According to a recent GOBankingRates survey of more than 1,000 Americans, 32% trust social media for money advice. If you’re not familiar with financial influencers — aka “finfluencers” — they are people who are typically not licensed investment advisors, but are able to influence their audience to take their financial advice or buy a product or service they promote on social media.
“Finfluencers” often find their influential power in the entertainment value they serve up to viewers along with their money tips. While there’s plenty of bad money advice on social media, there are also some solid suggestions coming from these TikTok and YouTube stars. Here are five best money tips from top “finfluencers” on social media — plus, additional insight from a certified financial planner.
Make Slow and Steady Progress Toward Your Emergency Fund
Taylor Price, also known as @pricelesstay on TikTok, is dedicated to helping Gen Z increase their financial IQ.
In a video posted to her YouTube channel, “8 Easy Steps To Get Your Emergency Fund Started,” Price says the amount needed for an emergency fund is not one-size-fits-all, but agrees that the “ideal” emergency fund is what many experts recommend — three to six months’ worth of expenses. If saving that amount seems overwhelming, Price recommends putting 10% of each paycheck aside to start building your emergency fund.
Divide Your Mortgage Payment in Half and Pay Biweekly
According to his LinkedIn profile, financial influencer Milan Singh has over 5 million combined followers across Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. In his Instagram video, “How To Save on Home,” Singh says you can make 26 biweekly payments on your mortgage instead of 12 monthly payments per year to pay off your mortgage early. The extra money will go toward the principal and save you thousands.
Jay Zigmont, Ph.D., CFP, founder of Childfree Wealth, said, “Using biweekly, or even weekly, payments for your mortgage is a good idea as long as there is no additional charge for that service. It evens out your budget and will help pay off your mortgage quicker. I do biweekly payments on my personal mortgage.”
Add Your Teen to Your Credit Card as an Authorized User
Humphrey Yang, who is a favorite of Gen Z, actually has a little bit of professional finance experience under his belt — about 1.5 years. However, he’s not a financial advisor or certified financial planner.
In his Instagram video, “Set Your Kids Up With a Perfect Credit Score,” Yang recommends adding your teen to your credit card as an authorized user to set them up for credit score success. Yang cautions that you must have good credit for this to work, and not every credit card company will allow it.
“Many credit card companies have started not allowing this trick,” said Zigmont. “It used to work well — now it has mixed results. Also, remember that if you put an authorized user on your card, they are allowed to use it, and you are responsible for any charges.”
Don’t Carry a Credit Card Balance
Financial influencer and real estate investor John Liang, who has 2.2 million followers on TikTok, claims he has had over 50 credit cards and racked up millions of miles and points to be able to teach his audience everything he knows about the credit card game.
In his YouTube video, “Top Beginner Credit Card Mistakes To Avoid,” he stresses never carrying a credit card balance. Instead, he recommends paying off the entire balance each month to avoid having to pay expensive credit card interest. He also says that you should already have the money in the bank to pay off anything you buy with your credit card.
Timing the Market Is Nothing Compared to Time in the Market
Tori Dunlap is a financial influencer, investor and owner of the blog HerFirst100K, which she created to detail her successful journey to save $100,000 by her 25th birthday.
She believes that investing for the long term, instead of moving money around based on predictions of what the market might do, is the best way to make serious financial gains.
In a TikTok video, she gives an example of how contributing just $100 per month to a Roth IRA can help your money increase by hundreds of thousands of dollars within 40 years.
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