Despite taking some knocks from older folks, Millennials are a pretty smart bunch. They also seem to know when to seek advice about stuff they don’t know, particularly managing their personal finances. I trust that they often turn to websites like this one for sound financial advice. However, it also appears that they are finding money management tips in some unexpected places. It seems like TikTok has become a go-to resource for Gen Z and millennial audiences hungry for personal finance advice.
Nearly four million users have watched 25-year-old Ellyce Fulmore’s TikTok video explaining why buying a daily coffee is not the reason young people are struggling to afford houses. For most of its existence, TikTok has been known for its viral songs and dance clips. But fed by a new wave of creators like Fulmore, it has also become a go-to resource for Gen Z and millennial audiences who want to learn about managing their personal finances.
According to the Financial Post, videos under the personal finance hashtag on TikTok have more than 3.2 billion views worldwide.
Creators teach conventional concepts — such as budgeting, long-term investing, and credit — through memes, sketches, or by dancing to the likes of Ariana Grande and rapper Megan Thee Stallion, all in easily digestible 60-second clips.
Fulmore is one of the most popular creators in the personal finance space, with nearly 280,000 followers. Her more than 170 videos have an excess of 1.5 million likes. She started her account in March last year.
Users say that they prefer getting personal financial advice on TikTok rather than through traditional avenues, such as a financial advisor or books. They say that those options can be cumbersome. “When I see these TikToks, (the content) is just very broken down and simple,” says one user who learned how to reduce debt and raise her credit score from TikTok.
For traditional personal finance experts, the emergence of TikTok comes as a mixed blessing.
Moshe Milevsky is a finance professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University. He says that TikTok can be a great place to start for people who are financially illiterate. It can help them gain exposure to personal finance concepts.
But he cautions, it is not a “comprehensive curriculum.”
“It’s the sexy stuff,” Milevsky said.
Jason Heath is a certified financial planner and an occasional columnist for the Financial Post. He also noted that while financial advice on TikTok delves into budgeting, saving, and investing, there are more complicated subjects that young people need to be aware of, too, such as tax planning and insurance.
For the most part, Heath says that these TikToks are communicating with Millennials in a medium they like and understand. And, any financial education is a good thing, particularly for young adults, but he cautions, “Nobody should be getting all their financial advice from any one source.”
Where do you get your financial advice from? Have you seen any of TikTok’s personal finance videos? What did you think? Please reply using the comments below or on our new LinkedIn page.