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Masterpost: Everything You Need to Know about Living Independently for the First Time

{ MASTERPOST } Everything You Need to Know about Living Independently for the First Time

It comes to you in a dream: ethereal voices, echoing through the fog of your resting mind. You toss and turn as you try to decipher their meaning. The voices are unspeakably beautiful, inspiring, gregarious… and it is then you know they are the voices of… the Bitches.

For it is they who bless the minds of young wanderers in the Land of Dreams! They who deliver divine inspiration directly to the soul so that upon waking, the listener is fortified with the knowledge to go forth and conquer the world.

You strain to hear. You yearn for their wisdom and sage advice. And at last you make out what they’re telling you:

“This is how you adult like a fucking champ…”

Readers, enjoy this masterpost of all our articles on living independently for the first time, so that you may learn to become your very own adult. For it’s the last you’ll hear from us for a while! That’s right: we’re taking our annual two-week summer vacation starting… now!

Don’t worry: we promise to come back better and bitchier than ever!

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There are a number of reasons why this might be the killing blow you need to destroy your debt faster.

Kill Your Debt Faster with the Death by a Thousand Cuts Technique

Sometimes I take for granted that everyone knows basic tenets of finance. Like how the IRS will never ever call you, or how money depreciates due to inflation. Or even how Harriet Tubman should absolutely replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill.

But every once in a while one of our darling readers (who are the salt of the Earth, but like, fancy Himalayan pink sea salt with grains of dried truffles mixed in) will remind me why we need to focus on basic financial literacy. It is, after all, our sacred mission, bestowed upon us by the goddess of internet memes!

Thanks to a conversation I recently had with some of our young Zoomer/Zennial readers on the sosh’ meeds’, today I’m going to focus on a frighteningly simple tactic for paying off debt. For once it’s understood, it could save you metric buttloads of money on interest, help you pay off your debt faster, and bring about world peace.

You’re heckin’ welcome, world.

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The process of getting my unemployment check sucked. I'm here to walk you through it too.

Dafuq Is Unemployment and How Do I Apply for It?

As we’re living through The Plague Times, a number of topics have really jumped the writing queue for your humble Bitches. And thanks to the massive wave of job losses, one of the more urgent subjects is, by necessity, unemployment insurance.

As it happens, I’m currently a bit of an expert on unemployment insurance. I’m not just a spokesperson… I’m a member! After losing my job this spring, I applied for and received unemployment insurance from my state.

The process was tedious, long, stressful, counterintuitive, repetitive, and obnoxious. But it worked. And now I’m here to walk you through it too. Because misery fucking loves company.

But before we begin, a note: The UI I’m receiving isn’t completely replacing my lost income. Like everyone on UI, I’m applying for jobs like it’s literally my job. Yet available jobs are pretty thin on the ground until the country opens up for business again.

My bills are still getting paid, due mostly to the generosity of BGR readers. If you’re so inclined, consider donating to our Patreon. It comes with spiffy rewards and our eternal gratitude, which by itself is worth at least $2.65!

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I drove my car so infrequently it died. So as usual, don't be like me!

How to Maintain the Car You’re Barely Driving

During the winter, our powerful, pleasurable, indestructible Patreon donors voted for DIY car maintenance in one of our Patreon exclusive content polls. And I decided to sit on it, because spring is the ideal time for a lot of routine car maintenance. I thought I would be topical.

Well, now it’s become either entirely too topical… or not topical at all? Perhaps both at the same time. On the one hand, I have never driven less than I have over the last month. In the last two weeks, I’ve driven just once: to the local grocery store and back, a round-trip of less than one mile.

On the other hand…

I drove my car so infrequently it broke down.

Yep. My nine-year-old battery finally up and died! So as usual, the moral of the story is don’t be like me!

In retrospect, it’s obvious that trying to be a good girl and go on as few trips as possible would obviously backfire and create the need for more trips! I hadn’t planned on going to an auto supply store during a pandemic, but my new minimalist bike-everywhere lifestyle successfully murdered my geriatric battery. Cause of death: involuntary Mustachianism?

I had to leave my car idling and unlocked in the parking lot of the closest AutoZone because I was afraid it wouldn’t start again, but I refused to let my asthmatic partner join me on any errands while Rona’s out there, causing havoc.

I was able to get a new battery. Between myself, my partner, a set of imperial wrenches that didn’t quite match our metric nuts, and the living catalogue of human knowledge that is YouTube, we were able to replace the battery ourselves. But this got me to thinking about car maintenance for people who rarely drive.

Right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, that basically includes… <checks notes> everyone. But it’s not exactly a niche topic, either. Many frugal people, minimalists, and environmentalists own a car out of necessity, but are interested in driving as little as possible.

So today we’re going to discuss how to take care of your car when you barely drive it at all.

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You've sent your application and all you've heard back is crickets. So now what?

I Just Applied for a Job. How (And When) Should I Follow Up?

In all our copious posts about getting a job and advancing your career, we’ve left out one crucial part of the job application process.

What the hell happens after you’ve submitted your application?

