How do you secure a home with a self employment job that doesn’t come with pay stubs?
Step 1: Securing A Place!
Depending on your age, location, property needs, etc. you will either be choosing to rent or own your next home! The requirements for these are a bit different.
Buying A New House
If you are planning to purchase a home, you will want to be sure you have a sizable down payment, especially if you have not been camming for 3+ years. This is because “self employment” income (1099-misc) is usually less trustworthy in the eyes of the banks you would be getting your mortgage through. Unless you can prove a sense of consistency through your tax records, they will be relying a lot on the amount of your down payment.
This also becomes tricky for models because, let’s face it, we don’t claim EVERY SINGLE THING we make. A lot of us don’t claim: amazon gift cards, various other gift cards, earnings from sites we made less than $400 on, payments for custom videos through sites which don’t report income, payments for our phone numbers/contact information, etc. Since some of these things aren’t claimed, it is hard for the bank to understand that the earnings laid out in your taxes aren’t what you are using for “spending money” as well as money for bills/payments.
Making sure your down payment is large will help show the bank you are able to save money and will give them more assurance that you’re likely to pay your loan.
Renting A New House
If you are planning to rent a home you will want to be sure you have “verifiable income.” This stresses a lot of people out because being self employed usually means we have income coming in from all over the place. If you report all your income on your taxes, then using your tax return paperwork and 1099’s will be the best way to prove your “verifiable income.”
If you don’t report all of your income on your taxes, get fan assistance with bills that you don’t report, or have some circumstance in which you don’t want to show them your 1099’s/tax documents (maybe because it states where the payment is coming from and sex worker discrimination is totally a thing) you can use bank statements! I am a renter and this is my personal method. Bank statements are also great for me because they can see the amount I make, the amount I spend, and the amount I put into savings on average. My bank statements prove that I am a good renter, they can see I pay my rent early/on time, and that I also pay many other bills regularly.
When providing bank statements, I always opt to provide the most recent 3 months of statements, and one from a year prior. It shows consistency! If you fear your potential landlord will discriminate against you due to your job, you can tell them many alternative job positions that aren’t really lies: social media marketing management, model, graphic designer, online client sourcing, marketing and affiliate blogging… you get the idea! You can pick something that fits you!
Step 2: Assessing Your Needs!
What you will need in a home will vary depending on what services you offer. If you have family/roommates, etc,
you’re living alone or with a partner you share a room with, you may want to opt for a 2 bedroom. You will be able to write off part of your rent on your taxes since your 2nd bedroom will be your “home office.” You will want to cam mostly if not solely from this room so it can’t be argued that you use it for personal gain.
Depending on your budget, you can also go bigger and get a 3 bedroom and have your camming room, and filming room or office. Your office would be where you do your social media managing, handle emails, update things, etc. This room would then also be able to get a tax write off.
Living With Family Or Roommates Is Trickier
If you live with family or a roommate, finding a home to suit your needs may be trickier. Homes with “mother-in-law suites” tend to be the best for situations like these. Although depending on your location that may be harder to find. You can also split floors to keep some privacy. This is especially important if you are going to be living with children who can not be around your work. If you are living with any minors, make sure you make your boundaries clear and have a door with a lock! Sites take minors appearing on cam very seriously, even if by mistake!
Step 3: Understanding Your Budget!
As a cam girl, our income is more high risk and unstable than people who work hourly or salary jobs. When deciding on a new home, it is advised by many companies that you make at least 3x the rent amount. So if you are getting a home that is $1,000 a month, you will want to be making $3,000 a month.
The biggest problem within the cam community is “buying at our highs” meaning when we submit rental verification etc. we “flex” with our income from good months. If you get $1,000 home in July, and made $1,500 in April and May but made $3,000 in June, then that home is too much for you. Good months are amazing and so fulfilling but they are not what you should base your income off of. Look through your past year of bank statements and find your lowest earning month, and your second lowest earning month.
Assess why those were low earning months (could you have made more if you worked more, but chose not to?) If your low earnings are due to personal lack of effort, consider if that is something that could happen again. If your low earnings can’t be traced back to a specific reason that you can fix or change, then these are the months you should base your income off of.
The great thing about staying within your means is that once you have another good month you will have so much extra money you won’t know what to do with it (and my suggestion is throw that into savings, because you never really know what’ll happen!)
Step 4: The Actual Moving Process!
Now this is the hardest part. I think at this point we all know how to move, right? Pack the boxes, dismantle the furniture, tape all the stuffs, cushion everything so it doesn’t break. If you are looking for a hassle free move to minimize your potential earnings loss as much as possible, here’s a check list:
- Call your internet provider and make sure they service the area you are moving to, and if they don’t search for other providers in the area. Set up the internet installation for the day you move in, so you will be able to get back online quickly.
- Have the electricity set up, you need electricity in order to use the internet.
- Label your “office” boxes appropriately and try to pack them and move them together. Keeping them together will minimize the chance of losing anything and make the unpacking process faster!
- Keep the “important stuff” near you at all times. You can work anywhere that has internet as long as you have your webcam, laptop and laptop charger. If it’s a long distance move take them in the car with you and don’t pack them into a moving truck. If it’s short distance, move these items first and leave them in a location where they won’t get mixed in with clutter.
- Owning dildos does not automatically label you as a sex worker. Being discreet is polite, but no one will die if they see your dildo. I know non-sex workers who own more sex toys than I do. Be subtle with your box labels and pack everything the right way so there’s no box issues that could result in a dildo disaster.
- Plan ahead. If you know the move will take x amount of days and you make an average of x amount on those days, strive to earn it ahead of time before your move.
- Don’t rely on crowd funding. A lot of models use crowd funding as ways to fund their move, and while crowd funding is a super awesome part of being a cam model, it doesn’t always work out or deliver the results like it should. Instead of viewing crowd funding as your source of money for the move, consider viewing it as a way to reimburse yourself for the money that you are spending, but do not expect to be reimbursed fully. If you are able to reach your crowd funding goals, that’s great! Try to keep some in savings just in case there is a slow month.
Step 5: Designing Your Space!
If you are like me, you like having minimal clean up required, functional space with mobility and ease of remodel. When designing your cam space, try to keep every possible show you could ever potentially provide in mind. If you’ll be doing a messy/oily show you may need sufficient space to stand, if you will be riding dildos you may need a bed/chair. You will most likely need toy storage. Depending on your living situation, you may want to either display these toys so they’re easily seen by viewers or hide them in drawers etc.
Cam Room Furniture
The best way to maximize your space is to have light furniture, so you can quickly move things that need to be moved to make the best looking cam space for the show you are providing at the time. It is also very beneficial to invest in mobile furniture. Bed frames with wheels, desks with wheels, cabinets / containers with wheels. It’ll make your life 10x easier to be able to quickly move things around if and when you need to, without having to ask for help due to heavy lifting.
Personal Preferences In Cam Room Design
Your personal preference will guide the rest of this process, if you browse the home page of any cam site you will find when you click into various models rooms they will all be designed differently an according to taste of the model. Some prefer simplistic rooms with little to no decoration, some prefer fairy lights and lace and flowers, some prefer using backdrops to enhance the look of the walls.
If you can’t decide which of these you are, you can decorate each wall space differently, and using your mobile desk just turn it to whichever direction you’re feeling that day. It’ll also change up the background of your shows and help keep the customers entertained and not feeling a “repetitive cycle” of the same backdrop.
*This post written by me was originally published on Webcam Startup: “Camgirls: Tips for Moving Into A New House (Buying or Renting)”