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It’s a story of triumph. Of regaining personal power. Of being a bad-ass who chooses brighter brighter tomorrows in exchange for crappy todays. A story of absolute and totally blissful personal investment. It’s the Story of the F*ck off Fund which became a viral sensation creating a tribe of warriors in the fight against financial self-destruction. A sturdy tribe of converts committed to financial self-defense.
Meet the Captain of the Tribe: Paulette Perhach
Paulette, a 5 foot 10 long, big blonde woman, grew up being the “big tough chick” who would never let anyone push her around. Think Amy Schumer in A Chick Who Can Hang.
Enter the world after secondary school, however, and the power of her toughness soon faded away. “As I grew older many situations came where I wanted to tell someone, basically to f*ck off and I couldn’t because I was trapped financially”, she says. “I wrote this story because I looked back in my life and wished that somebody had told me. That somebody had outlined the importance of an emergency fund in my life. I think it went so viral because so many people know what it feels like to be stuck in that situation.”
Like many who end up being bad with money, Paulette came from a very financially unstable background. And the story she wrote was a recollection of incidents that happened throughout her 20’s. “I came from a whole family that’s bad with money. And for the longest time I was also very bad with money. But my experiences taught me how money is so important. You can’t just throw up your hands and say ‘oh I’m bad with money, oops’. I realized that I’ve got to cut down on my lifestyle and at least have like $1000.00 in the bank to help myself.”
Meet The Tribe: The Young Professionals
Let’s be honest, money isn’t really much of a topic in many of our circles. We’ll talk celebrity gossip, fashion, relationships etc. but never money. “The story going viral for me just showed how hungry people are to talk about this topic. When people are really struggling, being able to share information about money is empowering. Because we’re all empowering each other by sharing. It’s like this big secret, where nobody’s doing it well as we want, or as well as we happen to pretend we are.”
However, people aren’t as afraid to share sensitive information when it comes to other personal areas of our lives. In fact when it comes to sensitive matters on health and relationships, some people have a tendency to overshare. “I think the reason for this is that we attach money to the value of a person. We need to find value in what we contribute to the world and to others rather than ‘this is how much money I make’. When you live in a very capitalist, marketing and advertising culture, where you’re bombarded with ads 24/7, you kind of have to create your own money culture within your close circles. If we can share health tips about diets and workout routines with our friends, then why can’t we share tips on saving and investing our money just as well?”
The fallen hero who inspired the story: An old woman- who was broke
“I interviewed this woman when I was 23. She was 73 and totally out of money. She was a total bad ass. She had been an adventurer in Paris, lived in the Bahamas, a traveler and artist like how I wanted to be. And she was flat out of money. So it was like getting a dose of my future. And it really scared the crap out of me.”
She describes this interview as a burst of a bubble that many millennials today live in. “We all live in this kind of like never-land, where the images we see in the media are all young people, having the time of their lives. And it’s all fun. But we never consider the realities of life that are coming our way and getting serious about our finances.”
The True Power of The F*ck off Fund
Not being financially powerful when she was young cost Paulette what she describes as what she’s always truly yearned for: freedom. The F*ck of Fund is more than just saving, and living frugal. “It’s about power. It’s about freedom,” she says. However she does admit to the existence of the opportunity cost that comes with choosing differently. With placing a value on your freedom that’s well beyond the comfort of your lifestyle. “I read this book called The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwarts. I think every young professional should read that book. It totally helped me see what will lead you to fulfilling a beautiful life vs. emptiness.”
When asked about the nature of the power associated with having money, Paulette simply responds “There’s a big difference between self-care and ego. The F*ck off Fund is not about walking around telling everybody how we don’t need them because we’re financially stable. It’s just that you don’t want to find yourself being with someone just because you can’t (literally) afford to get away from them. It’s also not about controlling others.”
“Basically it’s about power for yourself, but not power over others. The power to choose how the story of your own life will unfold.”