Learning how to manage your money often starts with simple trial and error. This is probably how you learned the lesson that it’s a whole lot easier to spend money than it is to save money (unless you’re one of the lucky ones who are natural savers).
But relying solely on trial and error to learn money smarts can be costly—literally. So, why not learn how to avoid making mistakes in the first place? Unfortunately, there’s one small problem. The subject of finance can be pretty dry, especially when taught by your monotone accounting teacher or “helpful” parental advice during dinner conversation.
Thankfully, you can turn to social media for lessons in finance that won’t put you to sleep (we promise). In fact, today’s influencers have made financial literacy entertaining—and completely applicable to your interests,aspirations, and, yes, even worries. They can help teach you how to set a budget, land a job, save for big purchases, and even start investing. In fact, it may not be long before you’re the one providing financial expertise to your parents!
Here we explain what a financial influencer is and list 10 top financial influencers who are worth checking out for their entertaining, anything-but-boring, info-packed posts on personal finance.
What is a financial influencer?
An influencer is someone with a large social media following who uses the platform to influence the buying habits of their followers through tactics (like sponsored posts) that often earns the influencer income. A financial influencer, or “finfluencer,” creates content specifically to help people manage their money and build wealth.
Finfluencers discuss a wide range of topics including personal savings, the stock market, student loans, credit cards, spending habits, and even the best handbags to buy as an investment (for real).
Some of them shamelessly share their past financial mistakes along with the lessons they’ve learned and the expertise they’ve developed in a way that’s authentic and often humorous in bite-sized videos on TikTok, YouTube, and more.
What to look for in a financial influencer
Not every financial influencer is worth following. Some provide inaccurate or just plain bad financial advice. Some promote multi-level marketing (MLMs) or “pump and dump” schemes. It’s also important to note that many finfluencers are not licensed financial advisors and therefore, they should clearly state that their aim is to educate, not advise, their followers.
Personal finance influencer red flags
- Give financial advice without transparency on how they may financially benefit
- Pressure followers to sign up for costly courses that they’ve created
- Encourage high risk investments such as crypto and meme stocks
- Create content that focuses on how to get rich quick rather than educating about personal finance.
10 top financial influencers for teens
These popular financial influencers cover a variety of topics on financial literacy. Their videos are relatable, informative, fun, and could even empower you to take control of your finances:
1. Tori Dunlop, @herfirst100K
TikTok followers: 2.2 million
A self-proclaimed financial feminist, Tori Dunlap is one of the most well-known financial influencers in North America. She offers quick lessons geared toward young women on how to manage, earn, and save money by “giving you the money talk I wish they taught in school.”
Why you should follow @herfirst100k
She’s a likable financial expert offering no-nonsense talk about money smarts covering relevant topics such as negotiating salary, investing, and mindful spending with a mission to financially empower women. Her new book, Financial Feminist, (coming December 2022) is a already a national bestseller.
2. Nicole Victoria, @nobudgetbabe
TikTok followers: 1.3 million
Nicole Victoria is a Toronto-based real estate broker who has made it her mission to help teach other women how to take control of their finances, just as she learned to do in her 20s. She shares her past struggles with money and clear details on how she overcame them (and how anyone else could, too.)
Why you should follow @nobudgetbabe
Nicole’s videos on financial literacy are personable and often based on her own experience of overcoming debt and building wealth through smart money management and the right mindset. A hard worker (she graduated with a BComm in just two years vs. four), she’s smart and passionate about helping others adopt solid financial practices in their lives.
3. Vivian Tu, @yourrichbff
TikTok followers: 2 million
Vivian Tu is a former Wall Street trader who noticed a lack of personal finance know-how among her own “finance-educated” colleagues and, so, made it her mission to provide bite-size financial literacy to empower people to make smart decisions about their finances.
Why you should follow @yourrichbff
Vivian is a smart young woman who is serious about delivering money sense lessons. You should find her videos relatable and practical on topics ranging from how to limit online shopping to getting job referrals
4. Steve Chen, @calltoleap
TikTok followers: 907,000
Steve Chen is a former public school teacher who quit his day job at age 33 to live off his investments. He now shares his investment knowledge through videos that are especially geared toward Gen Z and millennials.
Why you should follow @calltoleap
Steve Chen offers advice on more than just investing; he also shares practical guidance on how to live frugally (in one video he explains why he shops at Goodwill). Even though he’s a former teacher, he’s good at delivering easy to understand content.
