F you money. FU money. F*ck you money. It’s all the same. F You Money is having enough money to tell others to F Off without fearing financial repercussions.
I’m sure some of you have dreamt of telling your annoying micromanager to F Off. But you can’t because you still want that raise and promotion.
If you spend any amount of time online, you probably want to tell some folks to F Off as well. But given online is generally forever, you tend to hold your tongue.
The Origin Of F You Money
The term F You Money seems to have first been mentioned by Johnny Carson in a Rolling Stones interview in 1979 and then by Burt Reynolds in the 1986 movie, Heat.
I’ve heard the term since the 1990s on Wall Street. When Goldman Sachs finally went public in 1999, there were plenty of partners with F You Money walking around the halls.
In fact, I still remember randomly bumping into a 20-year partner in Montreal post IPO. He was at a coffee shop on a date with a young woman other than his wife. I was there taking company management around visiting Caisse de dépôt, a Canadian money manager.
I guess the partner said F You to his marriage! Or maybe not. We never discussed the incident upon our return to HQ in NYC. That might have been a career-limiting move by me.
How Much Is Considered F You Money?
Based on over 7,000 votes in the Financial Samurai poll below, $5 million is the #1 vote-getter to feel financially free. To be clear, $5 million is the minimum net worth hurdle, not the maximum.
I personally chose $10 million because $10 million is what’s necessary to generate ~$250,000 in risk-free income based on today’s risk-free rate of return. However, by taking slightly more risk, $10 million should be able to generate up to $400,000 a year to live the F You Lifestyle.
Therefore, between $5 million to $10 million seems like a reasonable minimum range before you can consider having F You Money. The more expensive of a location you live in, the higher the hurdle and vice versa. Just don’t forget to keep up with roaring inflation.
Once You Have F You Money, It’s Hard To Tell Others To F Off!
The interesting thing I’ve discovered once you obtain F You Money is that it’s still extremely difficult to tell others to F Off!
Everybody fantasizes about telling someone who wronged them in the past to go screw themselves, but once you get to this level of wealth it’s more common to turn apathetic than belligerent. Society has an incredible way of keeping people in check.
I’ve been tempted to tell internet trolls and the Internet Retirement Police who judge me online while providing no value to the conversation to F Off. However, instead, I usually defer to a more inquisitive response.
Using their perspective, I can often write a new comment commentary post with a new theme to keep the party going! Hooray!
The Benefits Of Having F You Money
There’s an old saying that goes, “hell is other people.” If you think about all the pain and suffering in your life, it’s generally due to someone else. The sheer act of telling someone to F Off is a response to getting rid of people who make your life miserable.
The following are five incredible benefits of having F You Money.
1) You stand up for what’s right more often.
There’s a lot of crap in the world that goes unchallenged because people are afraid of the repercussions. How many times have you bit your tongue because you were worried about the consequences?
When you have F You Money, you are more confident to speak your mind when you see an injustice because your survival doesn’t depend on your reputation, a person, or a company. There would probably be less bullying, racism, sexism, and other discriminatory words and actions.
Think about all the people who have to toe the line, even if they disagree with their company’s ethics, because they depend on their income and healthcare benefits to survive. How unfortunate.
2) You care less about what other people think.
Caring less about what people think is a type of superpower. Instead of desiring fame and recognition, you desire peace and anonymity. It feels liberating to have insults and insinuations roll off your back like water off a duck. There’s less desire to try and get even or one up your dissenter because you’re already set for life.
Insults are usually hurled by unhappy people who want what you have. They are insecure and hope to bring you down to their level so they can feel better about themselves. Jealousy is a tough feeling to overcome. Showing neutrality or even compassion is more common for folks with F You Money. The reason is because every insult is a reminder of how good you have it.
The most fascinating people are the ones who tell it as it is. They don’t beat around the bush or try to make people feel less offended. As a result, they tend to get further ahead.
3) You become less afraid to fail.
I’m a perpetual failure in many things because I keep trying new things. Once you have F You Money, your failures aren’t going to crush you anymore. Instead, your failures just beat up your ego until it naturally re-inflates because your default setting is a good life with lots of freedom. When you’re less afraid to fail, your chances to succeed at new things go up.
Think about all the highly educated people who go the safe route and get a job they don’t particular like. Even though they went to a private university and got an MBA at another private university, they have a hard time starting their own business.
Why? Because they invested too much in their education. As a result, they just end up working for someone else and sometimes end up full of regret.
4) You hang out with people because you want to, not because you need to.
