Camgirl Economics

I see a lot of posts from both newer and experienced girls asking things like 'How much should I charge?' and 'How much is normal money to make?' I also see a lot of us talking about things like weekly goals, how much we make in a week or a night, or what have you. None of this talk has any real meaning because it gives no context. Even when cam models talk about hourly rates they often talk about either what the site charged for them instead of their take or neglect to figure in all the other hours where they did nothing. This is all fine and well, and sometimes encouraging, but my autism (it's like OCD, but different) just won't let it slide. So here is a primer on how to track what you really make and how to evaluate that in the real world.

1 - Minimum Wage

You need to establish first what you gain and lose financially from this job. Many girls make a few dollars and think they're doing great…easy money right? Well, not really. You need to compare what you are making with what you would make in a legit job getting a few more hours in. You also need to establish what your salary needs to be in order to live.

For Americans living outside major cities, a living wage is around $14-16/hour if you have a small family. Single, you could get away with a little less, living with parents, even less. This is your starting goal and what you should compare next.

You also need to realize that in some cases, you will be harming potential future earnings in a 'real job', as well as incurring a risk of being outted. Flashing your boobies everywhere should not be for minimum wage. Figure this into your living wage as you see fit.

Write down this exact number. Now write down the minimum wage for your area next to it ($7.25/hour in the US I think). We'll get to that later.

2 - Sunk Costs

In a normal job, you iron your clothes, put them on, and go to work. Your commute time is a sunk cost, as well as your professional wardrobe. Say you make $10/hour for an 8 hour day. $80, right? Now figure in that you spent an hour in traffic each way and that you need about $1000 in work clothes each year to do your job, your actual effective wage is about $6.80/hour.

For camming, time is money. You need to calculate this money every week, starting with factoring your 'sunk costs.' Tally up the following:

- All time spent doing hair and makeup to get on cam.
- All time spent doing purely research for cam work.
- All time spent filming clips and intro videos.
- All time spent tweeting, blogging, answering emails, looking at penis pics, posting on cam forums for real info (not playing), maintaining your web pages, etc.
- All time spent in cleanup and prep, making homemade lube and washing your toys when you're done.

For some this is easy, but many cammers forget exactly what else they do for their job off cam. To make things easy, just jot a number down for your typical week.

If you're good at multitasking, go ahead and take some time back off that number, for example, if you wash your family dinner dishes and dildos at the same time.

3 - Your Active Time

This is a little easier than 'sunk costs.' Many sites even do the work for you. Always find your total time online if you can, nothing else matters. Your 'time in paid' and 'percent in paid' are bullshit for these calculations…they may be good for bragging rights, but it doesn't mean much in the end. For some sites, you may need to just track this yourself.

It gets a little trickier with Skype and Yahoo messaging being a part of your business, as many campersons flip them on and go do other things waiting for a bite. If you are actively watching it, sitting at the computer, then that time counts. You need to be very honest when adding up that time. I suggest keeping a log for at least a week so you get a real idea just how much time you spend. Time actually spent in a Skype/Yahoo show of course also counts.

It's important at every step here not to cheat yourself to make yourself feel better. I have an advantage in this with my hubby - we keep each other honest.

4 - Your Earnings

Here's another place where it can get tricky and people have a tendency to fool themselves. The money only counts when it hits your bank account.
This means that you must total your weekly earnings from every single source, and deduct every single possible fee and cut.

If you take Amazon Gift cards, figure that in any way you want to. I turn it into cash first (where I lose 20%), and then figure it in.

5 - Expenses

Now, you also need to deduct anything you bought for the sole purpose of camming - even if the IRS doesn't count it, you need to count it. Cameras, fancy computer equipment, lighting, lube, costumes, and toys are typical expenses that don't have much value outside your cam work. If you bought it that week, it goes against that week's earnings. Again, no cheating.

6 - Putting it all together

Here's the simple formula:

(Earnings - Expenses) / (Sunk Costs + Active Time, in hours)

For example, you spend 2 hours a week on extras and 18 hours on cam, and you make a respectable $420, but spent $15 on new panties at Kohl's for selling later. So (420 - 15) / (18 + 2) = $20.25/hour for that week.

