Taylor Price doesn’t consider herself a financial influencer.
The 22-year old self-taught personal finance phenomenon, who has built a million-strong following on TikTok, calls herself a Gen Z “financial activist.” Price makes videos and produces content on all things money, from how to build and improve your credit score, to investing with less than $100.
The activism, she says, comes from the way she tries to teach her viewers to use a “holistic” approach to their personal finances.
“No matter where you’re at in your current financial situation, know that through education and investment in yourself, there can be greener pastures—literally like greener as in money,” Price told Fortune.
After building her online platform, Price is working on launching her own fin-tech startup. All of her work, she says, is geared toward helping Americans manage and improve their finances so that it doesn’t have to be one of the leading causes of stress in their lives.
“I can take my intrinsic motivation to want to help people [and turn it] into something that is also meaningful to me, because I personally struggled with finance at one point in my life too,” Price said.
From pre-med to self-taught ‘financial activist’
Price was born and raised in Saugerties, New York. She began college at SUNY Ulster as a pre-med student, but quickly found that long hours hunched over microscopes in lab classes made some pre-existing back problems worse.
After taking advice from her mom to try finance, she switched her major, transferred to SUNY Albany, and started a blog focusing on personal finance. That led to a YouTube channel, and then a TikTok which she started in Dec. 2019.
When Price began, she mostly talked about investing. But after she saw how the COVID pandemic affected people’s finances—specifically their investments and retirement plans—she decided to expand her subject matter.
“The stock market was crashing, and people were getting furloughed or laid off. I was like, ‘I just can’t talk about investing,’” she said. “‘I need to take a step back and broaden the horizon.’ So that’s kind of when I started talking more about the holistic approach to personal finances.”
That holistic approach, or what she calls Fin/Esse (financial essentials), is focused on managing your money in a way that considers both the financial and non-financial aspects of your life.
“I have lupus and severe scoliosis that required a spinal fusion, which doesn’t always allow me to function normal hours,” she said. “Some days, I have to take off and spend time recovering. With the holistic approach, I know that having a larger emergency fund of six to nine months for me is more secure than the typical three to nine months because of my medical conditions.”
Price said doing something as simple as writing down your savings goals and asking yourself what you’re saving for, how long you have, and what you’ll do if you don’t reach a specific goal, can help better your chances of achieving financial objectives.
“When you look at personal finance holistically, you’re able to see how the different parts of your life interact with each other and affect each other,” she said. “For example, if you have a long-term relationship that’s causing stress or leading you down the wrong path, this will probably affect other areas of your life too—including your finances.”
The approach seems to have resonated with her audience, which has grown to over a million followers on TikTok alone, since she started posting content in Dec. 2019. They consist of mostly young women (around 18 to 25), either in college or their early professional careers looking to become financially independent.
The business of personal finance
Price says social media is her main source of income, and Insider reported last year that she made $33,000 per month. She would not comment on specific numbers, but told Fortune that it’s more than that now. She says a significant amount of her income comes from partnerships with major companies like Google, American Express, and Credit Karma.
Her TikTok career hasn’t come without the typical and expected online hate.
“All these finance bros were like, ‘Who is this young girl posting these things? She has no idea what she’s talking about. This is absolutely absurd. She’s just a little girl,’” she said.
Her mom told her to keep posting, and she did.
“When you become a financial activist, your message changes from simply trying to get people to save money or pay down debt to encouraging them to make positive social change, like advocating for equal pay, getting more women interested in investing, or managing household finances,” Price said.
In one of her videos, Price stressed the importance of investing as a woman, saying, “we tend to live longer, and face issues like the gender pay gap and pink tax,” she said.
As for her, there’s no end goal in sight because she hasn’t set one.
“Personal finance is dynamic. And so my career has to be as well.”
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