11 my company kicked me to the curb. Six months earlier our division president had taken me to a congratulations lunch for a record breaking year. We 2 bitcoin inaudible explosively growing and embarrassingly profitable.
Over a bottle of fine wine we discussed my very bright future. It was the best job I’ve ever had. Great team, great leadership, great fun. I had just cashed a bonus check for more than I had ever made in a single year before.
A year later my little girl and I were sitting on the couch watching a news broadcast. The concerned news crew was filming people standing in a depression era style bread line. They were, the reporter said, the newly poor suffering from job loss in the dismal economy. I was still unemployed and licking my wounds. Thinking, I’m sure, just like those poor souls on the TV. Who even thought she knew what a job was?
We have money that’s working for us instead. That’s what I said, but what I was thinking was: This was exactly why I worked hard to be sure I had F-you money. In fact I’d been working on it long before I heard the term. If memory serves, it comes from James Clavell. F-word is spelled out in the book. So you can look it up in case you’re wondering just what word it is. And 10m is far more than it takes, at least for me.
I may not have known what it was called, but I knew what it was and why it is important. There are many things money can buy, but the most valuable of all is freedom. Freedom to do what you want and work for whom you respect. Those who live paycheck to paycheck are slaves. Those who carry debt are slaves with even stouter shackles. Don’t think for the moment their masters don’t know it. I first accumulated the modest amount I needed around 1989.
Not enough to retire on perhaps, but enough to say F-you if needed. I wanted to take some time off to pursue business acquisitions. When I found myself one morning with my boss in the office hallway screaming at each other, it occurred to me perhaps the time had come. I may never own a Mercedes but I’ll always be able to say what needs to be said when it needs to be said. I’m really lousy at job hunting.
Addendum 1: F-you Money: John Goodman v. In The Power of Money Thrifty Gal adds whole new dimensions. With great visuals you can track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance, including costs. It is also a great tool for reaching short-term savings goals.