Short-Term Disability Insurance is a Waste of Money... With Two Very Specific Exceptions

Short-Term Disability Insurance Is a Waste of Money… With Two Very Specific Exceptions

In honor of Disability Pride Month, we’re coming to you with our hot and sweaty take on short-term disability insurance. We’re going to explain what it is, how it works, and why you probably don’t need it… unless, of course, you’re in two very specific situations. Ooooh, look at me go, building that mystery!

No disability-related topic can ever be simple. But we’ll do our best to make the pros and cons of short-term disability insurance super clear! And since we’re generally not enthusiastic about it, we’ll explain some of your (many) other, better options.

Fun fact: the insurance industry abbreviates short-term disability insurance as “STD.” Unlike my biblical ancestress, I swear to resist the temptation of a low-hanging fruit.

Abbreviating "short-term disability insurance" as "STD" is like a carrot with a giant box held up with a stick and a string for me, specifically.
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Why There’s So Little (Good) Personal Finance for Disabled People

Jess and I are both itching to write more about personal finance for disabled people.

We’re also both itching because we have autoimmune disorders.

Guys, we’re here! We’re queer! We have two X chromosomes with faulty molecular coatings!

Okay, but seriously… we’ve both been sitting on some big ol’ honkin’ article ideas about how disabilities can impact money, jobs, and life in general. Frankly, our readers have begged us for this content. The subject of disability finance has intimidated us like no other. But with the gentle urging of our awesome Patreon donors, we’re going to dive in and do our best.

July is Disability Pride Month, commemorating the anniversary of the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990. We’re celebrating with the release of a whole month of articles on this theme.

Did we plan this in advance? Certainly not! What do we look like—professional bloggers with a content schedule?! We had a random one-in-twelve chance to get this right, and by god, we did it. May our luck hold as we try to tackle the complexities of this subject.

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The Dollar Bill Game: What You’d Do if Money Were No Object Says a Lot About You

“If money were no object, what would you do with your life?”

Did people ask you this hypothetical question a lot? Especially around high school and college graduation? I did. And it was frustrating as hell, because I was so overwhelmed by my choices that I had no idea how to answer.

This question requires you to have a deep knowledge of yourself and your place in the world—deeper than many young people will have adequate experiences to inform.

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Bob Iger Would NEVER Bring a Water Dish for Skippy: The Classist Myth of Unskilled Labor

I told my co-blogger that my next article would be titled “Bob Iger Would NEVER Bring a Water Dish for Skippy.” She packed her belongings into a handkerchief tied to a stick. I think that means she’s excited!

Okay, okay, a little context…

There’s a new video setting YouTube ablaze. It presents a clear and fascinating rebuttal to the classist myth of “the low-skill worker.”

  • The storyteller is YouTuber Jenny Nicholson.
  • The setting of her deep-dive is the recently defunct Star Wars hotel.
  • The villains are insanely wealthy people trying to make themselves even wealthier by guessing what the unwashed masses want… and getting it totally wrong because they’re inept, greedy, and out of touch.
  • The heroes are the unpaid interns and minimum-wage workers whose dedication, creativity, and work ethic create the magic their bosses unsuccessfully wasted millions of dollars chasing.

Y’all, this video FIRED ME UP. I’m neither a Star Wars fan nor a Disney adult, but it doesn’t matter. The video is well worth watching. I’m only going to speak to a very small slice of it, which I’ll summarize for folks who don’t have the time or interest to watch it all.

In this age of unprecedented wealth inequality, it’s singularly important for workers everywhere to understand how their labor is being exploited. The story is juicy and entertaining—but we also think it’s a great opportunity for readers to develop the skill of recognizing labor exploitation. Because if you don’t know you’re exploited, you can’t take steps to stop it.

So sit back and let me explain the significance of bringing a water dish for Skippy—and why Bob Iger would never think to do it.

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The Bitches Get Riches Brand Promise: Social Media, Plagiarism, and AI in an Age of Exploitation

“You know how we joke about our ‘brand promise’?” I say to Jess in our weekly meeting.

