This TikTok Money Mentor’s Tips Are So Good, I Couldn’t Stop Watching If I Tried

Source: @ketut-subiyanto | Pexels
Source: @ketut-subiyanto | Pexels

Thanks to my primary source of millennial news (social media) and the magic that is the algorithm, I stumbled upon Vivian Tu and her viral videos on her account Your.RichBFF. As someone who loves personal finance content, her account basically became my heaven. Flash forward to today, and I’ve read Vivian Tu’s New York Times Best-Selling Book, Rich AF: The Winning Money Mindset That Will Change Your Life, and I still can’t get enough of her content.

Why am I so obsessed, you might ask? Well, Tu makes personal finance fun, interesting, and relevant. Nothing about her videos feels redundant or stuffy like other content I’ve consumed in the past—instead, her approach and tips are inspiring and eye-opening, providing a different and fresh approach to the world of finance. As someone who had to fumble through her 20s with minimal guidance on how to make smart money moves, I’m envious of all the 20-somethings who can benefit from her advice right now.

Personal finance can feel confusing and overwhelming, and the same old money advice can get old after a while—we all know that budgeting and investing are important. So, if you’re looking for new, unique ways to get the most out of your money, build wealth, and save in savvy ways, look no further than Vivian Tu, who is dedicated to making game-changing personal finance tips accessible to everyone. Ahead, I’m sharing the best advice I’ve learned from Vivian Tu and all the reasons why I can’t stop consuming her content.


Vivian Tu

Vivian Tu is a former Wall Street trader-turned-expert, personal finance educator, public speaker, entrepreneur, and debut author of an instant New York Times bestseller. Known as Your Rich BFF on social media, Vivian is on a global mission to make the financial industry less “male, pale, and stale.” Her dedication to promoting financial literacy has garnered over 5.5 million followers on TikTok and Instagram, as well as honors on the Forbes 30 Under 30 – Social Media (2023) and inaugural Top Creators (2022) lists. All of which is to say, she knows what she’s talking about, and people are listening.

1. Maximize Your Earnings to Get More Out of Your 9-to-5

Most employers give their employees an increase of around 3 percent every year, according to Investopedia, but Tu recommends asking for a 10 percent to 15 percent raise every single year to get the most out of your earning potential. “While this can seem like a lot, and you might not get this every year, it’s important to ask,” Vivian shares. The more you earn, the more you can invest. And the more you invest, the more your money will work for you instead of you working for your money.

To set yourself up for success during the conversation with your manager, there are two key items you should prepare: your accomplishments and market research. It’s crucial to highlight how you add value to the company and all the great work you’ve done, so make a list of what you’ve brought to the table, whether it’s how much profit you’ve brought in, the goals you’ve hit, or even the large projects you’ve completed ahead of schedule. Similarly, come prepared with what the market rate is for your role to help justify your ask for a raise, which you can research via websites like Glassdoor or Payscale.

If you come prepared to make your ask and the answer is no or less than what you expect, don’t sweat it. Use it as an opportunity to ask your manager what you can do to earn a raise so you can prepare for your next compensation conversation, or if this has happened before and you want to earn more, use it as a sign to look for employment elsewhere.

Remember, you can only cut so many expenses from your budget, but your income potential is limitless. Most people think that in order to have more money, they need to reduce their expenses and budget. But if you’ve already reduced your expenses, like canceling subscriptions and cutting unnecessary spending, your only other option is to create more income, either through asking for a raise or through additional work like a side hustle. “You aren’t working for your health, you’re working for money, and it’s okay to be upfront about that.” While it might feel audacious, remember, the answer is always no if you don’t ask.

2. Leverage Loopholes to You Reduce Your Taxes

High earners take advantage of tax credits and tax breaks, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t, too, according to Tu. There are a few ways to do this that aren’t talked about nearly enough. The first is specifically for low or moderate-income earners who can potentially get a tax break through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This credit reduces the amount of tax you owe or could get you a refund if you qualify. Vivian shares on her TikTok that there’s even a quiz on the IRS website that will allow you to see if you qualify for the credit. If you do, make sure to ask a tax expert about how you can make the most of it. If not, you’re leaving valuable money on the table.

Similarly, Tu shares openly about a backdoor Roth IRA, which is one of my favorite legal loopholes I’ve learned from her so far. A backdoor IRA helps high earners (those who earn over $161,000 a year for singles and over $228,000 for married filing jointly in 2024) save for retirement by allowing them to convert a portion of their traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Since you are already paying taxes on your traditional IRA, converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA allows your retirement savings to grow tax-free. And for those of us trying to grow our wealth, the more money we can save, the better.

