Personally, I’ve basically given up on any social media that isn’t Instagram. I like nice pictures, ok? The whole travel/ fashion/ friend areas are a given, but apparently, now we can get actual useful info for life from the platform. Yep, turning to Instagram to deliver and receive financial advice is a growing trend.
To be honest, it makes sense to me. A more anonymous way to get help, without having to rely on advice that isn’t relevant to us. We hear a lot of negative things about the ‘privilege and ignorance’ of our generation. It’s bullshit, but it also makes it kind of intimidating to reach out for things like financial advice because who wants to be met with that kind of scorn?
But how are we meant to know it’s an obvious question if it hasn’t been explained to us in a relevant way? Even if it is obvious, how are we supposed to make sure we have the right answer unless we ask?
A key player in this movement is My Millennial Money, an Australian financial podcast and Instagram account aimed at Millennials. But not in that super cheesy, condescending ‘I’m an old person who totally understands the younger generations’ kind of way, which is my absolute pet peeve. But in the actual ‘these will be the financial choices you’ll face and here’s how to face them’ way.
But why is it that we need different advice to older gens? Quite simply, because they haven’t experienced the same financial world we live in now.
“It’s controversial but sometimes millennials need to stop listening to their parents,” says Glen James, the man behind My Millennial Money, “It’s a different world that we live in now. So different.”
“Education, careers, the workforce, housing costs and even living arrangements are different than those of our parents. How can they tell us what to do when we are not operating in the same framework that they were?”
So, ah, yup, relatability. As for using Instagram to do it, makes sense really. We’re scrolling through it anyway. Why wouldn’t we enjoy a few tidbits for life thrown in there, beyond cheesy inspirational quotes? Especially when sometimes we haven’t even realised it’s a question we need to ask.
“…It’s only natural to consume information that is at hand [when you’re] already hanging out on the platform,” says Glen, “The ability to have [my] brand come to life visually, have some fun, not be too serious and also continue the money education journey made Instagram the perfect fit.”
If we’re turning to Instagram for an easy way to approach finance, what is it that we’re trying to find out? What is an actual ‘Millennial’ financial issue? Or rather, which of the issues we’re facing are actually very common for our gen, and which are just us personally?
“I’m finding a lot of millennials are uncertain about how much money they need to save for a home deposit (10% is a good starting point!),” says Glen.
Other questions he’s asked a lot revolve around “getting out of debt, managing day-to-day cash flow and the confusing nature of health and life insurances“. If you’re also uncertain about those things, you’re not alone. So ask the questions. And if social media is where you feel comfortable doing that, join the trend darlings.
Let me leave you with a little free advice from Glen to you that I certainly found refreshing:
“We as millennials need to take risks, possibly rent where we want to live and invest elsewhere (either shares or property) and not be afraid to take a little longer to set up our lives. Millennials also need to know that treading water during the uni years is okay; a good goal is just to avoid debt other than HECS/HELP.“