Personal Finance Influencers Making Major Money Moves
If Instagram were an emoji, it’d be the fleeting money with wings. Between shoppable posts and targeted ads that somehow seem to know just when we run out of dry shampoo, it’s becoming harder to scroll without spending. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Because buried among affiliate link-loving influencers and nagging ads for that couch you swiped on — literally just once — is a goldmine of knowledge on how to build your personal wealth. It turns out Instagram can be recalibrated as a razor-sharp tool for financial liberation, not impulse buys. Just follow one of many women-led accounts that explain investing in stocks, guide you through erasing student loan debt, and use the magnetism of pop-culture figures to simplify headscratchers, like unrealized capital assets and cryptocurrencies.
Ahead, see the money experts, financial educators, and even former overspenders who demystify popular money misnomers — like the scalability of #hustle culture or the idea that investing is reserved for rich people — while reinforcing an adage we know to be true: Girls just wanna have funds.
Financial educator, money expert, and author of the bestselling Clever Girl Finance book, Bola Sokunbi is all about helping women build financial independence by using pithy posts to teach accountability and savings techniques. On the feed are thoughtful strategies to make the most of retirement savings (and, say, figure out why your credit score has dropped) intermixed with sobering reminders and prompts that rightfully put your mind on your money and your money on your mind. “When’s the last time you reviewed your credit card statement?” one post asks. Oof. *Sheepishly checks calendar.* Somehow Sokunbi knows just how to drop the kind of info we need to hear, right when we need to hear it.
Did Suze Orman and Oprah have a love child? If so, it has to be Marsha Barnes, a personal finance consultant and coach (and brand ambassador for Fico), who helms The Finance Bar. Part financial accountability tracker, part inspirational hub, her feed shares some of her best tips for individuals and couples looking to boost their solvency. In the mix are a year’s worth of snack-sized tips, doled out each week, to help you stay on track and meet your financial goals. Look for reminders of the best time to buy air travel tickets or when to revisit that vision board and how much to save from your monthly income in a given week, along with mantras to help keep sight of why you’re making and keeping financial goals in the first place: for more economical freedom than ever before.
Founded by financial advice writer and blogger Chelsea Fagan, The Financial Diet includes hacks for more affordable cooking and nailing job interviews. But where the feed really shines is in its ability to help suck the scary parts out of financial planning — like making and sticking to budgets and avoiding the shame of debt. Unlike most diets we’ve tried, The Financial Diet isn’t restrictive or unforgiving, but more of a series of nurturing nudges to help you save more and feel good while doing it.
Can finance be cool? If it’s run through the filter of Mrs. Dow Jones founder, Haley Sacks, finance is not just cool, it’s sick (or whatever the children are saying these days). Sacks uses her platform to compare different cryptocurrencies to Kardiashian and Jenner sisters (Ethereum is so Kylie); show cult beauty products to flesh out the pros and cons of different types of investments; and explain capital gains by way of Pete Davidson (they’ll both give you major clout). Scattered among infographics and IGTV explainer videos are memes galore, including one of Ashley Olsen (or is it Mary-Kate? We can never tell) that will motivate you to finally call your bank and dispute that overdraft fee.
Struggles with impulse spending. Financial hangovers from overindulgent Target runs. Allison Baggerly, creator of Inspired Budget, knows your money woes and feels your anxiety — because she’s been there. As a former overspender who once had more than $100K in debt after just starting a family, Baggerly curates one of the more relatable and family-focused money feeds out there. The mom dispenses strategies for scheduling a spring break vacay that won’t steal from the kiddos college funds while introducing the idea of the cash envelope system for monthly IRL purchases to help keep spending in check. About those once extremely pricey Target runs? She offers a solution for that, too: Don’t use a cart.
If we’re lucky, we all have that one person in our life that will dispense the kind of harsh truths everyone else is too polite to say. In the money management world, that person is Kendra James-Anderson, virtual CFO, business manager and founder of The Finance Femme.
Anderson’s speciality? Spilling the tea on how to build an empire, grow your wealth, and level the eff up, without an ounce of BS. Scroll through her feed and you’ll see exactly what we mean. Instead of effervescent affirmations, followers get cutting questions with posts that ask: “What good is a 7-figure business with only 4 figures in the bank? Where’s your focus, Sis?”, along with the kind of reminders that entrepreneurs really need to hear: “A lot of people that are hashtag hustle, hustle, hustle, don’t have profitable businesses.” Real talk on Instagram? Now that’s worth following.
In the throes of trying to pay down student loan while still making room for savings and, you know, rent? The woman behind Bae on a Budget is right there with you. The Austin-based grad is tracking her own progress through her feed, which shares her hacks for cutting costs on everything from dental care to ride-sharing apps and an intimate knowledge of changing student loan legislation and interest deductions. It’s the kind of thing that’s helped her pay off $77,480 of her student loan in 10 months (she keeps a running tab in her bio to track progress) — and inspire nearly 15,000 followers along the way.
Mabel Nunez, founder and chief education officer at Girls on the Money started her investment teaching platform in the economically grim summer of 2008. Now, she helps nearly 40K followers see the difference between what money does sitting in a bank account vs. what it can do with, say, Exchange Traded Funds or the power of compound interest. That kind of terminology can sound as bewildering as “subprime mortgages” did a decade ago, but after scrolling through the easy-to-follow breakdowns and graphics that populate Nunez’s feed, one thing’s for sure: Getting into the market has never felt like less of a bear.