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Ask the Bitches: How Can I Survive in an Apartment with No Heat?

Today I’m answering a timely question from one of our Tumblr followers. Takeittothestarss asks…

“Hi bitches! I hope you’re well and that you can help me (in that order). I’ve recently moved out of my parent’s house into an apartment with a couple housemates. Our building is old and not well insulated. It also doesn’t have A/C or heating, so right now it’s cold as balls. I’m wearing 5 sweaters and a blanket and I’m still cold. How do I warm this space up? I can’t make any modifications to it bc it’s a rental and we’re college students in very expensive city, so the less $ the better. Thanks!”

Ah. Heat. Like hope, it leaves the world sometimes, and we’re all worse off for it. But this is a modern late-stage-capitalist twist on a classic tenet of life on the cheap.

If there’s a Ten Commandments of Frugal Living, the first three are probably…

  1. Thou shalt not drinketh the fruit of the latte.
  2. Thou shalt cut thine cable.
  3. Thou shalt put on a goddamn sweater.

This coincides with the first two of the Ten Commandments of Being Dad…

  1. Thou shalt not touch the thermostat.
  2. Nay, seriously, thou shalt not fucking touch it.

I live in New England, which is about as cold and dark as Hell itself. Even now, several feet of snow are pouring down around me. Even worse, I live in an old house that’s still heated by oil.

Each fill-up is about $500.

Give me something for the pain and let me die.

Like most frugal New Englanders, I have shivered my way through many a cold winter day, trying to save a few ha’pennies to buy my husband the new watch chain he so richly deserves. So I’m going to tell you what I know about staying warm. 

Keep in mind that, thanks to our Patreon donors, we don’t need to stoop to spon-con. All the product recommendations in this article come straight from the heart!

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Episode 005: “I Don’t Love My Job, but It Pays Well. Should I Quit—or Tough It Out?”



Today’s podcast question comes to us from Patreon donor Rachel. She’s in a good situation overall: stable, paying down debt quickly, and gainfully employed as an engineer.

But her feelings about engineering overall are, mmm… tepid.

Shall we slap her for even considering leaving a lucrative and in-demand field? Or shall we kiss her on both cheeks and push her off the gravy train? You’ll have to listen to find out!

Today’s question

“I’m an engineer, I’ve been working for five years, and I don’t think it’s something I’ve ever truly been passionate about. My experiences have made me realize just how much I love project management. That can be done as an engineer, yes, but those jobs are fewer and more far in between.

“I’m thinking of branching out, but honestly, I’m scared. What if I don’t like it? What if I can’t get back into the engineering field once I’ve been gone for so long? The job I have now (along with my wife’s) gives us ample salaries that allow us to save and pay down debt like crazy. I can’t say that the security of those salaries isn’t alluring, though I hate to be tied to a job just because of the money.

“I don’t want to fuck myself over in the long run. I want to ‘retire’ early and spend my life doing the things I love. But I also don’t want to be unhappy at work. Please send help. 🙏”

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Episode 002: “How Should I Behave on My First Day at Work?”



Wow, thanks to all the folks who left a nice review on our very first episode! Please continue to ignore our amateur hour aspects. Squint hard and see only the good!

The second episode of our podcast returns to the realm of the workplace, where we give A++, very sound and rational career advice to a listener.

Today’s question

“Hey Bitches! I hope you can help me on time. I recently accepted a job offer after 6+ months of being unemployed!! I start this Monday and I want to know: what are the most important things you should do on your first day at work?

I’m a fresh grad so all this is new. I keep finding lists with like 15 things, and that’s way too much to keep track so I need help! Also one bit of advice I saw often was that I should ‘check in’ throughout the day with my manager/boss: how exactly do I do this?”

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Are Unions Good or Bad?

Our awesome Patreon donors have spoken! This week, they would like for us to answer this question…

What’s the deal with unions? Because I’ve heard they’re amazing, corrupt, empowering, exploitative, equalizing, and expensive. What’s the truth?

Let me answer this question the way I answer most things: by starting with a tangent on a totally unrelated topic, until it suddenly isn’t! (It’s kinda My Thing.)

It’s toasted

Do you know when cigarette smoking among Americans peaked? It was in 1963.

How about when we first got pretty solid evidence that smoking caused lung cancer? It was thirteen years earlier, in 1950.

Thirteen years is a long dang time! If people knew it was a health risk, why did so many not only continue to smoke, but begin smoking who hadn’t before?

The main culprit is the tobacco industry’s social engineering. Which is to say: their deliberate, coordinated campaign of disinformation.

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For Piggy so loved her readers that she gave them unfettered permission to do with their own money as they damn well pleased.

Ask the Bitches: How Do I Say “No” When a Loved One Asks for Money… Again?

We got a question recently that I just had to share with the whole class. It evokes one of the purest reminders that personal finance is indeed personal.

Our anonymous letter writer is dealing with a common problem: what to do when relationships and money meet? In this case, it’s a family relationship. And this is only the latest in a long pattern of clashes on this issue.

“Hey Bitches. My cousin just lost his job, which means my aunt is gonna start giving him money again, which means she will very likely ask me if she can borrow some money to give him. I don’t want to help her enable him anymore and I also just don’t want to give them money. It’s hard enough to save money for myself. I can’t say I don’t want to help her enable him because she’ll get angry and say I’m being disrespectful. But if I tell her I don’t have money to spare I know she’s gonna bring up the iPad I recently bought. Honestly, it’s a lose-lose situation, but what could I say to tell her no?”  

FULL. BODY. CRINGE.

Oh the secondhand familial guilt! The magnetic pull of deeply ingrained elder respect! The weight of an elder asking—nay, telling—you to do something! Years of CCD and generations of elderly Italian relatives are bearing down upon my tender soooooul!

Can’t you just feel the dread wafting off this question like the putrid stench of Aunt Bertie’s perfume as she leans in to demand a kiss on her cheek?

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