Finance on Instagram: what's not to like?
Finance on instagram. What's not to like? The instagram generation might be criticized for loving consumption fueled images of designer clothes expensive brunches an exotic holidays but the platform is increasingly providing the inspiration for those looking to save money learn budget and even start a retirement fund will get out of debt for the younger generation is getting financial advice via social media a good idea. Well today I'm thrashing this out on the PODCAST with Catherine Gemmell. A twenty four year old reporter at the money and Jason Butler the F. T. columnist who is there? I say more than twice Catherine's age but he has spent thirty years. Working in financial services has lots to tell us about it. So welcome to a special multigenerational edition of the Anti Money. Show the FTC. Weekly podcast about personal finance and investing. I am Claire. Barratt Eddie money editor presiding over this week's bum fight so admit the deluge of sell fees content creators around the world bringing financial education into the social media mainstream by talking about their money on instagram. Now Catherine you've come to F t money on an internship through PA news. You are somebody who does instagram. Yep I am somebody. Who's trying to learn as a forty three year old lamely trying to be hip but for the benefit of the people in the audience who are not instant stars. How does instagram actually work? So as a photo and video sheeting up where you post visual content and keep up to date with your friends family's favorite celebrities and influencers at first on the scene in two thousand eighteen and since facebook acquired platform for one billion dollars. Eight years ago at no boss one billion active users law five hundred million of whom used a platform daily. So taking a photograph of something because you can't pace without without saying here face Gore twitter or facebook if you're talking about money which is what you're asking with revealing. I mean other than taking pictures of notes and coins. It doesn't strike me as the maced illustrative subjects. And I say that somebody you spent much of the last four years trying to find innovative ways of illustrating articles in the F. T. money section of the weekend newspaper so we wanna do people posting pictures of so instagram's all about pitchers so much more engaging than other social networks and this is where the value of it lies in comparison to the lake facebook. So obviously money isn't certainly something that that comes across as visual however these months to governors are using visual tools to spark an emotional response to money so the user lakes of colorful stationary calligraphy to get their message across or instagram. Some Lake to cola spoke. Well I like that and you identified various different kinds of communities of people on instagram. Who a united because they follow each other or they use hashtags to Make sure that they're all talking about the same thing. Like the Hashtag debt. Free communities particularly interested me Yeah so within the personal finance community on Instagram you have what content marketers lake call traipse tribes so these are sort of micro communities within the bigger instagram community You have your frugal tapes and your budgeters to show how to live a fulfilling life on a budget. Then you also have your parental bloggers who talk about the financial realities of Payden Hoot These provide support and inspiration. And then there's also a safe from these. You have your investment tapes and your fire crew which is financial independence retire early. Yes no I've written before about financial independence retire early. This is a US movement. I think could say people who Advocate saving large amounts of their disposable income. As young people like self says they can stop work or achieve greater work life balance Later on in life largely through investing in Lakers Tracker Fund so interesting that the kind of investment community is gaining a lot of people who are doing fire of money. They're not people who a young populous. This is true yes so it just shows the many sheets of the personal finance community. You have your people who have a lot of money on are showing to invest and use that money but then you also have the other end of it like the date free community that you talked about and people who are really struggling on using the APP as a we to 'em connect with other people and strive towards being debt free now as somebody who's written a lot about that in Britain certainly financial conduct authority. This week said the nearly eight million Britons are in serious levels of of problem data. She's a worry. I really like the fact that people are using the instagram platform to be really up close and personal about how. They're dealing with their debt problems because such to be subjects. I mean it takes the average person improper debt more than two years before they'll consider fainting up. That help line is something I learned last year which is just a staggering statistic and one of the people who you interviewed in your article. She'd been so open about paying down her credit card debts Revealing how much sheet and paid and different post. How much was left if she'd made a slip up and she says