As promised, we are kicking off the first topic in our Financial Literacy Series today.
You babes send us a lot of the sweetest messages about how you have made so much BANK in your AC Fits and nothing makes us happier than that! It is an honor to be part of what gives y’all the confidence to be successful at work.
That being said- a huge part of MAKING a lot of money is knowing how to manage and KEEP a lot of money.
Over the next few months, we’’ll be sharing articles about financial literacy in roughly the steps I took in getting my own shit together. I am not a financial guru or expert, but am someone who has dealt with the ups and downs of making cash along with the mental and emotional strain sex work involves and eventually- after many, and I mean MANY hiccups- made it work for me.
Many of you are already on this journey and doing a lot of what we’ll talk about! That is kick ass and KEEP GOING!
If you are just getting started, that is also kick ass! There is no better time than now to start.
It is my sincere hope that you begin on a journey of financial literacy so that sex work becomes a choice for you. So that you can take breaks when you need to. So that you can retire into having a solid foundation and investments to support you. So that you have money to enjoy your life however you see fit.
We hope you will use this information and then expand on it, seeking out everything you need to build the life you envision and deserve.
Before we begin, here are a few truths you need to come to terms with:
No one is coming to save you.
You are not going to win the lottery, come into a huge inheritance from an unknown relative, or find a bag with $100,000 on the ground (movies from the 90s made this seem like this was a thing that happened way more often than it does?)
I often hear people say “when I’m rich.” When questioned about how that will happen, they have no idea. No plan. Understand: the delusion of “when I’m rich” without any plan behind it keeps us trapped and helpless in ‘what if’ land. Leave that place.
You are capable and you are strong enough to take responsibility for improving your life, finances included.
Make Peace with the Process- this is a Marathon, not a Sprint.
Getting your shit together, much of the time, is… boring. Yeah! Super boring.
Around 2008, an event occurred in my life which required me to file 6 years of back taxes. It took me an entire week of going through SIX YEARS worth of bank statements and pulling out deductible items (my accountant told me what to deduct, don’t play around with guessing what is and isn’t deductible.) On day 3, I recall literally banging my head against my desk and thinking… “This is Hell. I am in Hell. This is NEVER going to get done!” Two days later, it got done.
There were many other grueling moments after that one. Boring things that took a lot of focus and patience. You are going to have your own events like these.
At first, when you are starting out, you may feel very silly and small. You’ll find yourself questioning why you need to do all this, if it’s worth it, what the point of it all is. You may find yourself beating yourself up for all the money you “wasted,” or not getting started sooner. Sit with those emotions and then let them pass by. You are deciding now to take control of your life and that is admirable- no matter what you did in the past.
Keep in mind- no one, myself included, posts the “banging my head against the desk THIS IS HELL” moment until we are successful. There are YEARS of work and baby steps that became strides behind every successful person you see. The sooner you are brave enough to take a baby step, the better. Speaking of which,
The Time is Now.
Time is the most valuable thing in the world, because it is the one thing money cannot buy. I read a metaphor for this recently- if a 100 year old billionaire on his deathbed offered to trade places with you right now, would you do it? No. Because time is worth more than money.
The sooner you start taking control of your financial life, the sooner you will be able to free up more of your TIME. The entire purpose of doing all this is so that you can spend your time doing stuff because you feel like it, not because you need to.
There are some situations in life that truly are all consuming (escaping DV, overcoming addiction, and more) and require all your attention. If you are in one of these, I see you and am rooting for you. I hope you’ll save this email for when you’re on the other side of what you’re working through right now.
If you are not in a situation like this, what excuses have you been hanging onto?
For me, they were things like: it’s slow season, I’ll wait til it picks up to start saving money. Or, I just need to pay off this ONE thing, and THEN I’ll start!
We often sabotage ourselves not by what we do, but by what we don’t. Not starting is a tactic we use to avoid the discomfort of change, and to avoid facing the mess ahead. To avoid facing the parts of ourselves that made that mess. But- the only way out is through and there is no time like the present.
Cut it out and get out of your own way. The sooner you start, the sooner you make it to the other side and the other side is very much worth getting to.
Today’s Topic: Tracking your Income
Why is it Important:
Whether you work at the club, do cam/porn, or a combo of these- our income fluctuates greatly.
We also often have various forms of income. A night at the club, an OF payout, and a cashapp from a dude on IG for feet pics are all realistic income events for us.
SW offers us more flexibility and earning potential than most jobs, but the inconsistency makes it hard to budget and understand what we’re really earning.
