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Some people make budgets, fail at them, and enter a cycle of self-loathing and financial stress that harms more than it helps.

Budgets Don’t Work for Everyone—Try This System Instead

On a recent episode of the highly respected, laudable, and deserving-of-awards Bitches Get Riches podcast, Kitty and I came out with a controversial take: You don’t necessarily need a budget.

Next to “You can buy a latte sometimes,” it’s just about the closest we’ve come to outright heresy in the halls of money writers. We expect to be shunned and excommunicated any moment now.

Yet I firmly believe that budgeting doesn’t work for everyone!

Yes, for some people it’s an incredibly useful, indispensable tool. I know people who flailed around with money like a noodly-armed fan man on a used car lot before they made a budget, and afterward approached their finances with the serenity and enlightenment of a monk.

Seen here: Actual post-budgeting bliss. Results not typical.

I also know people who make budgets, fail at them, and enter a cycle of constant self-loathing and financial stress that ultimately harms them more than it helps. Some of us chafe against the rigidity of a budget, others thrive within its strict boundaries.

Seen here: Actual post-budgeting death throes.

So budgeting ain’t for everyone. But that doesn’t mean you’re excused from managing your money altogether. Even without a budget, it’s still useful to have a system for keeping an eye on your money.

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Episode 009: MERRY BITCHMAS! The 2019 Star-Studded Holiday Spectacular

Bonus Episode: Merry Bitchmas! The 2019 Star-Studded Holiday Spectacular



Today’s podcast episode is brought to you by the reason for the season: Bitchmas. Second only to Candlenights in the pantheon of winter holidays, Bitchmas is a time to gather your loved ones, exchange hyperbolic gifts, and rally the troops for economic equality and social justice.

No questions shall be answered in the Bitchmas episode (except perhaps “What will these lunatics think up next?”), but we promise it’ll be worth it. We’ve got shout-outs to our patrons! Odes to the finest bitches in personal finance media! Gifts for all and sundry! And… a very special guest!

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Masterpost 04: Everything You Need to Know about Repairing Our Busted-Ass World

{ MASTERPOST } Everything You Need to Know about Repairing Our Busted-Ass World

You know us, babies. We’re not just finance bloggers, we’re cool finance bloggers.

We try to approach the topic of money and economics with a tiny smidge of compassion for people who aren’t making six figures a year. You know: almost everyone.

This also involves interrogating the reasons why some people make a fuckton of money and others struggle to get by. Which naturally leads to speculation on how we can all make the world a better place for everyone.

As a result, we’ve famously published some opinions on the intersection of SJW-dom and money-dom. We’re financial feminists, and we want you to know all about it! Whether you like it or not!

So here’s a collection of our misandrist, socialist, SJW, race-betraying, gay-agenda-having opinions. If there’s a topic we haven’t covered below, or if we have more to learn on any of these topics (spoiler alert: we definitely do), leave us a comment to let us know!

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Episode 008: "My mother demands information about my one-night stands."

Episode 008: “My Mother Demands Information About My One-Night Stands.”



Today’s lettersnatch’d is a bona fide adult, and is trying to have fun and explore her sexuality. But her mother feels entitled to know more about the people she’s spending the night with.

It’s really hard to get wet when you’re being bombarded with long-distance parental Snoop Rays and Fret Beams. So let’s fix this.

Today’s question

I [22F] have been having some one night stands, and I recently decided it’d be best to keep my mother [56F] uninvolved in my love life. I let her know when I won’t be home, and will vaguely tell her I’m out on a date and staying over, but I won’t tell her who it is, where
he lives, how long I’ve known him, etc.

“She’s very upset that I’m having sex and staying over at guys’ houses. I feel like as an adult I can make my own decisions and she should be respecting that I want to keep my love life private. Apparently she’s been talking to my father about this as well and is super upset that she doesn’t have the details on who I’m with.

“What can I do to ease her mind while also not telling her who I’m with when I go out?”

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While we should all do what we can, the key phrase there is "what we can."

Ethical Consumption: How to Pollute the Planet and Exploit Labor Slightly Less

There’s a short story by Ursula K. LeGuin called The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. With apologies to the late, great author, I want to summarize it here:

In the city of Omelas, everyone is deliriously happy. The people eat well, drink well, and party all the time. There’s no sickness, no pain, and the weather’s always perfect. It’s a utopia. Everyone has everything they could possibly want or need.

