"Should I believe the fear-mongering about another recession?"

Season 1, Episode 12: “Should I Believe the Fear-Mongering about Another Recession?”

Today we conclude season one of the Bitches Get Riches podcast. Because twelve is a lovely number. So flexible, so inviting. Two digits, but still approachable. It’ll divide by two, three, four, six… you know. Whatever! Twelve goes with the flow. It’s pansexual, it works from home, and we stan it.

Season one was a labor of love. We scripted, recorded, and edited it ourselves. Piggy even wrote and recorded our opening song. (YES! That’s Piggy singing and self-harmonizing! Thank you for respecting her Rennaisance Personhood!) It was definitely the endeavor that pushed BGR from “time-intensive hobby” into “second full-time job” territory. Which is why we’re taking a short break. But we think it was worth it, and we hope you do too!

Our final question of season one comes from Patreon donor Madi (thank you, dearie!), who wants to know…

Today’s question

Should I believe the fear-mongering about a possible recession?

– Patron Madi

We referenced a few of our articles in this episode. Here’s further reading for our overachieving and/or prepper readers (two demographics we love and hold dear):

Get your question onto season two

We are currently collecting questions for next season! So if you’ve never submitted a question before, now is an excellent time to do it! We take questions from everyone… but Patreon donors get their questions moved to the top of the pile, wink wink! No question is too big, too small, or too filled with complicated friend-and-family drama. We want to cover the broadest range of topics we can under the umbrella of finance, feminism, and fuck-not-givery.

In recognition of the crucial role our supporting donors played in sponsoring the podcast, we’re also adding two new Patreon rewards. Everyone who donates $4 or more also gets their name read on the show. $12 or more gets your name on the show with an original hand-crafted artisanal compliment.

… Which is guaranteed to be factually true! We don’t need to meet you to know—for example—that you have strong, shiny hair and the scientific literacy needed to understand the whole brontosaurs/allosaurus controversy. We can just tell, okay? Trust us.

Episode transcript (click to reveal)

Kitty  0:00
Hello fellow Bitches. Kitty here with a quick programming note. This episode will be the final episode of Season One of the Bitches Get Riches podcast. We’re going to take a short programming break, but don’t worry, we will be back with more dank nugs of adulting wisdom and if you only listen to the podcast whoa, what are you doing?

We’re still cranking out articles every week on BitchesGetRiches.com. I want to thank some folks who have joined the Bitch Nation on Patreon since our Christmas spectacular. In addition to Aaron, Christina, Alaina, Kim, Amy, Lynette, Trent, Megan, Jamie and a host of Baby Bitches, I want to recognize Chris who has the compassionate heart of Aslan the Lion, Gloria who is as cute as a baby swiss valais blacknose sheep, Samantha who can gracefully walk across a ventilation grate in the tallest of shoes without ever getting the heel stuck, and Catherine who is wise enough to spot a fake Marilyn Monroe quote, yet zen enough to let it go without leaving a comment about how “she never really said that”, because you know what? People need hope and inspiration in these dark times and it doesn’t matter if it’s misattributed if it makes them happy. Catherine knows that.

We ran Season One of this podcast without a producer or an editor, or any kind of professional help. Maybe that shows – we did it ourselves with duct tape and we really loved it, but all of the extra work took us away from family and recreation and dogs and food and basically all the good things in life that are important to us that aren’t working.

So to make Season Two happen, we’re probably going to need to hire some freelancers to come in and help us out, which is a wild thing to think about doing because we still don’t pay ourselves. The cobbler’s children have no cobbler!

We say it all the time, but we are extremely appreciative of our Patreon donors. Corporations and big financial companies really, really want to pay us to recommend all sorts of useless crap to you guys and as the site has gotten more popular, and our hosting costs kept rising, Piggy and I kind of had a crisis about how we were going to make this project work without bankrupting ourselves, or betraying the ideals that had led us to start the site in the first place, and we hoped that since we were trying to help people, maybe some of those people would help us right back. And as of today, we have 180 Patreon donors who have done exactly that.

