One Question Quiz

SocietyMay 14, 2024

The cost of being: A sex worker with a taste for luxury shopping


As part of our series exploring how New Zealanders live and our relationship with money, a masseuse tells us how much she earns and where she spends it.

Want to be part of The Cost of Being? Fill out the questionnaire here.

Gender: Female

Age: 33

Ethnicity: NZ European

Role: Sex worker/masseuse

Income: $120,000 – $130,000 a year.

My living location is: Urban

Rent/mortgage per week: $400 a week sharing a house with a friend.

Student loan or other debt payments per week: None.

Typical weekly food costs

Groceries: $150 a week for myself.

Eating out: $100 a week.

Takeaways: $30.

Workday lunches: None.

Cafe coffees/snacks: None.

Other food costs: None.

Savings: I currently have about $7k in savings. As I don’t get holiday pay, I spent a lot over the summer when I wasn’t working and had no income. I try to save $300-$500 per week..

I worry about money: Always.

Three words to describe my financial situation: Stressed, worried, foreboding.

My biggest edible indulgence would be: Eating at nice restaurants.

In a typical week my alcohol expenditure would be: $100.

In a typical week my transport expenditure would be: $40.

I estimate in the past year the ballpark amount I spent on my personal clothing (including sleepwear and underwear) was: $8k

My most expensive clothing in the past year was: $1700 on a Gucci bag.

My last pair of shoes cost: $250 for some white sneakers.

My grooming/beauty expenditure in a year is about: Nails (manicure and pedicure), hairdresser cut and colour, filler, anti-wrinkle, makeup, skincare. All up, around $7k per year.

My exercise expenditure in a year is about: $3000.

My last Friday night cost: $140.

Most regrettable purchase in the last 12 months was: An expensive hotel room.

Most indulgent purchase (that I don’t regret) in the last 12 months was: That $1700 designer bag.

One area where I’m a bit of a tightwad is: While I like luxury items, I compromise in other areas such as making my own work meal and coffees.

Five words to describe my financial personality would be: Indulgent, impulsive, bound by means.

I grew up in a house where money was: Tight.

The last time my Eftpos card was declined was: Probably three years ago.

In five years, in financial terms, I see myself: In a better position.

I would love to have more money for: Having my own home and security.

Describe your financial low: Six years ago I was living off a Winz benefit and was so broke I would steal tampons.

I give money away to: I often pay for friends’ meals etc.

Keep going!