The best thing about doing anything XXX in the adult entertainment industry is that you can make a lot of money very fast. The worst thing, however, for some people is that you make a lot of money very fast. It is not unusual for a young man or woman to get into the porn biz or adult webcam business because they are out of a job and needing money to pay for basic living expenses, such as rent, phone, car, insurance. And yes, a lot of times people who have run into a little trouble start escorting or stripping or videos to pay for lawyer or court fees. Once you get into the industry, you may meet many young or even middle aged people who have at various times, or even on an ongoing basis make a lot of money only to blow it all and be back where they started. Younger people are especially prone to this, because they have never had experience managing money or sometimes they are independent for the first time. Here are some tips to cope with the big bump in income you will see from a budding career as a pornstar or webcam model:
Always Save A Portion of Your Payment
The new pair of jeans, the new pair of shoes, the cool upgrade you want for your truck, the latest iPhone – these things can wait and must wait until you have first set some money aside for a rainy day fund. There are a lot of blogs that talk about saving, so we aren’t going to go into details here. However, you should resist the urge to spend everything you make. Save up for taxes, or for periods when you can’t work. Remember, in the adult industry it is your looks that pay your bills. What if you get into a fight and have a black eye for a week? What if you become ill and have to miss a few shoots? There are always unexpected issues that might arise and prevent you from making money you expected to make, so always be sure to have a little something tucked away.
Prioritize Your Spending
We have worked with many people who are living on their own for the first time and decide to webcam or do porn to make ends meet. Over and over again, we see the same mistake: Not taking care of #1! Savings aside (see above), you need to prioritize your spending starting with the basics: Food and Shelter. Make sure you have money to pay your rent, or save up enough to make that down payment on a place so that you can move out of your parents house or get out of that nightmare roommate situation. Also make sure you have food – but don’t go crazy. Just because you have a wad of $100 bills in your pocket doesn’t mean you can eat out every meal. One young model, an 18 year old, was broke even after making well over $5,000 per month in the XXX business. Dejected, he started counting how he had spent his money, because he really had no idea. It turns out he was spending over $40 per day eating out for every meal. He had always had someone to cook for him until he got into the biz, but when he moved in with a roommate it was easier to dine out. Well that added up to $1200 per month in food costs!!
After food and shelter make sure you take care of the transportation you need. Remember, if you haven’t bought or owned your own car, there are always hidden expenses. If you do a set of shoots and bring home $2000, don’t spend the entire amount on a used car – there are other expenses like gas, insurance, and the occassional trip tot he mechanic. Instead, try saving up more and getting rides from friends until you can fully pay for your place, your food, your new clothes, and a car with insurance and all the gas you will need to drive to the places you go.
Don’t Be Overly Generous
We can’t count how many well intentioned boyfriends have spent all of their hard earned webcam money on a girlfriend, or how many porn actors give money to a friend, or family member. Remember, once you are the person in your circle making more money than everyone else, you will be the person everyone runs to with sob stories and immediate emergencies which require loans or a cash donation. If you have taken care of your food, rent, car, and other needs, AND have a few months living expenses saved up, then by all means be generous. But if you aren’t in a good financial spot in terms of your own future expenses, smile and plead that you can’t loan/give the money today, and offer to help your bf, gf, family, friend out in a non-monetary way.
Expect the Unexpected
Just because you made $4300 webcamming this month does not mean that this is your new normal income. Especially with anything online, there is an ebb and flow. Some days/weeks/months are better than others. It is best to plan your expenses based on your worst-performing weeks and then pocket the extra from those good weeks (see Savings above). Likewise, if you are a stripper or go-go dancer, or escort, a lot of places are very seasonal. Tourists go to Florida in the winter, and they go to Cape Cod in the summer. Treat every paycheck as if it might be your last for a while, or that your next paycheck may be lower. Hopefully this is not the case, but if it is, then at least you are not caught off guard