“What is a down payment?” In an ideal world, no one would need to ask themselves this question because no one would need one! Expensive things like cars and houses and college educations would be a lot more affordable. Enough so that we could pay for them with the money that we already have. And we’d all have mountains of it.
But unless you have a Scrooge McDuckian money vault at your disposal, buying a car or house or bachelor’s degree in cash is probably impossible. Down payments are necessary because of how our world works. Today we’re going to teach you what they are, when you need them, and how to use them to your advantage.
A few weeks ago we introduced you guys to our new favorite term: “survival entrepreneurship.” It’s all the rage, now that mass lay-offs and unemployment in The Plague Times have forced so many of us to pivot into full-time self-employment. When you’re out of traditional employment options, survival entrepreneurship is often your only option.
That’s why we brought in Katelyn Magnuson, the Freelance CFO, to walk you through all the concrete steps you need to take to start your own business. If you missed our interview with Katelyn, go back and read it now. Because unlike your humble Bitches, she knows what she’s talking about!
Did you read it? Ok good. Now that you’ve heard from the professional business-starter, it’s time to hear from me, a decidedly unprofessional freelancer who has turned flying by the seat of her pants into a competitive sport.
Specifically, it’s time I told you all the freelancing and self-employment hacks I’ve learned through trial and error over the years. That’s right, kids…
In these trying times, it’s good to know we can still come together to celebrate what’s most important in life: raising chickens and naming them after TV characters.
With record numbers of layoffs and unemployment rising like a helium-filled dumpster, a lot of us have turned to what we call survival entrepreneurism. That includes full-time self-employment, freelancing, and stringing gigs together like so many Hobby Lobby clearance rack seed beeds. Not only is this #entrepreneurlife a way to make ends meet when absolutely no one is hiring, but it’s a method of advancing one’s career. Starting your own business right now is the lemonade many have made out of the nasty-ass lemons 2020 has given us.
I myself transitioned to full-time self-employment when I lost my job just as the coronavirus hit the fan. Yet while this makes me a card-carrying millennial entrepreneur, it’s not something I’ve written (or thought) much about!
To be honest, starting my freelance business and then making it my full-time job was, in the words of our Lord and Savior Bob Ross, “a happy accident.”
As usual… I have no idea what I’m doing.
Every so often when I’m researching money topics, I sigh dramatically and collapse onto my fainting couch, limp wrist held to my clammy forehead in the very picture of Victorian femininity. “Oh woe!” cry I, “This money shit is so confusing and complicated! If only some genuine professional would do the research for me and just let me copy their homework!”
Which is usually when I decide to interview an expert instead of doing the work myself.
Enter Katelyn Magnuson, the self-styled Freelance CFO and Mother of Chickens (long may She reign). Katelyn’s whole thing is working with small business owners and freelancers to take the practical steps necessary to bring their passion to life. Her courses, Facebook group, and free resources are not just full of empty platitudes and cheerleading… she actually has made her own business out of setting up the businesses of others.
So when Bitch Nation clamored for information on becoming “solopreneurs” (Katelyn’s word, but I’m stealing it), I knew she was the hero we needed and deserved; someone to cut through the bullshit and give us some step-by-step guidance.
Hello friends, and welcome back to Everything Hurts and I’m Dying with your hosts, the Bitches!
Last week I hit you with a massively depressing article on how the coronavirus has simply exacerbated problems the United States already had before the pandemic ever reached our shores. If you had the mental fortitude to wade through all that, then you have my admiration and respect. Can I also get you a cup of tea and a massage? You earned it.
If not, here’s what you missed:
Coronavirus took an already unfair and unaffordable health insurance industry and exacerbated the problem, throwing still more Americans into medical debt and outright killing others who couldn’t afford treatment.
All the problems labor rights activists have been fighting to fix for decades were illuminated in stark relief by the mass unemployment that followed coronavirus lock-down relief efforts.
The eviction epidemic in the United States, which was already at crisis levels, became an utter catastrophe when low-income workers who were recently laid off couldn’t pay their rent anymore. Eviction and rent moratoriums were but a band-aid on the wound.
All of these issues disproportionately affect low-income and impoverished Americans. So this week, in Part 2, I’m going to address the demographics who are disproportionately represented among the poor and low-income. Hope you didn’t expect sudden egalitarianism in the midst of a pandemic and recession!
It’s… a lot, I know. The facts are grim, and they’re only getting grimmer.
But if you’re feeling like all of this death, economic destruction, and tragedy came out of nowhere, I have even worse news for you: it didn’t. For the sad effects of the pandemic are neither sudden, isolated, nor unpredictable.
Rather, they are the results of a system that has been balancing on a precipice for decades. A global pandemic was simply the last push needed to send this car over the cliff and hurtling spectacularly to the rocks below.
The coronavirus has singlehandedly revealed the pre-existing conditions our country has been ignoring, denying, and dismissing since dinosaurs Ronald Reagan roamed the Earth White House.
Here at Our Lady of Financial Solvency (AKA the church we definitely didn’t start exclusively for that sweet, sweet tax-exempt dark money), there are two ways to be Saved:
Having some kind of emergency fund.
