Start an F.U. account - MoneySense

Start an F.U. account

Gail Vaz-Oxlade opts grow her contingency savings instead of splurging on luxuries giving her the freedom to do whatever she wants.


When my girlfriend Jen salivates over a $36 lipstick, I just smile. Lipstick is her thing. She must have 30 or 40 of those puppies sitting in her drawer at home, never mind the three in her handbag, the two she keeps in her desk drawer at work, or the extras she has stashed in the pockets of jackets and various purses.  And if Jen ever wants to tell her boss where to go, her lips are going to look damn fine as she forms the words. But that’s about as much as those lipsticks are going to do for her.

I, on the other hand, have a big fat F.U. account. I don’t collect lipsticks or shoes or jewelry. I collect cash. I’ve long known that the greatest flexibility in life comes with have money in the bank. Cold, hard cash, that’s my luxury.

A beautiful suit can build your confidence if you’re going in to close a deal, and having on a stunning pair of shoes will no doubt make you feel like you’re walking on air, but nothing beats cash for giving you an aura of, “I’m great, thanks.”  You’ll sleep better, and you’re far less likely to compromise your values.

Running late for an appointment? Ever noticed how that’s the day you can’t find a parking spot. But if you’ve got extra time because you left early, you can cope with the absence of parking without losing your cool, so you can walk into your appointment in control.

Time is like money: have some extra on hand, and you have the ways and means to cope with whatever life throws at you. You don’t have to end up borrowing, adding interest and fees to the weight on your back. You don’t have to scramble to figure out how you’re going to pay an unexpected bill. And when your boss makes that last demand that’s beyond unreasonable, your pretty—if bare—pouty lips can form the words, “Peeze off” because you’ve got a huge stash of cash just waiting to step up to the plate.

The next time you’re caught in the sights of a consumable luxury—an afternoon double espresso, something bright and shiny, or a new name-your-pleasure—think about all the confidence and panache you will exude with enough cash in the bank.