Update: Do I Have a Right To Know About My Partner’s Finances?

Friends, I come to you today breathless with excitement. Remember Anonymous Rex, the bitchling who wrote to us about their secretive significant other? The one whose partner was all like “I can know about your finances, but you can’t know about mine“? The one whose partner was most likely hiding something sketchy from Anonymous Rex, according to moi?

They wrote back.

And oh baby is it juicy:

Hey Bitches,

Anon with the cagey significant other here. Turns out they were alarmingly deep in debt, were not honest about how much they were working, and more. They were very upset about having to mention anything financial, and were pissed that I thought I had a right to know their personal matters.

So, I broke up with them. Not just because of the finance stuff, though it was definitely the straw that broke the camel’s back. And I feel freer and happier than I have in years. Which probably sounds really heartless, because you’re supposed to be all torn up about ending relationships, especially ones that are as serious as that one was, but… it’s true. I don’t know what it says about the relationship if when it ends, all you feel is overwhelming relief, but… that’s how I felt.

Thank you so much for your response to my question. It’s good to know that it isn’t crazy or invasive or unreasonable to want to know a significant other’s financial situation/how they handle their finances. I was beginning to think it was. I’ll keep that “personal finance is personal—not private” mantra in my head, going forward.

-Anonymous Rex again

No but in all seriousness it sucks to be vindicated in this way. The full-body orgasm I receive from being right about something is somewhat dampened by being right about bad shit happening.

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Life Insurance: Responsible Investment or Waste of Money?

I didn’t understand anything about life insurance until I was in my late twenties. I’d just started a small blog with a friend (you wouldn’t have heard of it), and it was unclear how many people were reading it. Until one day, when a shocking email arrived in our inbox. A company wanted to give us money to recommend a product.

The product was life insurance.

Jess (that’s Piggy to the uninitiated) and I regarded this offer with the confused-yet-intrigued energy of hungry fish watching a worm wriggle on a hook. Obviously we hadn’t had the audacity to make a preemptive affiliate marketing policy. Life insurance sounded like the kind of thing responsible adults should have, right? And it would be cool to offset the cost of running the site, wouldn’t it? We agreed to take a few days and devote our shower thoughts to the idea.

Like many a wise rainbow trout, we decided against the hook. No matter who you are, easy money is always a fat and juicy temptation. But we agreed we’d rather run the blog at a loss than sell random crap to our readers. Happy with this decision, we sat down to our inbox to find two more unsolicited affiliate offers.

These products were also life insurance.

In the years since, they’ve never stopped coming. We get a new one at least once a month. Now, we have the experience to understand why life insurance companies are so eager to pay bloggers to rep their stuff. Today, we’ll permanently burn that bridge by explaining how it works—and why we think most life insurance isn’t worth it for the majority of our readers.

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Ask the Bitches: Do I Have a Right To Know the Private Details of My Partner’s Finances?

When we started Bitches Get Riches, we thought we’d be writing mostly about paying off student loans and building credit scores. And to be fair, we’ve done a lot of that! But more and more we find ourselves coming for Dear Prudence’s job. Because it turns out handling finances within a romantic relationship is hella complicated! And sometimes we get a question about financial transparency among partners that does us a concern.

Like this one:

Hey bitches! I know personal finance is personal, but if your significant other is being cagey about their finances even after you’ve been together for years and want to move in together/get married, is this a red flag? I don’t expect them to disclose all their spending habits or whatever, because yeah, personal finance is personal. But I feel like it’s reasonable to want to know what their income is and how much debt they have, especially if they know those things about you and you’re planning on a life together. Those things affect the rent you can afford and all sorts of stuff. But they act like I’m unreasonable and invasive for wanting to know, which makes me wary.

Anonymous Rex
Lack of financial transparency... scares me.

You’re right to be wary. And you’re definitely not being unreasonable. Let’s unpack this suitcase of red flags.

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If Your Employer Refuses to Negotiate Salary, Try These 11 Creative Counteroffers

If Your Employer Refuses To Negotiate Salary, Try These 11 Creative Counteroffers

Have you ever gotten yourself all hyped-up and battle-ready to ask for more money—only to learn your employer REFUSES to negotiate salary?

This happened to me when I was a young professional. I went for a role at a company that tied its job offers to intelligence test scores. (This is not a normal or cool thing to ask, by the way. It’s elitist, ableist, racist, irrelevant, and indicative of really bad leadership. Alas that I was young, dumb, and living on breadcrumb…s.) The recruiter warned me in advance that this employer refused to negotiate salary beyond their initial offer.

