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How to Use Labor Shortages to Your Advantage

How to Use Labor Shortages to Your Advantage

Labor shortages? With a 6% unemployment rate? On the heels of a recession and global pandemic? Seriously?

Seriously. If you’re like me, you’ve seen the signs hanging in almost every restaurant, coffee shop, and gas station window you’ve walked past. “Now hiring! Check our website for details!” But there’s something off about them. Usually such signs have a cheerfully neutral tone. But these are radiating powerful desperation stink.

“We’re hiring! Like, SERIOUSLY hiring. Literally every role is open! Do you want my job? You can have it! We have signing bonuses. If you show up all five days your first week, I will give you my cat. Don’t get me wrong, I love my cat like a son—but if someone doesn’t help me bus these tables, the fabric of my reality will unravel all around me lol.”

When employers are desperate for employees, they’re weak. And when they’re weak, you are strong. You can use this moment as an opportunity to claw back lost ground.

But situations like these have been super rare in recent history. Honestly, unless you’re a Boomer or older, this really hasn’t happened in your lifetime! (Yes, to my eternal surprise, BGR does have enthusiastic Boomer and Silent Gen readers. We salute you—the few, the proud, the kickass—for enduring our 90s pop culture references and ageist hissy fits with grace and poise.) Younger readers will be forgiven for not knowing how to take advantage of it.

So that’s what we’ll teach you today! C’mon, finance, let’s get fin~nancial!

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10 Ways to Spot Financial Scams and How to Defend Yourself

Last year we collectively lost our minds stanning MacKenzie Scott. She’s the absolute QUEEN making all the other billionaires look bad by giving away half of her money to charity. No expensive foundations, no self-congratulatory PR machine. Just direct funding to worthy causes. Y’know: what people with more money than they could ever possibly use should do.

Her philanthropy is especially popular because it came as a graceful “fuck you” to her amoral cheat of an ex-husband, Jeff Bezos. (And you guys know how we feel about that guy.)

The $6 billion she’s donated so far is literally record-breaking. Which is why it’s so reprehensible that scammers have taken advantage of Scott’s reputation to steal from unsuspecting victims.

Recently, criminals masquerading as MacKenzie Scott have targeted the vulnerable for financial scams. These desperate individuals have lost thousands in fake transfer fees at the promise that they could be the lucky recipients of Scott’s philanthropy. Which is… so breathtakingly heartbreaking yet also predictable.

Financial scams are on the rise. Thanks in part to advances in digital currencies, global communications, and tech in general, it’s easier than ever to fall prey to these criminal schemes. There are even brand new scams using the COVID-19 pandemic to fleece the unwary.

So today we’re talking about financial scams: how they work, who they target, and how to avoid them. That last one most of all.

We want to arm you against the forces of darkness and set you loose upon the criminal element! Like a bunch of Google-wielding vigilantes, you shall dispense justice by defending yourselves and developing the perfect level of disdain with which to utter “How do you sleep at night?

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Dafuq Is Interest? And How Does It Work For the Forces of Darkness?

Dafuq Is Interest? And How Does It Work for the Forces of Darkness?

Here at Bitches Get Riches, we’re constantly extolling the virtues of compounding interest, which Albert Einstein, Mother Theresa, and Nelson Mandela all deemed the Eighth Wonder of the World.* This might lead personal finance novices to believe that interest is universally a great and wealth-building thing. Not so, dear readers. Not so.

Just as interest can work for you, contributing mightily to your financial goals over a long period of time, so it can spell your very doom. DOOM.

Like a monetary Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, interest has both your best interests (see what I did there?) and your utter financial destruction at its heart. Let’s explore its dual nature with a healthy dose of hyperbole, shall we?

*Not intended to be a factual statement

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If you want to eat the rich, stop feeding Amazon.

If You Want To Eat the Rich, Stop Feeding Amazon

I’ve been waiting for years for Americans to stop feeding Amazon. We had a good chance last week. Amazon employees in Bessemer, Alabama had the opportunity to form a union. But it didn’t go well. It wasn’t even close. By a margin of two to one, warehouse workers voted against it.

It’s a really disappointing outcome. But it’s also not surprising. Labor unions are weak in America.

You know who isn’t weak? Amazon.

