Our beloved darlings of Tumblr ask the best questions. And we love answering them because the Tumblr kids are simply inspiring in their determination to get good at adulting. Some of our answers spin out into novel-length screeds on finance, feminism, and figuring shit out. And sometimes they ask us for help with the most quintessential financial problems. Like, how does one become financially secure before age 30?
What are your wise ways of making yourself financially secure before you hit 30? What’s the best way to start financially with limited experience as a 17-year-old who hasn’t any of the knowledge of what to do on her own?
The fact that you’re even thinking about this at age 17 means you win ALL THE AWARDS! Seriously, this is a great time to start prepping for your future. You’re way ahead of the game by even reading finance blogs. Let alone trying to get your shit together and become financially secure!
Here’s our step-by-step advice for a teenager to get financially secure by age 30.
It comes to you in a dream: ethereal voices, echoing through the fog of your resting mind. You toss and turn as you try to decipher their meaning. The voices are unspeakably beautiful, inspiring, gregarious… and it is then you know they are the voices of… the Bitches.
For it is they who bless the minds of young wanderers in the Land of Dreams! They who deliver divine inspiration directly to the soul so that upon waking, the listener is fortified with the knowledge to go forth and conquer the world.
You strain to hear. You yearn for their wisdom and sage advice. And at last you make out what they’re telling you:
“This is how you adult like a fucking champ…”
Readers, enjoy this masterpost of all our articles on living independently for the first time, so that you may learn to become your very own adult. For it’s the last you’ll hear from us for a while! That’s right: we’re taking our annual two-week summer vacation starting… now!
Don’t worry: we promise to come back better and bitchier than ever!
On the day my partner and I got married, I didn’t promise him much. Life is long. Uncertainty is its only certainty.
For poorer? In sickness? Forsaking all others? Until death?
I have questions. Why are we poor? Are we poor because capitalism sucks and robots took our jobs? Or poor because one of us hid a gambling addiction, and poured our life savings down a slot machine somewhere in Hollywood, Florida? Because those are pretty different things!
What sickness? All others? Because if I get a neurodegenerative disease, and I lose every memory of you, but you stay by my side, and the kind nurse (who has been with a long string of undeserving guys and who’s super pretty but doesn’t know she’s pretty) leans over to check my vitals, and compliments you on your unfaltering loyalty to me, and then your eyes meet, I do want you to kiss her. Details from my upcoming self-published romance novel to follow.
When comes the death? Who dies first? How different will we be? What kind of world will we live in? What will it cost me to keep these promises?
Obviously there is a pleasant future we’re aiming for where none of these mundane trials become marriage-ending events. But I am a realist. Life can change people, sometimes beyond recognition. I don’t make promises I can’t keep. So I would never promise to stay married to someone no matter what. And I would never expect a pledge from a partner that I myself am unwilling to give.
In the end, what we promised each other was this: “I will always enable your happiness.”
If we were happy together: mazel tov. If we were happy apart: so it goes.
That was a promise I knew I could keep. And it was the only one I wanted in return.
But I did make one other promise that day, this time to his parents. I took them by their shoulders, looked them square in the eyes, and gave them this pledge:
“I will take care of your son. You never need to worry about him ever again.”
Life is long. In theory, this means you have plenty of time and chances to fuck up, make mistakes, fix them, and get back on track.
And yet we’re surrounded by messages that instill the fear that if we don’t have our financial shit together by the age at which Warren Buffett was starting his prepubescent golf ball recovery empire, we’re doomed to a lifetime of grueling work and poverty.
In other words, if you don’t save $300,000 by the age of 30, you’re financially fucked for all eternity.
Many of the discouraging messages mean so, so well! Yet for the late bloomers, reading about thirty-year-old retirees and debt-free millennials can make it feel like they were late to the show and missed the main act.
And while I love savings and investment projections like this one for the purposes of setting goals… they can imbue the late bloomers among us with a sense of despair. For if you reach your thirties still knee-deep in debt and scrabbling at a meaningful career, it can seem like you’re already way too late. It can seem like it’ll take you forever to catch up. So why bother starting at all?
We got a question along these lines from an anonymous reader a little while back:
“Hi, Bitches. I’m so hooked on your material! Thank you so much for your dedication to financial literacy for us. My only issue is that I’m 26, so when I read through your material, I’m afraid I’ve made too many mistakes already or I’m too old to get on track to where you are. Any advice to us on the older side of this community?”
I’m going to let you in on a little secret, creampuff.
I, Piggy, Co-Bitch of Bitches Get Riches, was twenty-six when I started cracking down on my finances.
So in my book, you’re not late at all. You’re right on time.
Today, we’ll be tackling the second most annoying chore: doing the laundry. I understand that some parents still expect their children to do their own laundry, but they are rare. This is understandable given the surprisingly high stakes. Getting the laundry wrong can be a pretty bad situation, as we shall discuss below in moar embarrassing chores-gone-awry stories!
The result is a whole lot of young adults who don’t necessarily know what they’re doing in the laundry room. It’s okay, no judgements here. This article will give you the extremely zen vibe you need to succeed.