She still being contacted even now that she's has paid off that debt by say many people who are seeing those posts now for the first time and learning In their own journey people say to becoming debt. Free is definitely. I think that that's one of the things that really became apartment. Talking to these ends to Gummer's was that The the support that they got from the community when they just post a simple thing like saying this is how much I paid off even if it was really small mon or a Begemann it really helps them on this journey as a lot of the people to call it and let them keep going and it gives them a little bit of a boost because as we know money and mental health or really interconnected. And sometimes when you're on your feet turn it can few lonely only so in cigar makes it feel a little less so so clearly. There are lots of things happening on on instagram. That we can agree a good but there are also things. Unfortunately that we can definitely agree about INSTA- scams is how it's been summed up. Yes so last year. The Yuki authorities warned that hundreds of instagram users. I'm had been suckered and to promise of high returns and losing nearly nine thousand pounds on average about instagram. Has Our help each? That helps you to report these scams. So if anything doesn't seem right if people are offering you large returns for 'em small amounts then you should probably go on that page and reporter as suspicious. Well thanks for running us through your piece Catherine if anyone wants to read it by the way we have put it on Instagram An is free to read on Dot Com slash money finance on instagram. What's not to like is the headline to lookout for but Jason Butler. I'm GonNa Bring you in now. I mean what are the things that you noticed about screamer? Somebody who is? I think young people will call lurker. You've had a look at it but you're not actively Posting Graham yourself yet that may change. What struck you about the platform. Well it's like everything Financial Pornography as I called. It is everywhere. So there's a lot of noise out there and you think instagram's I always say to people you don't think about social media platforms. Where do you think about? Is the message soon. The intention the motivation and ultimately what's going to the house someone's GonNa react to a message or content and all the instagram is is a means is a platform for which people can connect with as got through saying tribes on micro communities or certain groups of people but like Channel Four when it first opened in the eighties. You could you could remember a client of mine who is very high appetite and he said. I can target. I sort of a guy guys in their twenties easier through that medium than any other time in the eighty s in terms of advertising reach. And it's the same with instagram. So so you've got to. You've got us or copy on. The noise is a platform. It's it's very very noisy platform but it has limitations in terms of what it can actually get through so the good thing is that I say is that they are innovative ways that you get people thinking becoming self aware and be. Kinda as you say wherever it staring difficulties. We've owning up to that and taking some action and doing something about the all. The fire movement so in my case strong views about fire as a movement as a principal for becoming financial independent is a great thing. But don't feel so bad if you don't want to become part of our community and be financially independent thirty five and a bad person so so the inspires people. I've seen some great inspiring wacko hooks in there. But then when you dig through some of this some of the people are charlatans or even wacko unconsciously incompetent. They don't actually know what they're doing. They're they're content creators. You've just happened to have come across for personal finances as another hook and some of them are willing tension and his you as we found with scammers some actually have ill intent and one thing the. I was really struck by immediately. Nativist is the number of women on instagram. Who have built up massive followings many of them Americans the budget mom. We talked about in the piece really like her But also young people and women in general are exactly the kind of people that the mainstream financial services industry is not really talking to a moment. So should we? Should we really be surprised? Instagram is becoming a form they can express themselves in. Yes. They've been disenfranchised groups definitely young people and female and to a lesser extent. Some racial groups as you say in different countries but I think I think what you're actually seeing is that money really is. An emotional contract is an abstract thing and is actually more about emotion about the stories. You tell yourself about the the the excuses you give yourself about the impose you have about the voids that you need to feel about addictions you've got so few whatever it is or or or even you wanNA break to the well to make yourself feel better on you on your great whatever it is. It's an emotional thing. Money's just one of those excuses to connect with people emotionally and when you realize that money is an emotional thing it's not about and that's test aspects of the need to functionally but mostly money is an emotional