I have debated sharing my financial story in detail for many years now, but after discovering the rise of the Freedom Fund or (F*ck Off Funds) I believe it’s time we learn and re-discover our self-worth. I hope that by sharing my experiences with money in both relationships and work environments. It can help you realise your own worth, and maybe awaken you to starting a Freedom Fund.
I have always been open about discussing why I got into money-saving since starting my blogs three years ago. Ex number 1 is where this journey started both financially and in my career. In 2012, I was nineteen I’d just left sixth form that year and stepped into the big wide world of working full time. I had started working in a mobile phone shop in my first sales based role and all seemed perfect. That was until the manager turned and I met ex number 1. I really did enjoy working at the phone shop, as I loved interacting with the customers and I’d hit my targets every month so much so the manager would then offload everyone else’s targets onto me because no one else could be bothered to hit them. That was my first mistake. Why did I let this happen? Previous to this job I had been single for a year and had transformed myself in so many ways, I was confident, hungry for success and Beyonce was my preacher. So why all of a sudden did I let this happen to me? I wanted to impress and over-achieve, seeing as I’d never been great academically I felt now I was good at selling I wanted to go hard. Time passed and more and more instances happened where we all just tolerated it. Microwaves were thrown at us, and to say it was depressing for us all to work there would have been pretty accurate. I did wake up in the end when my next job arose at the bank. My manager would tell me I couldn’t leave, probably because he knew his sales would drop considerably! That was my first FU exit and I haven’t looked back since. I met Ex number 1 at this job and he was treated awfully too, but decided to stay on as we had moved in together and needed to pay our bills. At this time my relationship with him was actually going well it was when I stepped up and bettered myself at the bank the cracks started to show. In both relationships I mention I have always been made to feel bad or ashamed for earning more or for having a better role. Again I don’t know why I tolerated this or let them drag me down to their levels.
I then started working at the bank and everyone suddenly became proud of me for getting a respected job, I was completely under-qualified to be a banking manager and in all honesty, I think my looks got me that job. It sickens me to think this but I was not ready for the position or that much responsibility. The manager would also make me uncomfortable, not in an inappropriate way but I would always be expected to do as he said when dealing with customers. I think he felt he could mold me into what he wanted which was a sales machine. I dreaded everyday as frankly, I hated waking up and thinking ‘Right, today I’m going to put someone in £10,000 debt to hit our bonus’. That’s not who I am and honestly what I do now which is getting people out of debt is so much more rewarding and satisfying. My relationship with ex number 1 was deteriorating quickly during this period, he became jealous and emotionally manipulative in destroying my confidence. That’s when the anxiety and depression started. I have always been such a confident, happy person nobody thought they would ever see me that low and I honestly thought that was rock bottom, how wrong was I! Ex Number 1 manipulated me into taking on his £7,000 debt he had accumulated from a ‘previous relationship’ while he never psychically abused me the damage he was doing to my mental health is something which has taken me four years to get over. The bank manager knew what that loan was for and having gone through the training myself that loan should not have been given to me under those circumstances, but guess what I was a sales target. Once again two examples of situations I tolerated, but how had I gone from the person I was to such a lost, easy person who anyone could manipulate? I’ve always been a giving person that’s who I am, and from letting the wrong people in and letting them walk all over me I had attracted so much more (law of attraction working there). I eventually became so ill with stress from work and my relationship I ended up leaving the bank. That wasn’t a FU moment as I was so scared of how lost I was and how much debt I now had around my neck. My ex and I broke up six months before I finally left, I knew I didn’t want to go back at that point but I did because of money and only money. I didn’t love him, I never really did I was just settling and tolerating this toxic relationship because I felt that’s all I deserved and I wanted my money!