Step One: Don’t buy pain-in-the-ass clothes
I’m not precious about my clothing. Some people are, and there is nothing wrong with that, because clothing can be a large investment and an important expression of personal identity. If you really love your clothing and want to nurture them right, follow a more detailed guide like this one instead. Luxey knows her craft and everyone should listen to her.
My personal philosophy, which many of you probably relate to, is that high-maintaince clothing is not worth it. No matter how much I love something, I won’t buy it if it must be washed by vestal virgins and rinsed in the tears of a mermaid by the light of a gibbous quarter-moon. If I wear it frequently, it has to be easy to care for.
Bottom line, your clothing should suit your lifestyle, not the other way around. I can’t be the only person who owned a few dry-clean only things, and never chose to wear them because it meant adding an extra chore to my schedule. Which is very busy. With important things. Like pretending to be a space marine in my video games. Plus dry cleaners charge women more for no reason. So now I just don’t get those things, and we all live happily ever after.
Seat yourselves around the campfire, children, and I’ll tell you a tale of some grade-A dumbass sitcom shit I did when I was your age.
I spent the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college in the same town where my father lived. He had just moved in with my soon-to-be stepmother, leaving his bachelor pad vacant. He agreed to let me live there rent-free while the place was on the market, but part of our agreement was that I had to keep the place spotlessly clean and ready to be shown at a moment’s notice. It was a sweet deal and I took it.
One day my father alerted me that a couple would be stopping by to see it that very afternoon. No problemo! I decided the first thing I needed to do was wash the dishes.
In the past, I’d always washed dishes by hand, because I only used a plate or two at a time. But I had a bunch of drinking glasses accumulated, and I wanted to go vacuum and do other things, so I decided to use the dishwasher. I loaded it up the same way I had seen my parents do it. Then I looked around for a place to put the soap, and saw a little pop-open divot labeled “soap.” Feeling self-reliant, I squirted about half of a cup of dish soap into the machine, turned the dial to “normal wash,” and pressed the start button.
… Did you catch that?
Yep, I just told you that I squirted dish soap into the dishwasher. Yeah, like Dawn or some shit. Some of you already know what this punch line is going to be!
I went upstairs to make my bed and stash my small suitcase of belongings out of sight. When I came back downstairs ten minutes later, the entire first floor of the condominium had vanished. In its place was a sea of tiny, pearlescent soap bubbles. When I stepped into it, I disappeared up to my ankles. And god, the smell… the lemony fresh scent was like a brick wall where the bricks were also made of lemons.
Honestly, can you blame me? Doesn’t it make sense to put dish soap in the dish washer? I was nineteen years old and had never run a dishwasher in my life, which makes me sound awfully royal. To be fair to me, many adult responsibilities were foisted on me at a young age. But for whatever reason, this was one task my parents had always done for me. I’d loaded it, I’d unloaded it. But I’d never actually added the dishwasher liquid and run it.
Adults must use a vast set of skills to navigate their lives. Everybody has gaps in their learning. I don’t know a single adult who isn’t embarrassed over their inability to perform some “normal” menial task like driving, cooking, doing laundry, or filing taxes.
So today we’re kicking off a basic life skills category. If you missed this information at some point in your life, we’ll teach you how to do it with no shade and no shame. And if you already know all this stuff, who knows, your ass still might learn something! At the very least, you’ll be entertained by our adolescent failures.
On an unrelated note, I’ll also tell you how to get rid of five hundred square feet of bubbles in twenty minutes!
It’s the Younglings. The sweet children of winter who live in the wild, welcoming woods of Tumblr. They are wise beyond their years, eager for our advice, and willing to politely overlook the old-ass pop cultural references they don’t understand.
A very frequent question we get from them concerns the choosing of a future career path. For high-school-age kids, there’s a lot of pressure to articulate some kind of plan for what you want to study, and how you’d like to translate that into a job. It’s appallingly weird that we would set such questions to fifteen-year-olds! Especially given all the ways that we as a society fail to help them find the answer.
Bitch Nation, I have lovely news. My little brother just moved in with me!
He’s almost a full decade younger than me, and is graduating college a semester early. His final task before graduation is completing an internship, and it just so happens that he was accepted at one in my city. He’s crashing for the summer and filling the house with all sorts of dangerous new ideas. (Sports jerseys can be wall decor. WHO KNEW?)
As my whole being pulsates with prideful big sister vibes, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it was like to be twenty-one and living in a big city for the first time. If I could go back ten years, there’s so much I would tell myself to spare me time, heartache, and money. So if you notice a certain nostalgia creeping into my upcoming posts, that’s probably why!
I got tons of advice when I moved into my first apartment. Some friend or family member gifted me with the tiny toolbox I called Baby’s First Toolbox. It was the size of a slim binder and probably cost them $20.
And that $20 box of tools has saved me thousands of dollars over the last decade.
In the spirit of learning from the past and embracing the skills you need for the future, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite and least favorite tools for beginners. These tools assume you’re not super handy (yet), and that you have a very limited amount of both space and money.
Every one of the tools on the first half of this list can be purchased for less than $10, and they’re among the most ubiquitous finds at garage sales. Ask your parents and grandparents if they have extras they would give to you—because I’ve learned that part of being an adult is magically acquiring one new screwdriver every two years???
I don’t know what’s up with that. It’s like the tooth fairy, but even lamer.