No one admits to their running away money. It’s not so much a guilty secret as a little clandestine pocket that lives in our subconscious. We don’t want to admit to the idea that things might get that bad. Because – let me be clear – running away money is not the same as grown-up gap year money. It isn’t broaden-the-horizons money. It is money, hidden away from the day-to-day demands of real life, that is purely there to fund an exit. Not an enrichment or an enhancement. A departure.
Running away money does not actually occupy a happy place – even though some people call it ‘funny money’. It is about the simmering knowledge that life could one day get so difficult that you need a standalone escape plan. Not a yoga retreat/press reset escape plan. A leave your life plan.
I have no savings. I am mortgaged and overdrafted and every month brings its own financial horrors (road tax/contents insurance/the buggering boiler) but it occurs to me that I have a painting. I shoved it on the wall because someone, my mother, gave it to me and in no way have I ever been able to afford ‘art’. It’s worth a bit. It’s worth the beginnings of the running away fund that I don’t admit I might ever need. And I have a hideous inherited brooch. With a large stone at its centre. That’s got to be a plane ticket and a month’s rent in the land of far, far away.
Marriages, jobs, our own heads. Who knows where they may lead? And, if worst comes to absolute worst, do you have a financial contingency plan that you don’t talk about? Even to yourself.