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In this episode, filmed in July 2021, Chelsea sits down with Bachelor Nation's Bekah Martinez to talk about the reality TV to influencer pipeline, what reality TV actually pays, and more behind-the-scenes insights from her time on The Bachelor.

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Hello, everyone and welcome back to a brand new episode of The Financial Confessions.

It is me, your host, founder and CEO of The Financial Diet, Chelsea Fagan. I'm also a person who just loves talking about money and today the kind of money we are talking about is one of our most hotly requested subjects for basically all three seasons of The Financial Confessions.

As a lot of you guys know, I am a bit of a watcher of reality television although I have to be honest before bringing on our guest that I haven't personally been a big follower of The Bachelor universe although to say several of our employees are devotees would be an understatement. There is always Bachelor Nation. Is that what you guys call yourselves?

There's always Bachelor Nation discourse happening in the company Slack and I'm generally sort of like passively aware of what's going on in the zeitgeist. And obviously, for those of you who saw it-- and if you didn't, I'll link you in the description-- we did do a video a deep dive all about the finances of that particular show for which I did, obviously, some research. But I've wanted for a while to talk to someone who's actually been through the experience themselves and who is both willing and able to talk about it from a financial perspective.

Quite frankly, most reality TV people just don't, whether that's because they don't think of it through a financial lens or they don't want to talk about the finances. I have a feeling it's probably often the latter. But in any case, our guest today is someone who we saw openly talking about the finances of her time on the show and after the show as well from a financial perspective.

So I knew I had to get her on the show and lo and behold, she accepted. So without further ado, my guest today is contestant from season 22 of The Bachelor. She is also co-host of the Chatty Broads podcast and she is a 26-year-old mother of two, an absolute sensation on Instagram.

I could go on but I won't. Bekah Martinez. Hello.

Almost as good the second time. OK. So welcome.

Thank you for coming. Yeah. And be willing to talk money.

Yeah, I'm excited. I think it's really fun because a lot of people don't to talk about-- what is it they say? Like sex, money, and death or death, sex, and-- Politics, religion, that kind of stuff.

But that's like the stuff of life and I feel like everyone's lives revolve around making and spending money, whether or not that's your goal. And so I think people should be more open and get more honest about it. Well, I obviously agree with that.

So you were on season 22 of The Bachelor, as I mentioned. When was that? So we filmed in 2017.

It aired in 2018. What was that like financially? Oh my god.

Well, so one thing that people are always shocked about but you probably won't be shocked since it sounds like you've done some research before, is that most reality TV contestants don't get paid-- can I curse? Don't get paid-- They don't get paid [BLEEP]. They don't get paid [BLEEP].

No per diem. Well, for The Bachelor at least. I can't speak for other shows but no per diem, no nothing.

And The Bachelor you can potentially be on for anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks. So when you're asked to go on the show, you're taking on a two month financial burden. A lot of times you have to quit your job because how many people's jobs are going to let you be gone for 2 and 1/2 months unless they're avid watchers, fans of the show, which some of the girls that I was on the season with, their work was totally like, go.

Don't worry. We want to see you on TV. It'll be fine.

I was a nanny. Right. And so that was not going to work.

And for most people I think that's the case. So you have to quit your job and then you are gone for potentially two months while still having to pay rent, car payments, whatever else you have. So it's kind of a lot to undertake.

For me, I was only 22 at the time and I had done some traveling the summer before so I had spent like what little savings I had saved up. And so when I went on the show, I pretty much had to quit my job and the money that I had was for I'd say like three or four months of living expenses and you also have to-- my god, for wardrobe they don't give you any specific directions other than basically bring clothes for every type of occasion and every type of weather for like two months. Wow.

So your entire wardrobe, essentially. Yeah, and makeup and hair stuff. They don't provide any of that, which that's not that big of a deal but for the clothes, I don't know about you, but I didn't have any evening gowns or real cocktail dresses or anything of that sort.

Yeah, I don't think I have evening gowns. Yeah. Yeah.

And even cocktail dresses, I had some fancy tops and maybe a nice skirt or two. But when you're talking about these super fancy rose ceremonies and elaborate dates and cocktail parties, all of that, oh my god, you could spend thousands preparing for that kind of thing luckily. Living in LA of course my nanny mom worked in the fashion industry.

And so she had access to whole sample studios of clothes. So I got to go in and select a whole bunch of samples and borrow them, essentially, for the show for two months. You got the hook up.

Yes. Thank God and then what I couldn't get through that, I needed heels and all of that. I tried borrowing from friends, sent out the reach on Instagram being like, please people let me borrow your cute clothes and high heels and then whatever else I couldn't scrounge that way, I literally just went to Nordstrom Rack and kept the tags on and stickers on and returned them after I got back from the show.

Damn, after two months of sweaty [BLEEP] reality TV because I know those lights are strong. More like three hours wearing it. You got to have a different outfit every time, don't get me wrong.

But then also the girls were really sweet about letting people borrow each other's stuff and so sometimes on the show you'll see three different women throughout the course of four weeks wearing like a yellow dress, the same yellow dress and it's because everyone kind of passes things around. I love that. So in terms of-- so this is a phrase that I have been taught from The Bachelor Nation fellows on our team. "Being here for the right reasons" Can you explain that phrase?

I mean, it's a pretty ridiculous phrase because obviously everyone is aware that they are auditioning to be on TV. Right. And what I always think is kind of silly is that all these people are like the most gorgeous people and I'm like, I don't buy that you think you're going to have a better chance of finding a husband or wife here on the show when you're competing against 25 other people or 30 other people versus like your hometown in Arkansas or whatever.

Right, of course. I'm not really buying that. But of course even on our podcast where we do Bachelor recaps, we're always giving people shit, like he seems like he has some kind of ulterior motives.

And the idea of "here for the right reasons" is that you're there to find love but everyone knows you're like I said, you're on a TV show. And I think that the wrong reasons are going on for a platform, financial gain, exposure, all of those things. Those are like the wrong reasons.

Why did you go on? Oh my god. Well, this is the thing too.

