I am, however, a nervous Nellie, and my whole reason for fascination with money comes from a craving for security. The idea of FU money is appealing in that it gives you the security of knowing you could walk out of your 9-5 at any time.
This is where FU options come in. Last year, my husband and I had three main sources of income: his W2 job at $55K, my W2 job at $55K, and my freelancing at $48K. While I don’t want to lose any of those sources any time soon, especially as we are paying off debt, the fact is, we could. If he or I lost our regular jobs, our taxes would go down, student loan payments would go down, and we could scale back on debt repayment and still be okay. Same for if I lost my freelance work.
I have always had a side hustle. I copy-edited a small town newspaper, worked at Starbucks, got very involved in Swagbucks and reviewing items on Amazon, and now copyedit academic papers. Not until recently has that side hustle paid a living wage. It is laughable to imagine myself having enough money in the bank to be like “see ya, wouldn’t want to be ya” to any of my jobs, but having backup jobs in effect does the same thing for me. It allows me to set some of my own rules or even attitudes toward my work when things aren’t going as well as I want them to. It gives me the freedom to be just a tiny bit audacious.
This post brought to you by a tossing-and-turning night and several agitated email exchanges with people at my freelance company for something that will seem like no big deal in three days but I assure you is a terrible, terrible injustice. It’s 5:30 a.m. and I’m tired and cranky and the only thing that got me to sleep last night was the thought that I could, without too much upheaval, walk away. I’m not going to.
But boy it’s nice to have options.