Money recently published its inaugural list of Changemakers, the 50 people impacting Americans' wallets. Our 2023 Changemakers include a wide variety of innovators making meaningful, positive change in personal finance. They fall into six categories: advocates, creators, educators, experts, leaders and trailblazers.
Meet the creators below, and check out the entire Changemakers project here.
Jung cut his teeth learning about the merits of credit card hacking on Reddit and then took his talents to YouTube. On his personal finance-focused channel, he shares tips and tricks on everything from crypto to stimulus checks with over 1.2 million subscribers. The young entrepreneur walks the walk, too, earning millions a year from ads and sponsorships — but his favorite part is helping viewers realize their potential.
"My intention from the start was I just wanted to share my experience," he says. "I found that I loved helping people out, trying to make people more money, allowing them to learn something new."
At just 18 years old, this visual artist has carved out a space for herself in the rapidly evolving non-fungible token (NFT) industry. Sinclair's works of art — many of which are portraits that incorporate both videos and photography — have landed her recognition from Meta, Christie's and the estate of Whitney Houston. Now signed with the United Talent Agency, Sinclair has said she draws inspiration from "anything and everything" in crafting her designs.
"There's so much more that can be done in this space," she said.
Sacks, the brains behind @mrsdowjones on Instagram, jokes that billionaire Warren Buffett is her boyfriend. In reality, he's not — but the two do align on the financial advice they share with scores of devotees. Sacks uses wit, Sex and the City clips and Zendaya memes as she encourages people to invest in S&P 500 index funds, set up emergency funds and pay off debt. Mixing education with pop culture has, so far, been successful: The self-described "zillennial finance expert" has over 394,000 followers on Instagram and counting.
"I don’t preach 'get rich quick,'" she says. "[But] once you start playing the game of money, the opportunities are endless."
The Vlogbrothers have a small empire of entertainment and education YouTube channels that garner about 60 million views a month from a passionate audience of Nerdfighters. That's a huge amount of influence, and one they use to effect social change: Through a variety of initiatives, including their annual Project for Awesome, the Greens are on track to raise some $35 million to aid Partners in Health, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce maternal and infant mortality in Sierra Leone.
"When we imagine the problems of the world’s poorest communities as entirely separate from ‘our’ problems, we make a ‘them’ of the world’s most vulnerable people," John Green said. "And I don’t want to do that."
Williams is the host of Salary Transparent Street, a social media series in which she travels the country to ask passers-by how much they get paid (and what they do). Capitalizing on the salary transparency movement, she also offers resources like a guide on how to negotiate for higher pay, a careers newsletter and a salary database with thousands of anonymous contributions. Williams is pulling back the curtain and making a solid sum of her own as she talks money on camera.
"You're probably underpaid," she says.
Lovingly nicknamed "the Planet Money TikTok guy" by his fans online, Corbett brilliantly blends complex concepts, lo-fi graphics and offbeat humor into videos about the economy. Communicating with his NPR team via Slack and filming in front of a green screen in his apartment, Corbett has addressed topics like the Great Recession and rent prices in short form, earning him a not-so-small fanbase on a platform he once believed was a passing trend that would die off.
"Now here I am. Eating my own words," he says.
Montero Lamar Hill has funneled his wealth of creativity into his career. From making 100 memes to promote his song "Old Town Road" years ago to throwing a baby shower for the debut of his first album (with the proceeds going to HIV prevention), Lil Nas X is a self-disciplined, internet-savvy marketing genius. He never leaves the spotlight and profits from deals with sponsors like Cash App. Lil Nas X is a Gen Z icon who's setting an example for millions with his authenticity and hard work.
"It’s OK to be delusional when you’re chasing your dreams," he says.
Jimmy Donaldson is one of the biggest YouTubers in the world, and it's thanks in no small part to his charitable streak. Whether you agree with his methods or not, millions of subscribers see MrBeast as a modern philanthropist who has given $3 million to Ukrainian refugees, handed strangers $10,000 and donated buses of supplies to schools. He's developed a clever model using sponsorship money to fund his projects, which then go viral and generate more revenue to give away.
"I want to use brands to allow me to help people," he said.