I don't think you can hate on anyone on the show for purely like-- I don't think there's anything wrong with going on the show for exposure or social media followers or anything like that. I think that some people are dishonest throughout the show and maybe pretending to feel a certain way, maybe lying to fellow contestants, all of that. That to me is like all right, wrong reasons.

Sure. I think most people go on the show being like, I'm going to gain a shit ton of Instagram followers. I'm going to be on TV and this is going to be fun.

And if I find love in the process, that'll be great. Win-win. So I think that was my thing.

I mean, I definitely knew going on the show. I remember telling my dad like, Dad if I get like a few hundred thousand Instagram followers, this is potentially how much I could be making a month. And my dad was like, yeah, OK.

And then now three years later, I'm like, what did I tell you, Dad? But I went on with the approach too of look, if I have a connection with someone, that's going to be great and I think you can find love anywhere. Why not on a reality TV show?

So that was kind of my approach. I felt like I was open but I was also very aware of the benefits of going on. Did you look at it like an investment in the sense of like a cost benefit analysis?

Yeah, absolutely. What I was going to do that fall was continue my nanny job and go back to school and try to finish my degree because I hadn't completed my bachelor's degree. And for me, yeah.

It was like OK, I can keep doing that or if I do go on the show and I do get this amount of followers and all of that, like I could potentially start my full time job working from my phone, which I thought was going to be a lot easier than it actually is. You are going on that thing earlier. Yeah.

Looked busy. So yeah, I think I definitely was like if I'm gone for four or six weeks, this could potentially set me up for the next year or two. I don't think I envisioned it would go further than that.

Did you go into debt for the show at all, credit cards, et cetera? No. My parents always were pretty crazy about that.

I come from a pretty conservative Christian home and I got put through Dave Ramsey's financial academy three different times. Oh gosh. So cash is king.

Oh my god. So actually, I didn't even have a credit card until like a year before I went on the show and I was so hyper vigilant and terrified of that. I would be paying it off in full every month and so thankfully, no, I didn't have to go in any debt to be on the show.

That's fascinating. Our community has many thoughts about the Dave Ramsey way of viewing money. It's definitely-- and I will just say as an anecdote, my dad had a very similar view.

And back when he was getting an apartment, in the early 1980s, it was a little different than now. So when I went to apply for my first apartment, I was trying to show, here's what I have saved in my bank account. Here's all this.

And they were like, no. We need to have something come up for your credit report. Right.

We need to see pay stubs. I was working as a nanny and I didn't get paid in pay stubs. Right.

And so it didn't quite work out. My dad ended up having to co-sign on my first apartment, which is something he said he wouldn't do but I was like, Dad, this is because I don't have any credit history and you know. Absolutely.

I also feel like a lot of those sort of Boomer-like pieces of advice for finances are so applicable to yeah, in the 1970s when home costs were like 10 times lower, even accounting for inflation. Oh, yeah, like what are you going to buy your house in cash? Right.

Working as like a $20 an hour nanny? Right. That's not super realistic.

But I do think it instilled good-- Totally. responsible money management values in me from a pretty young age where I'm like, I make sure to live within my means and all that kind of thing. I should clarify that although I think it's a fairly limited way of operating financially, I do think it's A, better than the alternative of like living on a hamster wheel of credit and also B, not being aware of your finances. So that being said, yeah.

So you didn't go into debt but I know a lot of contestants do. They put a ton on credit cards. Yeah.

I mean, that's not something I ever actually talked about with fellow contestants. Really? Well, actually I do remember one fellow contestant.

She was asking to use producer's phones because you don't get to use a phone or any access to the internet. What? Yeah, nothing for like two months.

So she was like, Oh. What? This is like big brother.

Books, you can. I feel like that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but with books they do have to duct tape the front of it because you can't have any-- For copyright reasons? Mm-hmm.

OK. Yeah, exactly. And they have to do the same thing with like your deodorant, everything.

You're like Sharpieing out Perrier or whatever. But yeah, no phone. No access to the phone or the internet for the entirety of filming.

Even when you're at hotels, actually, they take out the phones from your hotel room. Sometimes they even take out the TVs. So I remember a girl being like, I have to log on to your phone to make my credit card payment.

Oh wow. Like I really have to and so they let her log on to do that. So there was no real conversation about financial stuff between the contestants?

I think that-- I probably would have been down to talk about it. Like I said, I like talking about that stuff. But I think a lot of people like subconsciously didn't want to talk about that stuff for fear of coming off as someone who's like not fully heart in, head in to the process, into the journey of being on the show.

Right. And also it's been three years so I don't quite remember. But from what I recall, I don't remember having any discussion about that.

I do know some girls were pulling stuff out of their suitcases. Everything had tags on it and so it's like, some people I think definitely splurged. But I was one of the younger girls on the show too.

And a lot of them had big girl jobs or were nurses or big ad agency people or whatever. And that wasn't me. It is incredible to me that we're on a show where you're ostensibly there to find the person you're spending the rest of your life with.

I know there's a whole lot of talk about sex and being-- I know that virginity has been a theme in past seasons and all of this stuff but we can't talk about the fact that we're in credit card debt? That seems insane to me. OK.

I've talked about this on the show, too where I'm like, what if you left with someone and then exactly, you find out that they're like they have $80,000 in random loans and credit card debt? That's why I love Love is Blind because they do address that in that show? Did you did you watch that show?

Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes. Well, one of the characters-- I did not like this couple. Now listen, Messica, I'm not a friend.

Don't you feel like they redeemed themselves like at the end? I felt like they were so good for each. Barnett and what's her face?

OK, now, listen. I could go on about this for a while but I won't. All of that is to say, though, I am not a fan of Messica.

Obviously what she did with trying to get Barnett, that was really horrible, what she did to Mark, horrible. But-- She had her shit together. She did ever shit together.

At least she wasn't like drowning in debt and possibly using Barnett and his seemingly well-off family as a way to maneuver herself out of debt, which I honestly-- listen, if you are someone who's marrying someone for financial stability, I honestly have no problem with that. But I don't like the pretense of like, it's all about love. But at least they addressed it on the show.

Yeah. And I think other times people think it's not that big of a deal. They're like, well this is just me and it's just this.