We also suffer from the myth of “I’ll make it back!” Our potential to earn quick cash can mean we undervalue money, and don’t see saving as important because we can “always make more.”
It may be true that you can earn MORE, but you can never earn back money you have spent.
I started stripping at 18 in 2007. The idea of tracking my income beyond counting it to see what I made was unknown to me. My family never had money- so there was nothing to track.
I remember, for the first few years of my career in SW, always struggling even though I made more than enough to cover basic expenses.
It seemed like making a lot was still never enough. I’d sit there crying because I couldn’t make rent, confused about where all my money went (I spent it!!). What was my future going to look like? Just this, on repeat? Because WTF.
Tracking my income legitimately CHANGED MY LIFE.
Tracking ALL of your income is the key to understanding how much you make on average, what you can afford, and being able to create a realistic budget and set attainable financial goals.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up all your fun either- I paid off debt and increased my net worth drastically while still getting my nails done, buying 3 matchas a week, and buying stuff I didn’t “need.”
There is nothing at all wrong with enjoying the money you’ve made by spending it on experiences and things that bring you joy!
By tracking your income, you’ll be able to see how much you can afford to spend on those things while still saving and hitting your financial goals.
TRACKING TOOLS LINKS:
HERE is a link to Daily Income Tracker and Monthly Income Tracker in Google Sheets.
PLEASE NOTE you must COPY this info into your own sheet! This is a publicly shared document.
HERE is a link to the sheets I actually used during my time dancing, which I printed out and put into a 1” binder. This works well if you function best with tangible things.
Both links have Examples of each tracker filled out so you can see how to use them. We suggest you peek at both.
Daily Earnings Tracker: DO THIS AFTER EVERY INCOME EVENT!
The terminology on the printable doc is about clubs because I was stripping when I made it, but it is very easy to just cross out club and write “OF” or “SD Date” or whatever.
I had a coupon organizer like this (this is not an ad it’s literally the first example of one I found on google) that I labeled with the different things I “broke down” my cash into, where I’d put the money until I used it or put it in the bank.
Some of the categories I broke my money down into when I started were:
- Monthly Bills
- Emergency Fund
- Nails/Hair/Fillers (Vanity, I called this category LOL)
- Entertainment (going out to eat, bringing my son out places, flights for non work stuff)
- Paying off Debt
- Gas/Car Money
- Saving For (anything I was saving up for- could be tinting my trucks windows, fillers, a vacay, furniture, whatever)
- Later On I Added:
- Investments (Stock Market and Crypto)
- Donations/Mutual Aid
If you choose to use the online tracker, you can super easily edit the categories to be whatever you need.
A tip I suggest when using the Daily Tracker is: create a new money “category” when you know a new expense is upcoming. For example, if you know your brakes on your car need to be done in 2 months, start throwing $10-30 per shift into that “category” until you have the amount of money you’ll need.
Saving for big expenses little by little like this was a game changer for me, and stops you from using your emergency fund for stuff that isn’t truly an emergency. Anything that you KNOW is going to need to be paid is not an emergency.
Another tip I suggest: When you have the money saved to “fix your brakes” or whatever- ask a customer that has a crush on you if he could help you out with it, too. It’s so much easier to ask for stuff when the pressure is off and you don’t really need it.
Somehow, not needing it makes you more confident in asking, and thus- has a higher success rate. If he says yes, congrats you now have unexpected money (you better TRACK what you do with it this is an INCOME EVENT!!!!!) If he says no (why would he though?), it is fine because you already had the money anyway.
Remember- do your tracking even with small tips and crappy slow shifts! Don’t let your emotions get in the way of developing these habits that can make you wealthy.
Monthly Tracker: Do this at the end of each month! This sheet will help you understand how much total you made per month and per shift.
Once you have your first month done, you can create a budget that makes sense and can amend it as you get more and more months tracked (the more data the better!)
You will have to do a “soft” budget if you don’t have one already just to make sure you’re designating enough money to cover your bills.
To create a soft budget, just add up all the expenses you have to pay each month and estimate what you spend on food/going out/shopping. Our next article we will deep dive into creating a detailed and realistic budget.
The monthly tracker is a great tool for creating a budget based on REAL numbers instead of estimates, and assessing if you need to make any changes work wise. Can you afford to take another day off? Should you be trying to fit 2 more shifts per month? Is it time to try a new club?
Okay so, get to it!
You are going to feel so cool and accomplished once you develop this as a habit and are able to KNOW how much you are making and what you’re doing with your money.