How Saving Money Is Like Losing Weight… And How It’s Really Not

In 2024, the second most common New Year’s Resolution is to save money.

The first most common? To lose weight.

Dear readers, I have made both of these resolutions. I slogged through months of dieting—both of spending and of eating—dragging my goals and expectations behind me. And I emerged from the experience wiser, richer… and the exact same weight.

How I felt after dieting for both my weight and my money.

That’s right. Today we’re talking about dieting.

Controlling one’s body and controlling one’s finances are often brought up in the same breath. And I think it’s useful to talk about the ways in which they’re similar—but also so very different!

For the purposes of this article, I’m going to define a diet as a temporary change of exercise and eating habits for the purposes of changing your body shape and weight. Temporarily cutting out all carbohydrates counts as a diet, as does implementing a points system a la the WeightWatchers diet. But we wouldn’t include, say, omitting gluten because you have Celiac disease. Having a diet dieting.

If that’s not your jam… blame our Patreon supporters! Those gorgeous, charitable, artistically gifted people specifically chose today’s topic. And as they literally pay the bills around here, I’m going to lay my heart (and my cellulite) bare according to their whims.

Today’s topic includes discussions of dieting, weight, fatphobia, and eating disorders. I’m going to use the word “fat” a lot because we believe in reclaiming it as a neutral description so that it loses its power to demean and insult. If you’d rather not read this post, it’s okay. I promise I still love you.

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Your Super Simple Guide to COBRA Health Insurance

It’s really hard to fully understand what COBRA is and how it works. It’s a strange but potentially useful little product—but you’re only eligible for it if your life is already in a state of chaos. I don’t know about you, but I’m not great at absorbing complex new information when I am flying through the sky like Adrien Brody in the opening sequence of Predators!

COBRA is a very specific type of health insurance coverage. You can get it in only one circumstance: when you leave a job that has employer-provided health insurance. It’s meant to help you bridge the gap between when your old insurance coverage expires and the new coverage kicks in.

And honestly? Thank god.

If I’m under a fantastic health insurance plan from January 1 to December 30, my ass will be immaculately healthy for all 364 of those days. Then on New Years Eve, I will accidentally drop a bottle of sparkling wine that cannot legally be called champagne. I will twist both ankles as I log-roll over it, windmilling my arms comically while shouting “w-w-woah!” Then I will tumble ass-over teakettle down a staircase, landing on a bed of spikes, and all my prions will simultaneously fold the wrong way.

My body, the day I'm not covered by COBRA.

Like, I’m not superstitious. I’ve just lived long enough to know that’s literally how the world works. The moment you don’t have health insurance coverage, something spectacularly bad is bound to happen.

Which is exactly where COBRA comes in!

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The Expensive Difference Between Recreation and Recovery

Bitchlings, I am exhausted. Yet I’m also kind of… bored? Or not bored, but lacking in enrichment. The zoo enclosure that is my life is simultaneously stressful and dull in a way that I had trouble putting into words until recently.

As alert readers know, I recently read Barbara Sloan‘s excellent book Tipped: The Life Changing Guide to Financial Freedom for Waitresses, Bartenders, Strippers, and All Other Service Industry Professionals. Check out our interview with the author right here!

Reading Tipped gave me an epiphany: my exhaustion, my boredom, and my money stress are all symptomatic of a larger problem. When I’m not working, I’m spending too much time and money recovering from that work and not enough time and money simply in recreation. From Barbara’s book:

“Winding down after a shift, because of the shift, is a work expense.”

Barbara Sloan, Tipped
Poor Tiana does nothing BUT recover from work on her few hours off.

In other words, spending time recovering from your work is a cost of that work. Spending money recovering from your work is a cost of that work. And that’s a problem.

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21 Ideas for Sustainable Swaps That Aren't Shitty, Expensive, Greenwashed Garbage

21 Ideas for Sustainable Swaps That Aren’t Shitty, Expensive, Greenwashed Garbage

I’m always looking for great sustainable swaps, because I love finding ways to reduce my footprint. (In an ecological sense only—been holding steady at size 7.5 for years.) I try to recycle, compost, buy less, shop local, and choose more sustainable options. But I’m just one woman! I can’t test out everything. So I asked our endlessly wise Patreon community. And boy did Bitch Nation deliver!

My only caveat was that these sustainable swaps can’t suck. 

  • Paper straws that disintegrate into wet clumps in your mouth? Absolutely not!
  • Coffee pods sold to us as green because you’ll “waste less water”? Lies and pictures of also-lies!
  • Cloth napkins that cost—I’m sorry—$92 for a set of four?! WHAT! I’m not linking to the site because they claim to be handmade by artisans, and I’m sure those artisans are very nice people. BUT STILL!

Out of this list, ye devils! These sustainable swaps need to be as good—or gooder!—than the products they’re designed to replace. Nothing prohibitively expensive or complicated.

And definitely not shitty.

