Manage your money
Looking to plan for your financial future on YouTube? You can manage your money by setting monetization goals and a budget, then learning how to measure how you’re doing.
Set milestones for your success
Not every channel needs formal monetization goals, but if you want to earn money on YouTube, setting milestones can help lay the foundation for your success. Here are some examples:
- I want to earn at least $50/month from my channel.
- I have 2 channels and want to increase earnings from each channel by 10% over the next month.
Ask yourself these questions
- What do your viewers like to watch most? Check YouTube Analytics to find trends in your videos with high watch time and audience retention. Do you notice any common themes in these videos?
- When are your viewers watching? See when your audience is most active and consider publishing more videos during those times.
Plot your specific goals
Next, determine which video series or recent releases are doing well to look at your channel’s earning potential. Use this data as a benchmark to set your next three goals. These goals can also be smaller milestones. Review the YouTube analytics course for a refresher on where to find certain reports.
Ask yourself: What do you want to achieve? What can you do to get started? What is your deadline? Example goal: Earn $50/month on my channel from ads. Enable more ad formats on my 10 most-watched videos. See results in 60 days. Goal 1: Goal 2: Goal 3:
Calculate your budget
Now that you've set your goals, plan a budget to help you track your income against your expenses so you can stay on target towards your goals. The total amount of money that you make is called your EARNINGS. To find this number, you have to take into account what you spend (COSTS) and subtract this from what you make (REVENUE).
EARNINGS = REVENUE - COSTS
What you take home = What you make - what you spend
How to calculate your numbers
Step 1: Set a monthly spending limit for your channel based on your current income or specified investment.
Step 2: Determine your cost breakdown. Decide how much money you want to spend for each of your channel-related tasks or equipment—costs like studio rental, gear, travel, props, talent, post-production, etc. Below are some types of costs:
- Cost of making videos (aka direct variable costs). This includes buying, renting, or fixing video equipment, as well as related production costs.
- Cost of living (aka fixed monthly costs). This would be things like rent and phone/Internet bills.
- Cost of doing business (aka forgone additional revenue). Consider what fees or taxes are levied on your YouTube channel revenue.
- Hidden and non obvious costs. For example, if you hire a social media manager or someone to design your channel art.
Keep in mind how your costs align with your goals. If your goal is to make $50 on the channel this month (EARNINGS), you will need to make sure what you bring in (REVENUE) is greater than what you spend (COSTS) by $50 this month.
Step 3: Allocate how much money you should spend for each of these costs based on your overall goal. Your overall monthly costs should be lower than your income if you want to have positive earnings that month.
- Set specific and realistic income goals.
- Fill out a budget worksheet to stay on track.
Balance your life and YouTube
Remember, in order to be sustainable on YouTube, you should also look at how you spend your time and think about the value of your time. Once you know the value of your time, you can better prioritize how you want to spend your time—whether it’s related to your channel, life, or well-being, like sleep!
Ask yourself these questions
- How much time do I work on my channel each week?
- How much time do I want to spend on other activities, not related to my channel (with friends or family)?
- When does it make sense to hire someone (such as a video editor) to help me?
- How much is my time worth? Should I consider paying someone $20 to free up an hour of my time?
Some creators do everything themselves. For your own situation, evaluate the time you’re comfortable committing to your channel and what you can afford to spend on getting some extra help.
- Keep an eye on balancing your YouTube channel and personal life.
- Make the most out of each video shoot by capturing extra footage.
Measure your channel’s performance
YouTube Analytics can help you track how much money your videos are making and see where you stand compared to your goals.
- Revenue report: Get details on how much money your channel is earning from ads (if enabled) and from other sources such as YouTube Red and Super Chat (if available). Earnings data typically displays 24-48 hours after the end of the day. You can find finalized YouTube earnings within your AdSense account.
- Ad Rates report: Use this data to assess how different ad types perform over time relative to one another. This report shows you gross figures (the amount advertisers paid to run the ads). You can look at metrics for impressions (any time an ad is displayed to a viewer) or monetized playbacks (when a viewer views your video and is shown at least one ad impression).
- Transaction revenue report: See estimated net revenue from transactions, such as Super Chat purchases. This report is only visible to YouTube partners who have transaction earnings. Keep in mind that transaction revenue here may differ from finalized payments due to various adjustments.
What if you see no earnings? There could be a few reasons, so try these troubleshooting steps.
- Did you link your AdSense account? You need to do this to earn money from your videos and get paid.
- Have you met the minimum payment threshold? This threshold varies depending on the reporting currency.
- Are all your videos being monetized? Video monetization can be impacted by a Content ID claim, restricted content, or advertiser-friendly guidelines.
- Was monetization disabled for your channel? This is rare, but could happen for actions such as violating YouTube’s Terms of Service.
If ads aren’t showing on your videos, first try checking your account settings. Then look at whether the videos meet the various monetization guidelines.
- Finalized earnings are transferred to AdSense about halfway through the following month.
- Monetization icons next to your videos can tell you about issues that affect earnings.