Wallet Activism: Using Your Money for Good with Author Tanja Hester

“Do no harm” isn’t just for doctors anymore! When it comes to being a consumer, a member of society, we all should strive to do as little harm as possible. From reducing your carbon footprint to supporting ethical business and labor practices to eating environmentally sustainable food, the concept is generally known as “ethical consumption.” We cover some of these ideas here.

But what if we take it a step further? What if you incorporate ethics and doing-no-harm into every money decision you make in your life?

Well then, my Level 15 Social Justice Warrior, you’re talking about wallet activism.

Because I’ve recently developed an allergy to working too hard, I found an expert to explain the concept to y’all.

Wallet Activism: New book coming out next week

Enter Tanja Hester, author of the new book Wallet Activism: How to Use Every Dollar You Spend, Earn, and save as a Force for Change, out November 16th! Tanja’s magnum opus is packed with brain-changing information and actionable advice for using your money to make the world a better place.

Alert readers will recognize Tanja as the critically acclaimed (by us) genius behind the blog Our Next Life and her first book, Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way. Tanja spent 16 whole years as a consultant to Democratic politics and progressive cause campaigns, working on everything from renewable energy to healthcare for low-income families. Before that, she covered politics as a public radio journalist.

Tanja Hester, author of Wallet Activism and boss-ass bitch.
Tanja Hester, author of Wallet Activism and boss-ass bitch.

She’s been outspoken in personal finance media about the need to consider systemic barriers and opportunity gaps, rather than simply pushing already privileged people to accumulate more wealth. It’s part of why the New York Times called her “the matriarch of the women’s FIRE movement.”

In other words, her progressive activist bona fides are well in order. If anyone is going to out-social-justice-warrior me… it’s this bitch.

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The feminist financial handbook details how to work within the system to beat the game.

Bitchtastic Book Review: The Feminist Financial Handbook by Brynne Conroy

Gentle readers, it’s time we discussed the F-word.

It’s one we use often here on the blog, and it’s probably the most controversial part of Bitches Get Riches. It’s certainly the thing that brings us the most criticism crawling out of the woodwork of the Internet.

I’m talking, of course, about feminism. (What other F-word did you think I fucking meant?)

We firmly believe that personal finance has everything to do with feminism. This is partially because of super fun stuff like the wage gap, financial abuse, the opportunity gap, and other money inequities that have historically left women at an economic disadvantage.

But it’s also because feminism, at its core, is about equality. And one of the surest routes to equality—or at least equity—is by spreading around economic power to those for whom it’s been tantalizingly out of reach.

Enter the hot-off-the-presses book The Feminist Financial Handbook: A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Wealthy Life by Brynne Conroy.

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Here's what I learned.

Bitchtastic Book Review: The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan

Listen, it’s no secret we’re hardcore BFFs with The Financial Diet. They epitomize all that is good and just about financial blogging for millennial women, and they were one of our early influences in creating BGR. Plus, we have a monthly syndication deal.

What I’m saying is, if you’re looking for an unbiased review of Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage’s new book, The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money, based on their amazing website… you can fuck right off because this is not that review.

The Financial Diet The Book is a gorgeously designed, delightfully written boost of financial inspiration and motivation. Each chapter is a mix of personal narrative by Chelsea, interviews with experts, and super useful resources like checklists, recipes, and how-to guides.

While the website serves as an exhaustive resource for all financial topics under the sun, the book functions as a primer. It’s a shiny golden key to a mysterious door in the garden wall of all things #adulting and #girlboss.

Here’s what I learned.

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The Bitches Get Riches Annual Review and Soirée

‘Tis the season… for the Bitches to take a hiatus!

That’s right, my darlings. Your humble hosts are fucking tired as shit. So we’re going to take our own advice and go on a brief two-week hiatus for some R&R.

During this hiatus, we will be busily contemplating the mysteries of the universe and researching all things economic and adulty. That way, when we come back from our vacation in early January, we can continue to give you the same mildly useful, humorously tasteless, unrepentantly self-referential content you’ve come to expect from us.

Just kidding. We’ll mostly be doing this:

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The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander: A Bitchtastic Book Review

It’s no secret that I’m interested in economic injustice. That’s why I wax grumpy and bitter about things like gentrification, fast fashion, clean water, and environmentalism. But I have a lot to learn about the kind of systemic inequality that keeps some people down while others float above.

Which is why I read The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.

The premise of Alexander’s The New Jim Crow is simple on its surface. Since its inception, the War on Drugs has targeted Black and brown people at disproportionately high rates. This has led to a new racial caste system in the United States.

But of course, like anything to do with race in America, it’s far from simple. And Alexander seems to realize how far-fetched some might consider her findings because she spends, like, 20% of every chapter going “I know this sounds crazy but seriously, stick with me. Just look at this data.”

While I wasn’t completely ignorant of the racism inherent in our justice system before reading The New Jim Crow, I am now completely overwhelmed with new and damning knowledge. The insidious rules of the new Jim Crow state affect people socially and economically in disastrous, life-ruining ways. Through every stage of the justice process from arrest through trial, punishment, and release.

Here’s some of what I learned.

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The Library is a Magical Place and You Should Fucking Go There

The Library Is a Magical Place and You Should Fucking Go There

Back when I lived in a hippie commune with approximately nine humans and 37 dogs, I biked to the library on a regular basis. It was an easy way to keep myself in reading material without spending all of my meager paycheck on books.

As I was leaving one day, I asked one roommate if she wanted me to pick up anything at the library for her. Her response: “Is it free?”

Is it free? Is it free?

Let’s pretend for a minute that it’s not completely weird and unbelievable that an adult human being could grow up in the United States without ever having learned the first thing (literally, the very first thing) about the public library. Let’s also set aside the fact that this particular person was an English major! I’ll just state, definitively and for the record:

The library is fucking free, you fool. So why the hell wouldn’t you use it? Especially if you’re on a tight budget and trying to save money?

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