I was like, it's a big deal. Yes. And so actually, that is a really good question.

Do they at all discuss the finances of the person they're ostensibly getting engaged to? You can talk about whatever's important to you as the lead. Whether or not they're going to show it on TV is a whole other story.

But for example, he and I-- the Bachelor at the time was Arie Luyendyk. We talked about religion. He talked about how he wasn't religious and wasn't interested in like Christianity.

That's not something that they aired on the show. But that was important to him to talk about to people, about how religion played a role in their life. So if you're the lead and you want to ask people about their financial situation, about their political beliefs or whatever, I mean, that's on you.

You're just not going to see it as the audience. That is insane that you're literally now engaged to this person and they could be like committing fraud. They could have several identities.

Granted, there's pretty rigorous background checks. Right. So I would assume that unless they're trying to make it a plot point, they wouldn't throw someone like that in for the lead because that's just a shitty thing to do.

I mean, we say that but I'm a Real Housewives fan as some of the listeners might know and like every other season, four of them are getting outed as having a Ponzi scheme. But that's wonderful, though, for a TV show. Yes.

I mean, it is good. And then, The Bachelor though, I feel like that's a little different because they are bringing these contestants on to potentially get engaged to this person. So I feel like although they don't look out for the lead, they probably are.

Like I said, if it's not a plot point, I don't think they would put someone on that has had filed for bankruptcy multiple times. You know what I'm saying? Hard to say.

I mean, you would assume that they wouldn't but again, with everything that's happened on so many of those Bravo shows, I mean, I assume-- obviously you probably can't talk in detail about the contract you signed, but I imagine that one element of it is that they hold no liability for anything you do or that happens to you. Oh, they can kill you. They can make up things.

I mean, yeah, they can literally do anything. There's zero liability. I mean, yeah.

I think I could talk-- who knows if I can talk about the contract? You want to know something interesting? Yes.

You get to keep the ring if you stay engaged for more than two years. If you break up before two years after the proposal, you have to give the $100,000 Neil Lane engagement ring back. Oh wow.

And it usually is like anywhere from-- I've looked them up before. They're usually anywhere from like $75,000 to $125,000. Now, if I'm me, I'm colluding with that fake fiance to-- You're like, we are going to be posting IG pics for the next year and a half.

We post IG pics. We then hit two years, pawn the ring, and split the proceeds. I like that.

That's what I'm doing. I like that. So when you left the show were there any rules or regs around how your future income or opportunities had to in any way be shared with the network if you owed anything in that respect?

Because I know that does happen on other reality shows, where if you get a brand deal if you're doing it, you get you have to give 10%, 15% or whatever of future earnings. I think technically through the contract they have to-- they're technically supposed to have to give approval. The contract's only for one year.

Technically, they're supposed to have to give approval for branded content. But that's just not something-- that's just not-- Right. They don't care about that.

Mainly what they just care about is how you represent the show within that year of your contract, when you're in interviews and all that sort of thing. I was horrible about that and I would not get media approval and I would go on random podcasts or do random print interviews and I'd just be like, yeah, I think the producers do this, this, and that and then I got a cease and desist, where it's like like, stop talking about the show that way. So that's kind of the only thing they care about, I think, is like how you're representing producers and experience on the show within that period of time.

But no, you get to do-- I think the only thing is unless you're using the likeness of The Bachelor, I don't think I could put on a Bachelor event per se and profit off of that. Right. Which makes sense.

But otherwise, I don't think-- if I remember correctly, I don't think it's in the contract but they don't want you to post any branded content until the very last episode. So in terms of Instagram collaborations, they don't want you doing any of that until-- Well speaking of that, so you leave the show, I imagine notifications have like essentially set fire to your phone because you open it up and you probably-- I mean, you haven't touched your phone in two months. Oh, yeah.

Did you just come back to like an insane waterfall of offers from brands and things like that they had to sift through or how did that work? So the show didn't until three months after we recorded and it was kind of interesting because there definitely were agents and brands that were trying to get in when they saw my name on the cast list. So some agents try to do that, try to make a guess, try to look up spoilers to find out who's going to get far and then try to get them on their roster as soon as possible.

It was very overwhelming for me. And I pretty much just ignored my email almost entirely for the first six months after the show. I did get an agent pretty early on that.

One of the girls actually in our Bachelor group chat was like hey, you should talk to this guy. He represents a lot of Bachelor people. If anyone wants to talk about branded content stuff, talk to him.

And that was before the show aired. So a lot of us actually did sign with him before the show. And he's with a pretty reputable agency and he represented me.

I'm really glad that I had that. Anyway, so he would sift through and send me paid sponsorship opportunities right after the show. But otherwise, yeah I kind of just ignored my email.

It was like, I don't-- it was very overwhelming for me to deal with that. Tell me about the sponsorships. Do you do them?

Yeah, definitely. Go on my Instagram now. You'll probably see an ad up there as we speak.

Actually, it's interesting. Coming off of the show I was super, super intentional about it pretty much for the whole-- so yeah, the show aired in January 2018. For most of 2018, there was only a couple brands that I did collaborations with.

And a lot of the other girls were going full steam ahead, which I have no disdain for at all. But my thought was-- and in the long run I think it really made a lot of sense-- I was like, I want to develop a really trustworthy rapport with my followers. So I want to be extremely selective about the brands I do ads for and how often I do ads for brands.

And so yeah, the first few months, I didn't do any ads and I had gotten another little nanny job and I was just kind of doing little side jobs here and there and I was just pretty conservative about it. So I would do one post every couple of months and then eventually, actually, when I was ending the pregnancy with my daughter, or towards the end of the pregnancy pregnancy, I should say, I was like, all right. I think it's time to kick it into gear.

I need to start making some cash, taking care of my family. And at that point, I think a lot of people were really invested in my journey through my pregnancy and all of that. I got pregnant three months after the show aired with my boyfriend of three months.

Well, talk about that. Yeah, so the show aired in January. In February I started dating my now-- he's still my boyfriend and in like May, only two months after the show finished airing, I found out I was pregnant and that was really [BLEEP] crazy, because it was one of the hardest years of my life by far because navigating being in the public eye was just something I thought I was prepared for and I just wasn't.

