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Financial Tips From a Working Actress

February 11, 2019

Every few months, Carla Wadell receives a check in the mail. They come unannounced and almost always are, as she puts it, a wonderful surprise.

Carla is like most HR reps around the country. She spends her days screening and interviewing candidates, taking care of payroll and so on. But what you may not know about Carla is that she moonlights as a television and movie extra. And, those surprise checks she receives are pay for acting gigs. It all started a couple of years ago after her sister nominated her to go on a cooking show. That was her first big break on TV. And what started out as a hobby quickly morphed into a big dream Carla was determined to pursue.

“It changed my life,” she explains. “Since I did that show, my life has taken a 180-degree turn.”

The lights, the camera and action, however, all come with a price for any aspiring actor. So, how does she make it work financially?

Well, she hustles. And she kept her full-time job, for now.

Carla Wadell — Cooking Show

Acting Jobs Don’t Pay for Gas

When Carla decided to pursue her dream, she knew she needed a gameplan.

“I wanted to follow my heart and my dreams but I also needed to be realistic. My mother raised me to make the most of my decisions without ever becoming a burden to others,” she says. So how does she balance her passion and her chequebook?

  1. Plan Ahead Because most acting gigs pay weeks or sometimes even months later, Carla learned to pay her bills early and often. So whether she’s hit with an unexpected cost or travelling on short notice, Carla no longer worries about missing bill payments.
  1. Don’t Quit Your Day Job Having a full-time job to fall back on has its perks. “Whenever I need to go on an audition or out of town for work, I can take my vacation days and I drive for Lyft whenever I can,” she adds. For Carla, being prepared can mean the difference between good and bad credit.
  1. Save. Save. Save. By maintaining different savings accounts, Carla can keep her emergency savings funds separate from surprise expenses and daily purchases.

Carla cautions others in similar situations and asks them to be conscious of what they have. “You have to be super aware of what you have and what you don’t. Always be aware of how much you can actually afford to spend.”

Armed with her plans, Carla is taking another piece of advice her mom gave her — this is your life and you have to make the most of it. Don’t ever let anyone you hold back.

And she isn’t.


Through stories of our shared struggles and triumphs, we see that we’re all connected. Want to share your story? Email us at stories@earnin.com.

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4Disclaimer: Up to 2 days early is based on comparison with traditional banks. Exact timing is dependent on your employer's payroll policies. For more information on eligibility and requirements of Earnin Express, visit Earnin.com/TOS.

5Source: Internal analysis conducted by Earnin on December 10, 2020.

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2Balance Shield cash out is subject to your available earnings and daily pay period max. Other restrictions and/or third party fees may apply. For more information visit Earnin.com/TOS.

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1Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details.

2Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details.

3Balance Shield cash out is subject to your available earnings and your daily pay period max. Other restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details.

4NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the U.S. or DC. Games begin each Sunday starting 12/6/20 at 9:01 p.m. ET and end the following Monday at 9:00 p.m. ET with the last Game ending 12/19/21. To download the App, view the Official Rules, odds disclosures, prize details, and alternate means of entry, visit WeWin Game & Sweepstakes Official Rules. Void where prohibited. $10,000,000 grand prize payable over 29 years. Sponsor: Activehours, Inc. (d/b/a Earnin), 200 Portage Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306.

5Tip Yourself Account funds are held with Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC and FDIC insured up to $250,000. Tip Yourself is a 0% Annual Percentage Yield and $0 monthly fee service. Your Tip Yourself Account and any Tip Jars are not Savings Accounts. For more information/details visit Earnin.com/TOS.

6Up to two days early is based on comparison with traditional banks. Exact timing is dependent on your employer’s payroll policies. For more information on eligibility and requirements of Earnin Express, visit Earnin.com/TOS.

7Your Max on Earnin Express is up to 80% of your payroll or $1000, whichever is less. The 80% is dependent on you routing your full paycheck to Earnin Express. For more information on eligibility and requirements of Earnin Express, visit Earnin.com/TOS.

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1Disclaimer: Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for more details. Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection.

2Disclaimer: Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection. Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for details

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*Disclaimer: Balance Shield Cash Out is subject to your available earnings and daily pay period max.Other restrictions and/or thirdparty fees may apply. For more information visit Earnin.com/TOS

1Restrictions may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for more details. Tip Yourself Account funds are held with Evolve Bank & Trust, member FDIC and FDIC insured up to $250,000. Tip Yourself is a 0% Annual Percentage Yield and $0 monthly fee service. Your Tip Yourself Account and any Tip Jars are not Savings Accounts. For more information/details visit Earnin.com/TOS

2Disclaimer: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the U.S. or DC. Games begin each Sunday starting 12/6/20 at 9:01 p.m. ET and end the following Monday at 9:00 p.m. ET with the last Game ending 12/19/21. To download the App, view the Official Rules, odds disclosures, prize details, and alternate means of entry, visit https://www.Earnin.com/wewin/game-rules/. Void where prohibited. $10,000,000 grand prize payable over 29 years. Sponsor: Activehours, Inc. (d/b/a Earnin), 200 Portage Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306.

3Disclaimer: Restrictions Apply. See Earnin.com/wewin/pool-rules/ for more information

*Disclaimer: Up to 2 days early is based on comparison with traditional banks. Exact timing is dependent on your employer's payroll policies. For more information on eligibility and requirements of Earnin Express, visit Earnin.com/TOS.

**Disclaimer: Restrictions and/or third party fees may apply, see Earnin.com/TOS for more details. Lightning Speed may not be available to all Community Members. Cash Outs may take up to thirty minutes, actual transfer speeds will depend on your bank connection.

*Survey conducted in February 2020 with 889 participants.

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