Buy Now Pay Later Apps: That Old Predatory Lending by a Crappy New Name

Years ago Kitty and I did an interview with Glen James from My Millennial Money, a podcast out of Australia that answers the question “Will I ever get tired of listening to men with Australian accents talk about everything from true crime to investing?” (And that answer, to be clear, is a resounding haaayl nah.) You should listen to it! It’s great!

At the end of our conversation, Glen hit us with a curveball. “What do you think of Afterpay?”

“I don’t know her,” said we. And Glen, who is clearly gifted with The Sight, answered cryptically, “Ah. So it hasn’t made it to the States yet. Good luck, mates.” And then we asked him to say “1999” and giggled incessantly.

Flash forward to the present. Not only have we now heard of buy now pay later apps like Afterpay… we fucking hate them. Which means it’s time for another installment of Piggy Rails Against a Financial Outrage for 2,000 Words Or So.

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How to Get DIRT CHEAP Pet Medication, Without a Prescription

Coming at you today with a life hack for getting cheap pet medication without a prescription. We rarely do these kinds of “one neat trick” articles—but when we do, they’re bangers. This one’s no exception.

I have a whole passle o’ hounds. My budget for routine flea, tick, and heartworm preventative medication used to be $360.00 per dog, per year. And that didn’t include fees for the annual vet exams or tests to get the prescriptions in the first place! I don’t need to tell you this was way too much fucking money for me. For years, I’d just accepted that price without question because I was too busy with work to think about it.

But at long last, I have the luxury of time! After an exhaustive amount of research (brought to you by coffee and Adderall, breakfast of neurodivergent champions), I found myriad other ways to get cheap pet medication. And I’ve identified what I think is the very best one.

I got my cost per animal down to just $32.50 a year. That’s 90% cheaper, for the exact same medications!

And today, I’ll tell you how I did it.

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Businesses Will Happily Give You HUGE Discounts if You Ask This Magic Question

Businesses Will Happily Give You HUGE Discounts if You Ask This Magic Question

Also known as “the magical six-word question that’s saved me $1,140 in the last three months.” Sounds like clickbait, right? But miraculously, this tip is 100% legit and may one day save your (financial) life.

It’s a special little secret called… the cash discount.

I’m a little wary of asking for discounts, especially from very small companies. When it’s just one or two people running the show, it means those one or two people spend an inordinate percentage of their time doing things they don’t like to do. Nobody starts their own business because they love filing quarterly taxes—they soldier through it for the 10% of the time running their business in which they’re actually doing the thing they love.

And every small business owner I’ve known has lost sleep over their pricing. (Us included!) No matter what you’re selling, there’s local and global competition for it, and consumers have tools now that didn’t exist 10 or 20 years ago that allow them to find, compare, rate, and review similar services. The world is a buyer’s market, and it’s really hard to measure what you know your work is worth against what you know people are willing to pay for it.

So asking to pay less for the same product is almost always a wearying and unwelcome question… with one very special exception.

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Investing Deathmatch: What Happens in a Bull Market vs. a Bear Market

THE PEOPLE HAVE CHOSEN VIOLENCE!

Every month we poll our Patreon donors on what article topics they’d most like to see. And this month, the patrons have called for a rumble in the jungle, a date with fate, a coming to blows, fisticuffs, a fight to the death! That’s right, sportsfans, it’s time for another round of…

INVESTING DEATHMATCH!!!!!!

In this article series, we pit two investing concepts against each other and judge which one is better for you, the investor. Sometimes it’s a close fight. Other times it’s a full-on K.O. Either way, there will be blood (and gifs… lots of gifs). Whether it’s stocks vs. bonds or index funds vs. actively managed funds, the nerdy, analytical shrapnel will leave none unscathed!

Let’s meet today’s contenders…

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The Ultimate Guide to Helping a Sick Friend

This month, our wonderful Patreon donors requested an article on helping a sick friend. I couldn’t be happier, since this has become an area of special expertise for me!

I’ve spent the first months of my early retirement as a full-time caregiver. That definitely wasn’t the plan! My partner was diagnosed with a femoroacetabular impingement: the ball-and-socket joint of his hip wasn’t quite ball-enough, and the socket was too-sockety. So he had corrective surgery. Obviously, getting bone shaved off a weight-bearing joint ain’t something you bounce back from quickly. For him, it meant 6-8 weeks of bed rest, plus 5-6 hours of physical therapy every day, to fully recover within six months

Helping a sick friend is kind of a big deal.

And I wasn’t just taking care of him! While this was happening, a good friend got gender confirmation surgery. They stayed with us for the first part of their convalescence. And somewhere in there, our oldest dog got twelve teeth pulled. It was a lot to deal with all at once! Our house was overflowing with love and pills, pills, so many pills, and also sprays, and ice packs, but mostly pills.

