Every two weeks, we make (what I consider to be) a significant step towards Financial Independence. It may not look like all the much now (approximately $1,500) but with some super sexy compounding over the next 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years it will turn into a beastly sum. With the ultimate goal of leaving the corporate world, our nest egg is pretty much a giant FU Fund With the middle finger primarily pointed at all things associated with traditional work.
If you are not familiar with the term FU Fund – here is a solid definition from Lifehacker:
“any amount of money allowing infinite perpetuation of wealth necessary to maintain a desired lifestyle without needing employment or assistance from anyone.”
Every time I hear someone say “Blue Sky” or “Cross-Departmental Collaboration” my eyes glaze over and I imagine a place where people don’t feel the need to say things that don’t mean anything. I wish we could implement a douche bag jar like the one on New Girl and rid the world of these lines.
With a few small tweaks, I present the Corporate DoucheBag Jar!
Talk less, get more done.
Yes, it’s a bit ironic that the corporate culture that is slowly driving me crazy is the primary fuel in our plan to leave. But that is part of being an income sell-out and working for the paycheck instead of passion. #TradeOffs (Working on my Millennial Skills, that means lots of #)
Is my FU Fund Ruining my Work Ethic?
Over the last 3-4 months, I have felt a shift in my attitude and I was a little uneasy with the changes initially. It goes against some of my philosophies. Primarily, focusing on increasing income, which is usually associated with “working hard” and making da boss happy.
Pushing the Work/Life Balance further
I don’t work harder than I have to.
Our daughter and everything that comes with being a parent pushed me to drop the amount of Work and increase the amount Life over the last few months. I value time with the family above all else and it shows.
I don’t feel the need to be present beyond my normal workday anymore, and even cut out early some days to pick up my daughter early. One of the benefits of being a salaried employee, if my projects are tracking successfully, I don’t have much to worry about. My boss doesn’t keep track of my hours and trusts that I am getting the job done.
Building up trust with my boss, team, and customers is paying dividends
Menial Tasks Have Fallen to the Wayside
I am halfway through the book 4 Hour Work Week and am putting some of its theories into practice.
Basically, if I wouldn’t write it on my accomplishments at the end of the year, I don’t do it. Do less of it. Or question the value it is providing. I also stopped attending meetings that aren’t a fruitful use of my time.
I stopped volunteering to do things I don’t think will make measurable impacts. My time is spent contributing directly to the success of my projects and everything else is fading in the rearview mirror.
Being busy doesn’t equal productivity, focus on measurable impacts
I have uttered this phrase a few times in the past 6 months referring to my paycheck.
I used to take differing opinions or crappy assignments personally but lately have accepted some outcomes that I wouldn’t have let go so easily in the past.
If something is particularly frustrating, I take a few seconds and realize that I am trading my time for money. If they think I should make over $40 an hour to do something we can easily assign to our India team….. who am I to argue with Senior Directors….. no matter how little sense it makes.
I find this attitude works really well when surrounded by negativity. When I find my self in a corporate bitch fest, I remind the group that payday is coming. Checks make dealing with it easier.
The check’s clearing and we will be $1,500 richer next time it does.
Embracing the “Contract Year”
For anyone not familiar with the term:
“Term used in North American sports to describe the occurrence when athletes perform at a very high level in the season prior to their free agency eligibility. Most often, these athletes have seasons that are statistically better than previous years, but then once they sign their new contract, they return to their previous level of performance” – Wikipedia
Why shouldn’t the average person get to benefit from the contract year?!?! It shouldn’t just be the people making millions that get to slack off a bit after a promotion or raise!*
I work harder when there are reviews, bonuses, and promotions on the table. Not sure how this will land with the crowd, but since my reward is financial and not personally motivating, it’s about the cash.
The attitude towards my blog is completely different, it is a personal passion project that I enjoy putting thought and time into. It takes some skill to balance a full-time job, a 4-month-old and a side project. My goal is to keep sinking more time here as I spend less time selling out :). So you could say my work ethic is shifting, not necessarily deteriorating?
*Sorry doctors, EMTs, firefighters, and police officers…….. FU Fund or not……. we would prefer you to perform like a champ every day of every year 🙂
So, Why is our FU Fund shifting our attitude?
Pretty simple, our debt is dropping and our nest egg is growing. Our FU Fund is taking form. It is still a long way from being the size it needs to be for a final FU jump. But it does have enough to take the fear out of being fired or laid off.
If we were living paycheck to paycheck, I wouldn’t be as bold as I have been lately. Living within our means is giving us choices. Choices we wouldn’t have if we couldn’t survive for 2 weeks after our cash flow was cut.
As long as we can continue our income growth by working on the right things and being productive instead of busy, I am 100% ok with continuing to shift our balance. If we slip in the income department, we will revisit. Thus far I am enjoying caring a little less. I want every person I know and whoever reads this blog to have the exact same choice.
Choices = Freedom
Anyone else feeling something similar? Have you started your FU Fund?