Hidden Figure$: The secret Insta account helping people grow & save cash

This story is part of Re:’s Money Week, where we take a look at everything from asking your boss for a raise, to explaining what inflation actually is. Check out the rest of the stories here.

Instagram account Hidden Figure$ is drawing in thousands of followers with its simple and relatable finance tips - but the creators’ identities remain secret. 

In one of their first interviews, Re:’s reo Māori series Ohinga sat down with the couple behind the account to get their advice on growing and saving money. 

“Every week we get messages (from our followers) saying: ‘oh we've just paid off our taxes, we've just paid off our student loan, we've just bought our first house, or we've gotten rid of our Afterpay app’,” the couple said.

With many in Aotearoa highlighting how little is taught about financial literacy, the couple’s simple and relatable advice is touching a nerve with many in Aotearoa.

Here are a few examples of their posts:

 “If you’ve got more pūtea (money) in your wardrobe than you do in your bank account then you’re hustling backwards.” 

“What does it take to blow $10,000 a year? Just $27.40 a day in miscellaneous spending.”

“Reminder: If you have to put your holiday on a credit card, you shouldn’t be going on holiday.”

The Hidden Figure$ couple say they’re big on empowering Māori. 

“From the speed at which our Instagram page was growing, we realised oh wow Māori are really hungry for this type of content and conversation,” they said. 

“One of the main goals of this kaupapa is to help Māori believe in themselves and know that they can achieve all these things like buying a house, travelling overseas, buying land, taking time to learn te reo - all the things that relate to money, we can achieve them,” they say. 

The couple say some of their followers ask why they won’t reveal their identities. 

“The main reason for staying anonymous is for our family, to protect their privacy,” they say.

The Hidden Figure$ pair say they don’t have a background in accounting or similar fields and say all of their knowledge is self-taught.

“We don’t have any qualifications in the world of finance. Our experience alone has taught us about the world. So for those of you who are watching (the Ohinga video), it’s not as though you have to take onboard everything we’ve shared, we just want to inspire others to think more about their approach to finance.”

This is part of our reo Māori series, Ohinga, created by Mahi Tahi Media, with funding from Te Māngai Pāho and the NZ on Air Public Interest Journalism Fund.

Stay tuned for a new episode every week.

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Money Week

Welcome to Money Week. For the past month, the Re: team have been looking into money and finance - how people live, what people can do and what things like inflation mean.