Kali Hawlk

Helping Creatives Make More

Need Motivation to Save Money? Consider the Go To Hell Fund

We’ve all been there: you feel like your life has become a scene from Office Space and you’ve about had it. You’ve had it with your unfulfilling job. You’ve had it with your micro-managing, control-freak bosses that seem to exist solely for the purpose of driving you nuts. You’ve had it with the fact that in exchange for hard work, you get a pittance of a paycheck and make the guys at the top even richer.

But you continue on, day in and day out in this job you hate, devoting at least 8 hours per day – or 1/3 of your life! – to something that drains you of energy, happiness, and passion. Why?

Because you need the paycheck, of course, small as it is. You need the company benefits and the security. If only you had a chunk of cash you could take aside to live off for a few months (or even a few years) so you could tell your boss what you’ve longed to shout for years: tell ’em to shove it and go to hell.

There’s the thing: you can have that chunk of cash just for that purpose if you started saving and investing as soon as you possibly could. And if that’s not a great motivation to save money for yourself, I don’t know what is.

Your Motivation to Save Money: Empower Yourself!

The Go To Hell fund is something that anyone who works – for an employer or for themselves – needs to establish. This money will give you the power to get yourself out of a bad work situation when you’re ready to leave, while still providing and caring for yourself and your family. If you were having trouble finding the motivation to save money before, the thought of having the ability to leave an employer or job that makes you miserable should really help get your tail in gear. If you have a Go To Hell fund, you won’t have to hang onto a terrible position out of desperation; you’ll be more free to explore opportunities and totally new fields because you won’t be scared of missing out on a paycheck for a period of time.

What’s the Difference Between a Go To Hell Fund and an Emergency Fund?

Most people understand the importance of having an emergency fund: it covers life’s unexpected expenses so you don’t find yourself scrambling to cover costs or, worse, drive yourself into debt because you were financially unprepared. An emergency fund can cover something like a sudden job loss, but using your e-fund as your excuse to tell your boss to go sit on it because you’re done taking a whole lot of BS everyday might not be the wisest idea.

Unless you find yourself in some sort of abusive workplace environment, quitting your job is voluntary and not something you have to do. Your emergency fund is for things that are completely unforeseeable – and these are things that can still happen after you choose to stop showing up to the office. So, if you empty your e-fund to live off for a few months while you hunt for a new career or position that you (hopefully) won’t loathe, and suddenly, an unexpected expenses rears its ugly head.. then what?

This is why it’s important to reserve your emergency fund for emergencies only and why you need a separate fund going to earmark as your Go To Hell money.

When It’s Time to Use Your Go To Hell Fund

No matter what our careers look like, we all have to deal with some amount of irritation in our workplace. Even those who have “dream jobs” deal with aspects of their work that they don’t necessarily love or enjoy. Understand that you’ll likely have to be responsible for some tasks that you’re not fond of – or you’ll have to interact with people you’re not so fond of.

Finding yourself in a bad mood on a Monday morning is not justification for giving everyone the finger and walking straight back out of the office. Here are the kind of situations that should raise a red flag with you, and get you thinking about whether or not it’s time to utilize your Go To Hell fund:

  • Your workplace (or your coworkers or supervisors) are verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive. Get out and do it now. This is the only time you might want to consider using your emergency fund if you don’t have a Go To Hell fund yet.
  • Your employer does things that are illegal, or just questionable. If you don’t feel like the company you work for operates ethically, you may want to consider walking away.
  • You dread waking up every morning that you’re expected to go to work, or regularly become anxious and stressed about having to go to work the next day before you’ve even gone to bed today. A little bit of this is natural – but if it happens consistently, day after day, it might be time to free yourself (and if you are depressed, please seek help after you tell your boss you’re outta there).
  • You realize that you’d rather work for yourself, not your employer. You can try to work on your own business in your free time as much as possible to get it launched, but eventually, you might need to quit your day job to focus on your own ventures (and you’ll want your Go To Hell fund to get you through what might be a few bumpy first months of operating totally on your own).
  • You’re flat-out unhappy and have been for a long time. Use your Go To Hell fund to support you as you go back to school, switch careers, or go completely off the traditional path and spend a year traveling the world (or something else as equally cool and fulfilling to you).

