Second Shift: Creative ways city dwellers make ends meet

Caruso, right, working her makeup magic on a client. Credit: Provided
Jackie Caruso works her makeup magic on a client.
Credit: Provided

We all know living in the city is expensive. So how do people do it? Our new column, Second Shift, features people working more than one job to make it work. Want to be featured? Email emily.laurence@metro.us.

Name: Jackie Caruso
Age: 27
Residency: Hoboken, N.J.
Number of jobs: 4

You have four jobs?! What are they and how do you do it?

Caruso: I work as a freelance makeup artist, doing makeup for commercials, TV shows, weddings and magazines. My second job is as a freelance makeup artist for a makeup school called Makeup Designory. I work in their store, Mud Shop. My third job is as a bottle service girl at a private club. And fourth, I work for a catering company at a big New York sports venue.

How do you make your schedule?

It changes every week. Sometimes, I’ll work three jobs in one day: I’ll work at the makeup store from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, cater from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and the club from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. I try and put my makeup first because that’s my passion. Then, I’ll take jobs with the catering company because it’s steady and reliable money. But my schedule is never the same.

Are you working multiple jobs to make ends meet or is it because you want to live a certain lifestyle and have enough money to support it?

I think a bit of both. I’m not going to lie, paying rent is hard. But I did just go on a big three-week vacation with my sister. And I still go out to dinner and drinks. My dream is to open my own studio, where clients can get their makeup, hair, spray tanning and eyelash extensions done. It would be a one-stop shop for women going out or to an event. Right now I’m just trying to get through the end of the year, but next year I want to start saving — even if it’s just $10 or $20 of each paycheck.

Do you still have time to hang out with your friends?

Yes and no. Sometimes I won’t see my best friend for two weeks, but I definitely make an effort. Even if it’s just me stopping by the bar on the way home for a few minutes, I definitely try.

Overall, are you happy with your lifestyle?

Trying to pay my bills every month, I have to love what I do. If you don’t love what you do, you’re going to be miserable. I know reaching my (ultimate) goal isn’t going to happen next year, and it might not happen in five years. But it will happen one day.

Share your story! Email emily.laurence@metro.us.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence


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