Despite the cash that is overflowing from their coach bags, most strippers have a fair amount of unmanaged debt that they do not know what to do with. Borrowing money is part of our culture, and since most everyone we know is drowning in debt, maybe you jumped on the bandwagon of irresponsibility. Maybe you got screwed in interest, and now you’re paying 10 times as much as you spent originally, now you are taking a stand against them and vow not to pay them at all. Maybe you are a little lazy and paying them means doing a bunch of things you don’t feel like doing right now, but you swear you’ll do it “later,” and maybe you think you are being good, you pay all your bills on time, but you pay the minimum due and your balances never seem to go down? (Maybe you have no debt at all and this post doesn’t apply to you, in which case, please comment how you managed your debt and give yourself a hug!)
Whatever the reason is, if you carry ANY debt as a dancer you are doing yourself a grave injustice. Strippers should be investing and MAKING money in interest on all the cash we make (even if you’re a low earning stripper, you can be providing for your future more capably now than possibly ever.) Right now, you make the cash that it costs to earn a Ph.D. Even if you have NO IDEA what you want your future to be like, trust that one day a plan will show itself to you (please watch this video). Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to quit dancing and dedicate 40 hours a week towards YOUR DREAM? You don’t have to run in the rat race like everyone else. If you pay off your debts and manage your money, you can live the life you want to live, without many of the limitations that keep people down. You don’t need to have a plan for the rest of your life right this instance to prepare yourself for a comfortable life, and there’s something you can do RIGHT NOW instead of browsing the internet to improve your life.
IF YOU PAY OFF YOUR DEBTS AND SAVE YOUR MONEY, THE LIFE YOU WANT IS YOURS, so the first step is to gather a list of all the people who you owe money to. If this seems daunting, just answer every blocked call, 800 number, or unknown call for a month or two. Also, check the mail daily and open everything that looks like a bill the second you get it. Write down all of the information from each-what you owe, whether the account is in collections, if not, what the interest is on the balance, and how much they want from you. Then start going through them one by one. Lots of places will settle your debt for less, and if it’s in collections I say do that.
Please don’t go getting student loans, either. If you have one, pay it off, if you don’t, get on a payment plan, work more shifts, put a little more work into refining your hustle so you make more money, and pay for school up front. “Dancing your way through college” is a bullshit excuse for what you’re doing if you are graduating with the same debt as your cousin who works at Whole Foods. Don’t take loans for ANYTHING but a home if you can avoid it (which you can).
I am not a financial advisor, but there are ton’s of books on debt management that can help you. I definitely recommend Suze Orman, I got through all of my debt while reading Women and Money. Lots of the advice in personal finance books don’t apply to dancers because we make cash, but paying off your debts is a must for all people, it just so happens that it’s actually POSSIBLE for strippers. The bottom line is, even though you can’t see it, the interest on those cards is eating away at your hard earned money. These credit card companies are in business to make LOTS of money off of you, and if you aren’t paying attention, they will. Carry a low balance on your cards, and pay it in full each month. Don’t borrow money you don’t have. Save. Pay for everything you have up front. I never tell someone to “bill me.” and ALWAYS pay cash when possible.
I will post more on earning back interest with IRAs, savings accounts, and mutual funds later on, but while you wait, pick up the phone and cancel that Victoria’s Secret Card.
related post: Control your Credit
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