So thank you donors from the bottom of our cold dead hearts. If you like what we do, and you want us to keep doing it, please consider joining us on Patreon. The more donors we have, the easier it will be for us to get started on Season Two. Okay, here’s the show.

Theme Song 3:01
If you need some dough
You don’t know where to go
In this patriarchal capitalist hellscape
Well here’s the ‘sitch
We’re gonna help you, sis
Because bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
And so can you

Kitty 3:32
Boy, let me tell ya, I look forward to the era of video games, where there isn’t a built in expectation that you can’t get your money’s worth for a AAA title if you have less than, like 120 hours worth of content, because the map is littered, LITTERED with these little icons that say, “oh, bitch, there’s a treasure chest over here. Why don’t you walk your ass over here and get it?” And before you even get there, you already know there’s going to be like $14 and a cracker inside of it, like it’s worthless. It’s worthless garbage. But seeing them on the map drives me crazy because the icons go away as soon as you’ve picked it up. So I just feel like I’m tidying up inside of this video game that’s supposed to be fun.

Piggy  4:14
So, fair. My husband is playing Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey right now, which like he loves and he says it’s all the best parts of Black Flag plus some other stuff. But like he’s been playing it for two months, which is the longest I’ve ever seen him play any video game. He’s very much a achieve the main quest, stop playing person, whereas I do want to open every fucking treasure chest like I do want to finish every side quest because that’s just who I am as a person, which is why I’m perpetually eight years behind on games. But if you were annoyed by the scope of Black Flag, like Odyssey is probably not for you. Although you can choose a male or female player character.

Kitty  4:53
I do appreciate that and I’ve heard good things about it in general, but I’m just like, I feel like now more so than when I was like a high school student or like in grade school, you’d have the summers and I’d just play any old piece of shit. I’d read any crappy novel like, and I just keep going and never quit things but now I’m like, I’ve realized that I am mortal, and that I need to get the most out of the time I have set aside for enjoying things, but for some reason I can’t stop playing this game even though I think I hate it. I got to do all the things on my to do list. I gotta get the little icons off of there. I gotta go get my $14 and my cracker!

Piggy  5:35
You gotta do all the things! No, I definitely think that there is something to be said for like life is too short for bad entertainment, which is why if you’re reading a book and you don’t like it, you should stop.

Kitty  5:48
I can’t.

Piggy  5:48
You should definitely not read the second book in the series, which is what people told me to do when I was like Patrick Rothfuss is shit and the Name of the Wind is like a piece of crap.

Kitty  6:00
Oh my god.

Piggy  6:01
Shitty book that I wouldn’t even wipe my ass with and they’re like “oh well you should read the second one” and I’m like why would I do that? I did not enjoy the first one! Why would I fucking do that?

Kitty  6:11
People loved telling me that the last Final Fantasy started to get really good about 30 hours in and I was like, “Are you JOKING?”

Piggy  6:20
That is 30 hours you will never get back!

Kitty  6:22
Do you know what I could do in 30 hours?

Piggy  6:24
So much. So many things.

Kitty  6:26
I could rescue a child who had been pinned under a car with my hysterical adrenaline strength and that would only take like 10 minutes max.

Piggy  6:40
A minute.

Kitty  6:40
Like even if you wait for the ambulance to come and you make sure he’s all right and then you let the mom be like “thank you!” and falling your arms and weeping and I still have so much time left over. I am not getting you 30 hours.

Piggy  6:54
You can use 29 minutes or 29 hours and 15 minutes to play the Last of Us, which is a great video game.

Kitty  7:01
That is a great video game.

Piggy  7:02
Right? Hmm. So good.

Kitty  7:06
Anyway, I guess we’re doing a podcast that isn’t about video games and our thoughts about how boring they are occasionally.

Piggy  7:13
That’s a major discrepancy, but go on.

Kitty  7:16
Anyway, I’m Kitty.

Piggy  7:17
And I’m Piggy!

Kitty  7:18
And we are the Bitches in Bitches Get Riches.

Piggy  7:21
We’re two mean joyless internet feminists!

Kitty  7:24
We’re here to beat you up with FACTS!

Piggy  7:27
But our time on this planet is limited.

Kitty  7:29
So let’s get started.