5. Michaela Allocca, @breakyourbudget
TikTok followers: 705,100
Michela Allocca is a finance professional whose goal is to make personal finance simple and easy to implement by following the basics, consistently.
Why you should follow @breakyourbudget
Michela’s videos are clear, practical, and smart without the antics that sometimes characterize other FinTok accounts. If you’re looking for an influencer who clearly focuses on sound money management with guidance on how to go about it, then this might be it.
6. Nick Meyer, @nicktalksmoney
TikTok followers: 885,700
Nick Meyer is a certified financial planner with a mission to increase financial literacy rates by making finance fun (really!). His goofy videos on TikTok feature tips such as how to save on purchases, what career to choose, and investment strategies.
Why you should follow @nicktalksmoney
His videos are upbeat and easy to understand. He regularly offers tips related to parents (so they can learn a thing or two as well!). The lessons are often US-focused so may not always be applicable to Canadians.
7. Ellyce Fulmore, @queerd.co
TikTok followers: 527,000
Ellyce Fulmore is a self-taught financial feminist educator from Calgary who shares basic lessons on financial literacy, as well as discusses money challenges for those with ADHD. Her mission is to help you gain power and build wealth.
Why you should follow @queerd.co
If you feel like you’re struggling to fit in, Ellyce can be a welcome voice as she addresses how privilege, race, gender, sexuality, mental health, and disability can affect one’s ability to build wealth. She’s not only approachable, but her content is Canadian-focused.
8. Nathan Kennedy, @newmoneynate
TikTok followers: 485,100
Nathan Kennedy is based out of Toronto and his TikTok videos cover basic financial topics that relate to teens and young professionals, delivered in a light and humorous tone.
Why you should follow @newmoneynate
Nate keeps the messages pretty general and light, but makes good financial sense. From cutting out frivolous purchases to budgeting for the school year, you could learn financial lessons that apply to your life.
9. Brandon Beavis, Brandon Beavis Investing
YouTube followers: 187,000
Canadian influencer Brandon Beavis teaches investment basics with friendly, easy-to-understand YouTube videos geared toward young people. His most popular video of all? A lesson explaining TFSAs.
Why you should follow Brandon Beavis Investing
Even if your teen has no plans to invest anytime soon, Brandon’s videos can help clarify why investing is essential to grow wealth and how to do it smartly. He has taken the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) which adds professional cred to his teachings.
10. Cassandra, @moneywithcass
TikTok followers: 123,200
Cassandra is a nurse living in Toronto who shares her passion for personal finance through practical yet entertaining lessons on balancing money, work, and life.
Why you should follow @moneywithcass
As a young person living in Toronto, Cassandra’s life experience may be relatable to many teens. Her down to earth personality and content offers useful and practical guidance on topics such as TFSAs, real estate, and tackling university debt.
Read more about famous teen influencers.
How does someone become a financial influencer?
Once you start following financial influencers, you’ll soon notice they share one important trait—a passion for personal finance. Followers appreciate the excitement, creativity, and personal spin that influencers put into every video. And, although it may look like all fun and no work, creating content on a regular basis (often daily) requires a tremendous amount of personal dedication and time. To become a financial influencer, you must be willing and able to post quality content consistently to build a loyal following.
Certainly, and perhaps most important of all, a financial influencer should be knowledgeable about finance through personal or professional experience. Many influencers are popular because they lead by example—they may have experienced financial challenges like massive debt and learned how to successfully build wealth on their own. To become a finfluencer, you should have your own finance story that’s worth sharing. At the same time it’s important to clarify what you don’t know and that your goal is to explore financial education, not provide financial advice (unless you’re actually qualified to do that).
Lastly, safety should always be a priority for anyone striving to become an influencer. Keep your personal information private and don’t click on links by people you don’t know or whose identity you can’t verify.
Read more about how to make money on TikTok as a teenager.
Financial influencers make personal finance fun
It’s never too early to build your financial literacy, and an influencer can help spark your interest. As you start earning your own income through part-time work, following financial influencers can help you develop healthy spending habits, learn how to invest, and encourage you to save money for your aspirations, whether it’s post-secondary education, owning a car, or booking a trip across the globe.
Download the Mydoh app to help build your confidence in money management and become financially independent.
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.