Luke Korns started creating YouTube videos as a kid and by the age of 17, he received his first brand deal for $1,000.
He then moved to LA when he was 19 and at this point, he was getting multiple 5-figure deals each year. Being young, he lived up the LA life - got a $6,000/month apartment, new car, and didn't think twice about them.
He was making $100k+/year but found himself unfulfilled with the content he was creating.
He wanted to create travel videos and at the time of this decision, coronavirus hit... so he took a break from YouTube in 2020.
During this time of what he calls "youtube channel suicide", he was still paying LA rent, making car payments, and living the typical influencer life.
He'd become used to spending money without thinking twice about the impact so when he started losing income from not posting on YouTube, his personal finances took a major hit.
His vulnerability in the video he published in December on the topic does it a lot more justice than I can, so you can watch it here. But he was down to his last dollars and he's now traveling the world on a budget, finding the cheapest flights and hostels, making food at home when possible, and creating YouTube videos again.
But it hasn't come without a significant change in how he's managing his money and with the income he'd earned prior, if managed correctly, could've set him up for a very successful financial future.
Since this could happen to anyone, these are a few strategies you can use to remove the stress around money and avoid getting in a tough spot financially:
Pay yourself first - One of the best ways to start working towards financial security is paying yourself first. Every time you receive a payment, put a portion of it to the side for savings. It could be 5% or 20% depending on what your regular spending and goals are - but this guarantees that some money is being saved, and then you can freely spend what's left over.
You should already be doing this for the IRS with taxes, do it for yourself too.
Also read: How to Put Your Savings on Autopilot
Invest, often - After saving money, the next best thing to do is invest. This allows your money to grow over time so when the time comes and you'd like to take a step back from the business life, you have money to travel and continue living out your whatever your dream life looks like. There are many different accounts you can make investments in and it can be confusing, so we wrote a guide on the 3 best retirement accounts for creators.
Focus on sustainability - He mentioned in the video that he took a break from YouTube for a year and it stunted his channel's performance, which then impacted his finances. By focusing on building a sustainable business, you can take time off and not suffer financially. This may be diversifying your income streams or aiming to find a cadence that lets you create in perpetuity.
Also read: How to Build a Sustainable Creator Business
Make a plan - Creating a financial plan probably sounds like one of the most boring things in the world, and it is. However, laying out the numbers and getting a clear understanding of where you are, where you want to be, and how you plan to get there is the biggest weight off of your shoulders.