I thought I would love the attention from random people at the airport. I did not. It was really weird and uncomfortable.

And then throw in there a pregnancy with a person you barely know and you're trying to navigate that. And we tried to keep the pregnancy a secret until I was a few months along and then there's articles coming out about people being, like is she pregnant? And so just between hormones and be in the public eye for the first time and navigating a really difficult new relationship, it was a really difficult, really hard year.

Wow. And so you were like were in the pregnancy when your visibility was at its height? Absolutely, yeah.

Did you receive-- so from what I know about a lot of The Bachelor fandom, I think a lot of it-- and we can get into this in a little bit, but it seems quite conservative in terms of a lot of the values, the gender roles, how they perceive, the way women versus men should behave on the show, et cetera. Did you receive backlash specifically because you were pregnant so soon after by someone who was not the bachelor? You know, so a couple of things.

One fun fact, I was the first contestant in 22 seasons to ever have hair above her shoulders. I had a pixie cut. What?

And that in and of itself was like crazy, like this girl has short hair and she's on the show. What? So already I was like the edgy contestant.

This is like some sister wives shit, like you all have the hair down to your back that's braided. Extensions that are like three feet long. Oh my god, so scary.

Continue. So already I think that kind of-- I was like the edgy one. And I think I had-- I don't know.

I am who I am. And so I feel like that personality came off on the show. So I think that people already knew I was maybe a little bit more of a wildcard.

I don't really remember getting a lot of heat, honestly. I was sort of shocked by the amount of people that were like, I got unexpectedly pregnant with my boyfriend of two months or whatever. And that was 10 years ago and now we have three kids.

And there was a lot of people actually who wanted to share their story and it was actually kind of beautiful when I finally did come forward about it but it was really scary in the months leading up to that reveal because I was really anxious about what people would say and I felt insecure about my relationship too because it was like not-- we were just both-- we were both honestly just like, oh my god, we're like stuck doing this together, I think is kind of about both of us felt. And it wasn't until my daughter was born that our relationship really started to like heal and take off and all that but, yeah. Shit was rough.

So anyway, yeah, I didn't start doing a lot of those branded partnerships consistently until later in my pregnancy. And you had that baby. You had to make that money.

Mm-hmm. So you had your first child at 23. Yeah.

Now, putting aside the just reality television of it all, how was that just even from a social perspective? I mean, were you the first of your social groups to have children? Yeah, I mean, that's so funny because-- and I hate when people say this, but a lot of my friends were older, were in their later 20s, early 30s here in LA.

At the time, I was living in LA. Now I'm in Long Beach but anyone who doesn't live in LA doesn't care. I'm like, is that a different place?

Because it seems like the same place. But people here, it's like if you get pregnant under the age of 30, it's basically a teen pregnancy. People are like, oh my god.

I'm so sorry. But yeah, so that was interesting. Actually my co-host, she and I really bonded because she and her husband, they were married at the time but they got unexpectedly pregnant.

And that was really difficult for them because a lot of their friends didn't have kids. None of my friends pretty much had kids except for her. And even my boyfriend, who's six years older than me, none of his friends had kids really either so yeah, that was hard.

And then also your relationships change with people when you do get pregnant. It's like people stop inviting you out because they expect that you're going to say no, which I pretty much always did. But people-- I think it's difficult.

You have to learn how to connect with your friends in a new different way. You think you get it. And then you just don't when you have a four-month-old and you're like, no.

I have to be home by 7:30 because she has to go to bed at 8:00 and no, we really can't just like have her go to bed at the restaurant. It doesn't work like that. Totally.

It's hard. It's interesting. I'm personally-- my husband and I are child free by choice but my sister had her-- Blessings to you.

Mozel tov. Yes, listen, you could do worse as a lifestyle. But my sister had her first baby at 25.

She still is 25. Wait, no. Wait.

She had her first baby at 24. Oh god, she's going to get mad at me. Anyway, she had her first baby at 24 and now she's 25.

And I actually think in some ways until my sister had her baby and I saw that whole experience for her and I hear about what it's like now, I think that I often, because I'm so used to seeing society's shortcomings and stigmatization and things like that from the perspective of being child free-- and I'm only 32, so I can assume it will only get worse as I get older-- but I think until I saw that, I didn't realize that it is probably for women, objectively much more difficult socially to have children young. Because I do feel that although there is an extremely intense pressure for women to have children, there's also a pressure for them to do it at the exact right time. And if you do it young, not only I think do people really judge you and look at you a certain way but like you said, your social group, I think at that age-- at our age where, we do have, I'd say maybe 50% of our friends who are having children now.

But we're at an age and a maturity level where we're not also trying to go to the club and we can really make those accommodations. But her friends are like, oh, see ya. Like we're trying to go out like.

Yeah. And I think that's a good point. And also exactly, you're doing different things.

And I think with my boyfriend's friends, they are not that much older but it is like, OK, let's hang out in the backyard and all barbecue together or let's just go to this low key restaurant instead of like you said, going to the club. Of course it depends what area of the country you're in too because I have friends that live in smaller, more conservative towns and it's kind of like, everyone has babies under the age of 30. It's kind of like the opposite.

And so it's very-- it just kind of depends on where you are. Also of course, in big city communities, it's like how do you make these friends? How do you connect with people?

Right. It's hard. And do you feel that becoming a young mother kind of changed the-- and I hate to use this term.

But we have to be real. It's what it is-- changed your brand? And if so, how?

Yes. I think it made life-- yeah, I mean, the term brand sucks but it is what it is and yeah, it did in a really good way, I think. Well, I think it just depends, to be completely honest, on how social media savvy you are.

And I think some people have it and some people just don't. And I think I am blessed to have it. I feel like I can connect to people on the internet pretty easily and organically but yeah, it changed my brand into being a mom.

But at the same time, I feel like I didn't have to change who I was and the way I-- I communicated to people in the same way. Right. But now it was about things that I feel like a lot of people can relate to and want to find people to relate to on that topic if that makes sense.

It does but do you feel that it changed the types and also the volume of opportunities that you received? Yes. In what way?

