Call it financial self-defence, or a more blatant “F*ck-off Fund”, but every woman should have some money squirrelled away in case of emergencies.
Gone are the days where females relied on males to be the breadwinners of the family. More and more of us gals are realising, the only people we can rely on and trust – is ourselves!
It could be to leave an unsatisfying job, to recover after a long-term significant other packs up and goes or to be the one to leave if you find yourself in an abusive or toxic relationship. Too often, women can become trapped in dangerous situations because they have no financial means of supporting themselves if they were to leave.
This is where the F*ck Off Fund comes in.
With living expenses so high, it can be hard to scoop a bit off the top for a rainy day, but saving just $5 a week will mean a six-inch sub that can fill your belly. When you save that $5 up for a few years, you will have enough to vacate and pay a few weeks of rent in a new suburb or even state if you really need to get away. Essentially, what you are doing is empowering yourself to walk away from shitty situations with confidence.
How To Start Your Own FUF
1. Open a secret email account.
This is where you can have your e-statements and any correspondence sent. You can do that with the following:
Do this from your mobile phone or if you have a desktop – ensure you clear the history afterwards.
2. Set Up Regular Debits Straight into Your FUF
You could ask your employer to make a regular debit into your FUF a.k.a. Rainy Day Fund, so it never appears in your main account to begin with. When setting the account up, be sure to arrange for statements to be emailed to a private personal email address or posted to work.
3. Make small deposits into a high interest savings account.
Financial expert David Koch’s article on How to Keep a Secret Bank Account suggests making small deposits into a high interest savings account is the best place for a secret stash because the money will accrue at a decent rate of interest and deposits can be made in person at the bank to avoid leaving a trail on personal statements.
4. Set up direct debits under an unsuspecting title.
Also a good strategy is to set up direct debits under an unsuspecting title, such as ‘magazine subscription’.
5. Turn internet browsers on to ‘private’ or “incognito’ browsing mode.
Mr. Koch said if you want to be really secretive, turn internet browsers on to ‘private’ or “incognito’ browsing mode so that any online banking visits don’t show up in the internet history.
6. In getting cash…
Here are common ways to keep the money accruing secretly.
- Overdrawing cash for groceries
- Arranging for bonuses to be paid in cash or a separate account
- Overpaying credit card bills
7. Open an internet-based bank account, Paypal account or try a ‘skimming’ app like Acorns.
There is a nifty app by Acorns Australia, which you can download and it helps you in three ways; by investing change from your daily purchases by rounding up to the nearest dollar, taking recurring daily, weekly or monthly investment amounts to set aside, or investing a lump sum. It doesn’t just take the money, it also gives you handy tips to learn how to grow the amount to maximise your savings.
8. Set up a PO Box.
Or have a relative receive any correspondence if you have to provide a home address.
9. Safety deposit boxes are a thing.
Save enough for six months living expenses at the bare minimum.
10. DO NOT touch the money in the account.
When you start getting up into the hundreds and thousands of dollars, you might be tempted to drain that sucker and splurge on a holiday. Don’t spend it unless it is an emergency.
Isn’t this considered lying to my spouse?
It isn’t so much as lying, as it is ‘protecting your own ass’. Having that money there ‘just in case’ is a safety blanket not just for yourself, but for your kids too (if you are in an abusive relationship!). It’s much easier to leave a spouse if you have the means to do so, rather than staying because you can’t leave.
Call it female empowerment – it is now essential in this day and age for women of all ages to have one.
But remember, a week of paradise is nothing compared to the ability to start afresh if things go sour with the boyfriend or you just want to tell your boss to get knotted.