In walks in Ex number 2 ‘The Charmer’, when I met him I honestly thought all my prayers had been answered. I was working at a retail shop now and still living with ex number 1, we were flatmates at this point we hadn’t even kissed in about five months. We hated one another and I was an emotional mess to say the least. The retail job was yet again another example of me tolerating power trips and bullying. I knew deep down I didn’t deserve that treatment in the relationship or at work why could I not see I deserved better? I finally plucked up the courage to leave ex number 1 thanks to my incredible friend reminding me of who I was and what I deserved. Instead of wanting to focus on myself and re-building my life I stupidly went straight into my next relationship out of fear and the lies he fed me to make me believe he was ‘the one’. I chased Ex Number 1 for the £7,000 for months and it was such a lost cause, he got what he wanted and dragging myself through a court battle, in the state I was in would have finished me I know. I couldn’t even leave the house, how was I meant to stand up in court? Now people who know this relationship with Ex Number 2 will know just how convincing this guy is. We did have happy times, but looking back there weren’t many and the person I was becoming due to him was not pretty. By this time I’d started Extreme Couponing and Deals UK and I am so grateful I had an ever-growing business because it has saved me on two occasions now. Ex Number 1 always said it would never amount to anything, well isn’t this a FU moment! I finally became self-employed a year later and it was the best feeling in the world to finally walk away from my past and know I deserved better! Ex Number 2 did support me a lot in the beginning, but due to his own issues and failing business he soon turned into Ex number 1 and a pattern had repeated. I was suddenly the bad guy for earning more, achieving my dreams and being self-employed. So surely I’d have learnt from the first relationship? Well no clearly not, I did lend him money over the relationship but only small amounts and he did repay them. The only thing was a TV but frankly I get to watch it now so I’m not fussed on that one. Behaviour wise the last year of our relationship was just awful, from arguments to him cheating. The only reason I stayed was because he was so convincing I believed he was the one and he had saved me from the last guy. The truth was I needed to save myself all along. I didn’t know the full extent of all his lies and cheating until very recently, so when we split up this year it was amicable to start off with. Our tenancy agreement on my flat runs out this November, he had agreed to honour this several times and even signed an agreement. To this day he hasn’t made one payment and has continuously lied to all of us about his financial status and intensions. Am I surprised? No, because I allowed this to happen. The day Ex Number 2 walked out I remember it so clearly 18th April 2016 I was suicidal, depressed and miserable this was rock bottom. This is the day my life changed for the better. My life was about to go through an incredible change and boy it did!
So why should we all save for a Freedom Fund? Well, I know for a fact had I have had money behind me. I would have left the phone shop, bank and retail job in a heartbeat. I would have left Ex Number 1 for certain, and probably awoken to Ex Number 2’s actions before I hit rock bottom. In the last four years I’ve taken on £10,000 in debt that wasn’t mine by being manipulated. I’ve added £3,000 in for the rent I’m now paying on this flat which Ex Number 2 has left me covering. I can’t get a flat mate as the estate agents won’t change the contracts until November. Yes, it’s my own stupid fault but why as people do we allow ourselves to be taken advantage of and manipulated financially? It’s because we’re scared and we tolerate it because these people know our worth and that we deserve better. Much better. I do believe everything happens for a reason and if I hadn’t of gone through this, I wouldn’t be as strong or as successful as I am today. My business was the only thing to keep me going and it is my greatest achievement so far. Throughout these relationships I’ve learnt to never help someone who doesn’t want to change. I financially bailed them out for both of their actions but were they grateful and change their ways? No! If I had money behind me I would have left and I probably wouldn’t have been as emotionally damaged as I was.
Jen from Can’t Swing A Cat advises – “My main tip for saving a Freedom Fund is to make as many sacrifices as you possibly can to gather the cash together. You might have to ‘slum’ it for a while & significantly decrease your standard of living, but it’ll be worth it once you have your own secret stash of cash that you can turn to in future.” You can also read Jen’s 5 Top Tips for saving for a Freedom Fund fund here.
Chris from The Elite Belief Company explains his experiences in his previous relationship and agrees that a Freedom Fund would have saved him. “I must admit I felt lost, I felt homeless, I had nothing to my name. I was cheated into thinking something real was happening instead it was all for money. I felt used and also feeling that not even friends wanted to know me, because of the broken relationships that were created and my mental health had deteriorated rapidly too. I was depressed and couldn’t find a way out, having people call you up for things you can’t pay for and for having money taken from you for drink and drugs. Life was poisonous.”
I am so proud to say five months on I am fully anxiety and depression free (this funnily enough disappeared when I became single). I am now 100% debt free and finally back to the confident, successful woman I was always meant to be. For a very long time I’ve been lying to myself about what I deserved and that one day Mr.Right won’t want to put me down, manipulate me and use me. Real love will be very different. Since being inspired by Jen’s blog post about Freedom Fund’s I am now saving. So that if I was to ever be in those god awful situations again, I can leave without any excuses. Financial, Emotional & Physical abuse should never ever be tolerated and if you are going through any of these please speak to someone. Or speak to me at the very least and I will try and advise the best I can. I will never let these situations happen to me again and I pray whoever may be reading this finds the confidence to say no more too. Since doing this my life has transformed in incredible ways and I couldn’t be happier. I’m proud to be single and not settling for anything less than I deserve, like so many people do. The Law Of Attraction has helped me through this transformation so I will add one of my videos here as this is one of the only ways I got through such a dark time in my life. I really don’t want this blog post to be for just women because that is just not the case, men go through this also and that is why everyone should have a Freedom Fund. It’s not secretive, negative or preparing for the worst. It’s providing your future with the option to save yourself or put it towards something else eventually like the house you’ve always dreamed of. We are all guilty of staying in relationships or even jobs because it’s safe or it will pay the bills. You should never tolerate any abuse or manipulation in life. Know your worth and that you deserve the best life with people who truly love you for who you are.