A Week As A Cam Girl On A $90,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennial women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar. (Thanks, New York mag, for the inspiration.) This week, a cam girl in San Francisco, stocking up on work supplies (lingerie, vibrators, and makeup).
Industry: Webcam modeling. Mostly on MyFreeCams, but I also sell picture sets, custom videos, and sometimes get gifts through Amazon WishLists, but nothing too crazy. Some girls get designer bags and stuff, but I put stuff like books on mine.
Age: 23
Location: San Francisco, CA
Salary: $90k on average
Paycheck Amount: It varies. This week, I earned $4,188.95, which was extremely lucrative. Last week, I only made $400 total. It comes in waves; checks are slightly bigger or smaller depending on how much I work in a pay period.
Number of roommates: 0
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $2,195. I live in a studio that is obscenely priced, but my building is safe. It's in sort of a sketchy neighborhood (the Tenderloin), but it's so central, it makes it worth it.
Student Loan Payments: $325
Utilities: $235
MUNI + BART pass: $83
Phone Bill: $115
Health Insurance: $268
High-Speed Internet: $60
Netflix: $10
Tidal: $20
Savings: At least $1,200 a month. I'm saving for grad school (I want to be a psychologist). I also pay taxes at the end of the year, so it's crucial that I save throughout the year so I don't get swamped.

Day One

12 p.m. — I worked until 1 a.m. last night, so I wake up around noon and eat a banana and some turkey (together — it's so good, I swear!) before heading to the gym. I'd love to dish out for an Equinox membership, but it's much harder to find an excuse when there's a free gym in my building. 2 p.m. — I hate cooking. I hardly ever do it. I usually go out to at least pick up lunch because I can end up cooped in my place for days on end working and sleeping if I don't! Today, I go to Thai Tycoon and get a cucumber salad, a Thai iced tea, and Pad Mee Lao. $20 4 p.m. — I order from Thrive Market a lot because I don't have a car, and I don't ever want to do real grocery shopping. I pay an annual fee ($60) and get great food at discounted prices throughout the year. I order probably once or twice a month. This time I get: Guayaki energy shots, aduki beans, quinoa, jasmine rice, chicken broth, pickled jalapeños, five boxes of Annie's shells and white cheddar, tuna, a few boxes of pasta, a few Frontier soup mixes (the BEST!), tomato sauce, falafel chips, barbecue green peas, plantain chips, freeze-dried pineapple, a box of Mamma Chia Chia strawberry banana squeezes, Primal Kitchen Greek vinaigrette, and my all-time favorite thing (I eat the most of this and have to have it at all times): Udi gluten-free coconut peanut butter cookies. I also get Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo as a free gift. $166 8 p.m. — After lounging around watching Bloodline on Netflix, I head back to the gym for round two. Once I'm done, I eat the rest of my lunch for dinner and have a few seaweed snacks before getting ready for work. 9 p.m. — I start getting ready for work. Most days, it takes me an hour to get ready, with hair and makeup. There are some days when I just put concealer on, though. I usually work on my bed, so I also try to make my bed, clear any clutter you can see, clean toys, etc. 10 p.m. — I start working. I typically work nights around 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., sometimes earlier or longer depending on how much is coming in. The way it works is I have my main channel, where I chat with all my viewers, and I mostly just talk to them. I get "tips" in this channel — viewers buy tokens on the site, and they'll give them to me, sometimes just for doing nothing because they're feeling generous, or sometimes I'll set a price for something like flashing the camera. Each token gets me $0.05. I spend most of my time working private shows or group shows. I get 50 cents a minute for group shows, $3 a minute for private shows (and an extra $1 a minute if voyeurs "secretly" watch). A "true" private, without any voyeurs, gets me $5 per minute. 4 a.m. — I wrap up work. I ended up with six private sessions, two private sessions with voyeurs, four true private sessions, and five group shows. I also had a 20-minute private Skype show, which I charge $75 for every five minutes (I get paid directly through Paxum, a sex-work-friendly version of Paypal). Plus tips, I make a total of $1,478.65 before going to bed.

Daily Total: $186

Day Two

1 p.m. — I wake up later than normal because I was up working late last night; there are some nights when people are being extra generous, and I don't want to stop working. I'm lagging today, so I skip the gym and meet a friend for coffee and lunch. I have a large coffee and a breakfast sandwich. $8 2 p.m. — I work almost every day and have a lot of clients who watch just as much, so I try to keep up by replenishing my underwear stock once a month so they aren't seeing the same thing all the time. This week is "upkeep week," so it's going to be a little more expensive than usual. I head to Victoria's Secret and get 15 pairs of panties, four bras, and a pair of sweats (the sweats are just for me). I keep tabs of these work expenses, so I can deduct them at the end of the year. $250

5 p.m. — I eat a banana with almond butter. Was planning to go to the gym but I take a nap instead. 8 p.m. — I meet up with friends for drinks to celebrate a friend's birthday. I buy a round of drinks. $50

11 p.m. to 2 a.m. — I eat a bowl of granola, a banana, and a tuna sandwich before starting work. First up, a six-minute private with one voyeur, then three more private shows, and two group shows, plus tips. I make $480.95 and then eat some soup before going to bed.