I think that if you are a single woman on social media, I think you pretty much-- you are very limited in the sense that you have to pick a scope. You have to be a fashion blogger that posts your outfits every day or you have to be a wellness enthusiast who talks about organic foods and supplements that you're into or you have to be a workout person who shares about their workout outfits and routines. I feel like generally speaking, you need to pick more of a sphere.

I think with motherhood, there is more opportunity in terms of the topics and you can talk about everything. If just from a brand marketing perspective, you can talk about everything from laundry detergent to a nursing bra to kids clothing to your beauty routine. I feel like you can talk about all of it because it's all encapsulated by this scope of motherhood.

That's interesting. But do you feel, though, that it-- Yeah, am I not answering the question? No, you are.

I mean, I would be interested in kind of almost like a yes, no level. Do you feel that you get more or less opportunities? More.

More. Yes. OK.

But then from that point though, so I would say-- and it's so funny. So we've done a few videos on MLMs and in the research for them, a lot, a lot of mommy bloggers on Instagram are MLM people. That's just like a huge overlapping Venn diagram.

And so ever since then, my explore page, my algorithm is so confusing because do you want kids or don't you? Because you are looking at all this mom content but you don't have any-- anyway, All these letter boards-- Oh my god --and people with their four children in a row next to them, yeah. I'm let those kids breathe.

Get them away from that felt board. But I notice even in my limited view of it, it seems that there's-- like were saying earlier there's, those spheres. It seems like there's just now the mom sort of genre and in that, there are all these spheres.

Sub categories. But I feel that the women, once they pick a lane, have to really adhere to and be. Do you feel that you had to identify yourself as what kind of mother you?

Do you curate your content from a specific point of view in that way? I mean, I would say sometimes I feel the pressure to but only in the ways that I have put it upon myself, if that makes sense. I started talking about-- I remember last year, it was like pre-pandemic.

I was super, super into a low waste lifestyle, like not using a lot of plastic and all that kind of stuff. And it's just been really hard to maintain so I am not quite where-- I mean, I was [BLEEP] crazy about it for several months there. But like during that time I was like, I do not want to advertise for any like brand that uses single waste plastic.

And like I'm kind of crazy like that, where I am just like, no. I'm not going to do anything that's like this or no foods that contain these ingredients or I'm like, no bath products that have fragrance in them. And so I feel like it's a little bit self-imposed.

I don't feel the pressure. I can imagine that a lot of people do. But I will say, I do get flak when people perceive me as being self-contradictory.

But the truth is is that I am like everyone else, a multidimensional person and so it's people will be like, oh my god, you always talk about your home birth but yet you got the vaccine. And I'm like, yes. Those are independent choices that I made.

And my political views, my personal choices are not all within this sphere that you might label me as. Right I think that's difficult for people to comprehend sometimes. Yeah.

That is for sure. My sister is probably very similar to you in a lot of ways. She's very into the home birth.

She's very natural, organic, no waste. She lives and works on a farm. She's truly about to go start her own colony.

If the apocalypse comes-- Tell her to call me. I know. I'm going to her house.

Yeah. Truly. Every time she shows up at a place, she's like, I made this cheese and that's what I brought.

I'm like, meanwhile with just like some shit I bought at the store. I know. We will be friends.

But it is true that-- and she was saying-- we were talking about this recently that like-- and she doesn't use the internet, really. She's like not on social media at all. And I think part of it is because these kind of-- like you were saying, people don't like people to be nuanced, to have varying opinions.

And I feel like especially when it comes to motherhood, the level of judgment and the level of strictness that people impose on each other seems suffocating. So how do you deal with that? Oh my god.

And I was just having this conversation with a friend the other day. There is like no room for nuance on the internet. Preach.

And it is really difficult for people to grapple with gray areas. And I get it because it's easier to live in a black and white world where everyone who's like this believes all these things and everyone who's like this believes all these things and we can just separate the two. But it's like that's not-- it's way messier than that, unfortunately.

But it always feels like there's some like scandal I'm having to navigate not because I'm like a scandalous person but because I do overshare a lot and I think a lot of times people-- I was literally talking about that my Instagram this morning-- a lot of times people will take vulnerability and they will try to twist it. And pervert it to hurt you and to try to turn it around on yourself and be like, well, you're a hypocrite or you're-- and like you said, I think it's sad because I think a lot of it comes from other mothers. And I think it comes from-- I think I've been a part of it myself.

I think it comes sometimes from a place of envy. It comes from-- or not even envy. That's maybe one small sector.

But for me, it comes from a place of inadequacy when I feel like I am like trying to find holes in this person, what they're saying or in their lifestyle. A lot of times it's because I don't want to put the mirror back on myself and think that maybe I'm doing a shitty job or I'm a bad parent or I'm not making the most healthy decisions for my kids. And I think I have to remind myself of that, a lot of people are projecting onto others.

But when shit hits the fan and I'm feeling-- when I'm finding myself really affected by what people are saying online, I've learned over the past three years I just got to delete the Instagram app and shut my phone off for a day or two or a week and check back into reality and be like, OK this is my partner. These are my kids. These are my friends.

This is my community. And this is real life. It's such a cliche.

Totally. "This is not real life." But when you're on it and sucked into it all the fucking time, sucked into the comment section, it is so easy to forget that. And so I think sometimes you just got to be like, OK, I'm stepping away. That's like that Tyler the Creator tweet.

I think about all the time. It's like not-- OK, we need more nuance than this Tyler the Creator tweet can provide but it was like, how is cyber bullying even real? Just close the laptop.

Just close your eyes. It's not true. I mean, honestly, no like exactly, yes.

There's more than that but straight up-- Yes --you have to have-- everyone has personal responsibility to deal with their own emotions. And I share about my emotions on Instagram all the time. I can already see someone in the comments being like, she says it's her responsibility to manage her own emotions yet she talks about them all the time on Instagram and other people responsible for her emotions so she's a hypocrite.

I'm literally playing that in my head as I'm saying this. But the truth is it is our personal responsibility to handle our emotions and to set boundaries. And so if that means having the self-control to put it away and not look at it for a couple of days, we need to exercise that self-control.