Well, almost everyone. For deep in the heart of Omelas is a dark, damp, cold room. And in this room is a child: unwashed, starved, uneducated, and treated cruelly. They don’t have a name, a family, clothes, or a clue as to why they’re kept in horrible conditions.

Everyone in Omelas is taken to see the child once in their lifetimes. They’re made to understand that, somehow, all the glorious happiness of Omelas relies on this one person’s suffering. As long as this child suffers, everyone else in Omelas will thrive.

And it’s then that the individuals of Omelas make a choice: to stay in Omelas, content in the knowledge that their comfort and happiness relies on the misery of another; or to leave, to opt out, to go somewhere that might not be as perfect as Omelas, but where they can live without exploiting another for their own gain.

The ethical choice is, of course, to walk away from Omelas. It’s a fable for modern times.

We live in a world where so much of our lifestyles, our wealth, relies on exploitation. Animals live short, brutish lives on factory farms so we can eat meat from the supermarket. Carbon emissions slowly damage the climate to devastating effect so we can drive cars and ride airplanes. Children work twelve-hour work days in sweatshops so we can browse a closet full of fashionable clothes and still say “I have nothing to wear.”

The way we consume—food, clothing, electronics, everything—is, all too often, pretty fucking unethical.

Now here’s a gif of a doggo hanging out with some baby chicks because that shit just got real fucking dark!

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Podcast Episode 007: "I'm terrible at budgeting. Do I suck it up---or is there another way?"

Episode 007: “I’m Terrible at Budgeting. Do I Suck It Up—Or Is There Another Way?”



Today we’re doing that thing we love to do: taking age-old advice, rolling it up into a ball, and dunking it with the speed and grace of a green-screened figure.

You don’t have to budget to live a frugal, responsible life.

Today’s question

We tackle this topic at the behest of Patron Sarah C., who writes…

“How the HELL does someone stick to a budget? I have ADHD and self control and budgeting is already hard as is, so if you have any tips or tricks to help a gal stay in a budget (especially a very stringent one!) that would be neat :)”

Also today’s episode contains a bold-faced lie. In it, I swore I would never bring a chicken to the vet. This was recorded before my favorite chicken got sick. And I contemplated the enormous sacrifice she made laying an egg for us every single day, and I…

Brought her to an emergency avian specialist…

At great expense…

What can I say? I am as lava cake: crackly exterior, gushy interior.

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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 006: "I lent my boyfriend money. He took it to a casino."

Episode 006: “I Lent My Boyfriend Money. He Took It to a Casino.”



Today’s episode really has everything. Piggy and I exchanging loving compliments and deep insights—then following it up with sex jokes, and a little off-mic shrieking as this poor Redditor describes her situation.

A young college student lent her older boyfriend money for food and student loans… yet he somehow ends up at a casino.

Hmm… yes, we might have something to say about this one.

Today’s question

“My [21F] boyfriend [28M] owes me over $100 and I found out he went gambling last night.

“My boyfriend never really has money and still lives with his parents. I recently paid for a $40 dinner, spent over $50 on groceries for him this month, and gave him $80 for food and weed. He says he will pay me back next paycheck (and he usually does) but he is always asking for cash.

“We are very honest with each other and we see each other almost every day. He said that he’s flat broke and I even paid off a loan for him, but I found out from a mutual friend that he went to a casino last night…

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Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, Ranked

It’s that time again…

The time of year when we gather with our fellow witches closest friends around a glowing green bonfire kitchen table to determine which village baby to steal away name-brand snacks are worth it… and witch which are not!

Last year we settled the ancient blood feud of which cheese cracker is best. There were lots of surprises in that test! And the results permanently altered the course of our cheese-cracker-buying habits.

This year we’re talking about chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies: a thin layer of vanilla cream resting in the loving embrace of two chocolate cookies.

Yes… we’re talking about Oreos and Faux-reos.

Guided by our extremely awesome Patreon donors, it is time to answer the question: can a store-brand cookie knock the Oreo from its throne and/or cast it down into the darkest pits of hell?!

Let’s find out!

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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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