How do I manage my money?
Do you make enough money from sex work? Do you plan for unexpected expenses and do you set some money aside? Or do you spend your earnings immediately? No matter how you handle your money, we recommend you control your expenses and create a margin. That way you’ll avoid unpleasant surprises.
“I worked hard all year and was able to save a little. My boyfriend put the money in a bank account, I didn't have to worry about it. But my boyfriend disappeared and so did my money. I wish I'd had my own bank account and had monitored things better. Now I've lost everything and must start again.”
Handling money properly is more than just staying out of debt. It's knowing how to save money and making sure you have enough to deal with setbacks. You must learn how to manage your money and that requires discipline.
Handling money is not only important for adults. You should start teaching your children about money at an early age. Children who are money-smart from an early age are much more likely to stay out of debt and able to make ends meet.
The budget planner is a handy tool that helps you create an overview of your income and expenditure.
Manage your own money
Whether you earn a lot or only a little, make sure that you are in control of your money. Keep a close eye on what happens to it and don't rely too much on others, even if you know them well. Are you saving for your dream? In that case keep control of your bank account. When you are handling your own money, you tend to be much more alert when invoices arrive. You also avoid unpleasant surprises.
Open a personal bank account
- I am a Belgian national
Any Belgian national can open a personal bank account. However, the bank has the right to refuse your custom without having to give a reason for rejecting your application. Every bank is obliged to verify its customers’ identity and must be able to identify you. Note that when you open an account you must present a valid (current) identity card.
- I am a foreigner
As a foreigner you can also open a standard current account in Belgium. You need a valid residence permit (electronic identity card).
If the bank refuses to open such an account, you can apply for a basic bank account. This type of account was set up by the government and offers fewer services than the standard regular account. Every bank in Belgium must offer this basic service! If you opt for this type of account, you will receive a bank card linked to a bank account. A basic bank account is not free of charge.
What can you do with the basic bank account?
- Make electronic payments with your bank card.
- Deposit and withdraw cash.
- Transfer money.
- Set up a direct debit.
- Set up recurring payments (standing orders).
- Get account statements.
Control of fraudulent practices and cash
A bank collects your data, including information on your identity. Belgian banks cooperate in the fight against terrorism and fraud, and consequently, must report suspicious transactions (large sums of money) and suspicious individuals to the government. A bank will ensure that its services can’t be abused. If fraud is suspected, the bank will report the issue to the government.
Some banks refuse cash transfers that do not carry a structured communication. This is a problem for migrant sex workers because they often use cash to fulfil their financial obligations (e.g. the rent for an apartment or window). The dismantling of cash transactions greatly worries foreign sex workers who do not have a Belgian residence permit.
“Every day I say to myself, tomorrow I'll pay those bills. But the next morning I still can't, because there's always something else to pay. I feel stressed when I go to sleep because I realise I'm not succeeding, and I just delay paying those bills.”
Be smart and save for later
Not having enough money causes a lot of stress, but being in debt is even worse. There may be times when you can barely keep afloat. You may have to rely on your savings when you (temporarily) have fewer customers or if you decide to stop working as a sex worker.
The only way to avoid money problems is to plan and manage your money efficiently.
Do you have debts?
Are you in debt? The best thing is to deal with this sooner rather than later and look for a solution. It's important that you know the size of your debts. If you are unable to solve the problem yourself, you will have to find professional help.
How can Violett help?
Please don’t ignore that reminder or a letter from the bailiff but contact a Violett counsellor. We will examine your debts together and find a way to clear them. For example, we can draw up a payment plan so you can pay your creditors a small amount each month.
Want more information?
Currently we only work by appointment. Call 03 293 95 91.
Monday14.00 - 16.00Tuesday/Wednesday10.00 - 12.0018.00 - 20.00Thursday/Friday10.00 - 12.00
For general questions:
Monday09.00 - 17.00Tuesday09.00 - 17.00Wednesday09.00 - 17.00Thursday09.00 - 17.00Friday09.00 - 17.00
Currently we only work by appointment. Call 09 233 47 67.
Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday11.00 - 13.00
For general help and social assistance:
Monday/Tuesday13.00 - 17.00Wednesday/Thursday13.00 - 17.00Friday10.00 - 14.00
Currently we only work by appointment. Call 011 33 30 58.
Monday10.00 - 12.00Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday/
For general questions and social assistance:
By phone or for an appointment