Ideally, you’ll receive a prompt response confirming the receipt of your application. Following that, you’ll be cordially invited to an interview in a timely fashion. And after the interview, within very little time, you’ll receive a job offer. Just a really prompt, dignified process that respects and values everyone’s time and effort!

GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE CLOUDS, YOU NAIF. LIFE IS PAIN, MOTHERFUCKERS.

Of course that adorable fantasy scenario only happens on Wish Fulfillment Island, where the hiring process is swift and painless and dogs never die!

In reality, job applicants are plagued with long, drawn-out hiring processes, unclear communication, repetitive applications, and flaming hoops of bullshit in front of an obstacle course of crocodiles who only scanned your resume for keywords.

In other words, it blows! But you still need to get through it if you have any hope of employment. So here’s what happens after you submit a job application.

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Your table needs bread, and modesty is the least filling carbohydrate.

How to Frame Volunteering on Your Resume When You’ve Never Had a Job

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: the hardest job to get is your first one. Or at least, the first one that’s in your chosen field and not, you know, corn detasseling for Moon Pie money. Everybody who grew up in a flyover state say heyyyyy!

See, when you’ve never had a job before…

  • Your resume is as short as a sneeze.
  • You don’t have professional connections to turn to for help or advice, like mentors and old coworkers.
  • True entry level jobs are rarer than they used to be.
  • You don’t have much practice at the basic skills you need to get any job, like nailing an interview and writing great cover letters.
  • You have even less experience with next-level skills you need to get a great job, like learning how to understand your company or industry’s most pressing needs and position yourself with strategic accordance.

(Mmm, you know it’s going to be a good day when you’re an ENTJ and you get to use the phrase “position yourself with strategic accordance” before noon.)

Unfortunately, when unemployment is high, it all gets even harder. Because now you’re competing with a lot more people—and they likely have some of the advantages you lack.

We feel for anyone with a thin job history who’s stuck competing in a tough job market with wicked high unemployment. Y’all are skipping the Hunger Games and going straight to the Quarter Quell: head-to-head, not against other frightened children, but bloodthirsty professional-ass adults. So in the near future, we’ll be discussing lots of strategies that can help mitigate the shittiness.

Today, we’ll discuss how to use past volunteering to make your resume shine! Let’s get into it!

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Ask the Bitches: "Will the Government Really Give Me $1,200?"

Ask the Bitches Pandemic Lightning Round: “Will the Government Really Give Me $1,200?”

Welcome to the Ask the Bitches Pandemic Lightning Round! We’re working around the clock to answer your questions about coronavirus, the impact of quarantine, and the recession of 2020.

Pardon our idealism, but we Bitches tend to think that one of the things a government should be responsible for is the economic welfare of its citizens in times of financial crisis.

You know: like right now.

Because make no mistake, along with being a public health crisis, the global outbreak of coronavirus is also an economic crisis. Many Americans have already lost their jobs due to the pandemic, resulting in a record 3.3 million unemployment claims; others are seeing their hours or pay severely cut; and the stock market is free-falling like Tom Petty at the Super Bowl, dropping the most in a single day since 2008.

But there are little glimmering lights of hope in this, our hour of darkness. The Federal Reserve just made $1.5 trillion available to keep banks solvent and steady. And now Congress has followed suit by passing a stimulus passage that will put money directly into the hands of people financially affected by the pandemic. Which happens to be all of us!

Unsurprisingly, you’ve got questions about this stimulus. We read all about it and distilled it down into easily digested morsels so that you don’t have to.

We’ll be coming at you fast this week, answering as many urgent questions as we can. If you appreciate the extra effort, we would love a small donation on our Patreon. Thank you!

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Ask the Bitches: "Did Congress really give $1.5 trillion to Wall Street?"

Ask the Bitches Pandemic Lightning Round: “Did Congress Really Give $1.5 Trillion to Wall Street?”

Welcome to the Ask the Bitches Pandemic Lightning Round! We’re working around the clock to answer your questions about coronavirus, the impact of quarantine, and the recession of 2020.

Have you heard about this thing? This something, something, $1.5 trillion dollars thing? Today, we have a request to explain what’s going on there.

So… is it worth it?

Let us work it.

We’ll put our thing down, flip it, and (time allowing) reverse it.

We’ll be coming at you fast this week, answering as many urgent questions as we can. If you appreciate the extra effort, we would love a small donation on our Patreon. Thank you!

The question

Here’s a question we got from an anonymous asker on our Tumblr:

Any chance you can explain why the 1.5 trillion congress put into stocks/small businesses/whatever meant and how it worked? I do not understand economics well enough to figure it out on my own, so I can’t figure out if it was actually a waste of money. I’m leaning towards “yes it was” but for my edification I want to make sure I’m not way off base thinking that.

We absolutely can explain this!

I’m gonna explain it like y’all are five. Because that’s the explanation I would want. Because right now, I have the emotional fortitude of a toddler desperately in need of nap time.

If you’re already pretty savvy with federal economic policy, you can read a higher level explanation like this one. Today’s breakdown will be for other babies like myself!

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