Having multiple streams of income.
An emergency fund is, of course, a lump sum of cash you set aside for emergencies. Break your leg? BOOM, emergency funded. Break your phone? BOOM, emergency funded. Break your heart? Sorry kid, no amount of money can fix that break. But you’ll still be glad you saved an emergency fund if your brokenhearted ice cream binge cuts into your rent payment for next month!
Having multiple streams of income means that in addition to your day job, you’re making extra money on the side. Whether it’s through a second job, selling shit on Craigslist, or passive income from investments, having that extra income stream means that you won’t be left high and dry if your primary source of income goes away. And in the meantime, you can do with that sweet, sweet extra money whatever you damn well please.
Our church is built upon these cornerstones for the literal reason that they will save your fucking ass in the event of an unforeseen disaster. For without them, you will have nothing to save you if you wind up with an expensive emergency, landing yourself squarely in the Ninth Circle of Debt (if I may stretch this recovering Catholic’s metaphor to its absolute breaking point).
So I am here to testify to the importance of emergency funds and side gigs! Bow your heads and listen as I tell you my tales of being grateful af that I had an emergency fund and an extra stream of income at hand.
Friends, does this sound familiar?: You’re describing the crushing emotional and financial burden of student loan debt, and the grown-up you’re speaking to says something like, “Wow, that sounds really rough, have you thought about *refinancing* and also ma’am this is a Wendy’s??”
And having no idea what the fuck that actually meant, you drove forward to the next window, dabbing at your eyes with the crumpled receipt for your vanilla Frosty, weeping in confusion and sadness and brain freeze?
I knew it. I KNEW it wasn’t just me!
Yes that’s right, my lambs: we’re talking about student loans again. This time we’re discussing your options for refinancing or consolidating student loans.
What the fuck do these mysterious terms even mean? What’s the difference between the two? How do you know if one is right for you—and if it is, how do you actually do it? Be amazed as we reveal the secrets!
IT’S THE SEASON FINALE! And we’re ending it with a bang. Obviously by “bang” I mean a meditative quest to free oneself from the bitterness of resentment as we navigate this unjust and inequitable world. Because come on, it’s us!
The tl;dr of today’s episode is: comparison is the thief of joy.
If you’re constantly comparing yourself to your seemingly more successful, productive, and flush with cash peers, it can be majorly discouraging. We’ve talked before about why you shouldn’t hold yourself to the standard of the uber-successful, or why you shouldn’t long to splurge before you’re ready.
But one of the many, many horrible features of this global pandemic is that it’s becoming harder to avoid comparison. The internet—where we’ve all been forced to work and play while social distancing—is chock full of productivity porn and highly edited content specifically designed to make you feel like you’re not doing enough. Like you’ll never be enough.
So today on the podcast, we’re addressing how frustrating and hard it can be to stay motivated and encouraged when your peers seem to be crushing it… and you feel left behind in the dirt.
As I write this, it’s six o’clock on a Saturday morning. I’ve been up since five. This isn’t normal for me. Normally, I sleep in till the decadent hours of seven or eight on weekends. (Ya jelly?)
Not today. Today I found my eyes springing open from dreams about wasting time and all the things I should be doing to… waking thoughts about wasting time and all the things I should be doing. So I got up. Because working on my goals is far more productive and important than sleeping, right?
Recently—actually, let’s be real—years ago I internalized the message, seared into me from intellectually stimulating op-eds, social media, self-improvement gurus, and our culture at large, that I could be “more productive.” As a result, I hate wasting time. I despise goal-lessness. Every year I brazenly make a New Year’s Resolution to better myself and the world around me and by god I get that shit done. I rarely spend a weekend sans plans and a rigid to-do list.
Dale Carnegie wishes he were me!
I’m bitch enough to admit this isn’t healthy. I can’t take a break from working without seeing the window trim I need to refinish or the herbs I need to dry or the hangboard where I should be doing pull-ups. And I can’t pursue those personal goals without thinking of the work I need to do, the money I need to make. I can’t even be lazy without being bombarded by evidence of how productive and accomplished my friends and idols are through their carefully curated social media.
I could be so much more productive! I should be so much more productive. Sleep? Relaxation? These look more and more like indulgent wastes of time.
Recently it’s only gotten worse. And I know, with damning clarity, that I am not alone.
On a recent episode of the award-winninghighly acclaimedscandaloushomoeroticmerely adequate “moms love it!” Bitches Get Riches podcast, we discussed how to get your first apartment.
It’s an exciting time! You’re moving into your very own place, getting one of your very first Adulthood Merit Badges!
But what do you do when your time in that first apartment comes to an end? In short, how do you move out?
As tempting as it might be to toss the keys over your shoulder and just walk the fuck away, there is definitely an etiquette for moving out.
For one thing, it’s best to leave on good terms with your landlord, as you’ll likely need them to be a good reference for another apartment later on. Plus, you really want them to return your security deposit. And that means making your exit from the apartment with all the grace and aplomb of a Shakespearean actor leaving the stage.