Myers-Briggs Personalities and Income: What Your Type Says About Your Salary

There are two valid forms of personality tests: Myers-Briggs and the Sorting Hat—BUT ONLY the Sorting Hat as defined by the collective wisdom of the broader Harry Potter fandom. J. K. Rowling’s Slytherinphobia is as well-documented as it is inexplicable. We cannot trust Pottermore.

If you don’t know your Myers-Briggs personality type, you can find out pretty easily. Free tests of varying length and quality clog the internet. I like this one, personally. It’s thorough but nowhere near as long as others.

In general, Myers-Briggs judges personalities in four metrics: introvert (I) vs. extrovert (E), sensing (S) vs. intuition (N), thinking (T) vs. feeling (F), and judging (J) vs. perceiving (P).

If you don’t want to take a quiz, you may be able to guess what you are. Introverts feel recharged when alone, and extroverts feel at-home among others. Sensors like to take people at their word, while intuits tend to look for meaning between the lines. Thinkers are rational and logical, while feelers are empathetic and expressive. Judgers (not to be confused with the judgmental) prefer plans and orderliness over the perceiver’s more casual, open-ended approach.

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On Emergency Fund Remorse… and Bacon Emergencies

It was an expensive day in my household.

The kitchen sink had been backed up for more than a week. I’d disassembled and reassembled it twice and couldn’t fix the problem myself, so I knew it was time to call in the professionals. Clearly the damn thing needed to be snaked, and I had neither the tools nor the know-how to handle that myself. So I called a plumber.

On top of that, my dog was experiencing… butt problems. Of the totally non-life-threatening but definitely requiring-immediate-medical-care variety. (He had an anal gland abscess, ok? It was both gross and fascinating and it completely reaffirmed my conviction that dogs are strange and magical creatures.) I have no medical training, and I would move heaven and earth for this goddamn mutt, so I called the vet.

And thus began my winter of discontent.

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Advice I Wish My Parents Gave Me When I Was 16

My parents meant so, so well. And they were so, so right about some things (the relative unworthiness of all teenage boys, for example). But there is some parental advice I’m kinda pissed they didn’t tell me about when I was sixteen. Sixteen, and on the cusp of making serious decisions about finances and the next several years of my life.

It’s not that they told me nothing, or even that they gave me horrible advice. But I feel like my time as a sixteen-year-old was the last year of my life before I was expected to make monumental decisions. Decisions that would affect my financial future in really, really big ways. And that future could have been drastically different (and potentially better). If only they’d told me some key things to influence my decisions about college, a career, and investing.

I brought receipts.

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Stop Undervaluing Your Freelance Work, You Darling Fool

Like many Millennials, I’ve got multiple income streams, including freelance work. At my day job, I work for a salary that I negotiate upwards every so often. But as a side-hustlin’ freelance editor, I set my own rates and negotiate directly with individual clients for each new job.

This means I’m in a position of awesome power with every freelance customer. Like Ursula the Sea Witch, I can name whatever price I like. And if the client wants both legs and a hunky prince, they’re going to have to give up their beautiful singing voice or THE DEAL’S OFF.

Ursula the sea witch knows the value of her freelance services.

But what if the client can’t afford my price? What if they find my freelance rates completely unreasonable and expensive compared with industry standards? Or what if they’re bargain hunting and willing to work with someone less qualified for a steeply discounted rate? What if they’re really nice and I feel uncharacteristically sorry for them?

What if instead of their beautiful singing voice, they’re only willing to part with the sound of their burps? Or the noise they make right before yakking up last night’s vodka tonic? Their impression of Marlon Brando in The Godfather? What then?

When you set the price for your own work, there are innumerable reasons you might be tempted to lower it. This is a way of undervaluing your own work, and trust me my beauties, it is not worth it.

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The Latte Factor, Poor Shaming, and Economic Compassion

There’s a piece of conventional financial wisdom called the Latte Factor. It goes like this: if you’re looking to save money or pay off debt, start by skipping small luxuries like lattes and instead put that money toward your financial goals. The single digit savings will add up to a significant amount over time. All because you had the fortitude to practice a little self-control. It’s a simple, effective way to find some wiggle room in your budget and a great first step toward living a frugal lifestyle.