I need to exercise that self-control more. Totally. So you were mentioning earlier talking about politics on your platform.

Do you feel-- this is a two part question-- one, that is a financial liability in any sense and B, did you feel that your politics and speaking about them alienated you in any capacity on your show or from the community? The answer to the first question, yes, it is a financial liability and it's the reason why you do see a lot of mommy bloggers and a lot of people just conveniently being like, I'm taking a social media break when certain things happen. Like, interesting, girl.

Yeah, funny timing. Yes, I mean, I remember when I just made a post around election time. I made a post.

It was just reasons why I'm not voting for Donald Trump. And it was super factually based and I wasn't even saying I'm so far up Biden Kamala's [BLEEP].. I'm obsessed with them.

It wasn't like that. It was just like, these are the reasons why I'm personally not voting for Donald Trump. I was very careful in the wording of it because I wanted it to be like, hey, I was talking about things he had said.

My true goal was to try to get people that might sort of be on the fence be like, hey, here are things he said about the military. Here are things-- like trying to appeal to be like, look, if you care about these things, that you should know. Remember the whole tax thing?

The whole tax thing. Did you know? What thing?

OK, remember how-- Oh, his taxes? Yes. --everyone was saying that Biden was going to raise taxes for the middle class? Did you know that when Trump did all of his tax cuts in whatever year, the clause was that in like 2026, late 2020s, it would increase exponentially all the taxes for lower middle class people?

Yes. So I was talking about that stuff, like, dude if you guys think that he's here for these people, here for those people, this shit is not what you think it is. Good luck with that post.

Well, yeah. I mean, I lost 15,000 followers. [GASPS] That's a lot. That's a lot.

And a lot of people were just livid about it, even though like I said, it was not one of those, if you wrote for Trump, you're a hateful whatever. It wasn't that. But yeah, so that kind of thing happens a lot.

You get a lot of people that unfollow you, which is directly tied to your income. But I mean, whatever. Because I was raised conservative Christian, there this Bible verse that's basically like, you're a fool if you gain the whole world but give up your soul.

And I always remember that with Instagram. It's like, am I going to sell my soul to Instagram and like only show the parts of my life or the parts of my beliefs that are palatable for everyone? I'm not interested in that and if I have to take that on, I would rather just remove myself from the platform entirely.

But I don't feel like it's-- I definitely think that there are plenty of people in Bach Nation that don't like me because of my political-- for plenty of reasons, not just my political views. Well, you had the short hair so let's start there. Mm-hmm.

Yeah. I got so many comments, you look like a man. I'm like, OK.

Like what an insult. A very cute man. Yeah.

So I don't know. There's always people on both sides. So I feel like I haven't alienated myself any more than another person.

And when it came to the show specifically, because as I was mentioning before-- and it's hard to call it politics because obviously like in the context of the show, you're not talking about one candidate versus another, but sort of the sociopolitical and social sort of world of the show feels very retrograde on gender lines, on racial lines. How is that to navigate? Yeah, I mean, I got that for so long.

It's like, if you call yourself a feminist, why would you go on a show like that? Because she needs to make money, guys. Yeah, hello.

Also it's fucking fun. It's a fun show. Why do you think everyone, feminists and liberals and everyone else, why do so many people love the show?

It's because it's fun. It's reality TV. It's stupid.

It's indulgent. Why do you watch Real Housewives? Because of their political views and because you think that they are like the pinnacle of the example of the life you want to live?

No. Because I'm a bad person with an empty heart. And that's the part of us why we all like to watch reality TV, OK?

Give me the garbage. Let me consume it. Let it consume me.

So yeah, I mean, it definitely is that way. And I think it's fun to be someone who likes to shake that up and challenge it and ruffle feathers. That's just my personality.

So I think it's one of the most fun-- I mean, it actually is one of the most horrible communities to be a part of but it's also kind of fun too. Now, I know that you are probably aware, perhaps certainly aware, of that big New York Magazine article from Rachel Lindsay-- Oh, yeah. --who I know is quite a figure in the Bachelor Nation. Can you, for our audience who might not know, give context to who she is and what this whole New York Magazine article, the Chris Harrison scandal, Can you talk about that?

Yes. Also, did you hear about the PPP loans thing? No.

But I love this sort of drama, so spill. Should I talk about that first or should I talk about Rachel Lindsay first? Let's go PPP and then Rachel Lindsay.

So there's a whole Bachelor subreddit, which is the bane of my existence but-- Oh, no. I can't go on there because I'll just spiral because people are so mean. And you would think that none of them have ever made like any mistake in their life.

But anyway, this is pretty crazy. I don't know how they found out this info but they found out which Bachelor alumni, as they call them, received PPP loans for their corporations. So it came out that Arie, whose season I was on, his LLC Instagram husband got $20,000 in PPP.

Tayshia, she received $20,000 for her LLC. And those were the two notable ones. Interesting And so everyone was pissed about that.

Now, why were they pissed? Because TFD have received both times PPP loans. We've been forgiven for the first one.

Well, this is why because-- and it's so funny because another Bachelor alumni person, Jason Tartick, I don't know if you've heard of him. He's actually all about financial stuff. On his Instagram stories people are asking.

He was confused. He hadn't heard about it. He's like, I don't know why people are asking me if I've received PPP loans.

He's like, no because while some of my other business suffered, he's like, my Instagram business, many people's Instagram businesses took off during COVID. We're receiving more sponsorships than ever. So he was like, it didn't feel right to me because I didn't need the money.

He had no idea that this is happening at the same time. But it's true. It's true.

I know it. And both of them know it. They didn't need the money.

Absolutely not. And in fact, my CPA came to me actually and I remember was like, hey, you can apply for this loan. It's basically going to be free money.

It's most likely going to be forgiven. And my boyfriend operates a small business that was struggling, is still struggling so hard because of COVID. He has a gym.

Gyms have not been-- yeah, not been doing well with COVID. And I remember with those loans, he was going on as quick as possible-- Oh, yeah. --to apply so that he'd get that money because there was a finite amount and he needed it. And so when my CPA asked me, I was like, dude, I am not financially hurting at all right now.

There's no way. So a lot of people were pissed because they were like, you knew you didn't need this money. You knew that business was only getting better and yet you took 20k.