behavioral issue and therefore if if people can connect with you. Catherine was saying earlier in motion. -Ly then you've got tension and attention is the big problem so yeah I think I think I think that's the reason. Why some of these micro groups but particularly females and young people can team because we much more open now about feelings are mental health and and money and mental health is is up there with you know breathing and eating absolutely interesting. The eastward telling stories about money Jason because one of the things that Catherine has explained to me over. The last few weeks is how to do a story on instagram. He wants to enlighten any other similarly middle aged people who listening on Instagram as a lot people. No you can post your standard Post which is basically the picture that comes up under you to say that she can also use the story function which basically means that you can put up a pet or a video and it lasts for twenty four hours and its associated with your account for only that long. So you can put up. Maybe if you're an event or if you're cooking something nice dinner and will be there for tweet. Whatever's an disappear but if you don't want it to desapite after twenty four hours you can make it a highlight function with on your page. So for instance when clear last week asked me highway west of my profile She made a love LILLO collection. Abo- about your ask where to get the best overdraw. Yes function to be able to tell stories and I think that's a law of these answer gummer's from peril finance gummer's are doing is using it. As a we tell stories to share information with people and to educate WH- certainly if you want to follow the F. T. on instagram at Financial Times I think's nearly two million people who are doing that. Sadly there's any about four hundred people who follow me. I'm at clube. Jason said our obsessions come out on social media and mine is mostly sunny with saving money. cooking thrifty meals and collecting him in bridgewater monks but moving swiftly on Catherine referring inspired by some of the comments that he readers left On your piece not all of them have to say particular fans of Instagram. Although many of them found it very interesting to have this insolence into a young person's financial world I was particularly interested. One comment from Wollo said personally. I can't stand social media. Finance Gu's the intensely smug we paid off our mortgage in our thirties. Humble braggers the Index Fund. Fan Boys Parenting. The same ordered vase ad nauseam the street or lifestyle scammers et. Cetera ET CETERA. However someone else and the F- phenomenology of logic said him snide remarks from old school F. T. Seti tapes won't dent the undeniable expansion of INSTA- into eightieth scarcely imagined a couple of years ago. I mean it is interesting. The way that it's kind of divided The the commentators the one that really made me laugh with somebody saying why does everything have to be a journey? Yes and then someone actually replied to shouldn't be a trip so which was quite funny. An unknown other comment that me laugh was Mitchell mindset and style cat videos and tech dances and another mentor replied journeyman replied. It's Qa to your own viewing habits. So apparently that's all you've clicked tone. Well mess with these young people's tools at your peril. I think is the US in our stay with US Kathryn. Because we're going to turn the tables now on the anti money show. We've heard Jason Tennis. What he thinks about Catherine's article on Instagram but two weeks ago in his wealth man slot Fifty year old Jason Rate an article in which he explored the things that he wished he knew about money when he was twenty one years old. Now Jason a lot of the things in this Oscar were aimed at your daughters who are not much younger than Catherine. Twenty one and sixteen say are developing their own stories about money Can I say but the advice that you're giving people in this article the things that you wish you had known when you were twenty one took us through a few of those yes so we all have a different perspective on life and money? Obviously when I was putting together my list it was kind of looking at it from all the mistakes and my own upbringing so everyone will have a different perspective. And this wasn't to say this is what you must do. If you're young person it was to say this is what I've learned with my journey. You might come up with different answers. If you've had a different different frigging use that journey word but the issue there was about the meaning of money was one that I was really keen for them to understand that you hear people either are obsessed with money or I think the the root of all evil Unites Biblical terms. You know everyone's horrible and actually money isn't good or bad a toll money's just a means of exchange it's just a means of measurement when it's what you do with the money and how you earn your money which is probably more important than anything so money has the meaning that you give it and I always say here that although it can alleviate sadness stephanie because if your skin and we know if people are in debt and they don't know where the next living paycheck to paycheck or or going to be thrown out accommodation. That's a terrible thing. Terrible