Piggy  7:31
Today’s letter comes from Patreon daughter Maddie.

Kitty  7:34
Thank you, Maddie. You have all of the mysterious allure of Sailor Pluto.

Piggy  7:42
Ooh wow that isn’t a plus compliment right there.

Kitty  7:45
She’s alluring.

Piggy  7:46
Alright, so Maddie writes, “Should I believe the fear mongering about a possible recession?”

Kitty  7:54
A very good question and a question I think we get a lot. You know, something to keep in mind about the media is that especially the way that the media is structured now, it’s around clickbait. And they want you to open things. And they know that articles that have a headline about “Oh, is a recession coming?”. Like, those are the kinds of things that people always open. And when you start to see more and more of them, you think that there must be something to it. That is kind of the way that humans think about things. When you start to hear something a couple of times, it must mean that it’s true. And I think there’s not much to that. Piggy, you just did an article about this. Why don’t you talk a little bit about this?

Piggy  8:44
I sure did! Yeah, so I highly recommend you go over to our main site, which is BitchesGetRiches.com, and look up the two parter we just wrote, or three parter actually. We wrote about recessions. So we started out by explaining the history of the 2008 recession. And then we move forward to, you know, what do you do in the event of a recession? And is there one looming on the horizon? And the answer is yes because recessions are cyclical, or the economy in general is cyclical. Recessions, they gonna happen. Like boom and bust periods are gonna happen. If you worry over every little dip in the market, you’re gonna drive yourself nuts. You might as well just put your tinfoil hat on now, stuff your money in your mattress, and like that’s your life now. So I would say in general, like we can’t worry over every recession, because the one that happened 2008 and the one that happened in what 1929, when was the great depression? Anyway, that was a recession.

Kitty  9:47
Actually, I think you’re right.

Piggy  9:48
1929? Wow, I just pulled that out of my ass.

Kitty  9:50
I think so.

Piggy  9:52
Yeah, so the 2008 recession and the Great Depression of 1929, those are outliers. Those are major market dips that happen apparently every 90 years or so. They can happen with more frequency, but that kind of giant recession, it’s rare. And go ahead and knock on wood. I’m doing so right now, I hope I’m not jinxing us, but, in general, the kind of earth shattering recession that ruins lives and literally kills people is not something that comes around on a regular basis.

Kitty  10:30

Piggy  10:31
What does come around on a regular basis is kind of a mini recession, and we definitely have one of those coming up.

Kitty  10:37
Yeah. I think first of all, I think it was really a bold choice of you to knock when we all have dogs who are easily tricked into thinking that us knocking on wood is the mailman.

Piggy  10:48
Here, let’s see if I can get him to do something. Oh, he just looked at me. He’s like, “why are you knocking?”

Kitty  10:56
Everyone if you would like to stalk us, evidently our dogs will not protect us if you knock before you enter. So the thing about recessions is like a lot of those sort of clickbaity, fear mongering articles, you know, news segments that you’re seeing…

Piggy  11:16
“If you invest now you will die!”

Kitty  11:18
You know why is this person saying this? Like, what’s in it for them? And a lot of the times I think you will find that that message is coming from someone who wants you to invest your money. The main thing you have to worry about when a recession happens, especially if you are young or you work in a kind of vulnerable position is job loss. Job loss is a pretty horrible thing. Trying to find a job in moments of high unemployment is really, really scary.

Piggy  11:50
Yeah, absolutely. We do need to take a moment to address the concept that recessions can be good thing. Let me just be very clear. Our position is that recessions aren’t a good thing. They are not. People are hurt by recessions. The most vulnerable people are the ones who are hurt by any kind of economic change for the worse. Now, there are some in the halls of personal finance, which we tend to haunt, that say that recessions can be a good thing because if you’re financially solvent and you’ve got all your money ducks in a row, you can really profit from a recession. You know, for example, one of the things that happens in recession is housing prices go down. So, if you have a bunch of money sitting around that you would love to spend on an investment property that you can then rent out for a profit and sell when the market goes back up, you can really profit from that recession. That’s great. That’s lovely for you and a lot of other financial writers will spend an inordinate amount of time talking about how you can make this work for you. And it’s just further reasoning about like, why you should be financially solvent, which like no one’s arguing is a bad idea like you should have emergency funds, you should have money saved up for the event of losing your job. But let’s face it, a lot of people don’t. And they gain nothing from people celebrating a recession. And I would argue that compassion is the better part of valor in this case, and we should be focusing on the people who are not going to get through the recession okay. Which, comes back to Maddie, our question asker.

