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Home » FU Money: How Much Do You Need?

FU Money: How Much Do You Need?

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FU Money is a term that you may or may not have heard of, but as a concept, you’re more than familiar with it. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live without worrying about money, then you’re ready. “Ready for what?” you might ask. Ready to start your FU Fund? The question at hand, therefore, is how much money does it take to buy your complete, total, and absolute financial freedom?

The Origin of FU Money

Now, the concept of FU Money comes from one very simple question – how much money do you need to never work a day in your life again? But there’s more to it. The notion revolves around maintaining a desired lifestyle without relying on employment or assistance from anyone. In other words, you can say “f*ck you” to your employer without bringing yourself to financial ruin. It should come as no surprise that such a term would, sooner or later, become widely used.

In terms of its origin, where the phrase truly came from is still a matter of debate. We know that it came into use somewhere around the ’80s, appearing in multiple movies and books. It’s safe to say that the ’80s weren’t the period when the idea behind it first came to be. They are, however, the period where the phrase was first coined. Notable examples from that time come from three sources: two books and a movie.

The 1986 movie “Heat” features perhaps the first on-screen use of the word, where Burt Reynolds’ character claimed that he needed FU Money. Around the same time, an interviewee in Jack Schwager’s “Market Wizards” had used the phrase to discuss financial independence. It is worth stating that the same term was first referenced more than ten years before the previously mentioned examples. It was Earl Wilson who, in his book “The Show Business Nobody Knows”, first discussed his encounter with the term and its meaning.

F*ck You Variables

So far, we’ve covered what FU Money is and where it all began. Next, we’ll focus on the burning question of how much is FU Money? The answer, of course, largely depends on who you ask. While scouring r/financial independence, known as Reddit’s cream of the crop financial advisor, we came across various opinions:

  • I work for a super awesome boss who certainly has FU money (like his grandkids have trust funds). I asked him this exact question. He said: “right now I would say 30 million.”
  • Enough money to up and tell your boss to fuck off and you can safely go find other fulfilling work and relocate comfortably if needed.
  • “fu” money is enough to survive if you lose your job. Company fires you? Well fu too, company! Things might be a little tough and you gotta go on a strict budget, but you’ll survive.

Based on this, the amount of money you consider worthy of calling FU Money largely depends on your goals. Although, apart from this, there is one other crucial factor that will influence how much money you need in your FU Fund to be truly independent. More than anything, your fund will be influenced by where you are; in other words – your place of living.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, in 2019, the normal American household spent approximately $63, 000. On the other hand, in Canada, the average household spent roughly $69,000. Even more substantial discrepancies could be expected if we were to compare two vastly different countries. Therefore, it would be worth considering your current place of living and finances while planning your FU Fund.

Dealing with Inevitable Issues

Even though meticulous planning will help you set up a better FU Fund, certain problems can’t be avoided. Modern life is all but consistent, and because of this, you should always try to predict the unpredictable. This may well be the key to determining how much is FU Money for you.

Here’s our Big Three when it comes to setting up your FU Fund:

The Mean

Calculating the average household spending is one thing, but what you need to do is calculate your average spending and that of your household. This is because the average may not be your average. If you are below the average for your place of living, you can skip this step. If you’re above the average, you will need to be slightly more careful when setting up your fund. The more you deviate from the mean, the greater the fund will have to be.

The Style

We can’t always predict lifestyle changes, although they should be expected. In short, the more freedom you have, the more you’ll want to pursue your dreams and interests. While a FU Fund will help you in this endeavor, you should know what those dreams may entail. For example, if you’re a person who enjoys lavish leisure, the fund will have to accommodate for that. The planning stage is crucial to prepare yourself and the fund for such accommodations. But more than that, you will need to be realistic when it comes to your lifestyle. If not, your retirement will surely come to an end.

The Capital

Life’s not all about monthly expenses and leisure activities. More often than not, the unpredictable nature of everyday life is the bane of all funds. What we want is for the FU Fund to weather the storm that is everyday life. And unless you’ve already made impeccable investments, in which case, you probably don’t need a FU Fund, you should always make your fund slightly larger than it needs to be.

Finishing Thoughts

The position of F*ck You is one that, as time goes by, more and more people will want to attain. Ultimately, the key to success is how well you plan your FU Money Fund and how realistic your estimations are. The quicker you determine how much your FU Money is, the better your prospects become. The more realistic your evaluations are, the closer you get to your complete, total, and absolute financial freedom.

To help you understand the analogy, here’s John Goodman explaining it passionately 🙂
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