You may think that young people can’t talk or learn about personal finance without rolling their eyes or checking their phones. But take it from a twenty-one-year-old who binges Planet Money and just watched a YouTube video on budgeting — there is a young audience for this kind of thing.

These three brands have seized that opportunity, creating content hubs that millennials flock to for finance tips and tricks. Here’s how those sites are talking to young people about money — and what you can learn from their success

1. The Financial Diet

The Financial Diet is an online content hub that helps young women talk about money in a way that doesn’t feel, as their website puts it, “scary, judgmental or boring as hell.” The website has thousands of informal articles and essays on financial topics, including “How Not to Buy Lunch” or “All the Money I Wasted Trying to Impress Dudes.”

TFD also posts multiple videos per week on its YouTube channel, which has over 812,000 subscribers. The brand is on every other social media platform too, sharing finance tips on Twitter, Facebook, tumblr and more. Founder Chelsea Fagan has even published a book — “The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money” — that’s won recognition from multiple media outlets for its simple breakdown of finance concepts.

2. CNBC Make It

CNBC Make It is a spin-off of the longstanding business news network, but it’s trendy design and strong social media presence attracts a much younger crowd than those who typically tune in for Squawk Box.

The website publishes short articles on personal finance and business news, and the Make It YouTube channel shares videos with a sharper focus on helping young adults manage their money. The channel has nearly 500,000 subscribers and the “Millennial Money” series, where a real-life millennial breaks down their income, expense and budget, has many fans — myself included.


3. The Balance

The Balance provides, as its website simply states, “answers to your money questions.” LIke TFD, The Balance breaks down personal finance topics in straightforward, explanatory guides on topics like selecting a bank or beginning to invest — and its advice is utilized by many. The Balance’s website has more than 24 million monthly visitors.

With its extensive library of over 9,000 articles, The Balance is a repository of financial information for all age groups — but especially for the millennials who need a place to start.

So, what can we learn from these three brands that have made themselves an indispensable resource for young adults? 

All of these websites talk to millennials in a way that’s simple, relatable and fun. They provide helpful, easy-to-understand content for young adults who are just beginning their financial journeys. And they provide it in the right format, in the right place: online and on social media, where they post regularly. The common thread running through these companies’ success? Offering accessible, authentic value in the digital space.

Which brings to mind — how digitally driven is your financial institution’s marketing strategy?