So believe me when I say I’m bringing the full force of personal experiences into this guide to helping a sick friend. More than anything, it takes creativity to be helpful in situations where you feel powerless.

So I’m happy to impart this hard-won adulting wisdom. I hope you can use it to be the MVP of a loved one’s recovery.

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2022 Student Loan Forgiveness FAQ

The 2022 Student Loan Forgiveness FAQ You’ve Been Waiting For

When I heard that President Biden was pushing through a massive federal student loan forgiveness initiative, I knew exactly what I had to do. I dropped what I was working on and immediately grabbed my phone.

I texted Piggy, my coblogger, to let her know what truly mattered in this situation: that I was right, and she was wrong, neener neener neener.

You see, back in March of 2021, I wrote a case study dissecting an IRL friend’s financial situation. In editing my article, a disagreement surfaced between Piggy and I over the likelihood of student loan forgiveness. She considered the possibility of $10K in student loan debt cancellation so remote that she strongly pushed me to remove it from the article altogether. We settled for explaining both our stances in editorial notes, which you can still read here. (Piggy: In my defense, I’ve heard this campaign promise since I was a starry-eyed 17-year-old college applicant at a John Kerry for President event.)

But I was right. As I always am! I’m a seer, a sage, a prophetess. If I had letters tattooed across my knuckles, they would say TOLD and YASO. I am Samuel Gerard, United States Marshall, ruff ruff ruff!

Okay, okay, gloating aside… A big chunk of federal student loan debt is indeed being canceled. At long last, Cancel Culture is ASCENDENT!

I know our readers have a ton of questions about how this student loan forgiveness package works. Follow me, dear children, and I will answer all of your questions in a rapid-fire FAQ.

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The Rent Is Too Damn High: The Affordable Housing Crisis, Explained

Years ago I was a renter. It was… fine? Every year my rent went up. But I also wasn’t responsible for major plumbing or any complicated shit like that.

Then my husband Bear suggested we really needed to stop renting and buy a place. Which sounded super responsible and adult and I wanted no part of it. We argued. It was very romantic.

Around the same time, there was this politician who ran for mayor of New York City. His name was Jimmy McMillan and he started a brand new political party: The Rent Is Too Damn High Party. His slogan? “The rent is too damn high.” You gotta admire the straightforward simplicity.

And as our rent was raised yet again, I thought… he’s right! The rent is too damn high. And it’s only getting higher.

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Your Yearly Free Medical Care Checklist

Your Yearly Free Medical Care Checklist

If you are an American who is lucky enough to have health insurance, you almost certainly have free medical care coming your way.

Several annual and semi-annual services are available to you with no copay—and you have absolutely no reason not to use them. Technically, you have already bought them, as their cost is built into the premiums you’ve already paid. And your body will thank you for it! Even if you feel perfectly healthy, establishing a baseline of health will help your medical professionals detect problems early.

Pro-tip: don’t wait until the end of the year to do all this stuff! Every medical office I’ve ever been to is slammed during November and December as everyone tries to use up their benefits. Schedule it now to avoid the crush.

Here’s what you should be doing every year.

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Ask the Bitches: “I Took a Career Break to Care For Someone. How Do I Explain My Caregiving Resume Gap?”

Ask the Bitches: “I Took a Career Break to Care For Someone. How Do I Explain My Caregiving Resume Gap?”

Recently we got a question from a reader about how to explain a caregiving resume gap. Meaning, they took significant time off from work to care for someone who was sick or disabled. And now there’s an employment gap in their job history that they worry is negatively impacting their resume.

I haven’t seen this problem addressed much on finance and career blogs. That’s surprising, considering how common it is. One in four American adults is a caregiver to someone with a long-term illness or disability. Millions of them are simultaneously working outside the home.

It’s unendurably difficult to be a full-time employee and a full-time caregiver. But the “second shift” is a reality for many people. Caregivers pay an incredible physical and mental toll to do what they feel must be done. It makes perfect sense that someone would choose to pause one to focus on the other.

But of course that doesn’t stop certain prospective employers from holding that choice against you in your job search…

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New Personal Finance Books for Your Bitch-free Summer Vacation

It’s that time of year again, Bitch Nation! SUMMER VACATION!

Long time devotees of the Bitches know that we take precisely two hiatuses (hiati? I’m a highly paid professional editor) every year: one in winter and one in summer. And our summer hiatus starts riiiiiight about… meow. So say good-bye to your Bitches for two whole weeks!

During the break we’ll be doing some richly deserved grape-eating and cabana-boy-gazing. Hah! Just kidding. As usual, we’ll use this time to work on the site and begin production on the next season of the podcast. Call it a “working vacation”—that most repugnant of contradictory terms.

Even though you won’t hear from us for two weeks, we won’t leave you empty-handed. Can’t have you getting bored or restless with no riveting personal finance content to keep you edutained! So of course this hiatus comes with homework.

Behold, the 2022 Bitches Get Riches Summer Reading List:

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