Money often plays unexpected roles in romantic relationships. I’ve seen what can happen when you want to leave a toxic relationship but you’re broke — money can make the difference between breaking free and staying because you feel like you don’t have options. That, ladies and gents, is why I have a “F*ck-Off” fund. As one writer on The Billfold explained, this is a fund that is meant to allow a woman to leave a relationship at the drop of a hat, should she ever need to. Here’s why I have one and why everyone else should too:
- You shouldn’t expect anyone to support you. Even if you do have people willing to support you — a partner, your family, friends — things could change. People can leave you, they can die, they can get sick, become unemployed, etc. You never know. Having money stashed aside can keep you afloat if things hit the fan.
- You can’t predict breakups — and a sudden one can wreak havoc on your life. There are millions of people out there who have faced bankruptcy because their partners suddenly left without reason or warning (and without a single penny). There are even more people who have had partners bail on them during an apartment lease or right before a wedding. Having your own money can make a huge difference on how well you’re able to survive.
- In the case of a spontaneous breakup, that money can be used for an epic revenge vacation. One of my friends who had a major fund got dumped by her fiance. Stoic as all hell, she ended up taking the money from the fund, selling her wedding ring, and taking us all on a drinking and partying trip. It was good stuff, and seeing her partying it up made her then-ex want her back. Unfortunately for him, she never took him back.
- Money is power, and abusers know this. Ever wonder why abusers don’t like it when women have independent lives and work? It’s because a woman who works is a woman who doesn’t rely on anyone. When a woman isn’t dependent on a guy, he can’t control her. She has bargaining chips she can use. By having a F*ck-Off Fund, you’re giving yourself the power to tell a man to kick rocks without worrying about ending up in the poor house.
- Having a safety net is also good for other things. I’ve personally known people who had no savings funds whatsoever. Most, if not all of them, could have had a much easier time going through their 20s if they had a stash of cash. One would have been able to move out at the drop of a hat, another could have fixed his car (and saved his job), and a third could have avoided illegal eviction. Money can save you from a lot of bad things.
- Having money put aside in case of emergency can also give you dignity. The funny thing I noticed about having a bit of savings is that it’s a major confidence boost. Knowing you can take care of yourself is a wonderful thing.
- By having your own money and career (hopefully), you also get to think objectively about the relationship. Money has a way of messing with your mind. If you don’t have much money of your own, then you’ll often ignore red flags in hopes of just getting financial support from your partner. This often leads to abusive situations as well as the ever-unpleasant act of settling. If you have a fund that can support you, you’re way more likely to drop a guy if he doesn’t meet your standards. After all, it’s not like you need to rely on someone else.
- At a worst case scenario, that money can pay for a lawyer. Whether it’s a criminal charge for a guy who stole money from you or a divorce lawyer, it really doesn’t matter. With things like this, it’s often better to be funded rather than broke. It sucks that it might come to this, but life and relationships are unpredictable and you just never know.
- It’s just a smart thing to do. Having a F*ck-Off fund is like having a fire hydrant. You never want to use it, but if you need it, it’ll always be there. It gives you peace of mind just by existing, and that’s an amazing gift.