How to COMPLETELY Insulate Yourself From Advertisements

Man, let me tell ya, I hate few things more than advertisements.

Ads are the worst. They waste my time and attention. They make me feel spied-upon. Their fundamental purpose is to part me with my hard-won money. Worst of all, they remind me of my dark past working in marketing. I’m trying to leave that behind me, thank you very much!

You might remember this passage from high school…

“If any one unwarily draws in too close and hears the singing of the Sirens, his wife and children will never welcome him home again, for they sit in a green field and warble him to death with the sweetness of their song. There is a great heap of dead men’s bones lying all around, with the flesh still rotting off them. Therefore pass these Sirens by, and stop your men’s ears with wax that none of them may hear…”

It’s from Homer’s Odyssey. Specifically, it’s the part where the sorceress Bavmorda gives advice to Willow Ufgood (you know, the hero of the Odyssey) about how to navigate temptation.

Although she’s a rapscallion known for turning soldiers into pigs, Bavmorda is also a smart lady who gives pretty good advice. Willow ends up lashing Madmartigan to the mast of their ship while stopping his own ears (and those of the prophesied child Elora Danan) with wax.

The moral of this ancient epic poem? Sometimes, the best way to resist temptation is to physically stop yourself from experiencing it in the first place.

Here are some easy ways to make yourself harder to find—and harder to tempt.

Did he get an Oscar for this?
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What Does Your Dream Cost?

What Does Your Dream Cost?

Have you ever sat down and truly asked yourself: What does your dream cost?

It’s a new year. Lots of folks use this time to buckle down and set new goals. Personally, I’m eschewing any kind of quest for productivity or self-improvement this year. Both Bitches had an incredibly stressful holiday season, so we’re too busy being in emotional recovery hibernation mode. Declining with regrets!

Still, I’ve been thinking a lot about goals. And I think one of the most powerful ways to transform dreams into plans is to answer the question “what does your dream cost?”

Our dreams feel more fragile and far away than ever

Young people are pretty gun-shy when it comes to discussing their dreams. Which is totally understandable and fair. Life’s reneged on a lot of important promises. When you unwrap gift after gift to find nothing but coal, you stop bounding joyfully down the stairs on Christmas morning.

If you ask them to describe their plans to achieve something they madly, desperately want, a lot of people freeze up. Or deflect with cynical nihilism. “I dream of owning a little cottage in the woods, but I guess I’ll die in a fire instead lmao!”

(Side note: guys, we GOTTA stop using “lmao” as a synonym for “I am having a mental health crisis.” Can’t we assign some kind of non-standard punctuation mark to this purpose‽)

Anyway, the road to the things you want most may be unfairly long and winding. But that is all the more reason to drive it in daylight, with GPS. Today, I’m going to walk you through some strategies to price out the kind of ambitious, lifelong dreams that feel so hard to quantify. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to do the same with your own bucket list! I promise this exercise will help you pluck your unreachable dreams out of the nebulous realm of “stuff I wanna do” and fix them amongst the stars of “stuff I’m doing.”

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How to Start Small by Saving Small

How To Start Small by Saving Small

“If you don’t start saving your money when you’re young, you’re going to die impoverished, overworked, and alone!” says every personal finance guru ever to young people just starting out in the world.

And while it’s only a slight exaggeration, this kind of enormous pressure can be overwhelming and demoralizing when you’re just starting to get your financial life under control and barely bringing in enough money to make ends meet.

So what’s a young, financially inexperienced person to do? What’s anyone with bills and debt to do with the specter of an empty savings account looming and no solution in sight?

The answer, as with most personal finance, is to start small. Because when saving, your little savings really do add up.

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Your Girl is Officially Retiring at 35 Years Old

Your Girl Is Officially Retiring at 35 Years Old

Earlier this month at the EconoMe Conference, I gave a speech where I revealed I was planning on retiring at 35 years old.

I practiced the speech many times, mostly in the sacred privacy of my shower. To be honest, I wasn’t happy with it! When I tried to talk about how and why I was going for such an early retirement age, I faltered, rambled, and went on weird tangents that had too many 1990s anime references (or not enough, depending on your perspective).

My youthful days as a theatre kid had imbued me with an unshakable certainty that there was no point in worrying about it. The show would go on. I would get up on the stage and say something, and people would clap politely when I was done. Because they always do that, even when you suck! Ah, the beauty of social contracts!

Surprisingly, the words flowed easiest when I was standing on a stage in front of a few hundred people. I could kinda see the faces of my audience through the haze of the UFO tractor beam lighting. I had the world’s best business partner on stage next to me; the front row was packed with wise and supportive personal finance industry mentors; and past them, a sea of faces belonging to people who intimately understood what I was there to say about financial freedom. Before the most welcoming and encouraging audience imaginable, my words came out effortlessly.

“Work sucks, and I hate it, so I’m not gonna do it anymore.”