The world’s largest retailer is one of the most powerful entities on the face of the planet. And their union-busting policies are robust, well-funded, and prodigious.

According to many reports, they paid $10,000 every day to anti-union consultants who created an environment of pervasive secrecy, fear, and misinformation. Amazon spies on its employees and fires labor organizers. Bessemer workers were bombarded with anti-union messages in every private space from bathroom stalls to their personal phones. They forced their employees to attend several hours of anti-union propaganda meetings every week filled with ominous warnings about the “union threat” to their jobs. And they fired organizers, made fake social media accounts, and even changed traffic light patterns. They even flat-out told workers they’d lose their jobs if there was a union—all for the single purpose of discouraging the workers from using their constitutional right to organize with each other.

And it worked.

I knew it would. Story after story has made it incredibly clear that Amazon doesn’t give a flaming hot shit about the well-being of their employees. To an extent that is downright cartoonishly villainous! And they don’t have to, because they won’t face any consequences for it.

No legal consequences, because everything they’ve done is perfectly legal. 

And no business consequences, because despite everything, you’re still shopping there.

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Ask the Bitches: What’s the Difference Between Credit Checks and Credit Monitoring?

The world of personal finance is full of terms designed to confuse and waylay the innocent. Yet you are a beautiful and mysterious adventurer on the exciting journey of life! You do not have time to parse the different meanings of seemingly synonymous financial terms like “credit checks” and “credit monitoring.”

Fortunately, we’re a coupla’ nerds with nothing better to do.

Recently, an anonymous follower (we’ll call them “Pudding Cup” because I assume that, like pudding, they are both sweet and smooth) asked:

Dear Piggy and Kitty, I have a question. I just got an email from the auditing office of my state saying that the unemployment filing host “Accellion” was hacked and they don’t think anything happened, but are offering a free year of credit monitoring. I have no idea what that would do or how I would use it to make sure nothing bad happened? Also doesn’t monitoring your credit (somehow?) make it worse? Would this be helpful or not really?

In short, Pudding Cup has mixed up two distinctly different concepts to do with credit: credit monitoring and credit checks. I’ll detangle the two below.

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The Financial Order of Operations: 10 Great Money Choices for Every Stage of Life

The Financial Order of Operations: 10 Great Money Choices for Every Stage of Life

One of the reasons personal finance can feel so overwhelming—nay, defeating—is that there’s so much pressure to do everything at once. I think it’s why so many people feel lost and incompetent with money. I did too, until I discovered a financial order of operations.

Money decisions are always intimidating. Every financial decision you make compounds over time! That can be good, like when investments grow. But it’s also terrible, because financial mistakes can haunt you for years after you’ve made them. With so much pressure to get it right, every single time, and always on the first try, it’s no wonder people freeze up.

I wish someone had sat me down and compassionately explained that I didn’t have to do everything all at once. If you want to stay motivated and make meaningful progress on a goal, it’s so much better to focus on just one at a time. And just like in eighth grade math, there’s a right order of operations to everything, depending on what stage of life you’re in.

Today I’m going to take you through my financial order of operations. It’s a basic blueprint of ten steps most people could follow to transform their finances for the better.

In my opinion, it’s the best order in which to save, invest, and pay off debt. It also takes into consideration the incredible importance of maintaining motivation and keeping financial decisions centered exactly where they should be: around your personal goals, dreams, and emotional well-being.

Best of all, anyone can follow the first two steps! You don’t need to have money or a job to get started. Woo-hoo! Gates are open—send in the teenaged overachievers!

Obviously, everyone is different. Think of this journey as the Oregon Trail. We all start in the Independence, Missouri of total ineptitude, and we’re all trying to get to the gloriously fruitful Willamette Valley of financial independence. Some of us may choose to raft down the Columbia River Gorge, and others will take the Barlow Toll Road. That’s totally fine! This guide will help you make informed decisions, even if you don’t follow it exactly.

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My Career Transition Succeeded When I Gave Fewer Fucks, Made More Friends, and Had More Fun

CAREER TRANSITION SUCCESSFUL: THIS BITCH IS EMPLOYED!

