I made more money waitressing than posing for the camera: One model reveals the financial realities of her career

I made more money waitressing than posing for the camera: One model reveals the financial realities of her career

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UPDATED:

21:38 GMT, 25 September 2012

A model has revealed the financial hardships that she faced as a result of her career and how she overcame them.

Ashley Stetts, from Toronto, Canada, was signed by Ford Models aged 18, and after graduating from university she moved to New York to pursue a modelling career.

But far from enjoying a high-flying lifestyle, she found herself struggling to make ends meet, and was shocked to discover that she could earn more as a cocktail waitress than she could on the catwalk.

Survival of the fittest: Ashley Stetts (center) has revealed the financial challenges she faced while working as a model in New York

Survival of the fittest: Ashley Stetts (center) has revealed the financial challenges she faced while working as a model in New York

Ms Stetts revealed in an article on the Huffington Post that once she moved to Manhattan, she decided to supplement her income doing bottle service at a popular club and started raking in more than $1,000 a night .

Meanwhile the standard day rate for a magazine shoot was usually around $100 to $400.

She writes: 'I was making more money working three
nights a week than at any kind of entry-level job my degree could afford
me.

'I happily settled into my role of the stereotypical New York
model/waitress, making a combined income of a healthy six figures.'

'They live in model apartments with three other girls, and only
eat celery for dinner because they can't afford much'

During the eight years she has worked a model, Ms Stetts says she is
disappointed with the way many designers offer clothing instead of paying cash to the men and women they recruit for their runway shows.

As a result many models are forced to live in tiny apartments with several others, just so they can pay the bills.

'In reality, most models spend their
days schlepping to casting after casting, usually being rejected from
each one,' she said.

'They live in model apartments with three other girls, and only
eat celery for dinner because they can't afford much else.'

Career high: When she first moved to Manhattan Ms Stetts was paid $250 to front Women's Health Magazine

Career high: When she first moved to Manhattan Ms Stetts was paid $250 to front Women's Health Magazine

Size 4 Ms Stetts admits that over the years she has secured a number of financially rewarding modelling assignments.

In her late teens she was paid $250 to front Women's Health Magazine's Get Fit Faster! issue, posing in briefs and a cotton tee.

And today she gets consistent work as a fitting model – wearing prototypes
so fashion designers can check the fit and drape of clothing before they go to market – which pays $250 an hour.

However she highlights that the high paying jobs are few and far between.

Luckily Ms Stetts' waitressing work – which she has since quit – helped her stay financially afloat and she has built up a healthy savings account.

She is currently modelling full-time while investing energy into her website The Frugal Model, which offers financial advice to other young people in her position.

Self-reflection: Ms Stetts says that now she is nearing thirty she is worried that her modelling days could soon be over

Self-reflection: Ms Stetts says that now she is nearing thirty she is worried that her modelling days could soon be over

Bearing the strapline 'saving never looked this good' the site recommends everything from budget beauty tips to homemade hair treatments.

She says that the main reason many of her model friends have no money and a lot of debt, is that they have no idea how to invest their wages wisely.

'When you make money this easily, you
don't value it as much – it's easy come, easy go. I know a lot of girls
who have no savings and lots of debt:

'They get excited by the money, so
they start buying expensive things, but then they lose their clients
and freak out,' she revealed.

She adds that now she is nearing thirty she is becoming increasingly concerned that her modelling days will soon be over.

However with no relevant experience in a different industry, she fears that it will be difficult to change careers.

She reflects: 'Sometimes I wish I had graduated and taken an entry-level job at a company where I could have climbed the ladder… but I wouldn't have been able to enjoy my 20's and live it up in NYC the way I have – and that's an experience I wouldn't trade for the world.'