Telegraph Money ‘Kyle’ Tweet

An October 21 2021 Twitter screenshot of a purported Telegraph Money (@MoneyTelegraph) profile was virally popular on Twitter, depicting “Kyle, 28” and alluding to his financial proficiency:

Two screenshots were part of the tweet, the first of a post attributed to @MoneyTelegraph, reading:

Kyle, 28, has already paid off his student loans, owns his own home, and is prepared to retire at age 40.

“Managing your spending is difficult,” he says, “But if I can do it, anyone can!”

Learn how he did it: [image]

A second screenshot alluded to an attached profile on “Kyle, 28” and how he managed his spending. It read:

Kyle started saving as soon as he got his first job, Senior Project Manager at the hedge fund run by his father. He made $250,000 per year, and immediately deposited 25% into savings.

To save money on housing, he lived in his grandfather’s empty vacation home in Monterey for a few years to build up savings. Rather than borrow for a mortgage on a house, he used savings and a $500k gift from his uncle to purchase his first home.

“It was tempting to spend.” says Kyle about his post-graduate years, “My friends would send me photos of vacations from Italy or Japan, but I remained committed to only vacationing domestically.”

Google Trends data for “Telegraph Money Kyle” demonstrated a spike in searches beginning on October 21 2021. The tweet’s contents were familiar from numerous “uplifting” or “inspiring” profiles from sites like CNBC, in which a young person’s fiscal achievements were glowingly highlighted, but then later revealed as being due in part to reliance on financially stable parents or relatives:

But I was intentional about keeping my living expenses low. I set a rule to not spend more than 30% of my monthly pay on rent, which meant still having roommates even though I could afford living alone.

And when we needed to save money for our wedding, my then-fiancé and I moved into his parent’s house for six months. It wasn’t easy, but we were able to save $11,000 for our big day.

“Millennial money” profiles were scattered across the internet. One July 2018 profile from Refinery29 (“A Week In New York City On $25/Hour And $1k Monthly Allowance”) was an almost comically extreme version of the meme:

Paycheck Amount (Weekly): $747.50, plus $100-120 every one to two weeks from babysitting.

Additional Income: On top of my intern salary, my parents give me a $800/month allowance, and my grandpa also wires me $300 every month (#blessed).

Monthly Expenses
Rent: I live in a one bedroom/one den apartment. The total rent is $4,050. My share is $2,100 (my parents pay) and my roommate’s share is $1,950. (She lives in the den.)
Student Loan Payment: $0 (I’m still in school, and my parents pay for my education.)
Health Insurance: $0 (I’m on my parents’ plan.)
MoviePass: $9.95
Sugared + Bronzed Pass: $40.76 (I get one Brazilian sugaring a month.)
Equinox Membership: $210
Phone Bill: $0 (I’m on my parents’ plan.)
Netflix, Spotify, Amazon: $0 (I use my parents’ accounts.)

By March 2021, the meme was referenced on Reddit’s r/HelpMeFind

In addition to the original poster’s example, three others added similar ones:

We searched text from the “Kyle, 28” article, but returned no results. A similar search of @TelegraphMoney’s timeline returned a profile of the individual shown — but who was named Nick, not Kyle. Exacerbating confusion created by the viral tweet was the fact the profile was buried behind a hard paywall:

The original poster responded to the virality of the tweet, saying that he had been trying to satirize the “Millennial money” trend, so he had faked one to “look as ridiculous as possible”:

Alas, Poe’s Law applied.

An October 21 2021 tweet sought to satirize profiles by sites like @MoneyTelegraph, with a “ridiculous” bit about “Kyle, 28.” However, its details were far too similar to dozens of sincere “money diaries” type profiles, and very few people seemed to understand the tweet was satirical — for obvious reasons.