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This is a horrible mistake to make because there's no way to really fix it.

PLEASE Tell Me You’re Not Making This Disastrous Beginner Mistake with Your Retirement Funds

It has come to my attention that there may be a particularly disastrous beginner retirement fund mistake we’ve failed to warn our readers against. As they say in the extremely dramatic anime I’m currently watching: moushiwake arimasen!

Worse, it’s exactly the kind of mistake we proudly specialize in addressing: a mistake that makes you feel so freaking inept and self-conscious that you act like it didn’t happen, never speak of it again, and quietly add to the self-critical monologue that plays inside your head on nights when you cannot sleep.

No? Just us? Humph! Very well.

This mistake has to do with your retirement funds. I can’t sugar-coat this one: it’s a horrible mistake to make because there isn’t really a way to fix it. It’s like burning your popcorn: what’s done is done, there’s no way to un-burn it. But the faster you yank that stanky shit out of your microwave, the sooner you can chuck it and move on with with your life. And a fresh batch of popcorn. Make it kettle corn. Invite me!

For those of you who don’t have retirement accounts yet, read on anyway. Trust me! This is something you’ll want to keep in the back of your mind for whenever you finally do.

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If blogs were corporeal, ours would be covered in Cheeto dust.

Holy Shit, We’re the Year’s Best Personal Finance Blog?!

Well, butter my bread and call me a biscuit! Bitches Get Riches just won the 11th Annual Plutus Award for Personal Finance Blog of the Year.

We’ve actually been up for this award every year since we launched this blog in 2017. But of course 2020 would be our year, wouldn’t it?!

I’ve decided I find it the ultimate compliment to be considered the best personal finance blog in 2020. This supremely wretched year has been packed with so much darkness and chaos. Maybe the traditional advice-dispensers—the people who really know what they’re doing, and have perfect faith in our world and its systems—found themselves as lost as everybody else.

Luckily, our tumultuous lives have trained Piggy and I in the crucial survival skill of making absolutely fucking everything up as we go along.

Perhaps we aren’t the noble lions of this world, but the crafty raccoons! We’re adept at digging through garbage with our creepy little trash!panda hands to find the next morsel of sanity and stability. And since there’s never been a year with more garbage to sort through, doesn’t it make sense that this was our time to shine?

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These tips may help the 42% of Americans who abruptly joined Team Work From Home.

My 25 Secrets to Successfully Working from Home with ADHD

I’ve been working from home with ADHD for the last five years.

I mean, I didn’t know I had ADHD until recently. I went to a neuropathologist at age thirty-two after years of procrastination, convinced I was a depressed, lazy, narcissistic underachiever with early onset dementia. Turns out I just had a norepinephrine deficiency in my locus coeruleus, lmao.

Living with a lifelong undiagnosed mental illness sucks shit. But you know what’s a pretty okay consolation prize? The naive tenacity you develop when nobody tells you it’s okay to expect less of yourself!

To be clear: I can’t recommend spending three decades white-knuckling your way through adult life… but you will have the thick, powerful knuckles of a silverback gorilla when all’s said and done!

Working from home pre-diagnosis required a lot of experimentation. Learning to keep myself focused and motivated (with crystal clear work/life boundaries) was tough. I’m going to summarize my very best tips for y’all today, sponsored by our Patreon donors.

Since 42% of Americans abruptly joined Team Work From Home in the last six months, hopefully these tips will help everyone who’s struggling—whether you’re riding the Royal Struggle Bus of Clinical Executive Function Disorders, or just riding dirrrty in your own messy minivan.

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I respect entrepreneurial spirit but my respect evaporates when people use their talents to knowingly peddle snake oil.

Why Are Hot Young Instagram Babes Using MLM to Sell Shady Personal Finance Products?

I’m used to pretty Insta-people hawking all sorts of things that will never, ever make my face more symmetrical—but what’s the deal with the recent trend of influencers selling financial products?