Tax season can be overwhelming and complicated, so most people rush through it just so it can be over. When you do this, though, you miss out on opportunities to protect your money and even earn more of it. With advice like this from Tu, your precious money will stay where it belongs—in your accounts—and grow exponentially.

3. Reduce Medical Costs by Negotiating Your Bills

If you think what you see is what you owe when you receive a medical bill, think again. I’ll admit that this used to be me and that my “it is what it is” mentality did me dirty until I came across Tu’s advice for negotiating medical bills. When you receive an itemized medical bill, Vivian recommends visiting Fair Health Consumer or Healthcare Bluebook to research what the procedures and services should actually cost. Then, whether you can afford the bill or not, call your medical provider to negotiate the cost. Vivian shares questions to ask the provider to share waivers, discounts, and relief plans that are available to you, including, “Which of these fees can be waived?” “I know many hospitals have medical relief plans—can you tell me about yours?” and “What discounts do you offer for financial hardship?”

I love that Vivian brings this advice to light because most people think that medical bills are set in stone, but she’s absolutely right that there is some flexibility. After learning this, I’ve called my provider to clarify charges and reduce my medical bills—who knew it was so simple and accessible?! Even if the costs are nonnegotiable, as Tu shares, there may be options available to set up payment plans that aren’t widely advertised. Either way, there are always ways to make your bills more manageable, which is a huge sigh of relief, especially in this economy.

4. Prepare Your Finances for Potential Layoffs

Did you know that you can predict large layoffs at your own company? I didn’t know this until Tu shared about it over on her TikTok account. Thanks to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, most employers with over 100 employees are required to provide written notice at least 60 calendar days in advance of covered plant closings and mass layoffs. Tu explains that to find WARN notices in your state, all you have to do is Google the WARN Act and your state. Then, you’ll find a .gov website that will show a full list of companies laying off employees. By keeping abreast of potential layoffs, you can ensure you have a plan in place for your finances and your next career move if you end up in the crossfire.

This piece of advice shocked me. I truly had no idea about the WARN Act, and I had to Google it to believe it. In a time where you see new layoffs every time you log onto LinkedIn, this advice is a game changer. By keeping abreast of potential layoffs, you can ensure you have a plan for your finances and your next career move if you end up in the crossfire. For example, you can start boosting your emergency fund, updating your resume, connecting with your network, and looking for new opportunities ahead of time. While layoffs suck, a proactive approach rather than a reactive one will help ensure you’re prepared for whatever may come your way.

5. Secure Wealth for Generations

Of course, we all want wealth for ourselves right now so we can live the life of our dreams (a trip to Italy this summer? Yes, please!), but what about generational wealth? If you have children or are planning to one day, Tu shares valuable tips for setting your children up for success so they can have a leg up on their finances.

The first of three ways that Tu shares you can build generation wealth is to make your child an authorized user on your credit card. When you pay your credit card on time and in full, your child’s credit score will benefit from your good financial habits. Second, you can (and should!) open a custodial Roth IRA for your children. When your child has earned income (i.e., mowing lawns or babysitting), you can then invest the money in index funds to set them up for future success. Finally, you can set up a 529 plan, which will help you save for their education in the future—like covering the future costs of college or trade school.

As a mom and someone who graduated college with a lot of student loan debt, setting my child up for success is very important to me. After hearing this advice from Tu, I opened a 529 account for my son. Because while I started my professional career in debt, he doesn’t have to.

6. Forget Taboos and Talk About Money

Talking about money has been seen as taboo since the dawn of time. But the way I see it, only good things can come from talking about money, and Tu agrees. When I asked her what her most important piece of advice is for those looking to live a financially abundant life, she said, “Talk to your friends about money, help them, and let them help you.” She went on to share that in her early 20s, she “thought that there could only be one winner. One girl trader. One success story. One best,” but she quickly learned that other women aren’t competition. When we share our goals and ambitions, we hold each other accountable and become better versions of ourselves. “We are stronger, better, and smarter when we collaborate instead of compete,” Vivan says.

I have to admit, talking about money with friends or family used to make me completely cringe. And while I’m still not perfect at it, and my anxiety sometimes gets the best of me, I’m getting better at it. I’ve incorporated the topic of money into conversations where I used to shy away from it, I’ve successfully encouraged people to open up high-yield savings accounts to maximize their emergency funds, and I’ve talked about how my husband and I have paid off our student loans to anyone who will listen. It’s taken practice, but I’m getting more comfortable with it. And through my discomfort, I’ve found confidence.

I’ve seen the positive impacts of destigmatizing money in my realm of influence, and it’s made me even more apt to talk about it. So, if you see me screaming from the rooftops about money and all the rest of the game-changing tips I’ve learned from following Vivian Tu, I encourage you to join me.