Way back when, the only way to get your hands on some financial advice without professional help was by walking yourself to the library. Or better yet, getting rich-uncle advice over the holidays.
Now, thanks to the internet, it’s quick and easy to find advice on pretty much any financial query. But having so much information at our fingertips has its disadvantages — especially when it comes to the advice on social media, where literally everyone is allowed to share their opinions.
Sure, you can find sound financial advice on TikTok, it’s true. But just because you know how to create a viral TikTok doesn’t mean you’re a financial expert.
We’re sharing five alarming money tips we’ve seen on TikTok, plus five smarter things to do with your money, instead.
- 1 1. Dangerous Advice: The Promise of Quick Results and Easy Money
- 2 2. Dangerous Advice: Complicated ‘Money Hacks’
- 3 3. Dangerous Advice: Oversimplifying Debt
- 4 4. Dangerous Advice: Aggressive Investments
- 5 5. Dangerous Advice: Distractions
- 6 Now What?
1. Dangerous Advice: The Promise of Quick Results and Easy Money
Get-rich-quick schemes have been around since one caveman convinced the other he was a wealthy foriegn prince. Now, these schemes exist in the form of young charming influencers flaunting their wealth and claiming you can make thousands of dollars a week with very little effort. You just have to do what they did, and you’ll find the same success.
The truth is, there are no simple tricks that unlock the stock market, and there definitely aren’t any “real-time money glitches.” Using any of these tips and tricks is like walking into a casino and putting everything on black. It might work a couple of times, but it’s not going to work over the long term. There’s simply no reliable shortcut to financial wealth.
Do This Instead: Spend $1 to Own a Piece of Amazon, Google or Other Companies
Instead of looking for quick results and easy money, we suggest you look for reliable long-term investments. So, where to start?
Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company.
If you don’t have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.
But with an app called Stash, it doesn’t have to be. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — on Stash you can buy pieces of other companies for as little as $1.
That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google, Apple and more for as little as $1. The best part? If these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.*
It takes two minutes to sign up, and it’s totally secure. With Stash, all your investments are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) — that’s industry talk for, “Your money’s safe.”**
Plus, when you use the link above, Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.
2. Dangerous Advice: Complicated ‘Money Hacks’
Some of the most amusing money-saving TikToks come from people sharing the most complex ways to make or save a few bucks — like working for a food delivery app just so you can get paid to pick up your own food. Or, my personal favorite: starting your own landscaping business to write off your new lawn mower.
Aside from some of these tactics being sketchy or downright illegal, you’re likely to waste far more of your valuable time and energy compared to the extra cash you’re pocketing.
Do This Instead: Let This App Pay You Up to $83 When You Win Solitaire Games
If you’ve got your heart set on finding interesting ways to make some extra cash, there are actually some much simpler options out there that won’t have you wondering if what you’re doing is illegal.
For example, there’s a free iPhone app called Solitaire Cash that lets you play for real money. You could get paid up to $83 per win.
With each game, you’ll battle it out against at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who solve the deck fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.
Over on the App Store, it has over a million downloads and more than 15,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars (out of 5).
To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.
3. Dangerous Advice: Oversimplifying Debt
Debt is a complicated principle. Unfortunately, some TikTok creators have taken it upon themselves to oversimplify how debt works so that the information fits into a short video format.
Advice comes out half-baked, like explaining it’s good to apply for a credit card without mentioning the importance of making your credit card payments on time or monitor your credit-utilization ratio.
A lot of this advice also assumes we’re all in the same financial boat, and that there’s a one-size-fits-all way to look at and deal with debt. In reality, we’re all in different stages of our financial journey.
Do This Instead: Ask This Website to Help Wipe Out Your Credit Card Debt
So let’s talk about that debt that’s eating you up inside. The anxiety, the interest rates, the fear you’re never going to escape…
And your credit card company doesn’t really care. It’s just getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates — some up to 36%. Websites like AmOne want to help.
If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.
The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 2.49% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
You don’t need a perfect credit score to get a loan — and comparing your options won’t affect your score at all. Plus, AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
It takes less than a minute and just 10 questions to see what loans you qualify for — you don’t even need to enter your Social Security number. You do need to give AmOne a real phone number in order to qualify, but don’t worry — they won’t spam you with phone calls.
4. Dangerous Advice: Aggressive Investments
Another big trend we’re seeing on TikTok is influencers sharing the success they’ve had with aggressive investments — like taking equity from their homes to invest in more properties — resulting in a steady, passive income.
These types of investment can work, but again, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. Plus, it comes with a lot of risks and a lot more hard work than any of these influencers care to admit.
When you’re borrowing equity from, say, your house, to invest in something new, just remember you’re going into more debt to do so. If your investment fails, you could lose your house, and more.
Do This Instead: Earn $300+/Month in Risk-Free Passive Income with Your Extra Space
There’s actually a safer way to make a passive income. So, before you take out a huge loan and go all in on that fixer upper down the street, take a quick look at the existing space you have.
If you’re like us, your garage probably isn’t doing much of anything at the moment. Maybe you have some tools in there, or maybe it’s home to your boxes of odds and ends, collecting dust.
But with a website called Neighbor, your extra space — whether it’s a spare room, an empty garage or a parking space — could be earning you an extra $300 a month in totally passive income.
Neighbor works by connecting people who need storage space with hosts who have the room to spare. The average host makes about $300 a month, but some people have earned up to $50,000 a year just by letting people park on their property.
It takes less than 10 minutes to get started. Just answer a few questions about your space, take some pictures and set your asking price. Neighbor will recommend a dollar amount based on your location and type of rental, but the final listing is up to you.
Neighbor even gives you up to $1 million in free protection as a host and offers protection plans for your renters, giving you both peace of mind.
Neighbor is an easy source of passive income, and it’s easier than most side hustles. It’s free to list your space, and you’ll only be charged a 4.9% processing fee from the profit you make each month, so there’s no risk to you.
Sign up here and see how much you could earn.
5. Dangerous Advice: Distractions
Many TikTok influencers focus on fun and trendy financial tips and tricks in an attempt to gain more followers.
Like, have you ever found yourself labeling hundreds of colored envelopes in an attempt to save money? Or, did you try and fail to get extra money from your airline after watching a very engaging and entertaining influencer act out a fake scenario with indisputable success? If so, you might’ve been duped by the latest trending TikTok instead of focusing on your long-term financial goals.
Do This Instead: Keep Your Eye on the Prize and Add up to 300 Points to Your Credit Score
When it comes to your credit score, it’s important to stay organized and keep tabs on it. After all, it’ll play an essential role in any big purchase you want to make — whether that’s a home or a car.
So if you’re looking to get your credit score back on track — or even if it is on track and you want to bump it up — try using a free website called Credit Sesame.
Within two minutes, you’ll get access to your credit score, any debt-carrying accounts and a handful of personalized tips to improve your score. You’ll even be able to spot any errors holding you back (one in five reports have one).
James Cooper, of Atlanta, used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.**** “They showed me the ins and outs — how to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” he said.
Want to check for yourself? It’s free and only takes about 90 seconds to sign up.
Keep a wary eye out for these dangerous tips on social media. Always check out a TikTok influencer’s credentials and background. And always do your own research before you take any financial action.
Good luck out there, and whatever you do, don’t put all your money on black.
*Not all stocks pay out dividends, and there is no guarantee that dividends will be paid each year.
**To note, SIPC coverage does not insure against the potential loss of market value.
For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.
***Like Cooper, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.