This week’s question comes from Patreon Donor Mara. Their question prompted a lot of deep thought about the aspirational nature of wealth, and our complicity in that paradigm. It’s self-recriminatory af, you’re gonna love it. 

Mara writes…

I’m writing to ask if you guys had any thoughts on all these Personal Finance Flavored MLMs that are popping up like crazy on social media.

I work in the entertainment industry. Recently I’ve noticed that a lot of young actors are selling “classes” and the like on their Instagram pages. It seems like they really target young artists/musicians/models and tell them that selling Forex or Bitcoin is the key to intergenerational wealth and stability.

It seems super sketchy and predatory to me, but I would love y’alls thoughts.

– Patron Mara
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We're setting a new goal for ourselves. It's way too ambitious. We're probably gonna fail.

Bitches at the Crossroads: State of the Blog, 2020

Noble citizens of the aspirationally decadent Conglomerated Nation of Bitches Get Riches: let’s have a lil’ chat, shall we? It’s been a while since we chatted about our favorite topic: ourselves!

UM EXCUSE ME WHAT ABOUT MEEEEE?!

We hope you’ve enjoyed season two of the Bitches Get Riches podcast. Recording it was a bright spot for us during this dumpster fire of a year, so thank you all for listening.

As we wrap up another season, we had a few notes to share with you. Including some more personal reflections about how we’re doing, where we’re at, and what the future holds.

Let’s get into it!

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S2 E11: "I tripped and fell into a career I don't like. How do I reinvent myself?"

Season 2, Episode 11: “I Tripped and Fell into a Career I Don’t like. How Do I Reinvent Myself?”

If you’re new here, let me get you up to speed: personal finance is personal. And as a result, it’s also often complicated—a Choose Your Own Adventure with multiple right answers and mitigating circumstances.

Which is why it is so easy to feel stuck in your career or financial journey. What do you do when you’re just fine… but you want more? How do you overcome crippling stagnation? How do you justify leaving the safety of your established, safe career… and risk everything to leap headlong toward your dreams?

Alternatively: when is the safe and not-super-fulfilling job sometimes exactly what you need? What could you do with the excess creative mental energy that a boring day job affords?

All these questions (and much talk of Spiderman!) on this week’s episode.

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Technical knowledge and industry experience are far less important than the "softer skills" of managing people, priorities, information, time, and (most importantly) yourself.

Your College Major May Not Prepare You for Your Job—but It Can Prepare You for Life

How much does your college major matter? The answer varies a lot, depending on which industry you’re trying to break into.

For example, I’m a white collar worker, and work alongside folks with undergraduate degrees in history, finance, literature, and psychology. Yet I’ve noticed among medical professionals, it is generally frowned upon to dispense medical wisdom under the mighty authority of a BA in Film Criticism. Hmm. Curious!

I spend a lot of time working with recent graduates in the course of my Clark Kent day job. And I’ve noticed that a lot of them seem apologetic or insecure about their majors, especially when those majors don’t relate directly to the assigned task.

Just the other day, I was getting sloppy with my speech in a one-on-one meeting with a mentee, using too many unnecessary bits of industry jargon. “I’m so sorry,” she said, “but could you please explain what that means? I love marketing, but I only found that out about myself once I started doing internships in my senior year. It was too late to change my major, so I’m really behind.”

It kinda broke my heart! (And was totally my bad. I didn’t need to say “stakeholder feedback needs to be strategically leveraged against known best practices” when I could’ve just said “clients are ignorant babies, ignore them whenever possible.”) There’s a learning curve for every new job, no matter how familiar you are with the industry; no reasonable person expects you to instantaneously intuit absolutely everything.

I think a lot of our readers could benefit from a healthy reminder that you bring great value to your job role just by being you, regardless of what you studied in school or learned in internships. In my observation, technical know-how and industry experience are far less important than the “soft skills” of managing people, priorities, time, data, and (most importantly) yourself.

