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.
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 miracleexercises 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 miraclediets 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.
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!
Listen up, babies. We’ve been dancing around the issue of taxes for a while now, and it’s time we got to it. Yes, we’ve explained the importance of taxes as a fee for membership in civilization. We’ve told you why you should file your taxes ASAP. And we’ve even told you about that time I got audited!
It’s time to face the beast head-on. It is our sacred duty, as your duly appointed Bitches, to take you through this unpleasantness step by step.
Yea, though you walk through the valley of the shadow of income tax, you shall fear no audits; for We art with you; Our gifs and Our snark they comfort you.
When I was about thirteen or so, my mom brought me down to the local branch of the regional bank and helped me set up my first checking account. I had diligently saved $100 of my babysitting money, which I deposited in my brand new checking account.
And suddenly, I was an individual with a bank! I had the ability to deposit and withdraw cash from that account. I could use my debit card to buy things with the money in that account. And I could transfer money from that account to others as I grew older and my financial needs expanded. When I got my first jobs, my employers could automatically deposit my paychecks directly into that account. Heckin’ magical.
I thought this was a pretty damn normal step toward adulthood. So imagine my surprise when I learned, years later, that not everyone goes through the rite of passage of opening a bank account when they’re young. Or at all.
There are, in fact, 17 million American adults who do not have a bank account of any kind. These individuals are known as the unbanked. The unbanked or underbanked represent 25% of U.S. households. And while many of them choose to be unbanked for various legitimate reasons (a distrust of financial institutions, for example), many of them are unbanked because of circumstances beyond their control (an inability to open an account due to legal status, or an inability to maintain minimum balances due to long-term poverty, for example).
Having a bank account is important and useful. So allow your beloved Internet auntie to take you under her downy, cloud-like snow goose wing and walk you through everything you need to know about how and why to open your very first bank account!
Enough time has probably passed for me to admit to playing fast and loose with the truth in some very old tax returns. But let’s drape this whole conversation in a veil of hypotheticality to preserve our modesty.
THIS ARTICLE DEALS IN HYPOTHETICALS, I SAY!
MY FAN FICTION NOVEL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ONE DIRECTION, I SAY! NOTHING!
As all liars will tell you when caught, I (hypothetically) had great reasons for lying. I was (hypothetically) a new graduate during the worst part of the Great Recession, cobbling together freelance jobs to afford a gruel made of boxed mac and cheese thinned with water and Goya packets. I was (hypothetically) hanging onto adult independence by my fingernails. And my fingernails were notoriously hypothetically thin and weak from my high-sodium gruel diet!
This was pretty much how my first tax return after college went…
KITTY: I made $18,000 last year.
IRS: Awesome, give us $3,000 of it.
KITTY: That can’t be right.
IRS: It is.
KITTY: Wh— Bu— I live in one of the most expensive cities in America. I can barely pay rent and put food in my cupboards. The unemployment rate for young people is almost 20%, for fuck’s sake! Surely you wouldn’t charge a flat tax rate on someone so desperate?
IRS: We totally would.
KITTY: Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak. Lay open to my earthly gross conceit, smothered in errors, feeble, shallow, weak, the folded meaning of your words’ deceit. Against my soul’s pure truth why labour you to make it wander in an unknown field? Are you a god? Would you create me now? Transform me, then, and to your power I’ll yield. But if I am that I am, then well I know I do not have three thousand dollars, bro, Nor to your purse no homage do I owe.
Hey Bitches, Patreon supporter here! Friday I had my very first physical, which was covered by my insurance. I told my new doctor about starting back up on antidepressants to save me a visit/copay. He gave me a script based on the ones I tried before, plus Zoloft has been around long enough it’s super cheap instead of the couple hundred/month my last one was to start. The doc also agreed gardening would help with the depression. Any produce growing tips or motivation to make sure I actually stick to my meds this time instead of ditching after a few weeks?
Before I get too deep into this, I want to remind y’all that I am not a medical professional of any kind. I’m not even a financial professional. No—I am a self-important PowerPoint jockey who came this close to opening this site under a .net address! If you’re torn between listening to yourself, listening to your doctor, and listening to a random bossy Internet nobody, choose the bossy Internet nobody last, okay?
I’ve never personally been on antidepressants. So my direct experience here is somewhat limited. (Any depressive periods I’ve had in the past have been solved by irresponsibly ignoring the problem while feverishly spending all of my spoons trying to convince the people around me that everything is juuuuuust fine until suddenly, one day, it is. Don’t be like me. I’m trying to change.)
