The Financial Order of Operations: 10 Great Money Choices for Every Stage of Life

The Financial Order of Operations: 10 Great Money Choices for Every Stage of Life

One of the reasons personal finance can feel so overwhelming—nay, defeating—is that there’s so much pressure to do everything at once. I think it’s why so many people feel lost and incompetent with money. I did too, until I discovered a financial order of operations.

Money decisions are always intimidating. Every financial decision you make compounds over time! That can be good, like when investments grow. But it’s also terrible, because financial mistakes can haunt you for years after you’ve made them. With so much pressure to get it right, every single time, and always on the first try, it’s no wonder people freeze up.

I wish someone had sat me down and compassionately explained that I didn’t have to do everything all at once. If you want to stay motivated and make meaningful progress on a goal, it’s so much better to focus on just one at a time. And just like in eighth grade math, there’s a right order of operations to everything, depending on what stage of life you’re in.

Today I’m going to take you through my financial order of operations. It’s a basic blueprint of ten steps most people could follow to transform their finances for the better.

In my opinion, it’s the best order in which to save, invest, and pay off debt. It also takes into consideration the incredible importance of maintaining motivation and keeping financial decisions centered exactly where they should be: around your personal goals, dreams, and emotional well-being.

Best of all, anyone can follow the first two steps! You don’t need to have money or a job to get started. Woo-hoo! Gates are open—send in the teenaged overachievers!

Obviously, everyone is different. Think of this journey as the Oregon Trail. We all start in the Independence, Missouri of total ineptitude, and we’re all trying to get to the gloriously fruitful Willamette Valley of financial independence. Some of us may choose to raft down the Columbia River Gorge, and others will take the Barlow Toll Road. That’s totally fine! This guide will help you make informed decisions, even if you don’t follow it exactly.

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5 Lies About DIYing I'm Seriously Sick of Hearing

5 Lies About DIYing I’m Seriously Sick of Hearing

Today we’re covering a subject near to my heart. Too near to my heart. Like a clogged aortic valve that’s ready to blow. It’s lies about DIYing!

This is a subject I’ve been dying to set the record straight on. Because the internet is busting at the seams with of lying liars and the lie-ful lies they lyingly lie.

Most beautifulest table.

Let me start off by asking you a question: do you like this table? Of course you do! It’s beautiful as shit. I made it myself and it only cost me $29.

(…Or did it?)

I found this poor wretch on Craigslist. It had a crust of chipping chalkboard paint—because apparently there are people who like to dine to a soundtrack of plates scraping across a blackboard?! Underneath, it was solid wood, sturdily constructed, fully disassemblable, and priced to sell at only $25. Like the conventionally attractive nerd in an early 90s movie, it only needed its glasses lifted off to become beautiful.

After sanding the old paint off, I took some glossy white paint I had leftover from another project and applied it to the legs. Then I stained the tabletop with a $4 can of Minwax stain obtained on clearance from my local hardware store. The result is a beautiful handcrafted table that you’d never know cost $29!

There’s only one catch…

I lied.
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Case Study: Held Back by Past Financial Mistakes, Fighting Bad Credit and $90K in Debt

Case Study: Held Back by Past Financial Mistakes, Fighting Bad Credit and $90K in Debt

Hi, it’s me again—your Good With Money Friend! It’s time for another case study. This time we’re talking about how to recover from past financial mistakes.

You guys really enjoyed our first case study. It tackled problems related to student loan debt, employment instability, and paying through the nose for rent in a high cost of living area. I’ve been hoping to do another one, but all of my friends’ most recent money issues have been too specific to their situations to be helpful to a broader audience.

Until now!

A friend reached out, asking for help repairing her damaged credit score. So she scheduled a 30 minute call with me to discuss her options, because I’m literally that bitch.

Obviously it turned into a ninety-minute call, mostly because I love the sound of my own voice. (Vocal fry ’til I die!) But really because the more we talked, the clearer it became that her credit score wasn’t her main enemy on the battlefield for financial stability. It was like a machine gun a mile away: an easy threat to identify, making a huge racket and scaring the shit out of everyone, but not actually that threatening in her present circumstances.

If you’ve struggled with debt, or you want to hone your Good With Money Friend skills, read on. Hopefully hearing about her situation will help some other folks!

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8 Genres of Productivity Music (Plus Our Secret Stash of Personal Favorites)

8 Genres of Productivity Music (Plus Our Secret Stash of Personal Favorites)

Recently I collected my twenty-five best work from home tips together into one place, and I briefly mentioned my favorite productivity music. I didn’t go into much detail because I assumed everyone knew about the lofi study beats phenomenon. But I was pretty shocked! Lots of people mentioned that it was their first time hearing about it.

Readers, I’m sorry. We try not to hold out on you—but we often accidentally do! Our favorite tools are so familiar that we can’t comprehend life without them. And then we fail to adequately hype them.

Music is a super valuable productivity tool. If I’m trying to get shit done, the wrong soundscape makes time crawl by. I’m agitated and grumpy after twenty minutes. But the right productivity music helps me find my groove quickly and stay in it for much longer. Time glides by. Before I know it, my tasks are complete.

Today we’ll highlight eight productivity music genres, plus a bunch of our favorite compilations and tracks. Y’all best bring the goods and drop your favorite productivity beats in the comments!

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One Easy Thing All Allies Can Do to Help Close the Gender and Racial Pay Gap

1 Easy Way All Allies Can Help Close the Gender and Racial Pay Gap

If you’re a rad intersectional ally who wants to make life fairer for everyone, there’s one incredibly easy thing you can do—right now—to close the gender and racial wage gap. It has to do with pay transparency. It’s an incredibly powerful form of activism, and it can be done by almost anyone. Are you ready? Here it is…

Tell your coworkers how much money you make.