Piggy and I have our own observations, but they’re based on the narrow experiences we’ve lived or observed firsthand. So I thought I’d float this discussion in our Patreon community. I asked donors for their insights into skills and habits they learned in their majors, and how it serves them in the job role they perform today. And like the dedicated employees of the United States Postal Service, they delivered!

The best advice comes from real, lived experiences—and the more diverse, the better. Here’s hoping this advice will inspire younger readers who are still deciding on this issue, as well as more established folks who may be questioning the feasibility of a major career shift.

… Omg, a “major” career shift! Get it??

Here are some things that your “off-topic” major might teach you…

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Season 2 Episode 10: "Which is Smarter: Getting a Loan? or Saving up to Pay Cash?"

Season 2, Episode 10: “Which Is Smarter: Getting a Loan? or Saving up to Pay Cash?”

The financial lessons we received from our parents are problematic for many reasons.

For one thing, they’re often out of date, as the economic atmosphere of the 1970s and 1980s is a far cry from what we’ve experienced in a post-2008 world. We’re long past the quaint advice to pay for college by “getting a summer job” and to start a career by “walking into a business and asking for a job in the mailroom.” Heckin precious.

But there’s also the way an assumption of background knowledge can lead to further confusion. For if you don’t understand basic financial principles, the sweet knowledge nuggets your beloved Boomer dad drops on you might go down like lead balloons. Just as you can’t understand where Beyoncé came from without Destiny’s Child, you can’t talk about getting loans until you understand how interest works!

This week we’re dealing with just this issue. Petey is one of my oldest and strangest friends. I made him walk down the aisle with Kitty at my wedding in the hopes that those two weirdos would have a vulgar joke-off (alas, they conducted themselves with the decorum expected of a bridesmaid and a groomsman and saved the nasty shit for the dance floor).

Petey has his head all in a tizzy over his dad’s vague and incomplete financial advice. So we decided to set the poor boy straight!

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Season 2 Episode 9: "I Volunteer in My Free Time. Should I Focus on Making Money Instead?"

Season 2, Episode 9: “I Use My Free Time to Volunteer. Should I Focus on Making Money Instead?”

You’re employed. You’re making enough money to live on and putting a little away for the future. And you’re filling your free time with stuff you find enjoyable and fulfilling.

… but is it enough?

This week we handle the nagging feeling that you should be doing more with your time. It’s hard to fight against the advice that you need a second income stream, the coveted “side hustle”, even when in reality you’re doing just fine. It’s all tied into that most frightening of the coronavirus pandemic’s side effects: productivity porn.

And if that wasn’t enough terror, we slip in a real palm-sweaty story about that one time

KITTY READ PIGGY’S DIARY

and

WAS TOTALLY CAUGHT RED-HANDED, THAT FUCKING SNAKE!!

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If someone else's generosity makes you uncomfortable, dig deep and figure out why. Your gut may be telling you something your brain ain't ready to hear.

Ask the Bitches: “How Do I Put a Stop to Unwanted Monetary Gifts?”

Since we’re all living through fairly doomy and gloomy times, I want to occasionally slip in a question that’s firmly in the category of a nice-to-have problem.

Just such a question appeared in our Patreon inbox this week. (Patreon donors get direct access to the single glowing brain that Piggy and I share, and can ask us questions directly, which we are guaranteed to answer!) Since this question involves some venting about their family members, I’ll protect their identity by calling them Fran.

Hey Powerful Sunflowers, 

I’m a financially secure adult in my late twenties. My husband and I are homeowners and prolific savers. We’re doing great! However, my parents still insist on treating us like kids.

My father loves to give me money anytime I go to visit. It was awesome when I was in college, but started to feel infantilizing as I’ve grown. So I started to refuse to take his money, but he sneaks it into my purse!

It’s always more than a hundred dollars. Sometimes much more. 

I donate it when I find it, but it’s still frustrating! I really do not need or want my parents’ money. So it’s partially a money question and partially a relationship question. Is there anything I can do to stop taking the money? And if not, is there a better way to be using it? 

Thanks Bitches.

– Patreon Donor Fran
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