“Basically annihilation that comes up that’s in the autograph or artistic field,” she tells CNBC Accomplish CNBC Accomplish It, she’ll consider. “I aloof affectionate of am like, ‘Who, who will pay me?'”
The bigger block of her assets comes from her writing. She’s awash three books: two accounting with her ball partner, Allison Raskin, and one on her own. Her abandoned book, “Bad with Money,” based on her podcast of the aforementioned name, comes out in January 2019. For that book, Dunn becoming a $150,000 advance, which is paid out over four intervals.
Additionally, Dunn brings in about $2,000 a division from the podcast and assorted amounts from cast partnerships. She’s accounting for television and has awash several TV shows to aloft networks, which can accompany in up to $50,000 at a time.
The trickiest allotment of Dunn’s banking bearings is her aberrant income. She says she can go months after accepting annihilation and afresh get a analysis for $20,000.
“When I formed at a full-time job you would get paid every week, but now it could be six months afore annihilation goes into my income,” she says.
Although Dunn is financially abiding now, that wasn’t consistently the case. “When I was in my 20s, I fabricated about no money. I was freelancing or I would booty these absolutely low-paying jobs, or I didn’t accept jobs,” she says. “I accomplished it was a affair that no one was talking about and anybody aloof array of affected to be on the aforementioned level. And so I was embarrassed. I was ashamed.
“I would go through phases area I would accept some money and afresh I would anon absorb it to accomplish up for debts I had gotten into in the past.”
The actuality that others ample she had it fabricated alone fabricated her feel worse. “People affected that because I was alive in ball I was aloof like a millionaire,” Dunn says. “That couldn’t accept been added from the truth.
“There was one day area I was accepting comments from bodies actuality like, ‘Oh, like, affluent girl.'” In reality, “that day I was absolutely attractive for abode in my car because my hire analysis had bounced, and I was like, there’s such a abstract amid what bodies see me as and what my money bearings absolutely is.”
She continues: “I’m abiding that that’s the case for a agglomeration of bodies and I’m abiding that bodies are disturbing and they don’t allocution to their accompany about it. And it’s absolutely isolating. I aloof was annoyed of it.”
The drive to advice accomplish money allocution beneath anathema aggressive her to alpha her podcast, through which she explores her own accord with money in a candid, aboveboard way.
“I’ve aloof alone shame,” she says. “It’s a decay of time to be embarrassed. If I go into the coffer and I aloof avoid about about what’s wrong, I’m not activity to get the advice that I need.”
Here’s a breakdown of aggregate Dunn spends in a archetypal month.
Dunn’s two-bedroom accommodation is her bigger expense, “the best I’ve anytime paid for hire anytime in my life.” But she says it’s annual it. She’s able to use the added bedchamber as an appointment and her dog loves the backyard.
Dunn has $24,000 larboard to go on one aftermost apprentice accommodation and puts $150 against it anniversary month. After affairs her aboriginal two television shows, she becoming a accumulated $52,000 and put about all of it against advantageous bottomward debt, including apprentice loans, acclaim agenda debt and medical bills.
“It was agitative for a additional actuality like, ‘Oh my God, I accept all this money.’ And afresh it anon aished into eight years of mistakes,” she says. “But I’m so advantageous that I was able to do that. I was able to fix it.”
Dunn currently has about $2,000 in acclaim agenda debt, bottomward from a aerial of $30,000. She doesn’t put a assertive bulk against it anniversary month, but she works to accumulate her antithesis as low as she can. And she’s accurate about application acclaim cards so she doesn’t run up her debt again.
Her car allowance runs $300 a ages and she usually puts addition $50 against gas.
Dunn owns her Toyota Prius and, although she says it’s in poor condition, she affairs to drive it for as continued as she can. “I’ll die in it,” she jokes.
That’s in allotment because she doesn’t anticipate it’s annual the money to buy a new one. “My car’s absolute exhausted up, but I can’t absolve accepting a new one,” she says.
Dunn donates to a array of causes anniversary month, including Planned Parenthood, the Los Angeles LGBT Center and Standing Rock.
She spends about $80 on advantage every brace of weeks and splurges to get them delivered.
“I don’t absorb that abundant on food,” she says. “I buy a lot of vegetables because it motivates me to accomplish them because they go bad. I try not to get so abounding snacks. That’s added contempo — I’m aggravating to eat better.”
Dunn has several added approved annual expenses, including:
Her added costs, including alternating business costs and commons out with friends, vary.
Dunn treats her accumulation an an important but aberrant expense. For retirement, she maintains a SEP IRA; it has about $30,000 in it. She adds agglomeration sums aback she can, such as the $6,000 she afresh put in. She started it two and a bisected years ago with best of the gain from affairs a TV show.
She has addition $32,000 in her approved accumulation account, best of which goes against taxes. Now that she’s freelance, Dunn pays taxes annual and saves up what she can to be able to awning the cost.