There are times when you need to go spend time with someone you may not particularly like because you need something from them e.g. business, connections, a job, etc. When you have F You Money, you have the freedom to only hang out with people you like. Everybody else be damned.
Think about all the people online who join a herd because they find safety in numbers. They end up creating one big echo chamber where everybody looks alike, talks alike, and thinks alike. Is there any wonder why cults are formed and people lose the ability to think for themselves?
Being able to think more independently may be one of the best benefits of having F You Money. Since you’re no longer afraid to think differently, you do.
5) People don’t piss you off as much anymore.
The only people who piss me off are those who are perpetually late, those who say one thing and do another, racists, and really bad drivers.
But once you have F You Money you stop hanging out with such people because you don’t have to. As a result, less people piss you off! Even if someone inevitably disappoints you, you don’t care as much because you don’t need or want anything from them.
If you’re early on your journey to F You Money, then try to accumulate at least $300,000. $300,000 is the minimum net worth needed where you finally start to feel a little more financially free.
Once you get to $300,000 you set your sights immediately on $500,000. And once you get to $500,000, getting to a $1+ million net worth is an inevitability.
Having More Money Doesn’t Change Your Core
Money simply amplifies who you ALREADY are. If you’re like most people, then having F You Money isn’t going to suddenly turn you into an asshole. Only people who are already assholes tend to become bigger assholes once they have money!
Having F You Money actually has the opposite effect for most people. Having money makes normal people less agitated, less insecure, and much more appreciative of what they’ve got. In other words, if you want to naturally be kinder, get richer! I promise you will become less jealous, more appreciative, and more empathetic.
Why else do you think some people swing so far left in the political spectrum once they have money? Once you’ve got yours, it’s easier to say and do good things. Why else do wealthy people, especially those who achieved their wealth through inheritance, try and give back as much as they can?
Having F You Money actually brings some guilt into the individual’s psyche. They realize they are one of the lucky ones because goodness knows there are plenty of other more deserving people out there who aren’t as lucky.
The more money you have beyond what is required to be happy, the more you have a desire to give back. You actually feel bad for those who hate you the most. After all, outsized wealth is mostly due to luck.
In fact, once you have F You Money, you might find it harder to tell people to F Off because you become more aware of how good you have things.
Who Do You Want To Save F You To?
I’ve wanted to tell my old boss in finance to F Off before, but I never ended up doing so. I don’t blame my boss for giving me a terrible bonus my final year in finance. Conditions were tough and he enabled me to get a severance package that paid out over five years. I also don’t blame him for micromanaging me based out of New York City because I was becoming more of a renegade.
Think about all the people you want to say F You to. Do they really matter?
The severance package was the #1 reason for giving me the confidence to retire early and work on my online endeavors. In turn, it has ballooned to something greater than I ever expected. I’m thankful a difficult boss and a tough economic environment spurred me to change my life.
At the end of the day, your financial independence number is not real if you don’t do something about a suboptimal situation. F You Money may be required to give you the courage to change. But hopefully, most of us will change for the better long before needing a ton of money.
Thankful To The Gatekeepers And The Detractors
Even after all the rejections I experienced, I’ve got no desire to tell my rejectors to F Off because they all have their own issues. Even the nastiest folks need empathy because we often project our problems onto others.
We should be more thankful to our gatekeepers and detractors. Without them, life might be too easy. And when life is too easy, we stop appreciating what we have.
Oh, but I do want to say this. For those of you who don’t pick up your dog’s poop and allow your dogs to bark incessantly at night or in the early hours of the morning, F You! Please be more considerate.
For everybody else, let’s have peace on Earth. After this damn pandemic and now the tragic war in Ukraine, being more forgiving and nicer sounds like a good idea.
Recommendation Once You Have F U Money
One of the best ways to accumulate F You Money is by tracking your wealth with Personal Capital. It is a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts in one place so you can see where you can optimize your money.
Before Personal Capital, I had to log into eight different systems to track 25+ difference accounts to manage my finances on an Excel spreadsheet. Now, I can just log into Personal Capital to see how all my accounts are doing. This includes my net worth and my cash flow.
The best feature is their Portfolio Fee Analyzer. It runs your investment portfolio(s) through its software in a click of a button to see what you are paying. I found out I was paying $1,700 a year in portfolio fees I had no idea I was hemorrhaging!
There is no better financial tool online that has helped me more to achieve financial freedom.
For more nuanced personal finance content, join 50,000+ others and sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter. Financial Samurai is one of the largest independently-owned personal finance sites that started in 2009. To get my posts in your inbox as soon as they are published, sign up here.