Getting paid is one of the best parts of working.
However, if you don’t manage your finances with care, you could end up in trouble when quiet periods occur. Like any self-employed work, sex work has busy periods and quiet times, too. Then you have to remember living costs, expenses, and tax payments.
- Common financial challenges for sex workers
- Best financial management tips for sex workers
- How to determine your pricing strategy as a sex worker
- Creating and maintaining a budget as a sex worker
- Resources to help with pricing and financial management for sex workers
- The takeaway
If you’re a sex worker, it’s important to sit down with your finances and plan for the future. Don’t pass this off as an admin task you’ll “do later”. The sooner you start preparing your finances, the more protected you’ll be and the calmer you’ll feel.
Ready to get financially savvy? Here’s all you need to know.
Common financial challenges for sex workers
No one’s finances are exactly the same, but there are some common financial challenges that all sex workers face. Getting to know these will help you identify potential problems, and then you can work around them instead of falling into the traps.
Typical financial problems sex workers face include:
- Spending disposable income from busy periods. Many sex workers see busy and quiet periods. When your cash flow is high, you might be tempted to spend your cash while it’s there. It’s important to set some money aside for quieter times, you’ll thank yourself if you do
- Keeping cash hidden because of financial stigma. Many sex workers hide cash at home to avoid disclosing income to banks. However, this can lead to the bank rejecting home loans as your income/job seems unstable
- Not understanding tax payments. Similar to the point above, sex workers also face professional stigma, which can lead to an avoidance of proper tax advice. But working with sex-positive accountants can help you pay the correct amount. Taxes are confusing, and it’s always best to get professional advice if you don’t understand.
Best financial management tips for sex workers
The first step towards protecting yourself is learning the best financial management tips. Turn these tips into money habits, don’t just use them once.
Create money goals
When you’re making your own money, it’s important to set goals. Not only do goals help you achieve higher, but they hold you accountable for your saving and spending. For example, if you choose a dedicated amount, but all of it is spent at the end of the month, you might need to address your disposable income spending habits.
Knowing how much you earn per month can also help you map out the next month. This is ideal if you want to hit savings goals, pay your bills, and take some spare money home.
Consider an accountant
Many sex workers shy away from professional finance assistance, but sex-positive accountants can change the way you save. From tax assistance to business management advice, accountants are there to help you thrive financially.
Of course, accountants aren’t free. But there are some low-cost providers out there. Additionally, you can find accounting apps and software to help you organise your finances without working with a real accountant.
Don’t deprive yourself
Cutting down on unnecessary expenses is an important way to save money. But many financial gurus believe that you shouldn’t punish yourself. Set a budget for personal expenses, and don’t take this away unless you really need to. This will allow you to treat yourself and have fun, but it also helps you to focus on earning more. A win-win!
How to determine your pricing strategy as a sex worker
Setting your price as a sex worker is one of the first hurdles you face – and it’s one of the most important. But how do you create a pricing plan? Do you take numbers out of thin air? Or is there a guidebook somewhere?
The best way to set your rates as a sex worker is to scope out what other professionals are doing. Look at other sex workers who offer similar services and see what the average rates are.
You should also consider how much money you need to survive. Your rates should be enough to cover your basic needs, so never lower your prices too much – even if you want to offer competitive rates.
When in doubt, always chat with other sex workers for some advice.
Creating and maintaining a budget as a sex worker
A monthly budget is the best way to protect your financial interests. If you haven’t created one yet, it’s time to do it today.
A monthly budget takes your expenses (rent, bills, food) and your income and totals up how much you spend in each area. Once you’ve accounted for all necessary expenses, you’ll be able to work out how much you can afford to save.
Only once you’ve allocated some cash to savings should you start allocating money to disposable income. It doesn’t feel as fun, but having savings is worth it!
Sticking to a budget is tough, especially after a particularly big month. However, take time to review each area and remind yourself why you’re budgeting. Frequently checking in with your expenses will motivate you to stay on track.
How to save and invest your income
Ready to take your finances up a notch? Investing could be the step for you.
After you’ve created your budget, look at how much money you can save. Portion some of this cash for investments, such as ISAs and SIPP. You can also work with a financial advisor, who will be on hand to suggest which investments are best for your future interests.
What about tax/legal considerations?
Like any job, sex workers will have to pay taxes on their hard-earned cash. When you’re creating your budget, setting a portion of your income for taxes is also important. You can work out how much this is by looking at your tax bracket or by working with an accountant.
Resources to help with pricing and financial management for sex workers
Looking for assistance in setting your own prices? One of the best ways to work out your rates is by talking with other sex workers. The subreddit r/SexWorkers is always full of helpful users, and the idea of pricing is always discussed.
Helpful tools to help with financial literacy and stability
You don’t have to do it all alone. Today there are hundreds of helpful apps and software programs available to help you look after your financial interests.
Here are some of our favourites:
- Mint App. A popular budgeting app that makes your cash flow seriously clear – this is perfect if you want all your finances in one place
- Wise Bread. A website all about frugal living and personal finance advice
- The Financial Diet. A website dedicated to helping women talk about money
We hope you feel empowered to take your finances and get them in order. This isn’t the most enjoyable task, but it has to be done and it can protect your interests in the future. Getting prepared is always a positive step!