That is gross. Also, any of you guys who are going to look it up because all this information is publicly available and you can easily Google it, we got $190,000. We have 12 people on payroll.

And if we didn't get that money, we would not have been able to keep payroll going so Google away. That's the thing. For an LLC Instagram husband, it's like-- Yeah, I don't think Instagram husband LLC who probably has no one on payroll needs to be receiving that money.

However, interesting fact. Small diversion, so the PPP loans are all very visible. And one thing that's always very fun to do is look up people-- and whether it's the politics world, the small business world-- who've railed against government help, don't like it when someone's getting a food stamp, don't like welfare, cashing those PPP checks.

I swear to god, the number of people you will find on that PPP database who have taken all kinds of money and then publicly talked to their constituents or whoever about how bad it is. But why don't they pull themselves up by their bootstraps and just work harder? That's a really good question.

I don't think they need a government handout. Did Dave Ramsey's company take a PPP loan? Much to consider.

We'll find that out. But so tell me about the Rachel and Chris and all that stuff. OK, so Rachel Lindsay was the first Black bachelorette ever in the history of the show, first Black lead actually, ever.

They just on season 25 had the first Black bachelor ever. Just in the nick of time, ABC. Yeah, interesting timing.

And she's just very outspoken about racial inequality in the franchise. You go in the first seasons of the show. I mean, it's just very obvious that there's a lot of discrimination and in fact, before all of this most recent drama, Chris Harrison had said, well, the numbers don't lie.

The numbers are just not as great with like a Black lead so that's why we haven't had a Black Bachelor. I mean, he said that. Also very cool of him to compare one season to all 24 other seasons which have had hits and misses.

That also wasn't even true. People were looking up the ratings of the numbers for Rachel's season of The Bachelorette versus one of the adjacent ones and it just flat out wasn't true. It performed just as well.

So basically what happened is on Matt's season, who was season 25, he was the first Black bachelor. There was a girl on the show, who they found a photo of her dressed up for an antebellum ball, which I don't even know what an antebellum ball was. We talked about this on our video.

Yeah, so basically, they were outlawed in 2016. This photo was from 2018, which I feel like that in and of itself shows that this community of kids in college-- not kids, they're adults. This college community made a very clear decision, even though this was outlawed in the fraternity.

Oh my god. You're bootlegging racist parties because you can't legally have them. Right.

They're just like, fuck it. Let's get our muskets and hoop skirts and let's go. And our jungle juice.

So like that in and of itself, I'm like, OK. But you all were just kind of like heh, heh, heh. It's funny.

Like, ha ha, whatever. I feel like-- yeah so she had a photo of that. And then my biggest thing in that was like she was radio silent for two months or something like that about the whole situation.

And trust me, I get it. People make mistakes. We grow up in communities where you truly don't know.

You are not educated about certain things. But to me, it's all about your response. And she did not have any response.

Granted, I think The Bachelor, because she was his final choice-- she ended up being the girl that he didn't propose to, but they ended up leaving together. I think The Bachelor probably was really pressuring her not to address it and being like, it's just going to go away. It's just going to go away, that kind of thing more than likely.

Oh my god. But regardless, you still have a personal responsibility. I think to-- I don't know.

I don't know. But that's neither here nor there because Rachel, like I said, the first Black bachelorette, she was interviewing Chris Harrison, the host and he was basically, in this 15 minute interview, he was really doubling down being like, is it wrong? Was it wrong in 2018 or was it just wrong in 2021?

He said that 50 million people have attended these parties, which I don't know where he pulled that number out of his ass. 15 million people. I don't think I know anyone who's been to an antebellum party. That seems like a over exaggeration.

One out of every six Americans attends one of these antebellum parties. What? I don't know where that came from.

But he said that he was just like, the woke police are like out again for this poor girl. He kept saying she's a poor girl, this poor girl. It was just very weird and very like, OK, sir we see where you stand.

And then he had this stupid apology about educating myself and "doing the work" and I'm like, OK. Whatever. Oh god.

Like too little, too late. But basically he ended up getting removed from the franchise following that, with an estimated $10 million payout from the franchise. He did lawyer up though and like was threatening that he was going to show the receipts for all of The Bachelor's racial discriminatory-- Show those receipts.

It's like that meme that's like, let them fight. With the Elmo on fire. Yes.

Let them all torch each other. Let it burn. So I think he got him with that one, which is why he got like that $10 million little-- Do you feel-- so I know that there was a bit of controversy about the way New York Magazine titled her article because it was like, oops I blew up The Bachelor.

Yes. And the reason-- and I think for people who aren't in Bach Nation, I think it's kind of difficult to see why that's an issue. But the problem is that Rachel was on the receiving end of all of the hate, being like, you're the reason that he's getting fired.

This is so stupid. Even though she never spoke out about him being removed from the franchise. There's plenty of other people.

But she was on the receiving end of all of that just really vicious stuff from frankly, really ignorant people. And so yeah, I think that's why it was an issue that it was like, no this wasn't her fault. She didn't blow up The Bachelor.

Yeah, no one forced him to say all that. Yeah. That's unbelievable to me because there's truly no-- no one had a gun to his head and made him double, triple, and quadruple down on those things.

No. All he could have said is-- and he clearly felt so entitled to say everything that he was saying without any-- I mean, like this man is media trained. He's been on this show for what? 20 years?

Clearly not well enough. And that's the thing. He felt so empowered to speak like that.

That's to me what was like-- if this is what he says when he's being interviewed, what are his closed door views? No kidding. So as a last kind of thought on that before we get to our rapid fire, do you feel that this is the beginning of the end of The Bachelor?

Do you feel that the show is going to fundamentally change? What do you think is the future after this? I think even when the world ends and we're all just sifting through the ashes, I think there will be someone holding roses to hand out.

I don't think The Bachelor will ever die. I could be wrong but it seems like a cockroach of reality TV that has always been and will always be. But I think it's a step in a new direction.

I mean, he has kind of been the face of The Bachelor. He's a pretty iconic host and with him being gone, I think that it is inevitably ushering in a new era. So as mentioned, we have, as always, our rapid fire questions.