“You mean our guaranteed minimum of dick jokes? Naturally! Why?”

“I’m thinking of finally writing a real one.”

“Oh, like a sentence or two in the sidebar?”

I make a face. My coblogger regards me with the abrupt suspicion of a dog owner whose faithful friend is chewing on an item of unknown provenance. “How long is it?”

“Kinda long…” I concede, a bad dog chewing faster.

She sighs. “I look forward to reading it.” This is what she says when she’s resigned to receiving an eleventy-thousand-word shitstorm that defies editing for clarity and brevity, delivered the morning we’re supposed to publish. And like X, I’m gon’ to give it to her.

Lately my brain has been leaking big, scary thoughts about the nature of the work we do here. Conversations about AI, plagiarism, social media, and the value of creative labor swirl through my head. I try keeping these thoughts where they belong: in the shower. But sometimes they escape and bully their way to my word processor.

Today, I want to spell out the real Bitches Get Riches promise. To make specific promises, and to explain why they’re so important. Because I want you to know me—and because I want you to know what you can (and cannot) expect from “content creators” in this time so fraught with artifice and greed.

It’s a little different from our usual. Indulge me, and I’ll strive to reward you for your patience.

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Our (Ridiculously Simple) Method for Choosing the Right Healthcare Plan For You

Choosing the right healthcare plan can be intimidating, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. The stakes are high; the options are confusing; there’s often a small window during which you can make the choice before you lose your chance; and the whole thing highlights the merciless jank that is our healthcare system!

Luckily, there’s an incredibly easy, 100% foolproof way to make the decision. Here’s our secret to choosing the right healthcare plan:

First, you put it off until there’s only, like, two days left to pick. Then, you forward all your onboarding documents to your dad’s wife, Carol. She is the perfect person for the task, being both generous and detail-oriented in a way you will never understand. Finally, you pick whichever one she says, and never think about it again until your soul walks the halls of the Duat and Anubis weighs your heart against Ma’at’s Feather of Eternal Truth.

Choosing the right healthcare plan? You can do that in your jammies.

… What’s that?

You don’t have a Carol?! My, how awkward for you.

I suppose that means the task falls to me. Heavy is the head that wears the crown of reading fine print! Today I’ll explain a really easy method for choosing the right healthcare plan. If you’ve never chosen your own plan, or you’re faced with a bunch of new options, it’ll help you quickly identify the best one based on your specific healthcare needs.

Today’s article pertains to the American healthcare system. International readers, I’m releasing you early. Use this time to study up on equally important international adulting tasks: navigating Ryanair’s lost baggage policy, keeping poutine from getting soggy, etc.

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A Hand-Holding Guide To Planning the End of Your Pet’s Life

Stop. I know you read this title and attempted to turn and flee back out the door. I anticipated this and caught you by the back of your shirt. We need to talk about this now.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely Millennial or Gen Z. They’re the largest pie slice of animal lovers—one in three owns a pet. And our attitudes about pets are really intense. Half of us describe loving them more than our own mothers. And all of those pets are doing the absolute worst thing any pet can do: getting old without us.

You likely won’t have experience with being solely, directly responsible for managing a living being’s decline and death. So we’re going to explain what’s gonna happen, and give you our very best insights.

OH, LIKE I DO? I didn't wake up eager to talk about the end of your pet's life but here I am...

I promise to make this discussion as brief, honest, and detached as possible. We’ve written maudlin tear-jerkers about pets before, and I swear this won’t be one of those. But this is a subject that’s sadly present for both of us right now. Life’s given us lemons recently; this guide will be the lemonade. We want to give some guidance to the people who will one day face the same challenge, so they can feel prepared. All of this advice comes straight from our hearts.

At the end, there’s a handy checklist for your convenience. If you do everything on it, you’ll be as ready as you can be for the end of your pet’s life. Many of them are actions you can start taking long before your pet gets grey around the muzzle, so don’t put off reading it.