The Latte Factor is both virtuous and practical. It gives its frugal practitioner a sense of self-righteous superiority over those who continue to waste their money on overpriced, over-sweetened, caffeinated beverages every day. And because it’s such a simple solution, those preaching the gospel of frugality peddle it like a magic elixir. Can’t seem to save money? Just skip the latte! It works miracles!

Yet to those who truly struggle with systemic poverty, getting advice about the Latte Factor feels horribly condescending. In fact, being told that skipping a small luxury here and there will raise you up out of your low-income status feels downright cruel and deliberately ignorant. Because in cases of economic disenfranchisement, a lack of frugality is not the root of the problem.

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On Financial Discipline, Generational Poverty, and Marshmallows

What’s your methodology for eating a bowl of Lucky Charms? And in a related question: how’s your financial discipline?

RESIST.

Do you peck the marshmallows out first, like a marshmallow-loving chicken? Or do you eat around them, creating a cereal-free pleasure palace of marshmallows, swimming together decadently in their milk? Or do you dig in holistically, indiscriminately, with marshmallows and cereal intermingling freely, devil-may-care, eating whatever ends up on your spoon?

The answer could reveal a whole lot about your life, your personality, and the health of your personal finances. We know this thanks to a fascinating series of studies conducted on children eating marshmallows.

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You Don’t Have To Have Kids

I’ve spent a lot of time with kids over the years. I babysat in high school. I was a nanny in college. Now I look after my friends’ children on a regular basis, and I’m the proud auntie of the World’s Cutest and Smartest Nephew (he blew the competition out of the water). In fact, I have so much childcare XP that babies magically stop crying the second I pick them up. I can prevent small children from smearing spaghetti sauce on the wall with barely a glance!

All of this time spent with other people’s children has made me absolutely certain of one thing. I don’t want to have kids.

Fortunately for me, I don’t have to. And neither do you.

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A Dungeonmaster’s Guide to Defeating Debt

A Dungeonmaster’s Guide To Defeating Debt

Let’s talk about D&D&D! That’s Dungeons & Dragons and debt. Strictly 5e. Live in the now.

Guys. I don’t mean to brag, but I run a fourteenth level wizard that I’m pretty damn proud of. She is a cold-hearted bad-ass lawful-evil murder-machine.

My steed is a magic broom with a fifty-foot move-speed. My staff turns into a friendly giant constrictor snake on command. And my Contingency spell is set to Polymorph me into a T-Rex if my hit points drop below 20%. I know, I know, it’s basically a massive free heal! And I’m a resourceful motherfucker. I once used a level one Disguise Self to convince two-dozen hostile Kuo Toa that I was Blibdoolpoolp, lobster-headed mother deity of the sea. I ordered them to pray until they died of exhaustion. #lawfulevil

If you play Dungeons & Dragons, you already know the best way to handle enemies depends on your class strengths. A barbarian has no business casting spells. A wizard has no business grappling. (And a warlock has no business in any campaign, period. Come at me in the comments, you short-rest dependent motherfuckers.)

Life, as I have so often found, mirrors games. Here is some wisdom for humans and demi-humans of all alignments on defeating debt.

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Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying: Finance Philosophy Explained by The Shawshank Redemption

Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying: Finance Philosophy Explained by The Shawshank Redemption

What you are about to read is pretty graphic.

I’m sure it’s hard to read. At times, it was hard to write. It’s not an easy thing: to torture a metaphor to death.

I was almost at the point of walking away from this article when I heard John 3:16 ringing in my memory: “For Kitty so loved the world, that she gave one of her favorite movies, that whosoever believeth in her should not go broke, but have eternal cash.”

If you have not seen The Shawshank Redemption, I have two questions and one command.

  • The first question: are you some kind of Alexandreeey Dumbass?
  • The second question: how did you get from 1997 to the present without watching cable television during daylight hours?
  • The command: go watch The Shawshank Redemption! Only after you’ve done so are you allowed to return here and continue on.

One hundred and forty-two minutes of narration by Ellis “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman) is the necessary prep work you need to open your heart and expand your mind.

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