- Vivian Tu teaches her 1 million millennial and Gen-Z TikTok followers about financial literacy.
- She says advice to get a second job or stop eating out doesn’t work for young people like it did for their parents.
- Millennials and Gen-Zers are often told that all debt is bad, but Tu says it depends on the context.
- Read more Personal Finance Insider stories.
After making her first million on Wall Street, 27-year-old Vivian Tu (@yourrichbff on TikTok) realized that even top-earning traders didn’t have the basic personal finance skills that would help them manage lasting wealth. .
Tu started out on TikToks to share basic personal finance and investment tips, but quickly realized that young people face different financial struggles than past generations.
“Personal finance, for a long time, has been very pale and very masculine,” Tu shares with Insider when asked why traditional personal finance advice isn’t reaching millennials and Gen Zers. Tu strives to speak to her followers like she’s her “rich best friend,” with relatable stories and perspectives that young people relate to.
According to You, here are four outdated tips that millennials and Gen Zers don’t listen to anymore.
1. Get a second job to pay off debt
Tu says that older generations often forget that the cost of living is “exponentially higher” for millennials and Gen Z, and that advice to get a second job won’t fix larger systemic problems.
“When my parents went to college, tuition was a banana, a quarter, and a handshake,” he jokes. “But now, in order to go to college, at 17 or 18, you have to sign a binding paper that says, ‘I’m worth six figures.'”
The advice to “look for a second job” falls on deaf ears when young people are fed up with how expensive it is to do the same things their parents did when they were young.
2. Stop eating out to save money
“I hate that advice,” admits Tu. “I think previous generations have spread this advice that if you work hard, if you do all the right things, you will achieve the American dream. But the American dream has changed.”
In the same vein as the advice for getting a second job, young people hate being told to stop eating out to save money. While some millennials and Gen Z cut back on dining out, they still prefer to set aside a realistic amount of money to go out to eat with their friends and just enjoy their lives.
3. Stay true to your full-time job
Millennials and Gen Zers are the pioneering generations of The Great Resignation, the movement that caused workers in all industries to leave their jobs and demand higher wages, more benefits and better treatment.
Contrary to more conservative advice from previous generations, The Great Resignation actually creates the perfect climate to negotiate for a higher salary or apply to a different company that may be offering more money for the exact same job description.
“Being loyal doesn’t pay,” explains Tu. “If you stay in your job for too long, you can be losing hundreds of thousands of dollars because they know you’re not going to leave. You can only save as much as you earn, but you can always increase what you earn.” “
4. All debt is bad
Because younger generations are often saddled with student loan debt, they are often told to everyone type of debt must be paid immediately, or that everyone types of debt should be avoided altogether. You argue that we should begin to normalize the debt.
Some types of debt, like student loan debt and credit card debt, can keep you from reaching your financial goals if you ignore them.
But mortgages or business loans, on the other hand, can be beneficial in building the life you want. “Even though rich people can pay for a house with cash, they still get mortgages,” he explains. With mortgage rates between 2% and 4%, Tu says that rich people will pay as little as possible for the house up front and then use the rest of the money to invest in the market.
“When we lend money to the poor, we call it debt,” says Tu. “When we lend money to rich people, we call it leverage. Debt is not morally good or bad. Just like an investment account or a savings account, debt is a tool and young people need to learn how to use it.”