Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking a cross-section of women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period – and we're tracking every last penny.
This week: "I’m a 24-year-old Open University student and full-time cam girl. I started camming in February when my mental health made it difficult for me to hold down a typical nine-to-five job. I have several mental health issues and it's been a constant battle to get the right treatment or any treatment at all. When I left my fourth job I really struggled with not only my self-confidence but also my self-worth. I measured myself against people I knew who had jobs in their chosen field while I couldn’t hold down the simplest of jobs.
I was scrolling through Instagram one day when I saw a picture of a group of ladies, all different sizes and ethnicities, modelling together. I clicked on the page and it took me to an agency for cam girls. I loved how inclusive it looked and how they focused on all body types. Within two weeks I had signed up and had become a full-time cam model!
I live with my boyfriend of five years, M, in Kent where we rent a flat. We moved out of his parents' house after two years of dating and originally looked at the Help to Buy scheme. Unfortunately, a month before the big move we had a call from the loan company we had chosen to say they had messed up some of our paperwork and we now had no house to move into. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise (at the time there were a lot of tears and a lot of stress over what to do next) because my boyfriend is auditioning for acting schools in January so we are taking the plunge and moving to London! Right now we are both saving like crazy, something both of us will admit is not our strong point, but I’m really proud of how well we are doing thus far. In the past I lived paycheque to paycheque, even having to take out loans and overdrafts to afford rent and my expenses, but being self-employed has finally started to give me some well-needed financial discipline."
Industry: Cam girl/adult industry
Salary: This really depends on how much I work but right now it’s looking like £35,000-£38,000.
Paycheque amount: Again this really depends on how busy it is online etc. but average £2,900-£3,200.
Number of housemates: One, my boyfriend, M.
Housing costs: £650, split between me and M. We split everything evenly but once we move to London it’ll be on a pay basis, mainly because I want a flat that actually has a separate bathroom and kitchen – he’d be happy with just a roof over his head!
Loan payments: £110 for both loans and £23 for my overdraft. I had to take two loans out last year as I hadn’t been working due to my mental health, and the overdraft just kept getting bigger and bigger until I finally sat down a few months ago and started paying it off.
Utilities: £110 council tax, £12 water, £32 electricity, £32 broadband, split evenly.
Transportation: £0. I still haven’t done my driving test and I don’t need to go anywhere as I work from home.
Phone bill: £33. I get Spotify included but I still don’t feel like what I get is worth that much.
Savings? £4,500. I am so proud of myself! At the beginning of June I had nothing and now, finally, at the age of 24 I have learned how to save. It’s very easy: don’t buy yourself ANYTHING but if there is something you see that you really, really want, DON’T BUY IT. I have slipped up now and then but I haven’t bought myself any new clothes since May, which is a win.
Other: M pays for Disney+ and Netflix (yay!). The only other expense I have is £3.99 a month for my QuickBooks app. It’s a lifesaver and I’ve become addicted to it. Lockdown really does have you doing strange things…
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