- Vivian Tu teaches financial literacy to her 1 million TikTok followers, primarily millennials and Gen-Z.
- She claims that suggestions such as getting a second job or cutting down on dining out do not work for young people as they worked for their parents.
- Many people tell Millennials and Gen-Zers that all debt is wrong, but Tu argues it depends on the situation. For example, if you are in a difficult financial situation, it is better to get a loan.
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After making her first million on Wall Street, Vivian Tu (@yourrichbff on TikTok) learned that even the highest-earning traders lacked fundamental personal financial skills that would help them maintain long-term wealth.
Tu started creating TikToks to give basic financial and investment information but soon recognized that today’s youth have different economic challenges than previous generations.
When asked why specific personal financial advice isn’t resonating with millennials and Gen Zers, Tu tells Insider, “Personal finance has been extremely pale and very masculine for a long time.” Tu makes it a point to speak to her fans as if she were their “wealthy best friend,” sharing realistic experiences and moments of view that young people can connect to.
According to Tu, there are four bits of outmoded advice that millennials and Gen Zers no longer follow.
1. Take up a second job to help pay off debt.
Tu claims that older generations forget that the cost of living for millennials and Gen Zers is “exponentially greater” and that advice to acquire a second job would not solve deeper structural concerns.
“Tuition was a banana, a quarter, and a handshake when my parents went to college,” she quips. “But today, to get to college, you have to sign a binding piece of paper saying, ‘I’m good for six figures,'” explains one student.
When young people are frustrated with how costly it is to do the same activities their parents did when they were young, the advice to “find a second job” falls on deaf ears.
2. To save money, stop dining out.
Tu acknowledges, “I despise such counsel.” “I believe that previous generations preached the idea that if you work hard and do everything perfectly, you can attain the American dream. However, the American ideal has evolved.”
Young people despise being urged to cease dining out to save money, just like they like being told to obtain a second job. While some millennials and Gen Zers are cutting down on dining out, they still want to put aside a reasonable amount of money to enjoy life with their friends.
3. Maintain your commitment to your full-time employment.
The Great Resignation, a movement that drove employees across sectors to quit their employment and seek better compensation, benefits, and treatment, was started by Millennials and Gen Zers.
Despite older generations’ counsel, The Great Resignation creates the ideal environment for negotiating a better wage or applying to a new firm that may be giving more money for the same job description.
Tu says, “Being loyal doesn’t pay.” “You might lose hundreds of thousands of dollars if you remain at your job for too long since they know you won’t quit. You can only save as much as you make, but you can always earn more.”
4. All debt is harmful.
Because younger generations are often burdened with student loan debt, they are frequently advised that all debt should be paid off as soon as possible or that all debt should be avoided. Tu contends that we must begin to normalize debt.
If you disregard certain types of debt, such as student loan debt and credit card debt, you may find yourself unable to achieve your financial objectives.
On the other hand, mortgages and business loans might assist you in creating the life you choose. She continues, “Even though affluent individuals can purchase a home outright, they still acquire mortgages.” With mortgage rates ranging between 2% and 4%, Tu believes that wealthy individuals would pay as little as possible for a home upfront and then invest their money in the stock market.
“We term debt when we lend money to needy people. We call leverage when we lend money to wealthy individuals. Debt is not desirable nor morally harmful. It is a tool, like an investment or savings account, and young people must learn how to utilize it.”