I should’ve just said that and trusted this audience to fill my remaining 28 minutes with a standing ovation. Maybe wrap with some local jokes? “Thanks for attending my TedTalk. Go Cincinnati, um, Owlbears? No, no, that’s definitely a D&D monster, hold on… [checks notes] Bearcats! Go Bearcats!”

It’s true. If all goes as planned, I’m retiring at 35 years old this coming spring.

Here’s my story.

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Season 3, Episode 7: "I'm Finished With the Basic Shit. What're the Advanced Financial Steps That Only Rich People Know?"

Season 3, Episode 7: “I’m Finished With the Basic Shit. What Are the Advanced Financial Steps That Only Rich People Know?”

When people ask us about the target demographic of Bitches Get Riches, we tell them “It’s for the children.” You can tell because of the G-rated content!

True, our readers-slash-listeners trend young and untested in the ways of the financial world. We wouldn’t have it any other way, of course, which is why so much of what we write concerns the problems of early-career personal finance.

But what about those who have “made it”—gotten through the lean years and succeeded financially? What do we have to say to the children once they grow up and leave the nest?

Getting to the advanced financial steps is harrrrrrd...

In today’s podcast episode, we’re talking about Advanced Financial Steps: the shit you want to get to, but can’t until you get through the boring slog of paying off debt and establishing a financial safety net for yourself.

To this end, we focus a lot on investing: investing in yourself, in your goals, in your community. We don’t simply mean stock market investing, or even financial investing. Treat those investments like the horcruxes they are and spread ’em around—diversify! (Just fulfilling our contractual obligation to include one Harry Potter reference per episode. Read the fine print.)

But how does one determine those post-making-it goals? How do you choose where to stash your horcruxes investments once you’ve joined the ranks of the rich? What’s the most effective way to spread the wealth and lift up those around you?

I wish I could say “all will be revealed in this week’s episode” but really, that’s a lofty fucking goal for a twenty-minute podcast by two day-drunk dumbasses with a microphone. So, uh… adjust your expectations accordingly!

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Season 3, Episode 4: "The More Money I Save, the More I’m Scared To Lose It. Can I Break the Cycle of Financial Anxiety?"

Season 3, Episode 4: “The More Money I Save, the More I’m Scared To Lose It. Can I Break the Cycle of Financial Anxiety?”

We here at Bitches Get Riches are no strangers to financial anxiety. After all, we were blasted out into the world, expensive undergrad degrees in hand, right in the midst of the Great Recession of 2008. And just as the Great Depression trained our grandparents to rinse and reuse tinfoil and never throw anything away that could be repurposed to save money… we’ve been habituated to a permanent scarcity mindset.

Hoarding retirement funds, emergency funds, and second income streams just comes naturally to us! And if when the country’s economy and unemployment levels tip us all into a chaos of financial uncertainty… we tend to take it in stride.

Which is why we felt like we simply had to address this week’s question on the podcast. If you’ve ever felt weighed down by financial anxiety and stressed by constantly shifting monetary goalposts… this one’s for you!

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Don't Turn Your Passions Into Work

Don’t Turn Your Passions Into Work

Turning your passions into work is really popular advice. At my day job, I’m mentoring a fresh crop of school-aged interns. One of them learned that I had a blog and was super excited to ask me about it.

“I run an Instagram account where I talk about beauty and self-acceptance,” she told me, “and I LOVE it.”

And I could tell that she meant it! Her whole face lit up. She was practically wiggling in her seat with excitement. She described the positive, loving feedback she received from doing it, and how it gave her a true sense of purpose. “I want to eventually figure out how to monetize it and potentially turn it into a career. Any advice on how to do that?”

“Yeah,” I said with a sigh. “Don’t.”

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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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How to Make Any Financial Decision, No Matter How Tough, with Maximum Swag

We get literally hundreds of questions on how to make a financial decision.

“O great and mighty Bitches, should I pay off my debt or add to my savings?”

“Our Bitches, who art in Bitch Nation, should I take a gap year or try to finish my college degree as quickly as possible?”

“Wise and benevolent Bitches, should I buy a house or keep renting?”

“Most beloved and humble of Bitches, how should I allocate my investments?”

“Bitches, I beseech thee: how much of my income should I budget for necessities vs. entertainment?”

One of the things about our blog I’m most proud of is that we answer as many of these questions as possible. Hence our Ask the Bitches series and the entire Q&A premise of our podcast!

It’s not entirely altruistic, though. We get off on being human Pez dispensers of advice tablets. And when we get multiple questions on the same topic, we often just write a whole ass article on said topic. BOOM! Question answered in perpetuity!

Despite the pleasure we take in our methodology, I’m about to shift it from a BGR-exclusive service to something even amateurs can do at home. With this article, I’ll wipe out about 70% of the questions people ask us in one fell swoop.

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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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