’t mean that I’m rich, or that this fund itself needs to be a ridiculous amount. To be honest, even $20 set aside can be a successful fuck off fund.
I balance both my privilege and ability to work in order to have my fuck off fund work for me. I intentionally set aside money for designated things — traveling, a new tattoo. Things that may appear frivolous or superficial or even self-care, but they all bring me joy. And a fuck off fund should do that — allow for me to reclaim autonomy over my own definition of joy and pleasure. That’s the secret about why a fuck off fund is so important — by having one, we get to choose how we define joy and pleasure for ourselves.