Especially women, people of color, disabled people, immigrants, and any one else who is part of a historically marginalized or exploited group.

And be specific and honest! No ranges, no euphemisms, just the exact number that appears on your paycheck. Don’t skip over any bonuses, raises, or other perks you’ve earned or negotiated, such as extra vacation time, remote work days, or tuition reimbursement.

Pay transparency is a tremendous boon to yourself as well as them. And we need it now, more than ever. Here’s why.

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How To Get an Abortion (Including an Affordable, Safe, and Discreet Self-Administered One At Home)

How To Get an Abortion

Sometimes Piggy and I feel like we’ve written about every topic under the sun. Then we realize we haven’t written a guide on how to get an abortion. And we realize that no, indeed, Bitches Get Riches has only scratched the surface of topics related to finance, feminism, and fucks not given.

Abortion access has a staggeringly enormous impact on finances, whether you count that from a personal financial level or a global economic level. Yet it’s one of the least talked-about subjects in this space.

As an Angry Internet Feminist®, I’d love nothing more than to burn bright with the flame of moral outrage and say it’s because people are cowards. But I actually think a lot of people are intimidated by the topic because it’s a genuinely complex one to research, with laws varying by state and changing all the time. But it’s that complexity that makes it such an important topic to share with you, our readers.

We dream of a future where there are no barriers for anyone to seek out this common, safe, and morally neutral medical procedure. But for many people throughout the world, that future isn’t coming quickly enough.

So today we’re going to walk you through how to get an abortion! Including information on how to self-administer an abortion safely, affordably, and discreetly if you live in an area hostile to reproductive rights.

Today’s discussion obviously mentions pregnancy loss. We also touch on the logistical challenges of managing unsupportive partners and parents, but it’s pretty tame. No gory medical talk; no sexual violence.

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Be Somebody’s Eliza with a Simple Yet Life-Changing Act of Kindness

Piggy and I are going to take our annual short break. Running BGR is always hard work, but this has been one for the record books! We’ve absorbed a lot of confusion, panic, and sadness through our inboxes this year. So we’re going to do our best to unplug and mentally refresh ourselves with a nice long vacation.

… Hahaha psych! We’re gonna use that time to catch up on tedious admin work. If anyone tells you blogging is an easy way to get rich quick, kindly punch them in the chest. Aim for the heart.

It’s been a helluva year, y’all. I wanted to leave you with a story to contemplate over the holiday. Given how shitty everything has been, I felt compelled to make it a happy one. Or at least a hopeful one. In fact, I’m gonna give you the most hopeful story I’ve got.

Today I’m going to tell you about a person who changed my life.

It’s a true story about how our everyday actions have wider and deeper impacts than we can ever know. It’s a little star that’s always helped guide me, especially in moments of personal cynicism and despair. When I feel powerless, it reminds me I’m not. As we face a winter that feels magnitudes longer, darker, and more isolated than usual, I thought everyone could use a story like this.

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This is a horrible mistake to make because there's no way to really fix it.

PLEASE Tell Me You’re Not Making This Disastrous Beginner Mistake with Your Retirement Funds

It has come to my attention that there may be a particularly disastrous beginner retirement fund mistake we’ve failed to warn our readers against. As they say in the extremely dramatic anime I’m currently watching: moushiwake arimasen!

Worse, it’s exactly the kind of mistake we proudly specialize in addressing: a mistake that makes you feel so freaking inept and self-conscious that you act like it didn’t happen, never speak of it again, and quietly add to the self-critical monologue that plays inside your head on nights when you cannot sleep.

No? Just us? Humph! Very well.

This mistake has to do with your retirement funds. I can’t sugar-coat this one: it’s a horrible mistake to make because there isn’t really a way to fix it. It’s like burning your popcorn: what’s done is done, there’s no way to un-burn it. But the faster you yank that stanky shit out of your microwave, the sooner you can chuck it and move on with with your life. And a fresh batch of popcorn. Make it kettle corn. Invite me!

For those of you who don’t have retirement accounts yet, read on anyway. Trust me! This is something you’ll want to keep in the back of your mind for whenever you finally do.

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If blogs were corporeal, ours would be covered in Cheeto dust.

Holy Shit, We’re the Year’s Best Personal Finance Blog?!

Well, butter my bread and call me a biscuit! Bitches Get Riches just won the 11th Annual Plutus Award for Personal Finance Blog of the Year.

We’ve actually been up for this award every year since we launched this blog in 2017. But of course 2020 would be our year, wouldn’t it?!

I’ve decided I find it the ultimate compliment to be considered the best personal finance blog in 2020. This supremely wretched year has been packed with so much darkness and chaos. Maybe the traditional advice-dispensers—the people who really know what they’re doing, and have perfect faith in our world and its systems—found themselves as lost as everybody else.

Luckily, our tumultuous lives have trained Piggy and I in the crucial survival skill of making absolutely fucking everything up as we go along.

Perhaps we aren’t the noble lions of this world, but the crafty raccoons! We’re adept at digging through garbage with our creepy little trash!panda hands to find the next morsel of sanity and stability. And since there’s never been a year with more garbage to sort through, doesn’t it make sense that this was our time to shine?

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These tips may help the 42% of Americans who abruptly joined Team Work From Home.

My 25 Secrets to Successfully Working from Home with ADHD

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.

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