Now, the joke was on them! I’m one of those people who needs to make an L-shape with her fingers to tell left from right. And once hired, I’m about as biddable as Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron. But if you put a test in front of me, I’m gonna destroy it. So by their own stupid system, they were forced to offer me an absurdly high sum. My salary doubled overnight. Although I hated that job and left after six months, it was the best job transition I’ve ever made.

All of which is to say: if a potential employer refuses to negotiate salary, it doesn’t mean that their offer is bad. Internal policies far more benign than the one I just described dictate salary offers. Some employers have a strict system for salaries based on tenure, experience, performance, or job title. Others must adhere to government guidelines or union rules regarding fair salaries.

It also doesn’t mean that the conversation is over. You can ask for so much more than money! When an employer refuses to negotiate salary, they’re giving you leverage to ask for other things. Today, I’ll give you a few ideas for creative counteroffers that will make your life better and sweeten any job transition. Even better, I’ll suggest some simple scripts you can follow to maximize your chances that they’ll say “yes.”

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When It Comes to Salary Negotiations, Are You Asking for Enough?

“Oh god, oh god, the hiring manager just asked me about my salary requirements” is a text I’ve gotten a dozen times from friends and coworkers over the years. For a young professional, it’s usually the most fraught moment in the entire hiring process.

And for good reason! How you handle salary negotiations has enormous financial consequences. The right answer can catapult you forward… and the wrong one can set you back years.

How do you know that the number you’re asking for is within the right salary range? And how do you start off on the right foot while negotiate your starting salary? Fear not, my children, for we are here with some tips that will help you make sure you’re not selling yourself short.

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Join Us for “Burning the Bootstrap Mentality” at the 2023 Plutus Impact Summit

Join Us for “Burning the Bootstrap Mentality” at the 2023 Plutus Impact Summit

Kitty will be speaking at the Plutus Impact Summit on September 21-22, 2023. Sign up to attend here!

I have a confession. Piggy and I have been doing a lot of speaking in the past year. But you haven’t seen it, because they’ve been private events and conferences. This reveals a hypocrisy at the core of Bitches Get Riches. We pretend to be women of integrity and bravery, and yap on and on about inclusivity n’ shit, but the cold facts are these:

  1. We’re too cowardly to ask for a +10,000 on those invites.
  2. We wanted to minimize competition over drink tickets and/or cheese boards. Excuse me. I woke up early and brushed my hair. Those Bud Lights and sweating cubes of cheddar on a toothpick are obviously MINE.

But all of that is going to change! Because I’ll be speaking at the Plutus Impact Summit, and you can come too!*

It’s a virtual event running on the afternoons of Thursday and Friday, September 21 and 22. Tickets are dirt cheap, and the first 150 people to register will get a free copy of keynote speaker Farnoosh Torabi’s latest book, A Healthy State of Panic.

The Plutus Foundation is one of our very favorite organizations. They’re a nonprofit dedicated to the financial education of everyone—emphasis on the everyone. Honestly, they’ve done more than anyone we know to spotlight diverse new voices within the personal finance space. They’ve consistently rejected the traditional “suck it up, anyone can do it if they buy apartment buildings instead of food” bullshit we so loathe, and challenged the community to dig deeper and do better.

Given that, it’s no surprise they asked me to join a session called Burning the Bootstrap Mentality alongside Rich Jones and Kevin Payne. LORD, send us MILK, for this panel is going to be SPICY, and I cannot WAIT!

You can see the full agenda here. All of this year’s speakers are undeniably incredible. The lineup includes many of the people we love best and respect most. We’ll plant our lovely asses in the audience for every session. And if the topics interest you too, we hope you’ll join us!

*Tragically, because this is a virtual event, you will have to provide your own Heinekens and crudités + elegant tub of ranch dressing.

Learning To Reverse the Golden Rule

As we mentioned in our last article, Kitty and I recently taught a workshop on burnout. We did a ton of research around it. Obviously, we already knew that burnout sucks and is bad (not our hottest take, historically). But that research led us to a much deeper, scarier understanding of exactly how widespread and devastating burnout really is. It’s the difference between knowing how big a blue whale is because Google told you, and knowing how big a blue whale is because it’s rising up from the water beneath you.

