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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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S2 E8: "A fancy restaurant mislead me! Was I right to refuse to pay the bill?"

Season 2, Episode 8: “A Fancy Restaurant Misled Me! Was I Right to Refuse to Pay the Bill?”

We Bitches are many things—king makers, trendsetters, practitioners of all the best grandma hobbies. We’re also unapologetically obsessed with r/AmItheAsshole, Reddit’s glorious channel dedicated to the important and if-you-had-to-ask-you-already-know question “Am I the Asshole?”

This week we just could not fucking resist pulling a money-related question straight from r/AITA. Trust me: it was worth it. Dedicated readers and listeners will recall just how strongly we feel about the etiquette of tipping servers in these United States. So naturally, this one got our hackles up. Hopefully it will get your *cackles* up!

Read on for a phonetic spelling of gnocchi from an irritatingly oblivious guy who “likes to eat,” but only if the food is stolen and/or McDonalds. And ladies (just making an educated guess here), he’s recently single!

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I just made $1,900 very quickly and very easily. And you may be able to as well--but only if you're irresponsible and disorganized.

The Suspicious but TRUE Magic of Unclaimed Property: How I Made $1,900 in 10 Minutes Just by Being a Disorganized Mess of a Human Being

It’s hard to pinpoint which personal finance site I dislike the most. There are so many tone-deaf mansplainers and pyramid scammers to choose from!

… But The Penny Hoarder is way up there.

I see their ads everywhere. And I’ve read more than a few of their articles, thanks to their scientifically-engineered-for-maximum-clickbait titles. But they are so utterly and embarrassingly saturated with affiliate referral links promising “quick” and “easy” money that I feel the strong need to shower afterwards.

Ugh. I just really hate that kind of crap.

Spoiler alert, kids: almost nothing worth doing can be done quickly or easily. By definition, people only seek quick and easy solutions to long and hard problems! “One cool trick” ads ain’t out there saving lives.

  • If there were miracle exercises that gave you Jason Momoa’s body with only ten minutes of weekly exercise, there would be no highly compensated personal trainers in LA, and everyone would look like Jason Momoa. (And what a lovely planet that would be!)
  • If there were miracle diets or supplements that could really change the shape of your body quickly and easily, we’d’ve discovered them millennia ago, because there is nothing on this green earth that a human being hasn’t shoved in their pie hole. The only truly new food we have invented in the last ten thousand years is Velveeta, and in my hands-on experience, eating Velveeta initiates a slow process of becoming Velveeta.
  • If there were some miracle product that could eliminate acne, there wouldn’t be 2.5 aisles full of hundreds of different skincare products at Target. We would just use The One!

The same is absolutely true for money as well. If it could grow on trees, there’d be a fuck ton more arborists. Alas, currency is a scarce commodity that’s difficult and time-consuming to accumulate by its very nature.

I say all of this so that you understand how shocked I am to be writing an article with this headline… and meaning every word of it.

I just made $1,900 very quickly and very easily. And you may be able to make money in the exact same way—but it only works if you are as irresponsible and disorganized as I am.

Intrigued? Mwa ha ha… good.

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Mountains of debt cannot be repaid just by packing lunches and cutting cable. Those are comforting bedtime stories we tell ourselves about capitalism.

The Real Story of How I Paid Off My Mortgage in 4 Years

As of fifteen minutes (and one very cold beer) ago, I officially own the beautiful house I’m sitting in right now.

My partner and I have been refreshing our mortgage account every few hours today, waiting for the final payment to process. (Weirdly, you have to WIRE the final payment. Seriously? After this years-long relationship of sending personal check after personal check, our mortgage lender refuses to trust us at the finish line? Fine, whatever…) Just before the close of the day, it happened.

Current principal balance: $0.00.

$0.00.

My mortgage is gone. I am done paying rent. If all things go according to plan, I will never ever pay rent again for as long as I live. Let’s talk about it!

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Season 2, Episode 3: "Why is my girlfriend pissed at me for being generous?"

Season 2, Episode 3: “Why Is My Girlfriend Pissed at Me for Being Generous?”

We have friends in real life.

No really, we do!

Why don’t you ever hear about them? They, uh, live in Canada…?

This week’s question comes from one of our IRL pals, whom we’ve called Will. He’s in conflict with his girlfriend over money. Specifically, she seems to be giving a lot of side-eye to his personal generosity—especially when the beneficiaries of that generosity are her family members.

Luckily for Will, one of our main skills is correctly guessing why women are mad!

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As Johnnie Cochran would say: if the interest rate's nil, don't pay that bill!

Ask the Bitches: “The Government Put My Student Loans in Forbearance. Can I Really Stop Paying—or Is This a Trap?”

So… I made a mistake.

Our Patreon donors have been so wise with choosing quality topics in the past. So this month, I invited our supporters to pitch article topics directly to us.

Sounds great, right? WRONG. This was a huge mistake because all of our supporters’ ideas are fucking great! Now I have no choice: I simply must write them all. When am I supposed to do my life’s most important work: incorrectly cutting the wood for my woodworking project, then driving to Lowe’s to buy more wood???

This is technically incorrect. Piggy is the Chip.

One question stood out as being particularly time-sensitive, so today I’m answering this question from Patreon Rachel, who we all know to be so glitteringly beautiful that she’s regularly mistaken for an ice sculpture of herself:

I’d love to know your thoughts on U.S. federal student loans currently being deferred with no interest. Is it smart to continue to make my regular payments? Or should I stop making payments and use that money to invest in other things?

– Patreon Donor Rachel

An excellent question! Today we’ll address the basics of student loan forbearance, including how it pertains to the CARES Act. (That’s the $2 trillion stimulus package we explained here.)

