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When you say your number aloud, you'll know it's the right number if a part of you is scared that they will laugh in your face.

Salary Range: Are You Asking for Enough?

“Oh god, oh god, the hiring manager just asked me about my salary range” is a text I’ve gotten a dozen times from friends and coworkers over the years. For a young professional, it’s usually the most fraught moment in the entire hiring process. And for good reason! Your answer to this question has enormous financial consequences. The right answer can catapult you forward—and the wrong one can set you back years.

How do you know that the number you’re asking for is the right number? Here are some tips that will help you make sure you’re not selling yourself short.

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Our most essential human freedom is the right to control our own bodies and have our decisions regarding them respected.

Three Legal Documents You Need NOW (and Can Get Cheaply Online)

A while back, a mutual friend of the Bitches unexpectedly found herself in the ICU. She was very young, very healthy, and due to be wed to her deeply devoted partner within weeks. She was unconscious and totally incapacitated, and needed someone to make healthcare decisions on her behalf.

The funny thing about engagements is that they aren’t legally binding. So even though her fiancé absolutely knew her wishes better than anyone, all medical decisions reverted to her mother. I should say: the alcoholic, emotionally abusive mother she’d moved thousands of miles to escape from.

Maybe you’re one of those lucky people with a spouse, or living parents, who understand and agree with your decisions 100% of the time. But maybe you’re like our friend above, and your default healthcare advocate is dangerous, untrustworthy, or completely out-of-touch with your wishes and values. Failing to plan for unforeseeable medical emergencies can put your body and your life into the hands of someone who you don’t trust. And that is a very, very scary situation. Read More

Graduating in a recession leads to earnings losses of nine percent. But there are some things you can do to get yourself back up to the level you deserve.

A Millennial’s Guide to Growing Your Salary

I don’t attach the word “millennial” to topics willy-nilly. A lot of our advice is aimed at everyone living in these strange times! But this advice is tailored specifically to those who came to adulthood immediately before or after the 2008 recession.

Graduating in a recession leads to earnings losses of about 9% compared to those who graduate in balmier financial climates. The pay gap takes a full decade to become statistically insignificant. For the average worker, that amounts to five grand in a single year. The lost opportunities to invest some of that income—as well as the recession-graduate’s stymied options for other jobs—creates a staggering wealth gap.

Worst of all, it’s completely fucking unfair, because we were kids when this hot mess was cooked up, yet we’re still the ones who have to eat it. We have every right to be salty about that.

There are some things you can do to get yourself back up to the level you deserve. Here’s what we suggest.

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Everyone's dreams are probably dumb.

Two-Ring Circus

This is the wedding ring that I wanted.

Dinosaur/Antler/Meteorite Ring.

Hand-crafted by a bearded artisan, it’s made from dinosaur fossils and deer antlers and meteorites. Is there anything cooler?

A lot of people like diamonds because they represent eternity, but this strange mishmash of textures represented it much more clearly to me. The bones of things long dead. The pieces of ourselves that die and renew each year. Starstuff from dark, unknown, unknowable places our species will die without ever setting eyes upon.

AMAZON PRIME HEYO!This is the wedding ring that I got.

It was available on Amazon Prime for $25.

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Buying the $7 Chocolate Bar

Buying the $7 Chocolate Bar

Last time I found myself in a high-end grocery store, I remember looking at the prices of everything and thinking “who the hell would buy a $7 chocolate bar?” Yesterday, I got my answer. And it was a pretty surprising one! It opened my eyes to a truth I’ve struggled for years to acknowledge.

I have a friend who is struggling with homelessness right now. She was in my house, staying for a spell while she looked for a permanent place to live. I watched her unpack her few belongings.

And there it was. Inside her purse was a large, rather expensive, luxury-brand $7 chocolate bar. She held it up and twiddled it back and forth in her hands, letting the silver foil catch the light.

“Sweetie, I’m homeless,” she said, very matter-of-fact. “You’d better believe I’m getting the good stuff.”

And boy was she making a great point.

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Why Are Poor People Poor and Rich People Rich?

Why Are Poor People Poor and Rich People Rich?

In a society that’s supposedly equitable, why are some people poor, and other people rich?

Piggy and I discussed a ton of things when we first started talking about starting our personal finance blog. But one thing we didn’t talk about was our target audience. We didn’t have to! We both knew immediately that we wanted to write for our younger selves. Years later, we’re older and more financially stable—but inside we still feel like a pair of broke young folks.

And maybe we always will? As we’ve discussed, money doesn’t immediately cure the financial anxieties you develop when you’re poor.

Our twenties were a decade-long financial panic. It was so stressful trying to figure everything out on our own. So we spent a lot of time talking about how traditional financial advice had failed people like us.

Some advice failed simply for being too old. It relied on outdated growth models. Or ignored a rapidly changing globalized economy. Or discounted the possibilities of living in a world transformed by technology.

These failures were innocent.

Others were not.

Much advice we’ve encountered conflates the virtues of wisdom, self-control, independence, perseverance, diligence, vision, and thrift with the state of being financially solvent. Whether directly stated or merely implied, people who are poor are poor because they are therefore foolish, indulgent, leeching, lazy, idle, short-sighted, and wasteful pieces of shit.

No. What are you. No.

I do not know of a single misconception that has damaged society more. It’s embedded so deeply in American sensibilities I don’t think I could pry it out with the claw-end of a hammer.

I have seen so many powerful people wield it like a scepter, a symbol of their divine right to their disproportionate wealth.

And even sadder, I have seen many more powerless people use it as a cudgel against one another.

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Businesses Will Happily Give You HUGE Discounts if You Ask This Magic Question

Businesses Will Happily Give You HUGE Discounts if You Ask This Magic Question

Also known as “the magical six-word question that’s saved me $1,140 in the last three months.” Sounds like clickbait, right? But miraculously, this tip is 100% legit and may one day save your (financial) life. It’s a special little secret called the cash discount.

I’m a little wary of asking for discounts, especially from very small companies. When it’s just one or two people running the show, it means those one or two people spend an inordinate percentage of their time doing things they don’t like to do. Nobody starts their own business because they love filing quarterly taxes—they soldier through it for the 10% of the time where they’re actually doing the thing they love.

And every small business owner I’ve known has lost sleep over their pricing. (Us included!) No matter what you’re selling, there’s local and global competition for it, and consumers have tools now that didn’t exist 10 or 20 years ago that allow them to find, compare, rate, and review similar services. The world is a buyer’s market, and it’s really hard to measure what you know your work is worth against what you know people are willing to pay for it.

So asking to pay less for the same product is almost always a wearying and unwelcome question… with one very special exception.

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You Deserve Cheap Toilet Paper, You Beautiful Moon Goddess

You Deserve Cheap Toilet Paper, You Beautiful Moon Goddess

In my short lifetime, I have heard more than one perfectly sensible person tell me they “can’t do” cheap toilet paper.

Rick knows how I feel.

I don’t know why people tell me these things.

It’s like they want me to cry out to Father Dagon and Mother Hydra and bid them raise an army of Deep Ones from the many-columned depths of Y’ha-nthlei to sweep over the land and drown the humans in a cosmic flood as recompense for their innumerable and unpardonable follies.

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