Money Talks is an xoNecole series where we talk candidly to real women about how they spend money, their relationship with money, and how they get it.
Full-time content creator Yvette Corinne has made waves in the content creation space. On the outside looking in, while some might feel like you have to have hundreds of thousands of followers in order to make a full-time living as an influencer, Yvette has managed to bring in six figures with a highly engaged Instagram community of more than 24,000 followers. And how did she do it? Well, her journey to wealth wasn't one without struggle. The Los Angeles-based micro-influencer got her start in content creation through blogging in 2016. That would lead to her growing her following on Instagram, which allowed her to balance her part-time retail job with being a part-time content creator.
Income from brand deals and partnerships eventually led to her toying with the idea of quitting her job to pursue influencing full-time. But she had a specific goal in mind before she felt confident enough to make the leap. The 32-year-old tells xoNecole: "I knew it was possible to go full-time in 2019. I kept telling myself if I can make at least $4,000 a month consistently, then I can quit my part-time job. All the while I had a goal to save $5,000 just in case I needed money when one of my brand payments came late. Well, about four months in a row I made the amount of money I desired, but I was still scared to quit my job."
Although she planned to quit her job at Topshop in March 2019, Yvette ultimately decided to stay on until the company's closing in July of the same year so that she could collect unemployment as an additional safety net in case things didn't go as planned. She left the retailer with about $3,000 saved. About a month into full-time content creation, she shared, she received the confirmation she needed to know she was on the right path. "I got my first big campaign. It was $5,000! That made me feel like, 'OK, Yvette, you can do this.'"
Keep reading to learn more about Yvette's budget breakdown, the lowest she's felt about finances, and the jobs and salaries that led her to what she does now for a living.
Courtesy of Yvette Corinne
On the jobs she worked before doing what she currently does:
"I’ve actually never had a full-time job. When I moved to L.A. after undergrad, I went straight into my master's and didn’t have time to work full-time. So I picked up part-time work at Zara and then, after graduating, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I quit that job and was unemployed for a few months and then started working at other retail jobs for the holiday season. Shortly after I got hired at Topshop doing their admin, [it was] still part-time because I started taking modeling and content creation seriously. In the midst of that, I transferred to the personal shopping department. I worked as a personal shopper until I eventually was a full-time creator. My pay started at $12/hr at Zara, $13/hr doing admin, and then $15/hr as a personal shopper."
On how much money she makes a year:
"Last year I ended at about $180K and this year, if everything stays consistent, I expect to make at least $200K. No month is the same, but this year I started off the first quarter strong and basically booked enough gigs to cover my necessary expenses. That has really set the tone for this year."
On the lowest she's ever felt because of her finances:
"2020 was the first year I made six figures, but in the first quarter of 2020 before lockdown, I was struggling. I remember needing $4,000 to cover my bills, my new apartment down payment, and making sure I was making all my payments on time while I was waiting for checks. My unemployment stopped and I was patiently waiting for the net60s and net90s (the 60-day and 90-day period from when an influencer fulfills their obligations and thereby is expected to receive payment for their deliverables). It was a struggle! Thankfully my mom gave me the money, and I paid her back as soon as I got back on my feet that same year. A true definition of anything can happen in a year."
"Mentally, I was stressed because the lockdown was shortly after and I had no idea if brand deals would be a thing anymore. But I just prayed and prayed that God would show me my next steps and He did! The year turned around and I made about 75% of my income in the second half of the year! Now, I don’t really worry about finances, because I know God’s got me."
On the revenue streams she uses to diversify her income:
"My streams of revenue are mainly brand partnerships which consist of me creating content for brands to use on their website, social media, and/or newsletters, and sponsored posts that I post on my personal social media accounts. Another stream of income that I have is affiliate marketing."
On how she approaches budgeting and tracking expenses:
"I use a spreadsheet and I have a budget planner that I love from a new company called MSTRPLN. I use Trello to track my brand deals and invoices/payments since I don’t have a manager to do those things for me."
On whether she is a spender or a saver:
"I consider myself both! I worked hard to enjoy the lifestyle that I have. I treat myself and make sure I am not saving to the point where I am not enjoying my money. I’ve always been obsessed with finance and I am a true Capricorn. If you know you know! When it comes to saving money, I live for a cushion. I have a few savings accounts with different banks. I have one tax savings account where I transfer money into as soon as I get paid to have it when it’s time to pay the man. [I also have] an emergency savings account that I transfer a certain amount of money to until I reach the goal I want to have there. For me, that’s about $30,000 because I want to have at least six months' worth of money to live off of just in case.
"My last savings account is my house fund! Hopefully, I’ll be engaged soon (laughs) and my boyfriend and I will be planning to get a house within the next few years. So we both have been saving for that moment separately, in our own personal savings accounts. I put a certain amount of money in each account every time I get a check!"
On unhealthy mindsets about money she had to let go of:
"There was a time where the savings was all I cared about and I didn’t want to spend money. The first time I spent a lump sum of money (it was for my electric car down payment), I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t feel attached to money as much because I knew that it was going to come back."
On the money mantra she lives by:
"'Money comes to me and through me. Period. I am no longer attached to money because I know that it will and can come back to me."
Yvette's Basic Monthly Budget Breakdown
- Apartment: $2,200; My portion of the rent because I live with my boyfriend, and yes, we split the bills. I have no problem with that. I have an office in our townhome, so I write off that room for my taxes.
- Utilities: $300
- Food: $750
- Car: Luckily, I have an electric vehicle, so it cost me like $50 a month to charge! I spend $250 on car insurance.
- Self-care: $250
- Overall Savings/Retirement: $20,000 in emergency savings; I'm still working on my retirement with my new financial adviser. It’s all so new to me. Building my emergency savings has been the most important thing for me because I don’t want to experience the stress that comes with waiting on checks ever again.
For more of Yvette, follow her on Instagram @yvettecorinne.
Featured image courtesy of Yvette Corinne