Remember, it’s fun to call it a Go To Hell fund – because who hasn’t fantasized about yelling that and a whole lot more at their bad boss? But just because you have a Go To Hell fund, or the beginnings of one, doesn’t mean you need to actually say this if you quit your job. It’s never wise to burn professional bridges, so don’t stoop to their level of bad behavior. Be calm and follow standard procedure: offer a two-weeks notice (or more if you can/if your job will have a hard time replacing you).

Do you have Go To Hell fund established? Have you ever been financially able to walk out of a job you hated – or are you motivated to start saving money to have the power to do just that if you need to?


  1. Hi Kali
    Most advise to have 3 – 6 months of expenses in an emergency fund. I would think a GTH fund would need to be larger and could augment the E-Fund. What advice do you have on the size of a GTH fund? Great idea, BTW, especially for those really unhappy with their jobs.

    • A GTH fund is like an e-fund, in that it really depends on the individual to determine the size it should be. Being a cautious person myself, I’d want my fund to be pretty large – at least a year’s worth of basic living expenses. But if you’re wanting something that will simply help you transition into a new position or career, you may want something more along the lines of the typical recommended amount for that emergency fund: 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses.

      I would not combine these two funds, however, for the reasons outlined in the post. Your emergency fund should be used if you have no other way to cover an unexpected expense. A GTH fund is for a planned event. An e-fund is for the unforeseeable and is a sort of worst-case scenario resort.

  2. You hit the nail on the head here, Kali. This is one of the reasons why we are working so hard to achieve financial independence- so that we can have the freedom to walk away one day from our jobs and work for ourselves. We both have things we definitely don’t like about our jobs right now, but it’s not that bad. But in the future we definitely want to have the option to walk away if that’s what’s best for us.

    • Thanks, Dee! I really like the idea of a GTH fund because it offers you the freedom to have more options – like you said, you may not hate your job or maybe you’re just not crazy about it, and that’s okay.. but knowing you have the ability to change course if you want to feels good. Just one more layer of security and freedom :)

  3. I like it Kali. We have a taxable brokerage account that we’ve been keeping some money in for the last 3 years. We don’t really have any plans for that money yet and don’t make regular deposits to it.. just more of a long-term savings that we add cash to as we can. I think Go to Hell Fund might be the perfect name.

  4. This is a great idea. I’m guilty of dipping into my savings when I quit my first job, but my coworkers were verbally abusive. For some reason they loved drama and being the new girl, I was the target. Currently my boss has the tendency to yell at everyone, but I haven’t really been the subject of her wrath. I just keep telling myself it’s not forever! I do need to separate my savings into categories though – it’s all lumped together.

    • I definitely think that falls under the category of “gotta get out NOW,” so you shouldn’t feel guilty about using a bit of savings to remove yourself from that situation. No one should have to endure that.

  5. I need that fund but first I need to start all over again with my efund after my tax situation. Of course at the same time I could be doing more to be looking for a new client/project/full time job since my current situation is making me pretty unhappy. It’s one of those things I can’t really blog about since my producer knows about my site. grrr. But either way I’m looking for the day I can tell him, “I’d DONE! D-O-N-E!!!” :)

    • That is going to be a fantastic day, Tonya! 😀 I think we all fantasize about getting to do that when we’re in jobs that bring us down a bit. I know I do with my day job!

      Good luck in both building back up the e-fund AND developing some more clients, so you can get to that DONE day even faster.

  6. Another great point is that your fund can be used in other ways than strictly quitting your job. The GTH fund also enables you to not care about office politics, make big decisions without worry of getting fired, and in general allows you to rise above the stress and chaos that everyone around you goes through. Even if you’re not planning on quitting, the GTH fund gives you freedom, and freedom is what it’s all about!

    • Great point!! Love that you shared this. It’s absolutely true, a GTH fund allows you to live without so much fear and anxiety. That’s a lot of weight to carry around if you’re constantly scared you could be out of a job. Knowing you’d be financially okay if you and your company parted ways would be a relief.

