We call her the Suze Orman of our generation. Ashley Stetts from The Frugal Model went from modeling to sharing money-saving advice on everything from travel, fashion and teaching us how to be fabulous and frugal in one on her blog at thefrugalmodel.com
Meet Ashley Stetts from The Frugal Model…
Tell us about Ashley Stetts. We want to know all about your beautiful self.
I grew up in Toronto, and was raised by a super frugal dad who taught me the value of saving money every chance you could so that you can afford the things that you want in life. I moved to NYC straight out of university and ended up storing my nice degree to work in nightlife and as a model. NYC is one of the most expensive cities to live in, so being frugal and knowing how to live luxe for less were essential skills to have!
You went from modeling to helping other woman look and feel their best on a budget. How did you get started with having your own blog, The Frugal Model? We are huge fans!
Thanks so much – I’m a huge fan of Island Fever Sisters! I became known in my circle of friends as the one who could always get the best deal on just about anything. I was always giving money advice and helping friends buy and sell on eBay. Finally one day it was suggested that I share my wealth of tips and advice online… and TFM was born. It has been so rewarding getting emails from women giving me credit for helping them grow their savings or start a retirement fund. Having the ability to be financially independent is so empowering, and I’m grateful to have the ability to help women to experience that.
How was it being in the modeling industry? Glamorous?
Modeling is amazing in that you have a lot of flexibility to do other things, and it afforded me a great lifestyle in NYC. I was fortunate to be consistently working, but the real money generally comes from the most unglamorous jobs. Behind the scenes modeling like doing fittings for designers and showroom for department stores brings in much more money than the magazine covers. That’s probably the biggest misconception – that the girls you see in magazines are living a glam life, when really those print jobs pay the least. Most models really struggle to make ends meet and need to take other jobs to pay their bills.
What advice can you give to anyone that is starting his or her modeling career and we’re not talking about instagram models? Ha!
Ha everyone is already an instagram model, but the modeling industry is not for the faint of heart. There is a ton of rejection involved in this work, and you have to build a thick skin and not take anything personally. Ultimately you are being judged solely on the way you look, and that can be tough. If it’s something you’re really passionate about, it’s important to be resilient and never take no for an answer. When I was first starting out, many agencies said no to me – and I’m so happy that I kept trying instead of going home and eating a pint of ice cream while I cried in my pillow (it’s really not helpful).
We love fashion, but not the hefty price tag it often comes with. What sites do you recommend for a great deal?
I am a big fan of eBay. It remains the main marketplace for people buying and selling their high-end designer things. Since eBay works by people putting their own things up for sale, in my experience there’s always room for negotiation. I have often messaged sellers asking if they would take a lower price and it works. Most of my Louboutins and designer handbags have been purchased this way – and I always pay a fraction of retail prices (especially when bought lightly preowned).
Is there a favorite style you are currently sporting these days?
I just got back from Coachella, and I am in love with the festival look. Distressed denim shorts, flowy blouses and a chic hat with boots are the go-to outfit I wish I could wear year round.
Are there any great apps that we need to know about to save even more on purchases?
I love social coupon apps like Living Social, but my go-to app for shopping is Amazon. This site generally has the best deals and is the best resource for comparing prices online. Apps like RedLaser are also great for scanning something that you’re looking to buy and making sure it’s not cheaper elsewhere or online. Of course the eBay app comes in handy for making last minute bids on items you’ve been watching.
We know you just came back from traveling for a month throughout Southeast Asia. That is one of our dream trips in the future. Any money saving tips for us before we book our ticket?
There are so many great travel resources, and I write about them all on TFM! I usually check prices on a site like Orbitz but then book directly on the airlines website to save on fees and make for easier changes if necessary. I also used Agoda to book a lot of my hotel rooms, which is like a yelp for hotels in Asia. Thailand and Bali were both incredible places to travel for a solo vacation, because even though the ticket to get out there is pricey, once you’re there its frugal heaven! Everything from your meals to your massages is so cheap. I never wanted to leave.
Having a great skincare and beauty regimen is important to us. Share yours with us! What products do you use? Any tips for beauty on a budget?
I am a huge fan of drugstore beauty products. You have to remember that huge powerhouses like P&G own brands like Oil of Olay, so they have big money to spend on research and development. I love Neutrogena face wash and also Aveno positively radiant moisturizer with SPF. I’m always trying new products, and the great thing is that if I don’t love it, big drugstores always just take it back. Blowing your paycheck at Sephora for the same quality products you can get a Walgreens is crazy.
Being able to save money is one of the hardest things that we all struggle with, especially when you’re living paycheck to paycheck. Do you have any tips on how to save money when you are living paycheck to paycheck?
If you’re living paycheck to paycheck then something has got to give. The most important rule I personally follow is to always live below your means. Just because your income can afford you to live in a one bedroom, live in a studio. Just because you can afford to drive a Mercedes, drive a Honda. Don’t let your ego make you broke. Become super aware of where your money is going every week and learn how to cut out the things that you really don’t need (2 lattes a day?) If you’re already deeply cutting costs and still not able to save, that means that you need to work on increasing your income either by asking for a raise, changing jobs or getting a second job. We all have the power to save money when we make it a priority.
What can we see from you in the future? You’re the Suze Orman for our generation! 😉
I love that! Right now I’m just really enjoying growing The Frugal Model as well as continuing to work on my own personal growth. I’m constantly working on my goal of more media appearances and opportunities so that I can reach even more women and guide them on how to live amazing lives on any budget. I really don’t know for certain what the future holds, but I’m confident that as long as I’m doing what I’m passionate about, that I’ll be unstoppable.
Visit her website thefrugalmodel.com for some great money-saving advice from model that learned how to live a fabulous life on a budget.