Why financial self-defence is as important as it is necessary.
"Save it for a rainy day," is a phrase with which we are all familiar.
Despite an earnest confusion when growing up with rain all around you (Ireland) the concept of putting away pennies for times when you'll need it more is neither farfetched nor revolutionary.
But, it may change your life.
A Runaway Fund is a separate and private emergency kitty needed to make a hasty getaway from a situation from which you may need to bail. Examples of which may be an unfulfilling job, an abusive relationship or a scary landlord.
It is compiled by the process of proactively and zealously hoarding and saving money when and where you can, with the understanding that emergencies happen, particularly in the lives of young women.
This scenario, however, presumes you’re gainfully employed, making enough to cover expenses, with even a slim margin left over—pretty big ifs, one and all, and out of reach for the one-in-five Irish people living under the poverty line and quietly drowning amid the failed experiment of late-stage capitalism.
"It's the ultimate feminist issue ... The concept that every woman and, honestly, every man needs to have six months to a year in their bank account so they can leave a bad job, a bad man or a bad lease to have that financial freedom," Sam Barry, GLAMOUR Editor-in-Chief.
The term has caught on because it speaks more to reality than the proverbial ‘rainy day’ or the abstract idea of an ‘emergency’ somewhere down the line can.
But, for those who have never even thought about saving before, it may seem like a mammoth task.
Like with anything, the easiest way to go about these things is to start small. Setting up a standing order or direct debit to go from your account into a savings account is both impressive to banks (should you need a loan in the future and have to prove your money capabilities) and self-protective. Even €50 - €100 a month adds up.
Packed lunches. Office coffees. Budget calculators. Financial spreadsheets. Eventually, you'll have a tempting back up fund ready to be used in case of emergency.
And, it is just that – emergency money. Disciplined avoidance should be practised, especially the week before payday.
For those concerned about sticky fingers, consider saving into a different bank or Credit Union – thus making it a lot harder to dip into funds when impulsion strikes.
Seeing the amount grow each money will do wonders for both your motivation and mental health, allowing yourself the feeling of control and ability in times when you feel extraordinarily passive.
Society should be structured in such a way that a Runaway Fund isn’t necessary, that we’re not all constantly and frantically inflating our own leaky financial buoys.
But it’s not, and if you can create one, however flimsy, your financial arsenal may be the saving Grace you needed most.