HOWEVER! I certainly know the joys of going on and coming off of meds.
O! The joie of hormonal fluctuations!
For various reasons not related to the desire to become pregnant, I’ve been on and off of birth control pills over the past few years. And lord, what a trip that has been.
Birth control is pretty damn weird. It’s a well-established drug. Millions of people take it. It’s not thought of as particularly volatile or significantly mood-altering. Some people feel no side effects at all. And yet… let’s go to the tape.
Kitty’s thoughts restarting birth control:
“Thank goodness for the overwhelming feeling that my body is hideous and disgusting—this sudden wave of self hatred is the helpful alarm clock announcing my period is starting soon!”
“Gosh, I can’t believe that guy cut me off in traffic! I’m gonna find out where his ancestors are buried, dig them up, and pose them humping each other on his front lawn.”
“Whither my dear friend Jawline Acne? O’er the purple moors? Beyond the mountain made of glass?”
“Now seems like a fine time to lay on the couch and stare at the ceiling until I muster the strength to attempt the impossible: move the laundry from the washer to the dryer.”
“Google, is this amount of period blood a ‘go to the ER’ sitch or…?”
Kitty’s thoughts coming down off of birth control:
“If somebody doesn’t bring me the puffy kind of Cheetos within the next nine minutes, the precious life my confused body is convinced I’m nurturing will NEVER GET INTO HARVARD.”
“I am actually kind of sure that if I concentrated hard enough, I could just Code Geass people.”
“I can’t believe how attractive I am. Oops, lil’ blood on the pillow from that painfully massive zit rupturing in the night. Anyway, regarding my undeniable sexiness, which rages around all of us like a wildfire—”
“I should probably sign up for skydiving now. Like, RIGHT now.”
“Google, can I get so horny I die?”
… So, letter writer, I feel you. I know exactly why someone would really want to start, but also really want to stop taking medication.
I’m going to assume that anyone who wants to start or stop a medication has thoroughly weighed their options, considered their best interests, and gotten their doctor’s blessing. I know that the awesome members of Bitch Nation will join me in this assumption! And none of you will leave judgmental, concern-troll-y comments about people’s medical shit.
So here are some strategies for sticking with any kinda meds!
I grew up in an era where checks were a completely normal and necessary part of everyday life. I wrote and cashed them frequently when I was a little kid—especially around Girl Scout Cookie season, trying to square the orders of all my neighbors.
Because yes, I used to sell Girl Scout Cookies the old fashioned way. I’d leave my family home, on foot, in the dead of winter, to walk aimlessly around my neighborhood, alone and unsupervised, ringing random doorbells, initiating conversations with strangers, accepting their invitations to come inside. Might as well have been helping them move couches, and answering persistent questions about my dress size.
Now if I want my Thin Mint fix, I gotta go to the grocery store awning and talk to a bunch of moms because the eponymous Girls are sitting in the car because it’s too cold and they need to charge their phones. Oh the times, they are a’changing!
It says a lot about the pace of financial technology that now, checks have become a chore. When somebody hands me a paper check, I’m like, “Ugh, really? Shall I deposit this before or after I churn the day’s butter?” They’re dinosaurs barely holding on to relevance. Like Adam Sandler.
But they come up just enough that you need to know how they work.
We’ve gotten a lot of questions recently about a hypothetical looming recession. The stock market has taken a bruising; bellwether companies are stumbling. Do such omens and portents mean that another recession on its way?
The good news is, we can answer this one very easily.
Yes. Another recession is coming.
We know this with 100% certainty.
The same way we know with 100% certainty that Piggy and I will be dead within the next hundred years. It is in the nature of a living being to die, just as it is in the nature of economies to grow and contract. The sun rises; the sun falls. The tides go in; the tides go out. It’s just the way things are.
Sounds kinda shitty, right? It’s possible that, someday far in the future, someone will devise some new system that will smooth out or even eliminate these cycles. Maybe the nature of goods and services will change so fundamentally that economies will transform in ways we can’t even imagine. But that’s Phillip K. Dick stuff—innovations that live so far in a hypothetical future that they’re still science fiction. You should plan to endure these market cycles throughout your lifetime.
And yes, there are lots of things you can do to make yourself more prepared. Let’s go through them.