If you do this every week, you will start to see patterns emerge. Your earnings will trend slightly upwards, but the 'outliers' - lucky or unlucky days - will tend to cancel out and you will see just what your camming is worth.

7 - Judge Thyself

Now remember that number from the beginning. Compare it to what the reality is. If it is at or above your 'living wage' number, congratulations! You win the internets! Keep doing what you're doing, but up your goals just a bit higher…mama needs a nice retirement.

If it is a little below this number, you need to step up your game a bit. There's plenty of ways to do this, but that's for another article and there's plenty of advice for this everywhere. The easiest thing to do is charge more!

If you aren't even hitting your area's 'minimum wage,' well, that's brutal and you really need to rethink your career choices if flipping burgers is more profitable. Please just don't lower your prices, it doesn't work like that (also another topic). To paraphrase my mother-in-law, 'Camming isn't for everyone.'

Models that are brand new to camming may not break minimum wage for at least a week or three, after the 'new model' spike in earnings. If you stay consistently below minimum wage after a month, though, do not make plans to quit your day job nor should you stop passing around your CV.

8 - Conclusion

I know this is 'common sense' for a lot of people, but for some they do need a lot of help in figuring out their finances. I know some very smart people that have a lot of problems with this.

Tracking your income also has the practical advantage of making filing your taxes easier, and lets you see how easy it is to track multiple income streams you can gain from multitasking. More money in fewer hours is the name of the game.

Thanks for reading!

KatyBoleyn and NaughtyGamer have 1 management and 2 accounting degrees between them. Camming is so far the most useful thing that can be done with such education.

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MamaRedHot Goddess
October 18, 2013 - 3:19

"Wash your family dishes and dildos at the same time".....Brilliant! A great lesson for noobs and vets alike. Cheers!Smiley (wine)

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ChanelEvans Superstar
October 19, 2013 - 3:26

great article!!

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Maddie67 Demigod
October 20, 2013 - 22:33

Thank you. Most informative!

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GamerGirl Hero
October 22, 2013 - 2:27

Love this! Thanks Smiley :D

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TerraFae Rookie
October 22, 2013 - 19:00

Love this, it's really helpful for someone going in like me. Thank you so much!

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phoenix_cdn Professional
October 26, 2013 - 1:32

Love it thanks! Wish I could link to you ..."also another topic"... topics from here!! Smiley :)

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stilettobabe Hero
November 3, 2013 - 13:04

it's always great to read from an OCDed person, thanks for taking the time in sharing. Smiley (flower)

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RedJules Goddess
November 5, 2013 - 11:33

Very informative. Thank you Smiley :)

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islandbella Wizard
November 6, 2013 - 22:18

Thanks for this. It puts everything into perceptive.

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CocoLoca Wizard
November 7, 2013 - 22:29

Great article! Thanks for sharing!

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TexasBabe40 Wizard
November 8, 2013 - 14:22

exactly right! Charge what you know you're worth and then add another 20% hahaha blessed day everyone Smiley (flower)

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abbeyc4 Amateur
November 15, 2013 - 15:50

This is incredible info! Do you mind if I take some of your advice and tips to put on the Cam4 blog? Of course I will certainly give all credit to you Smiley :D

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BlazeFyre Hero
November 20, 2013 - 4:02

Incredible article! I love everything about it. Camming is not for everyone and we need to come together and help each other figure it out.

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patraniles Expert
March 7, 2014 - 22:03

You got it right with this article, great job and love the info.

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lexilexi Experienced
August 15, 2014 - 8:41

this is a FANTASTIC article!! very nice.

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evafontaine Hotshot
September 2, 2014 - 12:10

cool

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xkatiebabyx Expert
March 10, 2015 - 3:51

This is a great article. thanks for posting. Is there a way to like or rate these? :-/ x

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petiterose Graduate
March 1, 2017 - 1:36

Awesome. Thanks for this

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camgirlspain Beginner
November 29, 2017 - 10:52

I really am very grateful for these fabulous tips. I am a Spanish girl and I have worked for different international pages and this post is a great help for those webcam girls who are starting in webcam modeling. I currently work at Webcampornotube.com and the truth is that everything is fine. It is best to be as natural as possible in front of the webcam.

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