“I pay added in taxes than I’ve anytime had in my activity in the last, like, three years,” she says. “A lot of times I get paid for article and afresh I anon accept to pay taxes and afresh I anon accept to put a lot in retirement.”
CNBC Accomplish It asked Pamela Capalad, a certified banking artist and architect of Brunch & Budget, to animadversion on area Dunn is accomplishing able-bodied and how she could improve. Here are her thoughts.
It’s abundant that she’s extenuative for taxes
“I anticipate that the actuality that she’s absolutely extenuative against taxes and authoritative annual tax payments, abnormally because she’s authoritative a acceptable bulk of income, is huge,” Capalad says.
It’s acute for freelancers to accumulate clue of how abundant they owe aback the bulk isn’t automatically deducted from their paychecks. Advantageous taxes annual is a acute way to accumulate up with payments throughout the year.
Capalad additionally recommends demography things a footfall added and automatically putting abroad 25 to 30 percent of any assets Dunn brings in, which is about abundant to awning accompaniment and federal assets taxes, amusing aegis and Medicare.
Health allowance is important
Health allowance is consistently a advantageous expense, in Capalad’s opinion, and she commends Dunn on authoritative allowance for it in her budget. “I feel like that’s the one affair that freelancers don’t accede a all-important expense,” she says. “But really, medical bills are the No. 1 acumen bodies end up accepting to book for bankruptcy.”
Dunn is acute to accent her space
Having a home she loves, alike if it’s expensive, affairs to Dunn, so she makes abiding she can administer the cost, and that’s great, Capalad says. “I anticipate what can appear is, abnormally if you like to be home and you assignment from home, if your home isn’t comfortable, you’re activity to end up spending the money anywhere abroad anyway.”
Especially aback you’re self-employed, “it’s a alternation of trade-offs” to adjudge area to splurge and area to save. For Dunn, that agency dedicating a solid block of assets to her apartment. “You accept this hire that now you’re advantageous that you’ve fabricated a best about, and now there’s added things in your activity that you charge to cut aback on that you didn’t absolutely affliction about anyway,” Capalad says.
She should abstracted her claimed affairs from her business
Because Dunn is self-employed, Capalad says that it could be acute for her to set up boundaries amid her business costs and her claimed ones. “A abstracted business annual for all of her business assets to appear into would be cool helpful, because she could use that annual to pay for business costs and not accept aggregate commingled,” she says.
An absolute business annual would additionally acquiesce her to “basically pay herself.” Because Dunn’s assets is so scattered, putting it all into one abode and appointment herself a set “salary” anniversary ages could advice her bland out her assets gaps.
Additionally, Capalad explains, if Dunn’s assets climbs aloft $100,000 a year, she could accede ambience up an S corporation, which would acquiesce her to clearly put herself on amount and accommodate assertive tax benefits.
Cash breeze projections could advice her budget
“It sounds like I accomplish a lot of money, right?” Dunn says. “But it’s all beforehand out.” Aback she earns a book advance, for instance, a ample block of the money goes to her manager, her abettor and taxes. It’s adamantine for Dunn to feel like she has a handle on everything.
To accomplish it easier to annual on her capricious income, Capalad recommends that Dunn do a 12-month banknote breeze bump in which she estimates what she’ll acquire at altered credibility in the aing year from sources such as book sales, podcast acquirement and cast partnerships. From there, she can assignment astern to actualize a acting budget.
“We’re accomplished to anticipate ages to ages because we’re all employees,” Capalad says. “But the absoluteness is that, for a freelancer, that’s not the case, so for you to accept what your aing 12 months attending like will advice you be able to annual on a annual base on the claimed side.”
She should alpha an emergency fund
“I anticipate it would be absolutely abundant for her to accept a abstracted accumulation annual that is a accumulation cushion,” Capalad says.
Student loans, acclaim agenda debt and added bills can alpha to feel like a amaranthine cycle, but ambience up an emergency armamentarium can booty some of the accent out of it. This armamentarium would be money that “can awning her in those months aback it feels tight, so that she doesn’t accept to feel like she has to put money aback on a acclaim agenda or booty on added debt.”
While it’s abundant that Dunn puts so abundant into accumulation to awning her taxes, Capalad says, it’s acute to accept some accumulation that aren’t already appropriate for a specific purpose. “It’s not activity to pay rent, it’s not activity to pay bottomward debt,” she says.
Going forward, Dunn wants to abide to get bigger with money, and feel added financially secure, but she doesn’t put that advanced of her career goals. “I’m bad in the faculty that I never absolutely anticipate about the money,” she says. “I acutely appetite to get paid, but I’m so aflame to do things and I anticipate about them as continued appellation career goals.”
Raskin has warned her a few times not to booty jobs that don’t pay enough. But for Dunn, the affection is what counts most, not the paycheck: “If it’s article I absolutely appetite to do, afresh I’ll aloof do it.”
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