Luckily there’s a fairly definitive answer, which I am just barely capable of explaining in human speech. Let’s get into it!

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Podcast Season 2 Episode 1: "I'm financially stable, but my friends aren't. The guilt is crushing!"

Season 2, Episode 1: “I’m Financially Stable, but My Friends Aren’t. The Guilt Is Crushing!”

“We’re back” isn’t just a dinosaur’s story anymore. Or it is, but it includes these dinosaurs! (we said, gesturing at our own wrinkled selves).

That’s right, kids, the Bitches are back with season two of our podcast!

This week is all about friendly debate. What’s the line between the nearly extinct middle class and The Rich, Who Must Be Eaten? Who has the most responsibility for driving change? Most importantly, who does the better Ursula?

(We meant to settle this with our very loud and obnoxious Poor Unfortunate Souls-off, but I’m not sure a clear winner was established???)

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How can you work toward new financial goals with $2,000 in fixed costs?

Case Study: Swimming Upstream against Unemployment, Exhaustion, and $2,750 a Month in Unproductive Spending

Hi, it’s me: your Good With Money Friend.

If an old acquaintance reaches out and asks if I’d like to grab drinks, I know it’s not because they miss my sparkling personality. It’s because they just cracked open their investment statements for the first time in five years and they need to talk to someone who actually understands whut dafuq it says. It’s okay! I don’t take it personally.

The Good With Money Friend is a very valuable part of any friend ecosystem. A squad without one is like a Pokemon team without a dragon type: our rarity and fussy movesets make us only situationally useful, but there’s no getting through the Elite Four without at least one of us.

Obviously Piggy shares my genus and species. We started this blog so that we could save time by sending people a link instead of tapping it all out with our thumbs in a text!

Now, we ain’t professionals. (CFPs are lawful good. We’re chaotic good; we tell you which parts of your taxes you can cheat on. Key distinction!) But if your budget for financial advice is “here, take this six pack,” then BABY, we’re here for you! Talking to a Good With Money Friend can give you the gut-check you need when you can’t afford professional advice, or need insights from someone who knows you better than a paid professional you just met.

This week I Zoomed with two of my closest friends. We talked through their goals and identified a strategy for getting there. With their permission, I’m going to open up that process so you can see how I arrived at my conclusions. 

One of our key missions at BGR is to create more Good With Money Friends, especially in historically underserved communities. So open your mind like a flower in the morning and absorb our baseless opinions! One day you, too, will be rich in grateful friends, a more stable immediate community, and/or six packs!

CHEERS M8
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The area known as "Black Wall Street" started as 40 acres of empty land. Within a few years, it was a nascent metropolis and a living testament to Black Excellence. So what happened to it?

The Biggest Threat to Black Wealth Is White Terrorism

You know what I love?

The American Dream.

Maybe that’s a surprising thing to hear me say, as I so often use this blog as a platform to criticize our current system and express deep cynicism about many aspects of American life. But nah, man! I adore that shit. Devoid of the context of its shortcomings, stripped of its more recent associations with a generic sort of upward mobility, in its pure and original form, the American Dream is actually one of my very favorite things.

James Truslow Adams coined the phrase “the American Dream” in his book The Epic of America. He describes it as…

“… That dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

– James Truslow Adams, The Epic of America

Freedom, liberty, independence, opportunity: that hopey changey stuff. I believe all the star-spangled buzzwords so often used to describe the national character of America are attempts to capture the light reflected by the glittering facets of this idea: that America is a place where everyone can rise to become their best selves, and that those best selves have equal value despite their differing contributions.

Like I said, I love and treasure this idea. And it’s because of that love that I taste such bitter disappointment in its failure. Nothing stings like seeing something fail when you really, truly believe in its inherent goodness. In the famous words of Tyra Banks: “I have never in my life yelled at [an idea] like this. When my mother yells like this, it’s because she loves me. I was rooting for you. We were all rooting for you. How dare you?!

… Yeah. That’s how I feel about the American Dream in practice.

It’d take a galling amount of ignorance to fail to see the major cultural, political, and socioeconomic realities that make the American Dream more attainable for some than others. In this context, you can talk about the struggles of any number of marginalized groups—women, people with disabilities, queer folks, immigrants, minorities, and “out groups” of all kinds. But today we’re talking about race.

There are many systemic, structural, institutional impediments to black excellence. Today we’re looking at an itty bitty pie slice of history that serves as an example of how white people have used terrorism to destroy black wealth. You know—a lighthearted topic, best served at lunch, with tea and cucumber sandwiches!

We’re going to talk about the Tulsa Massacre of 1921. For the sake of readers who may be sensitive to this topic, let me clarify that our focus today is specifically on the economic impacts of violence. That necessitates acknowledging the existence of slavery, segregation, lynching, false sexual assault allegations, and other upsetting topics. But I see absolutely no reason to repeat racist language or include detailed descriptions of physical violence to meet that goal. Gonna go ahead and miss y’all with that.

Also, we’re gonna keep this history lesson fast and shallow, because I ain’t any kinda damn historian! (Plus if I send Piggy another 5,000 word article for editing, she will divorce me.) We’re going to leave a lot of interesting stuff out, and sum up historical context with our signature house laziness. Slake any remaining thirst on the additional reading links provided at the end!

(You may have heard in the news that Donald Trump selected Tulsa, Oklahoma as the site of his first campaign rally of 2020—on Juneteenth no less! If you aren’t familiar with why this pissed so many people off, get excited! This article is about to shellack you in fresh knowledge like rejuvenating dewdrops on the morning flower!)

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