Kitty  13:36
Yeah. When I think about how you want to prepare for a recession, it’s pretty much the same way that I would think about “what are you going to do when it rains?” You can prepare for it. You can put on a rain jacket, you can wear your duck boots or whatever the hell you got, but you can’t make it stop. The reality is just the markets go up, markets go down. In the capitalist society that we live in today, that’s just the reality of how things go. But at the end of the day, like, it’s going to happen and if you are thinking about it to the point where you’re like really fretting about it or being anxious or worried about it, like really take this from us non-expert experts that it’s just not worth it. It will take happiness and joy out of your life and it will not make you any more prepared. It’s just gonna happen.

Piggy  14:35
Exactly. Which is why like, being prepared is a way to not be so afraid. If you have an emergency fund, if you have multiple income streams, or if you’re really secure in your employment, those are all great ways to not have to worry about a recession. Those are all great ways to kind of let it happen and let the water roll off your back like you’re made of duck feathers or whatever that saying is, but you shouldn’t listen to the fear mongering if you have taken steps to prepare yourself for a financial emergency, which is basically what a recession is.

Kitty  15:13
Yeah. If you ask yourself, “Have I done all that a reasonable person in my position could do to prepare?” And the answer is, “I think so.” Girl, you’re good. Like, don’t sweat it. It’s gonna happen. You’ll get through it.

Piggy  15:32
Exactly.I will say that, like, you know, she should believe the fear mongering in that a possible recession is coming and economists suspect it’s going to occur towards the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, so like, yeah, like economic downturns happen. That’s just a fact. Should she believe the fear mongering about how it’s going to plunge us into a post-apocalyptic hellscape in which people are hoarding guns and rain barrels and fighting their neighbors for limited resources? Probably not.

Kitty  16:05
Okay. So we did an article a while back about preparing for a recession, and we basically boil it down to there’s about 10 things that we think you can do. The first thing you can do is tame your anxiety with a plan. Having a plan will make you feel like you are more in control of what’s going to happen to you to the extent that you can control it, which is not all that much. Second thing you do is start tracking your spending now. It’s really, really easy to lose track of how much money you’re spending, but to get a really good idea of your financial picture, just start using Mint or start using whatever app your bank is pushing on you that will help you cut down on the sort of guesswork and the gut feelings and get you kind of cold hard data for how much money you need. Third thing is to beef up your emergency fund. That’s kind of a no brainer. The fourth is to pay off any outstanding debts that you have that you can. It’s much easier to go into a recession without debts then to go in with them. It just means you have fewer bills.

Piggy  17:14
Keep in mind, we are two graduates of the class of 2009 with student loans at a time so we know what we’re saying…

Kitty  17:23

Piggy  17:23
When we talk about going into a recession with debt.

Kitty  17:25
Yeah, guys, it was dark. That was a bad time.

Piggy  17:29
Those were the dark times.

Kitty  17:31
Sixth thing is to get a credit card or increase your credit limit now. A lot of times when the economy goes into recession mode credit freezes up, it’s harder for you to get a credit card if you don’t already have one, it’s harder for you to bump your limit up if you do. So, go ahead and do that now. Kind of you know, make hay while the sun shines on that one just so that you have more options. If, you know, if you need to say utilize your emergency fund now you can use that new credit card as a backup to that emergency fund. It’s not ideal, but, hey, you know that’s what they’re there for.

Piggy  18:04
Any port in a storm.