The causes of burnout aren’t straightforward. A variety of cultural, organizational, and individual traits work together to burn a person out. Although bigger structural issues deserve the lion’s share of blame, individual struggles with perfectionism, breakneck compulsory productivity, and a cruel inner voice appear in story after story.

I recognize those struggles in the stories we’ve heard from readers. And from many personal friends and loved ones. And from my coblogger, Kitty.

But most especially, from myself.

Today I’m discussing why I hold myself to a higher standard than I hold everyone else. I want to think about how to let go of this unhealthy habit and start treating myself with more kindness and compassion. And since I know this is something I’m profoundly Not Alone in, I’ll share what I’ve learned.

Note: I talk about suicidal ideation and post-traumatic stress in this post. If you don’t feel ready for those topics, maybe skip this one! And if you struggle with suicidal thoughts, please call 988 for help and resources from the Suicide and Crisis Hotline.*

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How Abusive Workplaces Mirror Abusive Relationships

How Abusive Workplaces Mirror Abusive Relationships

Note: Today’s discussion is about abusive workplaces, abusive relationships, and the common ground between the two. We will talk about high-control relationship models, power imbalances, and manipulation tactics. But we’re not telling any harrowing first-person stories, nor talking about physical or sexual violence. If those are topics you need help navigating, we have an article dedicated to workplace sexual harassment, and another on intimate partner financial abuse.

Earlier this year, Piggy and I delivered a speech on the subject of burnout. That there’s an appetite for advice on this subject among women’s professional associations will, perhaps, not shock you?

As I was researching the impact that burnout has on the body, I got an eerie feeling that the symptoms seemed familiar. I wondered if I’d already written something on this topic and forgotten. (We’ve written several hundred articles apiece, so it happens!)

But no! What was tripping my extremely faulty memory triggers wasn’t a past article about burnout.

It was a past article on domestic violence.

This really got me thinking about all the stories I’ve heard from you, our readers, about burnout. And I started noticing disturbing patterns in the ways those stories were told. As a result, I’ve come to a stronger opinion about the overlap between the psychology of abusive workplaces and abusive relationships.

… Which is that they’re functionally identical.

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The Truth About Unions: What Has Organized Labor Done for You?

IT’S A STRIKE!

Keen-eyed readers who do not dwell under rocks might be aware that two large unions–the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild–have recently joined forces in a massive labor strike. Their terms are simple: better pay through more equitable distribution of profits, and assurance that they will not be replaced by robots.

Given that this is the first time since the 1960s that the WGA and SAG have gone on strike together… it’s a big fucking deal. And they’re not alone! Across the country strikes and labor negotiations are popping up among auto workers, fast food workers, UPS workers, nurses, hotel workers, and more.

Our awesome Patreon donors therefore requested we answer this question…

What’s the deal with unions? Because I’ve heard they’re amazing, corrupt, empowering, exploitative, equalizing, and expensive. What’s the truth?

Let me answer this question the way I answer most things: by starting with a tangent on a totally unrelated topic, until it suddenly isn’t! (It’s kinda My Thing.)

It’s toasted!

Do you know when cigarette smoking among Americans peaked? It was in 1963. How about when we first got pretty solid evidence that smoking caused lung cancer? It was thirteen years earlier, in 1950.

Thirteen years is a long dang time! If people knew it was a health risk, why did so many not only continue to smoke, but begin smoking who hadn’t before?

The main culprit is the tobacco industry’s social engineering. Which is to say: their deliberate, coordinated campaign of disinformation.

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Our Final Word on Student Loan Forgiveness

I’m boldly labeling today’s post our final update on student loan forgiveness in America.

Yes, I could seal the deal by titling it “Final FINAL Update On Student Loan Forgiveness V2_2.” But that feels unnecessary. It’s implied.

We’ve written a lot about student loan forgiveness. As a campaign promise, we loved it, but had zero faith it would ever happen. When the pandemic hit and it improbably grew legs, we were shocked and elated—though still skittish. After all, it had been so long since we had unreservedly great news to share with our readers. Like a houseplant that’s been given too little water, too much water, too little sunlight, or too much sunlight, the politically optimistic part of our brains withered and turned brown years ago!

Even as the policy details came out and the application for student loan forgiveness went live, we kept nervously casting about for the cameras recording our joy for a cruel prank show.

And sure enough, we stand before you today, picking banana cream pie out of our hair.

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