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?