Daily Total: $308

Day Three

12 p.m. — Wake up and go to the gym. Afterward, I buy a lemonade and a sandwich before running errands. $12 3 p.m. — I get a blowout. I can't figure out how to do my own hair ever, so I get it done probably once a week, right before my busiest work days. This also gets deducted from my taxes. $70 4 p.m. — I'm in a slump. I get a large coffee and cookie. $6 8 p.m. — I go to a Disclosure concert with some friends. Buy a few drinks and a bacon-wrapped hot dog. Taking the night off tonight, so I can stay out later. $50 Daily Total: $138

Day Four

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — I eat a bowl of granola with a banana before working for a little bit, since I took the night off. I end up with a nine-minute private session, a group show, and another private show. I make $62.15. 2 p.m. — I hit the gym and then meet a friend for lunch. I have a ginger beef quinoa bowl with a hibiscus kombucha, and we split an order of spring rolls. $20 4 p.m. — I go to Sephora and pick up concealer and highlighter. $70 6 p.m. — My Glossier Balm Dot Com I ordered a while ago comes in the mail. I love it so much, I buy three more online. $30 9 p.m. — I eat some soup and an almond-butter-and-banana sandwich (realizing I eat a lot of bananas) before work. 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. — Work. First, I create and edit a custom video for a client, for which I charge $250. I don't feel up for any private or group chats today, so I do a few special themed shows on my main channel: I have a strip show, shower on camera, use coconut oil, and paint my toenails naked. I make $566.15 (all in tips), finish up working, eat some soup, and finally go to bed. Daily Total: $120

Day Five

3 p.m. — I slept the entire day. I buy a large coffee on the way to a cardio barre class. $3 coffee, plus I re-up my five-pack of classes for $40. $43 4:30 p.m. — Again, since I have a lot of frequent viewers, I like to do new things to keep them coming back. I decide to go shopping for sex toys. I don't like anything that looks vulgar or plastic, so I buy things that are pretty and unique. I pick up the new Jopen Callie dual massager and a Bamboo rose-gold vibrator. I'll deduct these at the end of the year. $100 7 p.m. — I order a salad and burger on Seamless to eat while I watch Netflix before work. $25

9 p.m. to 3 a.m. — I work in the main channel for a little bit, then hop on a 60-minute private Skype show. This only happens once a month with a regular, but I get $900 for the Skype session. I also do a couple more private shows and a group show (another $79.15) before going to bed.

Daily Total: $168

Day Six

12 p.m. — I wake up and then go to the store and buy bananas and ingredients for lasagna. $60 1 p.m. — I start making the sauce for my lasagna, I'm making it for a guy whom I've been seeing for awhile. He just got a promotion, and lasagna is the only impressive thing I know how to make. 2 p.m. — I eat a banana and some soup before working early so I can have the night free. 5 p.m. — I go buy a new dress from Aritzia for tonight. I'll pretend it's just something I had in my closet. $100 8 p.m. — He comes over with wine, and we have a nice evening. I eat way too much lasagna. Daily Total: $160

Day Seven

7 a.m. — My guy gets some coffee and a breakfast sandwich before he heads to work. 10 a.m. — I can't get back to sleep, so after lounging around and doing nothing, I go to the gym. Afterward, I go to Walgreens and buy toothpaste and a Snickers. $8 12 p.m. — I get a Brazilian and brow cleanup, which I'll also deduct from my taxes. It's exhausting to keep track of, but helps so much when it comes to tax time because I generally owe a lot! I don't write off makeup, though, because I use it in my everyday life. $75

1 p.m. — I'm starving. I text a friend to meet up for lunch and order a fried-chicken sandwich, collard greens, and a bottled water. $15

3 p.m. — My glasses broke. I order a new pair on Warby Parker. $95

6 p.m. — I grab happy hour drinks and snacks with friends. I buy a round and some fries. $55

10 p.m. — I eat the rest of my lunch for dinner before getting ready for work. In the last two hours of this diary, I make $371.90 off one private session and a group show, plus 7,198 tokens for tips.
Daily Total: $248
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