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“I would be living paycheque to paycheque if I relied solely on theatre”: A 24-year-old works as a nanny to pay the bills

By Jennifer Cheng| Photography by Brittany Carmichael
"I would be living paycheque to paycheque if I relied solely on theatre": A 24-year-old works as a nanny to pay the bills

Who: Lauren Datta, 24

What she does: Works 50 hours a week as a nanny. She also does stage management for about four theatre shows a year. (“I love working with kids, and I would be living paycheque to paycheque if I relied solely on theatre to pay the bills.”)

What she makes: She nets around $35,000 a year from nannying, plus occasional honorariums from shows.

Some of how she spends it: Her portion of rent on a five-bedroom apartment she shares with four roommates in Harbord Village: $650 monthly. (“It’s not a very well-maintained old house.”) Public transportation: $58 monthly. GoodLife Fitness membership: $61.21 monthly. Cleaning service: $12 monthly. (“Our idea, not the landlord’s. My roommates and I all lead busy lives.”) Groceries: $80 monthly. (“I get to eat two meals for free at work every day. I cook for a family of five.”) Debt payments: $0. (“I have no debt from my undergrad in theatre. I try not to use my credit card unless it’s for something big.”) Savings: $500 monthly. (“My budget for a big trip in January is $10,000. I’m heading to London, then taking on Asia, Australia and India with a friend and her parents.”)

Some of what she bought in one week: Takeout from Wild Wing: $16.71. (“I use UberEATS about three times a week for dinner, which I eat at rehearsal.”) Dim sum lunch at Rosewood Chinese Cuisine: $25. Coffee and food from cafés: $25.27. (“The 20 Timbits were not all for me.”) Uber rides: $11.73. (“My ride to rehearsal when I get off work at 6 p.m.”) Sandwich combo from Subway: $9.15. Dinner to go from The Old York: $21.97. (“We went out for a quick drink after rehearsal ended at 10 p.m.”) Make-up from NYX Cosmetics: $73.45. Shopping trip to Lush: $24.74. (“I use their facials every other day.”) General admission ticket for ROM’s Chihuly exhibit: $29.00. Batteries from Sam’s Food Store: $3.95.

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