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S2 E5: "What do I need to know about moving into my first apartment?"

Season 2, Episode 5: “What Do I Need to Know about Moving into My First Apartment?”

It is Bitches Get Riches canon that Kitty and I met when we were randomly assigned roommates freshman year of college. We bonded through the adversity of cohabiting in a forced triple with an infuriating third party who shall forever remain nameless. The two of us shared a bunkbed and ceded one entire half of the room to that creature’s baffling habits and excessive belongings. I won’t go into it except to quote General William Tecumseh Sherman: “War is hell.”

Yet BGR lore rarely tells the end of the story! For after that fateful freshman year, we went on to rent our first apartment together, taking our roommateship to the next level. Nothing tests a friendship like shopping for a shower curtain together.

We survived our fourth-floor walkup with its busted dollhouse dishwasher and coffin-like shower. But more importantly, our friendship survived.

And thus, we feel uniquely qualified to dispense advice on Baby’s First Apartment!

This week’s question

Today’s question comes to us from Patreon supporter Aidan. Aidan asks:

Hello. I have been a longtime follower of your blog, but now I’m in need of financial advice so here I am. I have been researching throughout the internet and all, but there isn’t enough information about getting a first apartment. Like, what type of hidden costs or whatever are important to know about in regards to getting an apartment? How much money will I end up spending in the initial months of moving into an apartment? What type of things do you wish you knew before moving into your first apartment? Advice is much appreciated, thank you for taking time to answer this question.

– Patron Aidan

It’s like someone sent up our Bat Signal.

For more of our very knowledgeable thoughts and opinions on the matter of apartments and moving out for the first time:

We heckin adore our patrons. They’re the special sauce that brings this whole blog-cum-podcast together.* So thanks to our Patreon donors for supporting us. We know it’s but a pittance in exchange, but we reward all our patrons with exclusive goodies like 24/7 Q&A support, exclusive merch, and voting on article topics every month. If you want to join the ranks of Bitches Get Riches supporters, head on over to our Patreon page!

*Forgive me, but I cannot promise I will never use the words “special sauce” and “cum” in the same sentence again on this blog.

If the cost of regular goods and services grows at a steady walking pace, higher education is galloping away like a Triple Crown winner whose ass just met a hornet.

How to Pay for College without Selling Your Soul to the Devil

Listen you lazy, entitled whiners: it’s easy to pay for college. Just get a summer job! Why, in my day I worked weekends as a fry cook down at the diner on Main, graduated without debt, and now I’m sixty-five years old and completely delusional about the inflated costs of higher education! Ask me more about the house I bought for $60,000 and how much I resent the respectful empathy of the children I raised!

Sorry, y’all. Probably should’ve started that with a trigger warning.

Whenever we write about student loans, we get at least one comment like this. Except with more caps lock. We delete them. We never silence interesting criticism, but come on, this ain’t a public square for every old man who wants to yell at a cloud! We pay good money for this web hosting!

At least where the cost of college is concerned, things aren’t what they used to be. Thirty years ago, it cost the modern equivalent of $8K per year to attend a public college and $18K per year to attend a private college.

Today, the same year of school would cost $21K and $48K. And you’re supposed to buy FOUR of them!

If the cost of regular goods and services grows at a steady walking pace, the cost of higher education is galloping away like a Triple Crown winner whose ass just met a hornet. I didn’t even mention the cost of textbooks, room and board, and other academic fees, which are all even worse. Can’t be giving you nightmares!

Meanwhile, average hourly wages have barely increased 11% (adjusted for inflation), making the wage-to-college-cost-ratio just fucking laughable. Yet college is still a barrier to entry into not only white collar jobs, but an ever-increasing number of blue collar jobs.

My purpose here is not to unpack the absurd inflation of higher education costs in recent years (I’d need another 2,500 words, and I can only hold your attention through so many gifs). Nor is it to debate the relative value of a college degree (another 3,000 words).

Instead, I want to focus on practical solutions for people who’ve already weighed their options and decided that college is right for them. Yes, a traditional four-year undergraduate degree is heckin’ expensive as fuck. Short of The Deep Magic, how do we mere mortals even attempt to pay for it?

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Season 2, Episode 4: "Does my career have to define me? Or can I just clock out?"

Season 2, Episode 4: “Does My Career Have to Define Me? Or Can I Just Clock Out?”

I like me a timely discussion. Especially when it’s completely unplanned!

Which is definitely the case with this week’s episode of the BGR podcast. We recorded it in… April? May? (Time is a flat circle infected with COVID-19 so who fucking knows???) And yet it directly links to my story about getting laid off, which we published just a few weeks ago.

Toward the end of my job, I was really struggling with work/life balance, and making choices to prioritize my employment—not even my career, but just holding onto a job it turns out I didn’t really need—over my happiness. In short, I was balancing work and life all wrong.

Which leads us directly to this week’s illustrious podcast question asker!

This week’s question

An anonymous Tumblr follower asks…

Bitches, halp. I don’t want to do amazing shit for my job. I just want a steady 9-5 with routine, white-collar work I can drop and forget the second my feet cross my home threshold. I’m in the EU, so this kinda job still exists over here, lucky me. But damn if I don’t feel bombarded from all sides with “LOVE YOUR JOB; YOUR JOB DEFINES YOU; YOU = YOUR JOB; IF YOU DON’T HUSTLE 24/7 YOU’RE A FAILURE.” How the fuck do I kick that outta my brain? I just wanna earn money, feed my cat, and play games, dammit.”

