Accepting your Financial Reality with Paulette Perhach


Accepting your Financial Reality with Paulette Perhach

Today I’m talking to journalist, and now published author, Paulette Perhach. Paulette joins me today to share her honest and sometimes cringeworthy journey from writing the viral fuck-off fund post to having no fuck-off fund at all. She shares why she wanted to write a book for writers that’s not just about how to make money writing. It’s a great conversation with lots of learning lessons.

What are we drinking?

Paulette — Mate

Shannon —  Club Soda

Podcast Notes

  • Cut down on non-essentials, don’t cut them out completely.
  • Willpower Instinct – a book about the hidden factors about willpower and how having something be forbidden and bad is not helpful.
  • When you cut out everything, often times you will go to the other extreme. It’s like yo-yo dieting.
  • Unfortunately, the biggest way to build credit is by using credit cards. Credit card companies report to the credit bureau the most. You need to know how to play the game.
  • Take the buffet of wisdom that is out there and apply what works best for you.
  • If you join the Gym, you need to commit to it for about six months. The plan is very formulaic, but the magic happens in the trainer/client relationship. The trainers find strategies for each individual client that work for their financial health. There are over 700 clients at the Gym and their plans are all customized.
  • Saying you hate yourself because you failed is just a waste of time. You could spend that time solving the problem.
  • Paulette has had a tumultuous time with money. When she was around eight or nine, her dad lost his job and they had to live on her mom’s small teaching salary. Buying basic needs was difficult. She was scared and embarrassed a lot.
  • When Paulette was 17, her dad was working again and was killed in an accident at work.
  • When she was 23, Paulette received money from her dad’s death and put it into purchasing a house in Florida in 2005. She had to short sale her house later.
  • Paulette joined the Peace Corps after that.
  • Paulette has a journalism degree but was moving toward creative writing.
  • In her 30s, Paulette had a good job and a few thousand dollars in the bank. She realized how different her previous situations, including a bad relationship and being sexually harassed by her boss, could have been by just having some money saved up. She would have had an exit.
  • In 2016, Paulette wrote The Fuck Off Fund essay and it went viral. In 2017, she decided to travel in South America for three months. She drained her fuck-off fund and then moved to Seattle to a 150 square foot apartment and tried to rebuild her fund. She was the fuck-off fund girl with no fuck-off fund.
  • Paulette started a blog at
  • Any time you start getting down about yourself, you have to say this situation is a result of your choices and if you want it to change, you have to make different choices. Take the emotion out of your financial situation.
  • Half the battle is seeing the reality and acknowledging the choices you’ve made. Getting out of a bad financial situation is not easy. If you put in the hard work, you will get results.
  • Move from the victim mindset to a power mindset around your financial situation.
  • Women don’t think about growing richer. Often, they feel bad about wanting to make more.
  • “What would I do if I were a man?” has been Paulette’s guiding question.
  • Paulette wrote her writing course after she had a bad day at work and read The Four-Hour Work Week. She wanted to be a writer who helped writers be writers. She wanted to open up and be really honest about the difficulty of being a writer.
  • A book deal was offered to her through Sasquatch Books in Seattle and she wrote Welcome to the Writer’s Life. It’s a combination of some of the things in her writing course and her life. Paulette’s style is to write about things that confuse her, because she wants to share what she learned. This book lays out a buffet of options if you want to incorporate writing in your life.
  • Paulette got paid $40 for the Fuck Off Fund essay. It has taken her 20 years to make money from writing. Write because you love it.
  • Paulette’s safety net is knowing that at any time, she can move into a room and make a life there and be okay with it.
  • Over the next year, Paulette wants to give herself a freelance MBA, where she learns about being an entrepreneur.
  • Shannon attributes time blocking as a huge part of her success and her trainers’ success. Time blocking is all about taking an assessment of the things you have to do in a week and figuring out what gets lumped together naturally. Then choose the most efficient time to address those. Are you more creative in the morning or at night? Match your tasks with your most productive time in the day or week.
  • Paulette’s book, Welcome to the Writer’s Life, came out on August 14, and it is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Powell’s. There are a lot of online elements including courses and coaching. When you get the book, join the Facebook group to become part of a community of writers.

TAKEAWAY: My biggest takeaway is the importance of accepting your financial reality and acknowledging the choices you made to get there. I love that Paulette embraces her decisions, even the bad ones, and she continues through her journey. At the very least, she’s getting lots of fodder for her next book.

Random Three Questions 

  1. If you were to write another book, what would it be about?
  2. It’s your last night on earth and you are on death row. What would be the meal you eat?
  3. Where would you like to travel to next, if money was not an option?

Connect with Paulette

Blog: The Fuck Off Fund

Podcast: Can We Talk About Money

Website: Paulette Perhach

Instagram: @paulettejperhach

Twitter: @pauletteperhach

Facebook: Paulette Perhach

If you’d like help saving and preserving your fuck-off fund with an accountability buddy, I hope you’ll reach out to my team at the Financial Gym. If you’ve ever thought about joining, there’s no better time than now. We have a number of summer promos for individuals and couples that are about to come to an end. Go to to sign up for a free warm up call to find out more.



  1. I LOVE your attitude on not having patience with clients who thinks things can’t be achieved!!! That’s exactly what a trainer should do! Making people flex their financial muscles!!

Leave a Reply