  7. I love to concept of the “go to hell fund”. I don’t mind my job, so I’m not in a rush to get out, especially since it’s challenging work and provides me with a nice pension :). However, I have started building up a bit of a ‘go to hell fund’ just in case there comes a time that I don’t feel the same way.

  8. Great idea for the fund Kali! I didn’t call it that, but it was a large part of what allowed me to tell my boss where they could stick it and walk out. The nice thing is that if you do end up walking out and quitting is those funds can be used for something else if you wish. We ended up shifting some of it to our EF and invested the rest in our business.

    • Absolutely! It’s never a bad idea to have a little extra cash on hand – there is bound to be a great use for it even if you don’t have to use it to tell your boss exactly where he can go and how to get there!

  9. I had a GTH fund when I left my last day job. I absolutely hated it and I dreaded each morning. The people I worked with were great people, but the work was the most boring thing on earth.

    • Good for you! I definitely think anytime you start dreading the start to a new day, you need to make a change pronto – even if, as you said, it wasn’t any one boss or person who drove you nuts or made you miserable. Sometimes the work itself is what needs to be told to go to hell 😉

  10. I call it the “F-U” fund and it is what motivates me and my clients to stay committed to savings goals. Who doesn’t want to just say “f-u” and walk away feeling good?

    • I know I have wanted to do that several times in the past and the thought of finally being able to is definitely a big motivating factor to save as much as possible! Having the freedom and ability to just walk away when you are sooooo done is incredibly valuable.

  11. Lol! This is such a great idea, thanks for sharing 😉 I especially agree with using this fund to go back to school if you’re unhappy. Happiness is important and school is EXPENSIVE!

  12. I do appreciate my job since it is currently giving me the opportunity to take care of my family while saving up for the future. But someday, I hope to have enough saved up (before retirement) that I can just relax for a while and come up with my own way to make a living.

    • I know what you mean, Becky – jobs that give us opportunities to advance ourselves should be appreciated. But I do still believe we don’t owe a bad boss or crappy work so much of our lives!

  13. This is fantastic! I love it — it’s so much sexier and awesome than an E-Fund, and actually used for empowering your life. I need to start one of these. I’m in a pretty good situation now, but have dreamt about leaving jobs in the past and just bounce and be like ‘ I’M DONE!’. But of course, money.

    • Exactly! I’ve been in the same situation where I am just 100% done. So done I can’t even. Ha! Having a Go To Hell fund is absolutely empowering and something everyone should have – even if you love your job, knowing you had the capability to make a change or take advantage of a new opportunity would be incredible.

  14. I’m pretty happy in my career but I absolutely think that money = freedom. Having a fund like this gives you choices, and options are always a good thing.

  15. I like it! I would probably yell something like this as I left. “I am out of this biatch. I have a go to hell fund. Haha!!”

    • It would be kinda liberating to leave like that – but I’d be too scared to do that in almost any situation. I’d hate to burn a professional bridge, even at a job I didn’t like!

  16. I’ve totally told two of my former employers to “go to hell”, I don’t know if I used the words, but that was certainly the sentiment. It’s nice to have enough money to walk away. It’s also nice that I have so few financial obligations to consider (no children, no mortgage, etc)

    • Great point, Stefanie – it is easier to walk away when you have less responsibility in the form of things that need to be taken care of on a regular basis.

  17. Great post, Kali! I don’t have a GTH fund but now I really want one, lol! Although I think I would be happy with a big emergency fund (6-9 months worth of living expenses) in the event I want to leave the company I work at now. If you have a safety net of any kind, it is definitely easier to let go of the job you don’t like but are forced to stay at because of the paycheck. Luckily, I am quite happy at the moment but you never know what the future holds so it’s good to be prepared. I can’t wait for that debt of mine to be gone, so I can finally concentrate on building up my wealth! 😛 Have a lovely weekend!

  18. Haha this is great. I don’t have a GTH fund, nor do I need one right now! Because of our debt situation I am in no place to tell any employer to go to hell since I NEED income. That being said I’ve been at my job for 5 years and love it. I can see myself staying here longterm and there is potential for me to grow (potentially buy into practice when current dentist retires) I would actually never quit a job unless I had another one lined up.

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