You’ve got to admire the pure simplicity of this question. They’re not looking for passion and fulfillment inside the workplace… because they’re planning on getting it through their rich personal life! And yet this seems so antithetical to every fucking “LOVE YOUR JOB AND YOU’LL NEVER WORK A DAY IN YOUR LIFE” inspirational poster hanging in a middle manager’s office.

Can one truly just rake in a paycheck and then completely disconnect? Leave work at the office and revel in truly free personal time? Let’s find out!

For more on this topic:

Our patrons are the wind beneath our wings. Without them, season two of the podcast simply would not have happened. We literally can’t stop thanking our Patreon donors for all the support they give us. Which is why we reward their loyalty with patented BGR goodies, like exclusive merch, monthly article topic polls, and direct, 24/7 access to our Bitchy guidance. If you want to join the ranks of Bitches Get Riches supporters, head on over to our Patreon page!

With 18 million Americans out of work, it's more important than ever to job search like a Dothraki Khalasar riding down a regiment of Lannister foot soldiers.

Our Best Secrets for a Successful, Strategic, and SHORT Job Search

“I love looking for jobs!” Said no one ever in the history of the world.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I enjoy the job hunt about as much as I enjoy a hornet sandwich on rye. Or an acid enema. Or a candlelit dinner with Hannibal Lecter. (You guys are imaginative—pick your unpleasant analogy of choice.)

And I’m just guessing here, but I don’t think I’m alone.

At time of publication, 17.8 million Americans are out of work. That’s… a lot of people unemployed, most of whom are probably looking for jobs. Like, a lot. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s all thanks to our friendly neighborhood coronavirus. Which means that a) a lot of us are unemployed because businesses have shut down, b) jobs at those businesses are no longer available, c) there’s incredibly stiff competition for the few jobs that are available, and d) we’re all a teensy bit fucked.

All of which is to say: it’s more important than ever to approach your job search like a Dothraki khalasar riding down a regiment of Lannister foot soldiers.

With terrifying ruthlessness and precision.

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S02E02: "I'm not ready to buy a house---but how do I *get ready* to get ready?"

Season 2, Episode 2: “I’m Not Ready to Buy a House—But How Do I *Get Ready* to Get Ready?”

Previously on season two of the Bitches Get Riches podcast…

We dealt with the existential guilt of crushing your personal finances while your friends struggle to get by. This time, though, we’re taking a question from the other end of the spectrum. What do you do, practically and mentally, when your very modest life goal feels like a financial impossibility?

Naturally, we had opinions. And not just because we are two loudmouthed internet white ladies who have never learned when to shut up!

This week’s question

An anonymous Tumblr follower asks…

Hi Bitches! I’m only twenty years old, so I know this is unrealistic, but my greatest wish in life is to own a teeny tiny cottage somewhere with a garden.

I don’t even care where in the world I have to live to make it happen. Like I said: unrealistic. I know that I probably won’t get my little cottage for a long time.

All the same, I know absolutely nothing about how to work towards that goal, so do you have any advice for a young aspiring homeowner? How does buying a house even work? Thank you!

Kitty and I had a very, very visceral reaction to this question, which you’ll hear in the episode. I’m not saying we decided to burn it all down and start the revolution because owning a small rural home with a garden should not fucking seem like an unattainable goal, but, well…

I digress. Here’s your homework:

A huge fucking thank you to our lovely patrons, who made season two of the podcast possible. The capeless heroes who are our Patreon donors get all kinds of extra BGR goodies, including grainy cellphone footage of us singing the “Elephant Love Medley” from Moulin Rouge. Well worth their hard-earned pennies, I’m sure they’d agree. Patreon donors can vote on article topics, pitch us questions directly, and get private answers from us directly in their inbox. Join us over at our Patreon page!

It's taken me months to write this article. I sacrificed the adventure of a lifetime to keep my job. A month later, they fired me anyway.

I Lost My Job and It Might Be the Best Worst Thing That’s Ever Happened to Me

Two years ago I was celebrating leaving my job of nearly nine years at a nonprofit publishing house and finally going corporate. I was riding high and making more money at a large, for-profit publishing house, working remotely full-time and generally kicking ass. It was the shit.

Aaaaand then I lost my job.

Sad trombone.

Kitty dropped the news during our coronavirus article blitz. And I’m honestly glad she did, because it saved me the struggle of deciding to pull the trigger on telling you all. For some reason I’ve been too… ashamed? Embarrassed? Afraid? Feeling hypocritical? Emotionally stunted???

There’s a reason it’s taken me a few months to write this article, even if I don’t yet understand what that reason is. Clearly I have a lot of thoughts and feelings to process about getting laid off. So let’s get with the processing.

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Here is some of our favorite stuff from some of our favorite (and soon to be your favorite) rad black money experts.

10 Rad Black Money Experts to Follow Right the Hell Now

Have you ever gotten the impression that the world of finance, economics, and money media is dominated by, shall we say, “one particular kind of voice, speaking to one particular kind of experience?”

Ope, pardon me, just gonna go ahead and slide this in…

Yeah. That.

If you’re longing for other perspectives, we got you, baby! This week we want to share our little pink space with just a few of the rad black writers and podcasters of the personal finance mediasphere.

Here are ten of our favorite—and soon to be your favorite—black money experts. GO READ THEIR STUFF. We’ll call out a few of our favorite articles and episodes to get you started!

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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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