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It’s Not Your Imagination—Secondhand Stuff IS More Expensive Than Ever

Have you noticed that secondhand stuff is more expensive than it used to be? Because I absolutely have!

Since I retired, I’ve been on a bit of a secondhand shopping spree. You see, I inherited almost all of my current furniture. I acquired it randomly from old roommates, friends moving across the country, my grandparents’ downsizing, and the legendary Allston Christmas. Now that work isn’t gobbling up my best hours, I finally have the bandwidth to upgrade these pieces. That rickety side table I found on the side of the road can now be transformed, Cinderella-like, into a charming antique that some sucker let go of for $50!

… Yet I’ve noticed something disturbing. The suckers have grown few and far between.

Dummies selling solid oak headboards they found in Grandma’s attic for a sawbuck are like fireflies. I remember vast clouds of them in my childhood… but now, I’m thrilled if I see a dozen in a season. Where have they gone?

Today, I’m explaining my hypothesis for why secondhand stuff is more expensive than it used to be. I see a variety of factors that have far-reaching impacts on everything we buy and sell. We love noticing inflection points when traditional personal finance wisdom shifts from the “useful” column to the “ok thanks Grandpa” column—and this is definitely one of those moments. Let’s explore the answer together!

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The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Salary

We’re Millennials. Which means we graduated from college in 2009, just in time for the Great Recession to really fuck with our job prospects and salary levels. Nevertheless, we persisted, managing to carve careers out of the bleak post-recession landscape, a feat that eventually led to us being amateur career advice-givers right here on the internet!

I lead with all this because circumstances are feeling… familiar. The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered Gen Z especially, just as they’re starting their careers and building independent lives. And no matter your age, the pandemic took a toll on a lot of folks’ livelihoods. They’re facing challenges like what we experienced, and we hate it. So our time has come! Learn from your slightly-elders, younglings!

Graduating in a recession leads to earnings losses of about 9% compared to those who graduate in balmier financial climates. The pay gap takes a full decade to become statistically insignificant. For the average worker, that amounts to five grand in a single year. The lost opportunities to invest some of that income—as well as the recession-graduate’s stymied options for other jobs—creates a staggering wealth gap.

Worst of all, it’s completely fucking unfair, because those affected were kids when this hot mess was cooked up, yet still the ones who have to eat it. You have every right to be salty about that.

So here’s what we suggest you do to get yourself back up to the level you deserve.

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5 Horror Movies About Money to Terrify You This Spooktober

5 Horror Movies About Money to Terrify You This Spooktober

Just in time for Halloween, we’re here to pitch five of our favorite horror movies about money. We just noticed it’s been far too long since we wrote something unabashedly silly. Forgive us!

You may not know this about us, but we Bitches are high-key obsessed with scary movies. If we’re hanging out together, odds are high we’ll throw on something with ghosts, ghouls, werewolves, or axe-wielding serial killers. There are three main reasons this genre appeals to us:

  1. Horror movies are creative. They often have tiny budgets, which forces filmmakers to work with what they have and hone in on what matters. Many household names got their start in the proving grounds of horror. It’s a chance to see fascinating examples of undiscovered genius.
  2. Horror movies expose uncomfortable truths about life and society. All great spooky films are about something real. The surface-level scares of a zombie horde are symbolically linked to our deepest anxieties about other people. The vampire is the unknown outsider; the werewolf the uncontrollable id. The horror genre boldly leaps into subjects where comedies and dramas fear to tread.
  3. Adrenaline is a helluva drug. We’re too old to know where to get good drugs. We have to make them the old fashioned way: by abusing our endocrine systems. With art!

And really, isn’t that what’s interesting about money, too? Our ~*whole deal*~ is trying to make the best, most values-aligned decisions we can with limited funds. This article is extremely on-brand and aligned with our core mission. DO NOT try to tell us otherwise!

Today, we’re plugging a few of our favorite horror movies with a financial twist. The terrifying root of each one is something related to money and the power it brings.

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