Elena Taber is a YouTuber who creates content on travel, living in New York City, apartment-ing, fashion, thrifting, health and wellness, personal finance, and more.
She uploaded her first video in 2015, fully committing to growing her channel in 2017. It was a natural fit. “For me, I guess my story is that I used to watch YouTube a lot. And growing up, as like a teenager, pre-teen, I loved making videos. So I was already editing a lot. And eventually I just decided to keep doing it as a creative outlet.”
Elena kept at it, and the day after she graduated college she hit 100,000 subscribers. That was in 2018. By the end of that year, she had made about $50,000 from her channel. Most of it was from sponsorships, since her CPM (cost per thousand impressions)—and thus, ad revenue—was quite low. “If you’re in the lifestyle sphere, there’s not a lot of money in AdSense,” Elena laughed in an interview with Jack and Graham Stephan on a recent visit to the Iced Coffee Hour “studio.”
Elena gained fame (and hate) by appearing on a CNBC video about her pricey NYC apartment, which costs her and her two roommates north of $5k per month—to rent—but she knew what she was getting herself into heading into it. Despite all the criticism, she views it as simply the cost of doing business, since there’s so much great content opportunities in The Big Apple.
It’s interesting, Elena has a manager who helps her find brand deals, negotiate contracts, and basically maximize her earning potential—something most YouTubers don’t do.
From my vantage point, it’s working. Elena ballparks she made about $220,000 on YouTube last year. Not bad considering, once again, she makes a small fraction of what most YouTubers make on their share of the ads that get shown on their content.
So what does Elena Taber do with all that money?
Besides rent and lifestyle, she’s pretty good about investing whatever’s left. Ever since age 18, Elena’s made sure to max out her Roth IRA each year. In addition to that, she’s got a 401(k), which, more than anything, is to save on taxes.
Regardless, the fact that she’s so young means her money will have plenty of time to compound in the background. That’s important to her because Elena believes the YouTube bubble will burst eventually and, if it does, her income could fall off a cliff. (Elena says she’d pivot into something YouTube-adjacent, like making documentaries, should that happen.)
Elena also spends a good deal of money on her overall mental and physical well-being. Self-education, for example. This year, she wants to finish a book a week. On top of that, fitness. She spends a good chunk of change to attend a high intensity interval training class each month. And the list goes on.
Elena is realizing her audience wants more money content. Saving, budgeting, seeing what she spends in a week, etc. So expect more of that (and, as a result, more ad revenue for Elena) in the coming months.
Funny enough, Elena says one of her biggest insecurities is telling people she does YouTube for a living. She worries people hear that and assume she’s some self-absorbed ditz who walks around all day recording selfie-style videos without providing any value whatsoever.
As far as Elena Taber’s net worth goes, we estimate it’s around $400,000. For more on Elena and her journey to millennial millionaire, I suggest you watch the interview below.