Occupation: Fine Gardener
Industry: Landscaping
Age: 28
Location: Coastal Massachusetts
My Income: $63,000 (This is a total of all my income sources, which include my main job, unemployment, and personal work. I get paid hourly so my weekly paychecks vary widely based on the time of year and workload. I get laid off every year for a couple of months during winter when the available work comes to an end at which point I collect unemployment, which is calculated by the state based on what I made that year working. This seasonal unemployment situation is common for “unskilled” labor in seasonal/resort towns like the one I live in and because of this, the company I work for pays much higher unemployment insurance. Then on top of all that, I also do my own work on the side. This year, the breakdown looks like $44,000 from my company, $13,000 from unemployment,
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  • Gabrielle Rivera is a 25-year-old professional mermaid based in the Bay Area, California.
  • At the age of 19, a friend introduced Rivera to online community of merfolk, people also interested in mermaids and costuming. From there, her character Nymphia, The Nautilus Mermaid, was born.
  • Today, Rivera performs as Nymphia everywhere from corporate events and kids’ parties, to aquarium and water shows, starting at a rate of $250 for a 90-minute appearance.
  • Rivera says that as a trans woman, cosplay and working as a mermaid has helped her explore and build up confidence in her femininity.
  • Here’s her story, as told to freelance author Jenny Powers.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to the sea. Some of my earliest childhood memories as a little boy are spending time on the San Diego beaches with my mom.

Gabrielle Rivera Nymphia baby photo with beach background

Rivera as a baby

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Occupation: Writer
Industry: N/A
Age: 40
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
My Salary: $0 (I am currently unemployed so I don’t have a steady income. Right now, I can claim $350 per week plus the additional $600 from the CARES Act during weeks I do not work.)
My Husband’s Salary: $30/hour (in 2019, he made $73,000 gross, including overtime)
Net Worth: Total Assets – Total Debt = $1,086,000 (total assets include my 401(k): $243,000, husband’s 401(k): $405,000, husband’s ROTH IRA: $120,000, kids’ 529: $74,000, house: $265,000, two cars: 27,000, joint checking account: $6,000. My husband and I have completely joint finances and accounts.)
Debt: $54,000 (Mortgage: $19,000, Home Equity Line of Credit: $35,000)
My paycheck Amount (weekly): $350 from unemployment
My Husband’s Paycheck (2x/month): $2,800 (gross)
Pronouns: She/Her

Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $560
Electric: $106
Gas: $84
Water: $33
Sewer: $45
Internet: $67
Cell Phones: $118 (for both of us)
Netflix: $17

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  • Fred and Courtney Ilarraza are the founders of Baby Bodyguards, a New York City-based company that offers “babyproofing” services to expectant parents.
  • After having their first child in 2008, they realized that babyproofing their home was a big task, and decided to launch Baby Bodyguards to meet the needs of local parents.
  • Their services include everything from full-home babyproofing to in-home child and infant CPR, and expert instruction on car seat installation.
  • Since the pandemic, Fred Ilarraza says more clients want the $700 two-story babyproofing package, as many New York families have upsized or moved to larger homes outside of the city.
  • The company’s most elaborate job to date was for a client renting a home in the Hamptons for just a month — the fee was $10,000 and it involved adding a removable pool fence.
  • Here’s their story, as told to freelance author Jenny Powers.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage
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