So just the quick hit answers that come to your head. Feel free to pass on any of these if needed. Pulling up my questions.

Where are they? What's your annual salary? How much do you pay in taxes?

Now, you say that jokingly but we ask and answer those questions many a time. Feel free to share any numbers. What is the big financial secret of your industry?

We can say Instagram. I think just the amounts. I think people have no idea how much people get paid on Instagram.

Throw us a number, please. Well, people-- for example, one time I did post about the flu shot and people are like, I can't believe that you probably got paid like $700 for this post, you really sold out for that much. And I was like, you're way under, lady.

Will you tell us what you got paid to post the flu shot? Spon con? I won't.

But I will say most influencers, especially mommy bloggers, if you're above 200,000 followers, no, even above 100,000, even sometimes above like 75,000, they're getting paid thousands like per hard post. Damn. And that big pharma, we know they have the coin.

CVS has the cash. Yeah. What do you invest in versus what are you cheap about?

You know, I'm pretty cheap about my car. I have my Camry. It's 2012.

It's fully paid off. It has a shitty matte black mismatching front bumper. But I'm like yeah, it's paid off.

It gets good gas mileage. It gets me where I need to go. So I'm like-- Love that.

I did I did buy my boyfriend a new car for Christmas because I wanted to spoil him. But for myself, I'm just like, that's stupid. Now, what do I splurge on?

I would say I invest in-- I would say every now and then, I'll invest in like a piece of clothing that I really, really want. Love it. Like a coat.

What has been your best investment and why? Probably my house. Yes.

Also, I mean, financially, probably going on The Bachelor, right? Oh, yes. Yes.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Yes, definitely. Definitely The Bachelor. Also possibly my podcast too.

I feel like that was a real risk that I took, starting a podcast with someone I barely knew. Actually, we had never hung out one on one, me and my co-host before doing the show and now we have a pretty thriving show. We have almost 300 episodes.

I love that. We know we love a podcast here. What has been your biggest money mistake and why?

The first thing that comes to mind, I guess is not necessarily like misspending money but for the first couple of years after doing influencer stuff, I was not keeping tabs on my expenses. I didn't have QuickBooks or anything like that set up. So when I'd have to go back and file my taxes, I'd have to go through every individual item on the statement and categorize it.

Oh god. Which took a lot of time and I did that for first 2 and 1/2-- this is the first year I'm not doing that. And I just wasn't-- for me, I can be very anxious and so I was like, I just don't want to have to think about taxes.

And then of course, that comes back to bite you in the butt. Oh my god It's a pain at the end of the year and then you're like, oh shit. Yeah I didn't know that's how that works.

Don't mess around. I would say if you're making-- especially if you're making new or bigger money than you're used, to get a really good CPA. Maybe even get a financial advisor and get that shit under wraps.

Agree with that. What's your biggest current money insecurity? What does that mean?

Like the thing that causes you insecurity or anxiety around finances now? Oh, you know, it's funny. We literally just met with a financial advisor for the first time.

We'd be like, let's get college accounts on track for our kids. Let's make sure that we have some type of investment portfolio. And I think it has been the past few years just insecurity being like, I don't know what to do with this money I'm accumulating and it's just sitting here and I hope that I'm doing everything right and I don't feel like I am and all of that.

Well, it sounds like you're on the right track if you've got an advisor. What has been the financial habit that helped you the most? I would just say budgeting.

I feel like my parents taught me that and I remember going through a friend's statements in college because he was like, I can't pay rent and I'm like, I know how much you get paid. I think you should be able to make rent. Sure.

And I remember going through and just being like, OK, Uber-- I don't think there was Uber Eats at the time. But it was like takeout, restaurants, booze, takeout, restaurant, and I was like, you can't do this. You got to like buy eggs and bananas and rice from Trader Joe's and live within your means and it's not eating out every night.

So I feel like that's my biggest strength, is being able to budget. I feel like it's hard to go wrong with that one. And lastly, what does success mean to you and when did you first feel successful?

I think success means doing something that I feel excited about, that lets me be creative, and something that I can feel me while doing. Do you like that money sound effect? Oh my god.

That's Offer Up. I love a bargain. But I remember being like a-- what do you call it?

Not a secretary. What's like the new fancy word for secretary? Administrative assistant?

No, not that fancy. Receptionist. I don't think that's new or fancy but go on.

The fancy word. Fancier than-- not 1950s essentially, is what I'm saying when I say secretary. And it just didn't feel like me.

I didn't get to wear the clothes I wanted to wear. I didn't get to act the way I want to act so to me, success is getting to have a job and a community around me that feels authentic to who I am. And so I think that like even back when I was nannying, making like $18 an hour under the table, barely scraping by in LA, which $18 in other areas, you're like that's amazing.

Yeah. In LA, not as much. But I still felt successful because I was like, I'm really happy doing what I'm doing and I'm living the lifestyle that makes me happy.

I love that. Well, and I say this is the highest compliment, you seem a lot older than 26. Thank you.

Listen, two kids, you've already lived a lifetime on reality TV. You've been through it. But I loved, loved talking with you and if our audience loved it as well, where can they go to find more of you?

Back on Instagram. This is the last fact you're going to love. I got to buy that handle off of someone.

Yes. I paid $500 for the handle @Bekah. B-E-K-A-H.

Wow, you really had them over a barrel. That's very little money for that. Damn, they should have extorted you, no offense.

Literally, I DM'd this girl. I was like, can I buy your Instagram handle? And she was like, yeah. $500.

And I was like, OK. Oh, no. This is actually what happened.

I didn't pay $500. I paid $750. She was like, $500.

I was like, I'll take it. What's your PayPal? And she was like, wait.

No one's ever actually offered to buy it from me before. I have to think about this. And she was really sweet.

She was like how about, $750 and I just know that you're going to be able to use it so much more for your business than me. Well, that is a damn lesson. Never negotiate against yourself.

This woman is a television star. We know she has the resources to pay more than $750. But thank you so, so much for joining.

This has been such a pleasure. And thank you guys for tuning in. And we will see you next Monday on the new episode of The Financial Confessions.

Goodbye.