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3 Legal Documents You Need NOW and Where To Get Them Online for Cheap

A while back, a mutual friend of the Bitches unexpectedly found themselves in the ICU. They were very young, very healthy, and due to be married to their deeply devoted partner within weeks. They were unconscious and totally incapacitated, and needed someone to make healthcare decisions on their behalf.

The funny thing about engagements is that they aren’t legally binding. So even though their fiancé absolutely knew their wishes better than anyone, all medical decisions reverted to their mother. I should say: the alcoholic, emotionally abusive mother they’d moved thousands of miles to escape from.

Maybe you’re one of those lucky people with a spouse, or living parents, who understand and agree with your decisions 100% of the time. But maybe you’re like our friend above, and your default healthcare advocate according to the law is dangerous, untrustworthy, or completely out-of-touch with your wishes and values. Failing to plan for unforeseeable medical emergencies can put your body and your life into the hands of someone who you don’t trust.

And that is a very, very scary situation.

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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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How (and Why) to Take Back Reproductive Rights: On Pulling Weeds and Fighting Back

In light of the overturning of Roe v Wade, it’s with a heavy heart that I revise and expand this article from 2019 with a new goal to take back reproductive rights.

Our mission at BGR is to help people use money as a tool for greater personal autonomy, community stability, and social justice. The sudden unjust denial of abortion access to many Americans has us utterly shaken. We have stated many times that reproductive rights are a non-negotiable basis for success. It is impossible to work toward any of those goals without the right to freely determine the number and timing of potential children. But here we are.

The average American child costs a quarter million dollars before they reach age eighteen. The idea that any person or family should be forced to make such a financial commitment—or several such commitments—for something they don’t passionately want is fundamentally repugnant to us.

We mostly write about money and careers on Bitches Get Riches. It’s not because we love them so much we wanna kiss ‘em on the mouth—it’s because in the society that we have today, money and careers are the best tools we have to attain complete independence and autonomy.

We believe that each individual is an expert in their own happiness. And given a modest level of financial stability, people will have the freedom to make the choices that make their lives feel deliciously worth living.

Limiting abortion access—much less criminalizing it—stands in direct opposition to these values.

Piggy and I are sick with worry for the people impacted by this ruling. We’re grieving, as we know many of you are too. We are not alone. We’re not even a minority, as two thirds of Americans didn’t want this ruling. But we’re also furious, and ready to fight. Together, we have more power than the tyrannous minority of withered shitheads bent on turning our country into a racist, misogynist, corporate-sponsored theocracy.

Phew. Getting spicy and it’s just the intro! Did I mention I am furious?

Today we’re discussing how, and why, to take back reproductive rights. How do we get abortions to people who need them? Who can undo this injustice, and what can we do to exert influence on them so they take action? And how do we make sure that the changes endure permanently? Let’s get into it.

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Ask the Bitches: "Do Women Need Different Financial Advice Than Men?"

Ask the Bitches: “Do Women Need Different Financial Advice Than Men?”

Today on Ask the Bitches, we’ve got a GREAT question about whether women need different financial advice than men. And it was asked by… A MAN?!

(Cue: crashing thunder, rain SFX, opening cords of “It’s Raining Men.”)

That’s right, doubters and haters. Despite our joyless misandrist ways, we’ve got male readers. We’ve even got male readers who are so into what we talk about they’re willing to pay us for our work by becoming Patreon donors!

Our male fans be like...

One such donor asked us a thought-provoking question about gender and money that initially kinda stumped me. In short: do women need different financial advice than men?

I had a knee-jerk reaction to say “no” and leave it at that. (Helpful!) But as I thought about it, I realized there are some significant biological and cultural differences worth discussing. Let’s start by reading the particulars of Patron Mat’s excellent question.

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Ask the Bitches: "Social Media Fatigue is Stressing Me the Fuck Out—What Can I Do Besides Quit?"

Ask the Bitches: Social Media Fatigue Is Stressing Me the Fuck Out—What Can I Do Besides Quit?

I’ve spent a lot of time gazing into the abyss of social media fatigue over the past year. And I guess the abyss is finally gazing back, because we’ve gotten a few questions on this subject recently!

Patreon donor (and effulgent selkie maiden) Georgie puts it this way:

Hello eminent and awe-inspiring Bitches! I have a question that I hope you might have some insight on.

How can I kick ass in today’s activism, corporate, and social world without using social media? 

I am autistic, and have found through painful experience that usage of any media that is endlessly scrollable (think Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc) negatively impacts my mental health to the point of being actively dangerous. Most importantly, I have been active in social justice activism for a few years now and find it nigh on impossible to work well within the current BLM movement in my city without Facebook.

Along with this, I know that potential employers, dates, and roommates are searching for me online and finding someone who effectively disappeared last year. Any advice would be appreciated.

May your crackers be cheesy & your wallets be fat,

– Georgie

First, we must pause to admire Georgie’s sign off, which is a 10/10. Now, let’s see what we can do about her problem, which sounds like social media fatigue. Maybe with a splash of activism fatigue. And boy am I familiar with that!

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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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