These TikTok hacks help users manage their money: Here's how they work

John Gregory Image
Thursday, April 18, 2024
These TikTok hacks help users manage their money. Here's how they work
More people, especially GenZers, are turning to TikTok for financial advice. Here's a breakdown of some of the top trends.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- More people, especially GenZers, are turning to social media for financial advice.

TikTok's FinTok has billions of views, with viral challenges on money management. But not all those trending money moves will actually build up your bank account.

Many of the top trending challenges, like cash stuffing, can help you save by showing you where you spend.

"The idea is that every time you get a paycheck, you're dividing your money between these different cash envelopes, so that you know what you're spending and when you're spending," said Ben McLaughlin, a personal finance expert and president at Raisin U.S.

If you're on a tight budget, you might try the #NoSpendChallenge. For one month, you cut out non-priority spending, only paying for the essentials.

"This really helps ground people to understand what's an essential necessary spend and what can they get away with not spending on, and after a month hopefully that will help them be more disciplined in the future," McLaughlin said.

Next up: the 50-30-20 rule.

It's not a new idea, but this money-saving strategy offers an easy method to split your income into three spending sections.

"You take 50% of your income and you reserve that for essentials, again, the groceries, then rent, the car payments and alike. You take 30% for non-essentials, you know things like shopping and maybe the occasional dinner out and then 20% for savings and investment.

"There's a lot of ways you can filter this out depending on your personal situation, but it's a great way to get started."

Just because a challenge is going viral, doesn't mean it's a verified way to help you save.

For example, the 100-envelope challenge dares users to put a certain amount of money inside an envelope every day for 100 days.

There's the Money Bottle Challenge, where you store cash in a bottle, just like a piggy bank, and watch it collect over time.

Experts say while any kind of savings is great, there are better strategies.

"Why not put it in a savings account where you're actually earning interest? This is a great time to save. You can get a high yield savings account over 5%," McLaughlin said.

"It's a fun exercise. But just practically speaking, it's probably not the best way to save your money, put it in a bank account, get interest, have the banks pay you for your funds and get compounding," McLaughlin adds. "Then at the end of the year, you're gonna have so much more money than just putting it under the mattress or in a bottle for that matter."

Social media can be an endless pit of information, making it challenging to decipher if the financial advice you see is legitimate.

As with everything, experts advise you do your own research.

"These are not professionals all the time, so you just have to take their ideas and try to make sure that they can help you think about how to save better, how to manage your finances and how to improve your overall financial health for the future," McLaughlin said.

"So it's a great way to start, but again, take it with a grain of salt. Some are better than others, but it's an important way to start thinking about how to save."

Remember all financial investments involve risk, and everyone's financial situation is different.