AIR HORNS FOR CAREER TRANSITION

As our Patreon community already knows, I, your humble Bitch Piggy, have a shiny new job! This life update comes in the wake of being laid off from a large publishing house a year ago. (You can read about the painful details of that identity-crisis-cum-career-bellyflop here.) Since then, I’ve been rocking the self-employed life as an editorial consultant, literary agent, and blogger. The hustle, my friends. The hustle.  

But now I’m very proud to announce I’ve joined the editorial team at The Motley Fool. Maybe you’ve heard of it? I’m the new managing editor for distribution acquisitions. Mostly that means that instead of wrangling book authors for a living, I’m going to be wrangling money writers.

Switching from a career in book publishing to one in financial media was no easy feat! But it did feel a helluva lot like destiny. Here’s how I made the career transition.

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5 Lies About DIYing I'm Seriously Sick of Hearing

5 Lies About DIYing I’m Seriously Sick of Hearing

Today we’re covering a subject near to my heart. Too near to my heart. Like a clogged aortic valve that’s ready to blow. It’s lies about DIYing!

This is a subject I’ve been dying to set the record straight on. Because the internet is busting at the seams with of lying liars and the lie-ful lies they lyingly lie.

Most beautifulest table.

Let me start off by asking you a question: do you like this table? Of course you do! It’s beautiful as shit. I made it myself and it only cost me $29.

(…Or did it?)

I found this poor wretch on Craigslist. It had a crust of chipping chalkboard paint—because apparently there are people who like to dine to a soundtrack of plates scraping across a blackboard?! Underneath, it was solid wood, sturdily constructed, fully disassemblable, and priced to sell at only $25. Like the conventionally attractive nerd in an early 90s movie, it only needed its glasses lifted off to become beautiful.

After sanding the old paint off, I took some glossy white paint I had leftover from another project and applied it to the legs. Then I stained the tabletop with a $4 can of Minwax stain obtained on clearance from my local hardware store. The result is a beautiful handcrafted table that you’d never know cost $29!

There’s only one catch…

I lied.
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How to Make Any Financial Decision, No Matter How Tough, with Maximum Swag

We get literally hundreds of questions on how to make a financial decision.

“O great and mighty Bitches, should I pay off my debt or add to my savings?”

“Our Bitches, who art in Bitch Nation, should I take a gap year or try to finish my college degree as quickly as possible?”

“Wise and benevolent Bitches, should I buy a house or keep renting?”

“Most beloved and humble of Bitches, how should I allocate my investments?”

“Bitches, I beseech thee: how much of my income should I budget for necessities vs. entertainment?”

One of the things about our blog I’m most proud of is that we answer as many of these questions as possible. Hence our Ask the Bitches series and the entire Q&A premise of our podcast!

It’s not entirely altruistic, though. We get off on being human Pez dispensers of advice tablets. And when we get multiple questions on the same topic, we often just write a whole ass article on said topic. BOOM! Question answered in perpetuity!

Despite the pleasure we take in our methodology, I’m about to shift it from a BGR-exclusive service to something even amateurs can do at home. With this article, I’ll wipe out about 70% of the questions people ask us in one fell swoop.

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Case Study: Held Back by Past Financial Mistakes, Fighting Bad Credit and $90K in Debt

Case Study: Held Back by Past Financial Mistakes, Fighting Bad Credit and $90K in Debt

Hi, it’s me again—your Good With Money Friend! It’s time for another case study. This time we’re talking about how to recover from past financial mistakes.

You guys really enjoyed our first case study. It tackled problems related to student loan debt, employment instability, and paying through the nose for rent in a high cost of living area. I’ve been hoping to do another one, but all of my friends’ most recent money issues have been too specific to their situations to be helpful to a broader audience.

Until now!

A friend reached out, asking for help repairing her damaged credit score. So she scheduled a 30 minute call with me to discuss her options, because I’m literally that bitch.

Obviously it turned into a ninety-minute call, mostly because I love the sound of my own voice. (Vocal fry ’til I die!) But really because the more we talked, the clearer it became that her credit score wasn’t her main enemy on the battlefield for financial stability. It was like a machine gun a mile away: an easy threat to identify, making a huge racket and scaring the shit out of everyone, but not actually that threatening in her present circumstances.

If you’ve struggled with debt, or you want to hone your Good With Money Friend skills, read on. Hopefully hearing about her situation will help some other folks!

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