ABC News' Linsey Davis reports:
Strutting your stuff on the catwalk and gracing magazine covers have never seemed so unglamorous, at least when seen through the eyes of model Ashley Stetts.
"There is so much rejection and you don't always get paid. There's no stability in this work," Stetts told ABC News.
Stetts has been a cover girl and an industry insider for more than a decade. Modeling is her day job, and although trying on clothes and posing for pictures doesn't sound too strenuous, she reveals in a column she wrote for The Huffington Post called "The Finances of a Model in New York City-Revealed!" it's actually quite the contrary.
"The money aspect I think is the most unglamorous part, because you're really not making any money," Stetts said.
For example, Stetts said when she landed the cover for Women's Health magazine, the first cover of her modeling career, she was disappointed to learn she would only get paid $250. And many other day-long shoots pay even less, just $100 for the entire day.
"A lot of models do end up working as waitresses, working in nightlife," said Stetts.
She wants to clear up common misconceptions and give outsiders some insight into what she calls "the underbelly of the industry."
"You have to keep in mind that it is a business and they just see you as a way to make money essentially. If you need to borrow money from your agency because you're waiting to pay your rent, they'll charge you sometimes 10 percent," Stetts explained.
At 30 years old, Stetts said she knows she's nearing the end of her shelf life as a model.
"I was comfortable and it's easy to do this kind of job, but what's next?" she asked.
Back in March, she started an advice blog called " The Frugal Model," giving tips for how to be beautiful on a budget.
She describes on the site how she manages her life as a model in Manhattan: "Sure it's an unconventional job, but it's thought provoking and gives me a chance to really do something that impacts people's lives. Ok maybe not, but I'm proud of the fact that I support myself in the most expensive city in the country, and have learned how to really take charge of my money."
These are skills Stetts said her life as a model has taught her first-hand.