way to live a money indefinitely. Might you happier in terms of getting rid of sadness and hardship but money itself compensate you happy and fulfilled just to be rich for the sake of it. I mean yes you can be you all. The studies showed if you have more money than most people you have a higher chance of being happier but on its own. It want because if you don't use it in the right way be use it in a way that's intentional with what's important to you and that makes you feel like a human being. Decent human beings got some purpose then is probably not going to help you now. I think one of the biggest problems for young people nowadays is obviously the property market. If you'RE GOING TO INHERIT WEALTH. And that's probably one of the surefire ways that you can that you will end up aiding your rain house in. Feature. But in the meantime people who are saving lots of money tools. Housing Deposit for many is finding quite hard to achieve the same financial milestones. That generations previous student would have found much easier to reach. Housing is a big issue And as I sit in in my sabbatical you really want to have your housing. And your commuting costs whether that's renting or buying certainly not more than thirty to thirty five percent of your earnings obviously in London. That's more difficult mon possible. Who I say. No no he's supposed to books. I did research on this as a company I do work with shadow refinance and the vast majority that people are under the age of thirty five and I asked ten people and most of them were between twenty. Five and thirty. Four percent was was housing and commuting costs so the issue here is not these difficult. We know it's difficult but that you might have to rethink your career. It might be the actually. There is a job in you call so that is a tech job actually when you actually add up the total cost of housing and the salary that is actually a better quality of life you we. The problem is people think are London's where the jobs are or it's really expensive or isn't really difficult. Well reverse engineer it back. I'm not saying what were the answers. I'm just saying reverse engineer backstage. Where could I work where there was a great stimulating job? That could help me build my human capital where I could have a social life where I wasn't spending two hours. Commuting and negative cost the neighborhood me to not just enjoy life auto put some money aside and avoid debt so. I think that was. The Point. Is Not to say it wasn't easy. He isn't but think about it in a different way. Where could I have that quality of life? Where could I have that career where could have ability to save and avoid that now when you were twenty one? What all the things that you suggested in your article is the piece of information that you really wished you had known developing Good Money Habits. Dighly money habits learning to say no more and and to sort of and just be a little bit more contrived. I hired a nightclub for my twin third birthday and I spent two thousand pounds on it. I mean what lunatic does that. I mean it's just some of it and it was a great party. I was going to say even to this day. Pumping too who say that. The party I know damn well. They weren't because I never invited them. Second Host Comedy Bianca Jagger but we certainly had a few things going on and it was great fun nevertheless it was great. But I'm using is an extreme. I I didn't even think about the long term I d I just I was going to be young and lots of money and I never needed to worry. And it wasn't so much that I've tried to keep myself physically mentally well but I just I just wish I'd got into better daily habits earlier and it was really getting married. My wife suggesting that she might want we want one stop family and had to sort of you know so the get serious. I just wish I'd done that five or six years earlier doesn't mean I wouldn't be socializing a few less holidays. Perhaps not such a flash car. It's not so much socializing and not having you know tailored suits and stuff you know just just just a little bit of less ex- excess would have set me up for greater because I saw my first property in las seventeen thousand pounds because both in one thousand nine hundred ninety four and that was a property crash. So that's just another thing. Is that just because properties dumb rudy. Well it doesn't mean you're always going to be floated out problems and you've got to prepare for when life throws you curve. It's not if it's when and the big problem people don't think of is they don't plan for when the when it's going to rain fixed the roof when the sun's shining and one other you know having a two thousand pounds to when you haven't gotten any savings. I'm sorry if just got to make some key priorities because if the price of having that Tattoo and no savings when you lose your job or you get ill or something happens with your call means you've got no money and you have to get into debt. It's so small choices every day. The really You are responsible. And that's one of the reasons why we kept saying that you essentially earlier. A lot of people find it difficult to fess up about debt nine because I put the on to overdraft Nozomi twenties despite earning a lot of money and the reason is is because when we have to. We have to own up