When you think of places to go to learn about money, Instagram probably isn’t one of them. Blogs? Yes. Podcasts? Absolutely. Online courses? Sure. Instagram? …Not so much. Understandably so; Instagram is a space notorious for leaving us to feel hollow and lesser-than. Log on and you’re not really learning anything, except for maybe how unstylish, uncultured, and untraveled you are. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
In fact, I’ve ruthlessly curated an Instagram experience that leaves me feeling smarter and (genuinely) inspired to be better with my money, and have simultaneously eliminated accounts that make me want to spend money chasing some image of what I could never (and should never!) be. Here are eight of the Instagram accounts that help me “learn money” by using the platform to deliver information in innovative and captivating ways.
Veronika at Debts to Riches runs my favorite money Instagram account. She is a leading voice in the debt-free community as she details her own journey to pay off over $130,000 in student loans. There are many things to love about Veronika’s Instagram, but here are just a few: First, she is prolific; there isn’t an important topic within the personal finance hemisphere that she doesn’t share with her followers. Second, she is positive. She is a shining light of inspiration (without being unrealistic) to those going through major debt-payoff, which can be an arduous and emotionally draining journey. Third, and most important (to me), she’s FUNNY! If you like hot n’ fresh memes (none of that recycled stuff), Veronika at Debts to Riches is your person.
Instagram can be so aspirational — and it’s not generally good for our wallets. Hmph. That’s why I appreciate @thefinancebar, which skips the flowery imagery and gets down to brass tax with actionable money tips. I love that they label their posts plainly; there are “Finance Tips,” “Finance Reminders,” and even posts that simply say “Do This.” The Finance Bar cuts through the noise and provides simple, bona fide ideas for improving your financial life. My favorite? “Whatever your financial goals were for 2018, make them your screensaver.”
The Financial Diet, or TFD, wins the award for the loveliest money Instagram account. The ladies over at TFD not only know how to make tidbits of money advice look beautiful, but they concoct a perfect mix of reflections on being your best self along with fire-under-your-butt action items. They’re big on the idea of “spending on what you love” and ditching the rest, which you’ll see as a common vein that runs through their posts. TFD deals in aspirational Instagram, no doubt, but they do so in a way that’s productive and honest.
Jen Smith, a.k.a. “Saving With Sprunk,” has the Instagram with the best money quotes, hands down. And I’m not just talking about the same-ol’ same-ol’ Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger tropes, although she’s got those too; Jen includes wisdom from thoughtful people in a variety of disciplines, like Meryl Streep and Malcolm Gladwell. Most notable, though, is her dedication to finding inspiration through creators from within the hip-hop space, from Kendrick Lamar to Cardi B to Tupac Shakur. It’s a refreshing mix-up from within the personal finance community, where we’re all a little bit guilty of homogeneity in the quotations we rely on to illustrate out ideas.
The provocative “Financial Superhero” might not be for everyone, but he’ll certainly make just about anyone reconsider their preconceived notions about money and wealth creation. He’s incredibly active, sometimes posting ten times in a day — his Instagram may remind you more of a blog than the profiles you’re used to. While many personal finance experts are reticent to bein’ bossy, BKF University has no problem calling yo’ sh*t out. In one of his recent posts, he profiles the “3 People You Can Never Talk Out of Anything.” They are: “#1. Your friend who refuses to realize they’re dating the worst person ever. #2. Anyone who just joined a full-on pyramid scheme or religious cult zombie. #3 Anyone who’s convinced themselves the thing they want to buy is an ‘investment’.”
Patrice C. Washington of the Redefining Wealth podcast is a powerhouse whose goal is to spread one very important money message: You should be chasing purpose, not wealth. Washington definitely falls into the category of “motivational” Instagram (as opposed to some Instagram accounts, which are more dedicated to money tips and tricks), which is exactly what some of us need. In addition to being wise, confident, and— as the kids would say — #goals, I like following her Instagram account so I know when an episode of her podcast as out. (A lot of Instagram accounts are used to alert followers to new blog posts and podcasts episodes, etc.)
Kasasa is the only bank I’ve included on this list, because whoever runs their Instagram is brilliant. Fun, lighthearted and sometimes a bit spicy, Kasasa is the credit union, Instagram equivalent of fast-food Twitter. They strike a great balance between fun images, inspiration, and practical advice. Whether you decide to use Kasasa’s services is beside the point; I’m certain we’ll see more financial services firms jump on the Instagram train as social media outreach becomes essential to doing biz. Young people are demanding transparency and education from their financial service providers; that means we’ll continue to see banks positioning themselves as a free resource. Take advantage of this.
Kara Perez of Bravely has major financial wisdom to impart and does so with grace via her Instagram account. Her mostly text-based images will help keep your head on straight about money. Personally, Bravely reminds me that I control my money and not the other way around, that real self-care isn’t about treating myself to chocolate after a long day, and most importantly, to love myself for who I am and how I treat people, not for what I own. One of my Bravely Instagram favorites? “Our system is designed to get you to overspend and stay in debt. We’re constantly bombarded with messages that we need to spend money to achieve or improve ourselves. Take back your control by simply opting out of the BS.”
Your turn! What are your favorite money or personal finance-related Instagram accounts to follow?