This ASL Interpreter Found a Way to Make Money on TikTok — Here’s How He Spends It
Jon Urquhart is not your typical TikTok influencer. While most of the app’s biggest stars use their platform to simply entertain people, the 27-year-old Boston resident is doing something more with his.
Growing up with a deafblind father, Urquhart centered his career around the American Sign Language (ASL). He became a full-time interpreter in 2016 and now earns $60,000 a year from various income streams, including a state government job and monetization of his TikTok content.
Bringing ASL to TikTok
Urquhart first downloaded TikTok in January because he wanted to check out the popular app. In contrast to the dance content usually found on the platform, he decided to make content about his disabled father.
His approach resulted in over 200,000 views. Although he knew that TikTok wasn’t paying its creators at the time, he predicted that he could earn by making content on the app.
Months later, he was proven correct, and he eventually started earning hundreds of dollars a month from making ASL-related content. Of course, it’s more than just the money for him.
The interpreter also feels rewarded when he receives positive messages from people who watch his videos.
Urquhart currently has 263,000 TikTok followers and hopes to grow his platform more.
Learning to Value Money
Another admirable thing about Urquhart is that he knows the value of money and how to manage it. Growing up in a family with limited means and seeing his parents struggle financially, he began a habit of saving early in life.
Even more impressive, he found ways to earn his own keep enabling him to pay his own phone bill when he was just in middle school. Now that he’s earning a sizable income, he’s still using what he learned to manage his finances today.
Budgeting for the Future
Urquhart shared his current budget with CNBC. He currently lives in a one-bedroom apartment in Boston with his fiance, Scott. Joking about the perks of dating, he says that living with someone else means ‘everything is 50% off’.
There’s a lot of truth to this, though, as having someone to share bills with allowed Urquhart to put around $1,880 in savings each month. Of that, $1,500 goes into a savings account, while $384 goes into his 401(k) account.
Another thing he prioritizes is paying off his $25,000 worth of student loans, for which he pays $300 a month for.
As for the future, Urquhart is studying to become a real estate agent while growing his Patreon business.
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