to problems. All the fact we haven't saved enough or we can't afford a house or whatever it is and sometimes that's genuine. This is not your own fault but for many of us it reflects the fact that we feel stupid. We feel guilty. We feel shame we feel embarrassed about the fact that we haven't been better with money than we should have done. And also the fact that many people who are who basting about their lifestyle and their purchases On platforms like instagram might be lying or in the case of some ace or shoppers. Buying clothes trying them on taking your face and then sending them back Catherine. You're smiling at me. I'm sure that you are not one of the people that as sources banned from its site from this practice. But you Jason's column when it came out. See if you want to read is on Eddie Dot com slash money at the moment. What would you like to ask Jason from the point of view of a twenty four year? Old Seeking Advice. Read your call him and actually said to the I was going to put them apart. Because it's all types that I really need to my life. One stood out to me and it said the good news is you'll have a longer working life during which to save and accumulate wealth. So my question is how can as a millennial and agenda Gen z. How can we feel optimistic about having to work in our seventies and eighties when peace generations than to do that? We're good news is you'll you should be able to have more choices to the work. So all the studies show and I'm not saying what's important to you but for so for instance. I'm fortunate that I'm financially independent. As long as we don't go berserk on spending your own mind boats and nine houses but you know I choose to it because I light working right now. I'm saying that to be smug I'm saying this is my choice. The thought of not working and I just happened to get paid for. I do but the thought of not working fills me with dread. Because he's a key part of my life and I like doing what I do. And it gives me fulfillment and purpose. So what I'm trying to say is that it's not about the drudgery of job you height. It may be that you have to do things you don't like the on your passion or aren't your big cooling just to earn money initially but over time the ability to keep earning money through gradually doing things that you really like and the are in balance with the other things you want to do. It means not necessarily working as intensely but press for longer and I know lots of people who are working two or three days a week only as much earning five or six days a week but still time for other things and I enjoy that because they actually now kind of know what they're doing so I think I think if you really hate working in and you'll be calling is to be an artist and unknown but that no one's ever GonNa buy your until you did that may be more tricky but I think it's actually supposed to be a negative. I think personally if you can find what you're good at eventually you don't have to be all through your life and you can find things that you can also deliver value to others and get paid for that value then. I think that's a good thing. So if you've got longer all this idea of I've read various articles including the F. T. Says you got to save so much money and you live on Baynes and you know rivals forever on. You've got to spend anything on holiday. Your terrible person. I'm saying that the little for longer means money's more time to work for you and if that means that you can work part time even if it's a job that you're not one hundred percent right but you can have more time to do other things than I. I think it's A. It's a blessing in the sense. That is just a different way of looking at it because naturally we wanna think about all the pain and what we haven't gone and we want to blame a previous generation. You had easy and all that we never had the internet. We now have social media. We have we could never start businesses. Were micro-financing we. There was none of this stuff. I mean we used to go to the library to look up stuff. Do you remember your young still a member of several libraries. So does that it sort of does he give you a sense. Again side hustles. I know someone. Who's doing counseling in a sixties? She stopped his nurse and she's only almost as much as she was as a nurse. As a counselor and she only does it three days a week and she loves it so yes from that apart from what you said about clear have bitter attitudes towards money of all of this advice you given your column. What advice would you see to begin with for a young person who's never budgeted unless paycheck to paycheck? First thing you've got to do. Is You go to build your cash buffer and what you have to do is if you don't decide where your money goes before it comes in and yet the the the term from America was give every pound of job or every daughter a job so unless you decide where every penny is GonNa go as I always say two thousand pound a month to spend on fun fun just anything I want to spend on. That could be done to nightclubs. Well whatever coffees or whatever I don't have to worry but I put that money aside and said is my wife and we don't have to answer to each other we don't have to. She's always running big balance. I'm always down to a pound so I'm was asking for strategic transfers