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Friday, 20 April 2018

How money in the bank got me a Great performance review

Image result for performance review funny
A couple of weeks ago I got to sit through the joyous quarterly occasion that is a performance review. Of course, we don't call them that because a positive outlook is everything so we call them Inspiration Sessions!! Well, not quite, but it's a similarly pompous name.

I'm not one of the FIRE bloggers who loves their job and says they'd keep working even with money in the bank. I'm one of those FIRE bloggers who checks their numbers every Monday and sighs before opening the job pages and seeing if something else has come up before eventually getting down to work for the day.

But, despite all this, I still got a Great outcome in my performance review thanks to my FIREy pursuits.

Image result for john goodman gambler money
John Goodman in the Gambler.
Go watch this scene, if you haven't already.
This scene from The Gambler might be the entire FIRE manifesto wrapped up in a short one minute speech. Get Money, Stash it away where it gives you a big fat warm safety blanket, then if your boss or anyone else asks you to do something you don't want you can calmly and confidently say F-U.

While I'm far from FIRE'd (seven and a half years at last check) I could go a few months without a job without having to tap into my investments. And if I did tap them, I could easily last a couple of years. It gives me a sense of comfort and confidence to know that I could weather (almost) any financial storm.

Image result for performance review

Okay yeah, but what's your point?

How does money in the bank lead to a good performance review? We have five metrics that we are graded on, and they're all behaviourl based. They call out ethics, teamwork, striving for excellence, courage and mindset. Take a guess which one I got a Great result on.


In my self assessment I gave myself full marks for Courage and my boss agreed. Having money in the bank means I don't give a damn if I get muscled out of this job I've grown to dislike. Six months ago we had a different team and while I didn't love my job, I came to work everyday, got some stuff done and felt alright about myself.

Now, with my new team structure I feel undervalued, ignored, and underworked. A month ago I recommended a method to dealing with an issue that was overruled by my manager. The issue persisted and we recently had an hour long team meeting about it. The outcome? 100% agreement from the team that my initial solution was the way to go.

This might sound like a bizarre combination of complaining and bragging, but the focus here is that Money in the Bank gives me the courage and power to stand up and say no. My boss can still overrule me because that's his role, but I have no hesitation in telling him that I believe his decision is incorrect, and the potential impact it can have.

There is no way I could conduct myself like this if I was living paycheck-to-paycheck. If that was my scenario I'd need to keep my head down and my mouth shut while working frantically on ever changing goals and tasks I disagreed with. The peril of being fired (the bad kind) would rule all my actions. 

For some people, FIRE is an unattainable goal. For others, they love their job and see no reason to squirrel away large amounts of money. As someone who used to like their job and is now in a pretty unpleasant situation I can whole heartedly endorse the value of F-U money - even if you never plan to quit. Things can change and that job you love can quickly become a daily struggle.

F-U Money isn't enough to retire on, but it's enough to give breathing room. And apparently it will get you a great rating in your quarterly reviews.


  1. Way to go - F-you money certainly gives you loads more freedom.

  2. Haha, love it! Way to be courageous!

    BTW, your gambler scenes reminds me of one of the greatest things in the FIRE community; blogger JL Collins' spin on the scene:


    1. That's amazing - I had never seen that before

    2. BAHAHA - I posted the same thing below before seeing this. Great minds and all..!

  3. Nice post
    what s your plan after fire?

    1. I think that deserves a whole post, but the elevator pitch is: At least two dogs, small herd of cows, my own rock climbing wall, skate park, wood/metal working shops and archery range, and 20ish acres of peace and quiet.

      Hopefully with many many friends living on / near our land. Because I want all those things, but I can't use/maintain them all myself. I'd rather have an amazing community than a Fortress of Solitude :)

    2. That sounds AMAZING!

    3. Jus 8 years to go!

      Mr. FIRE and I are talking about how to transition - finding a halfway home on a half acre or so that we can get started on these things while still being close to our corporate jobs.

  4. This shows another great benefit of building up that precious FU fund. I find with the older I get the more I start to speak up and disagree with managers. I think after time your tolerance for putting up with silly decisions starts to wear thin haha.

    1. I'm only 28 - and some days I wonder how my boss puts up with me ;) I don' take nonsense from silly people

  5. Great post! Love that scene from The Gambler.

  6. Love that scene! Did you ever see JL Collins' (from The Simple Path to Wealth) version of it? It was great; I bet I can't post the link here without getting tagged as spam, but totally worth Googling it!

  7. Great post, and great scene! Did you ever see JL Collins' (from The Simple Path to Wealth) version of it? I bet I can't post the link here without getting tagged as spam, but totally worth Googling it!

    1. Yes :) In the comment above that you spotted after posting :)


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