The Dollar Bill Game, Part 1: If Money Were No Object

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

Did you get asked 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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Blood Money: Menstrual Products for Surviving Your Period While Poor

Trigger warning: I use the word “panties” like, so, SO much in this post.

Some women have really figured out how to lean in to the concept of their menstruation. They describe it as a period of heightened sensitivity and awareness. They talk about how in-touch it makes them feel with their power, their humanity, and the changing seasons of their body.

I’m so happy for those women. I wish I could count myself among them. But I do not go gently into that dark night.

I HATE my period. No, I really fucking HATE it. It does not make me feel powerful or mindful; its arrival fills me with a fresh sense of mortal outrage. Sixteen years of menses has not dulled my sense of shock and dismay when I go to wipe myself and the tissue comes back red. Every month, I am fucking appalled.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN "EVERY MONTH?!"


It’s not that I think period blood is something shameful or dirty. It’s just so fucking unfair.

There are so many aspects of ~*womanhood*~ that fucking suck. We work more, get paid less, are constantly judged by random strangers, get legislated bodily by old jerks, and carry the psychological and physical burden of sexual violence.

Menstruation is just one more thing that happens to you that you’ve got to deal with it. (And although I’ll use the word “women” a lot, it bears reminding that there are other kinds of people who menstruate.) It’s messy, uncomfortable, disruptive, and draining.

Worst of all, menstruating is expensive. Disposable menstrual products are a fixed monthly cost that’s surprisingly high—and they are inexplicably taxed as luxury items! (Don’t bother trying to repeal the tax, ladies! Your dashing white knight of a male governor will do it for you! Oh wait, no he won’t, he’s going to FUCKING VETO IT.) Reusable menstrual products have a startlingly high initial cost, and aren’t always convenient or appropriate for all people and situations.

With this in mind, Piggy and I have mined our own experiences and those of our vast network of Vagenda operatives to bring you clear-eyed reviews of each of these menstrual products through a financial lens.

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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.

Here’s what you should be doing every year.

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Why Name Brand Products Are Beneath You: The Honor and Glory of Buying Generic

Why Name Brand Products Are Beneath You: The Honor and Glory of Buying Generic

Gather round, children, while I tell you one of adulthood’s greatest secrets. It is a pearl of wisdom that can only be gained by leaving the nest, spreading your wings, and comparison shopping. Retailers don’t want you to know it, advertising agencies spend bajillions trying to keep you from learning it. You can live your whole life in ignorance of this simple fact if you don’t spend a little extra effort to look around yourself and pay attention at the goddamn grocery store.

Are you ready? Of course you are, you badass paragon of frugality and virtue.

You don’t have to buy name brand products. Most of the time the generic or store brand is the exact same thing for less money.

Armed with this knowledge, you are ready to embark on a spiritual and financial journey of fiduciary gratification the likes of which the world has never known. You will suddenly discover whole dollars in your grocery budget you never even knew existed. Let the scales fall from your eyes, dear readers, for truly name brand products are beneath you.

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Run With Me if You Want to Save: How Exercising Will Save You Money

Run With Me if You Want to Save: How Exercising Will Save You Money

Being unhealthy and generally unfit is expensive. Living a truly sedentary lifestyle (one in which the word “exercise” is avoided at all cost and bursts of physical motion are vanishingly rare) is associated with all kinds of expensive illnesses and health risks. It literally costs you money to be lazy and out of shape.

But being fit and healthy is affordable by comparison. You can save yourself all kinds of money on healthcare costs and lifestyle expenses just by working your muscles periodically throughout the day. As far as frugality goes, physical fitness is an all-around genius tactic for saving.

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Three Legal Documents You Need NOW (And Can Get Cheaply Online)

Three Legal Documents You Need NOW (And Can Get Cheaply Online)

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 wed 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 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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Why You Probably Don't Need That Gym Membership

Why You Probably Don’t Need That Gym Membership

Ok I know I just told you to start working out as a way to stay healthy and wealthy, but listen up: you can do it all without a gym membership.

Gyms are smelly, crowded, and over-priced. Their hours are sometimes inconvenient, and there’s no guarantee you’ll get a turn on the equipment you want to use or fit into that over-crowded aerobics class.

Even the most affordable, at $30 a month, are a big chunk of change that you could surely use for more lofty goals. And while the most expensive ones also offer things like saunas and in-house massage therapists, do you really use those services often enough to justify paying $500 or more a month?

Answer’s no, snowdrop. When you get right down to it, a gym membership is a great way to tell the world “My New Year’s Resolution was to lose ten pounds by going to the gym six days a week, but it’s February 10th and there’s a new season of Orange Is the New Black on Netflix and I’m too ashamed to cancel my gym membership so HERE WE ARE.”

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Buying the $7 Chocolate Bar

Buying the $7 Chocolate Bar

Last time I found myself in a high-end grocery store, I remember looking at the prices of everything and thinking “who the hell would buy a $7 chocolate bar?” Yesterday, I got my answer. And it was a pretty surprising one! It opened my eyes to a truth I’ve struggled for years to acknowledge.

I have a friend who is struggling with homelessness right now. She was in my house, staying for a spell while she looked for a permanent place to live. I watched her unpack her few belongings.

And there it was. Inside her purse was a large, rather expensive, luxury-brand $7 chocolate bar. She held it up and twiddled it back and forth in her hands, letting the silver foil catch the light.

“Sweetie, I’m homeless,” she said, very matter-of-fact. “You’d better believe I’m getting the good stuff.”

And boy was she making a great point.

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