from her and she said no way Jose but the point is we decide where money goes at the beginning of the month if you can get into the habit of doing and that means making allowance for socializing making allowance for all those impulse purchase making allowance for the holiday. I'm those stacked do's and all the Tattoo you whatever it is Mike Allowance for the beginning amount so that you then have got spice for building. Cash Reserve building savings a bit more in the pension building a house from whatever it is but he's being intentional and also giving yourself permission to spend the fund money as well as somebody. He is the younger Jason of C. Older Newcastle I would add to that number one. Do not get a tattoo things when we step shoulder doubt. Let me see a tattoo when you go into the bathroom but as I found in my own life definitely decide what you're going to do with the money at the beginning of the month but I also find it quite helpful to decide roughly what I'm GonNa do with the money at the beginning of the year because you always get three days between Christmas and New Year and being sat sack Finance journalist I will say to my husband like where we wanna go on holiday this year. Roughly how much is that going to cost AK so how much we can have to save? Tools funding Nice goals. What likely expenses we're going to incur in the form of the children in a like one of them had an expensive dental implant on the cards for awhile which is on the Barrett House or shopping list but all say things like tax bills which can be variable. How much money are we going to need to put aside For those now I mean if you're a young person then yet you'd be looking at housing. Deposits may be saving up to do a master's degree and lots of young people. Who Want to do that? And it's just kind of looking at. How is it possible to put a bit of money aside every month that can make some more of these goals possible but little bits of organization can go along way because then if when you paycheck comes in you've got money going out to savings account a new? You can only get about one point. Three percent interest which is now sadly less than today's inflation figures but it's like the separation of like putting in that money somewhere different. That will stop you from. It's not the India is not an interest. Cash is about giving you options. It's about making financial calamity or even if there is something they haven't budgeted for that you really do want to deal with it. Gives it means a drama just becomes an inconvenience. It's not if it's when you can just handle it and I wrote a blog on my own website Last year about how to get control of all your spending and ease this irregular but inevitable spending rivers the call servicing the holiday or whatever it is Christmas presents that you have to factor in the beginning of the year and put an amount of side. So if you're earning fifteen hundred pounds a month and you think you're spending twelve hundred will actually if you actually spending four hundred pound four thousand eight hundred twenty on other stuff. That's actually sixteen hundred pound a month. You're spending one hundred pound a month more than you're owning. So unless you get grips with. That doesn't matter how much you earned lifestock creep the ability for your spending continually rise and sometimes quicker than your earnings means that you'll never make space for buying a house building retirement funds. Building Emergency Fund and. He's Not Complicated. But the thing here is this is all about having fun now is not about living like a monk on writers so that you can have the golden time you know when you're thirty five because that isn't real for most people is about having commission so that when you go and spend frivolously on stuff that makes fun and interesting spontaneous that you're not derailing yourself on the rest of life and that's why we created the money on track system. Which is this one year planner? Which is where you can say everything from your your when your utility bills come up for renewal you'll broadband all that. So you can actually on your core stuff as well Mike Allowance and make course corrections. What did you think about will of advice the US old farts Catherine? I think it's brilliant. I think also to bring back in the instagram accounts and instagram personal finance accounts as kind of what they are also doing at the medicine and the cheese is a Trojan horse as Gummer's late to call a as just remained in people that as long as the plan and they put a name to their money and they're just a bit more conscientious about that can be easy to be a chore. Just being assay being intentional being aware working out was important. And it's not about NOT-I'm load times a little bit of time and it's not about being easy is about being easier and we're all on her own journey right definitely. Well at which point the journey for this podcast is reached. Its final stop. Thank you very much for joining us. Am Claire Barratt. Ft money editor. We will be back next week at the usual time. If you would like to contact us about a feature item for the pocus you can email me. Money AT DOT com. Follow us on twitter at eft money and instagram. Financial Times is the accounts of. We'll be back next week. Usual time goodbye.