Kitty  18:05
Exactly. Something else is to get your health in order. This I think is really critical if you have a job now and for some fucking reason we still do our health insurance through jobs in this horrible country, go get your annual exam done, get your teeth cleaned, get everything checked out if there’s anything that you’re like, “I’ve been wondering if I should get somebody to look at this mole,” like, go check it out now. Because what you don’t want is to lose your job, lose health insurance, and then find out that something you could have had checked out earlier is now sort of rearing its head at the worst possible time. Eighth thing is to identify ways to save money before you actually need to. This is part of making a plan. If I lose my job and I need to suddenly spend $600 less every month than I do right now, where am I going to get that money from? If you go in with those ways already identified, it’s going to make you feel more empowered about what you would do in a financial emergency. Alright, let’s see, we’re almost at the end here. Broaden your skill set. If you are concerned that you are in a job or role that’s kind of vulnerable, or maybe, especially if you’re like the youngest person on the team, not in terms of age, but in in terms of tenure, oftentimes, those are the first people to go when a company is hit hard and needs to cut jobs, things like that. If you know you’re in a vulnerable position, see if you can do more to make yourself a really vital member of the team by learning new skills or you know, doing whatever you can to make it so that you’re not easily replaced. Back up your work files. Anything, like for me, I live and die on my portfolio and if I just came into work one morning and they said, “Come with us, we’re going to take you to a windowless room where we will inform you that you have been fired and then escort you off the premises,” which I’m told us basically how it works, which is terrifying, you want to make sure that on a regular basis, you’re sending your own stuff back to your personal email account or into your personal files. If your company is like, “Hey you’re not allowed to do that” fucking do it anyway because you need to eat. Fuck them. And the last thing is to just stay the course like don’t allow the anxiety of the what if to take joy out of your life. Ultimately what’s going to happen is going to happen. It’s a lot like worrying about when a hurricane or a tornado is going to come. It’s like, it is gonna come, but we don’t know when and all we can do is be as prepared as a reasonable person could be and then we figure it out afterwards.

Piggy  21:08
Yeah, absolutely.

Kitty  21:10
Well, are you happy with that?

Piggy  21:11
I am happy with that.

Kitty  21:13
Awesome. Well, listeners, if there is a question you would like for us to answer go to BitchesGetRiches.com and click Ask The Bitches.

Piggy  21:21
And there’s really only one way to guarantee that will actually answer your question and that is become a Patreon donor!

Kitty  21:26
If you like what we do and you want us to keep going, PLEASE become a Patreon donor and support us with whatever donation amount you’re comfortable with. We don’t need a lot, a small donation is fine.

Piggy  21:37
And we also have a merch store where you can buy t-shirts and printable worksheets and mugs and more.

Kitty  21:43
Finally, there are some free things you can do to say thanks. Please rate and review us on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, whatever you use. It pumps us up in the charts and makes it easier for others to find us. You can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest and subscribe to our articles so that you never miss a new one. And you can do all of that at BitchesGetRiches.com.

Piggy  22:02
So, is there anything else they should know?

Kitty  22:06
Yes, this is important. I’m really into a certain genre of joke right now.

Piggy  22:11
Oh boy. Oh boy.

Kitty  22:11
I’mma hit you with two quick examples.

Piggy  22:14
Oh great. Hit me!

Kitty  22:15
Men spend too much time looking at WiFi and not enough looking into their wife’s eyes.

Piggy  22:23

Kitty  22:26
I got another one. I got another!

Piggy  22:27
That was terrible.

Kitty  22:30
People want to talk about mansplain, yet they don’t want to hear about man’s pain.

Piggy  22:37
Oh my FUCKING god.

Kitty  22:39
This is absolutely my favorite genre joke right now.

Piggy  22:44
Oh no, no!

Kitty  22:44
And I would like to find more so PLEASE if you know these tweets are out there you know the kind of joke I’m going after I would really love to find more.

Piggy  22:51
Submit them by email through Kitty@BitchesGetRiches.com.

Kitty  22:56
No! Tag it on Twitter because that means that Piggy will see it first and I want her to bathe in the joy and the light that is these FANTASTIC jokes.

Piggy  23:14
Good to know. Bitches out.

Kitty  23:14
Bitches out!

Piggy  23:17
You’re a bad person.

Huge thanks to Purple at A Purple Life for her help creating these transcripts!

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