You need an emergency fund because, one day, you may hate your job. When the day comes that you simply can’t take it anymore, you’ll need money. After all, most of us work for money. Our paycheques let us buy food, shelter, and other little things to keep body and soul together. Quitting a job doesn’t eliminate the need for money.
People have told me that I need to be more positive. Okay – here goes. I’m positive that you need an Escape Fund. If you’re very lucky, then you love your job. Each morning, you spring out of bed with a ferocious eagerness to get back to your paid employment. Accomplishing your employer’s tasks put a smile on your face and a song in your heart. If that’s the case, fantastic! You are living a great life and you probably can’t understand how the rest of us aren’t as happy at work at you are.
If you’re not one of the Fortunate Few, then you should building your Escape Fund. This is the money that will tide you over between jobs. If you’ve ever thought that you may hate your job, then you should have an Escape Fund. This is the money that will pay for your life between your last paycheque and your next one. Let’s say you need to move across country for your next opportunity. That’s unlikely to be a cheap trip. Maybe you’ve found a new job but it doesn’t start for another 3 weeks. If you have money tucked away in an Escape Fund, then you can quit your job today. You don’t have to prolong the agony of working at a job you hate for any longer than you have to. Your Escape Fund can allow you to have a 3 week break before you start your next job.
Burnout is real. Given the capitalist structure we live in, there’s no real incentive for anyone to talk about it. If you’re a super-stellar employee, there’s a good chance that your employer will want you to recover and continue to be a
profit-center stellar employee for the company. And if you’re not valuable, then it’s far more likely that your employer will wish you the best of luck and get down to the business of finding someone else to do your job.
Today is when you should start preparing for the possibility of burnout. Maybe it will never happen to you. And if it doesn’t, then great! However, hope is not a plan. If you do get burnt out, then you may need to make some serious choices about your future employment options. Having an Escape Fund will buy you some breathing space to make well-considered decisions. You need not do anything super-drastic so long as you know that your basic needs will be met. Having the funds to buy yourself some time and space to think clearly is imperative. You do not want to ever feel like you don’t have options.
You may hate your job years from now, even if you love/like/tolerate it today. Maybe your work-bestie leaves. Perhaps the management style changes or your responsibilities increase to an unsustainable level. There’s always the possibility that harassment in the work place is left unaddressed or increases. Maybe the monotony of your role becomes too much to bear and you just want a change. There are any number of reasons why you may hate your job at some point in your working life.
My suggestion to you is that you start preparing for the possibility. After all, thinking about the possibility will also get your thinking about solutions to the problem. Who knows? One of the solutions for you just may lead you to something that you do love. Wouldn’t that be great? A job that you love and a nicely pot of money sitting on the side, just in case?