When it comes to making ends meet as a production assistant in New York City, Brittani Cunningham knows how to pocket a dollar.

The 25-year-old makes $ 37,000 a year and tries to keep her expenses as low as possible. Fortunately, a perk of her job is that meals are usually served when she’s taking on production jobs, where her responsibilities range from assisting the performers on set to handling paperwork and time tracking.

If she can eat at work, she can save a lot of money on groceries. “I have to pay next to nothing for food during the week, which is amazingly amazing,” Cunningham told CNBC Make It. “I’m really happy to have this privilege. The only time I have to pay for food is is on the weekend when I’m home. “

A native of Brooklyn, Cunningham spent a week recording her June 2021 spending on CNBC Make It. She tries to limit her weekly budget to around $ 200.

To save money, Cunningham likes to save on clothes and buy used books. She also gave up her gym membership to work out at home during the pandemic and taught herself how to do her nails and hair instead of paying someone else to do it.

Brittani Cunningham is 25 years old and lives in Brooklyn.

Brittani Cunningham

“As a black woman, you spend a lot of money on your hair to get braids and products,” she explains. “I started it myself so I didn’t have to spend any money on it.”

By keeping her spending tight and focusing on saving, Cunningham hopes to prepare for the future. Her goal is to own an apartment and grow other sources of income so much that she doesn’t have to rely on income from the “volatile” film industry to make ends meet.

“[I want to be] to be able to one day become a homeowner and build wealth and maybe be my own boss, “says Cunningham.

Cunningham also produces and sells candles. She’s made $ 2,000 in the past six months.

But she still enjoys her money with the occasional show off. When she found out that Doja Cat was performing in Coney Island on the weekend of July 4th, she couldn’t resist buying a ticket, even though it was slightly over her weekly budget.

“I have to visit her,” says Cunningham. “I’m a huge fan of hers.”

Check out her full breakdown of spending for the week in the video above.

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