If you’re new to Twitter chats, here’s a basic run-down of how one works: A curator or moderator guides the discussion around a certain topic, generally by asking four to ten questions throughout the chat. Participants tweet their own answers to those questions or otherwise join in by Tweeting using the chat’s hashtag, which serves as a way to collect all the tweets together. Tracking the chat’s hashtag lets you see the whole conversation, even if you aren’t following each individual participant. Each chat lasts about an hour, and there’s usually a new topic every week. Here’s some recent topics I’ve seen in the chats:
- The best ways to pay down student loans
- Financial habits, good and bad
- The pros and cons of credit card reward programs
- Saving for retirement: best practices
- Protecting yourself from identity theft
- And more!
Since different chats are held on different days of the week, you’re sure to find one that fits your schedule! Check out some of my favorite personal finance Twitter chats.
When: 1st and 3rd Mondays, 8-9 p.m. Eastern
#MoneyChat seems to be one of the smaller personal finance chats, which makes it a great starter if you aren’t familiar with the format. You’re less likely to get lost in the stream with a small chat like this one.
When: Tuesdays, 7-8 p.m. Eastern
I haven’t participated in this chat yet, but it looks like a good one. Upcoming topics include financial literacy and couponing. New topic every week.
When: Wednesdays, 3-4 p.m. Eastern
#CreditChat is a large finance chat run by @Experian_US. Guest co-hosts are frequent, usually representatives from companies and nonprofits that have taken on the task of helping people pay down their debt and save for retirement.
When: Thursdays, 3-4 p.m. Eastern
#WBChat is the official Twitter chat of Wisebread, and it’s probably the biggest chat on this list. There’s always great discussion in #wbchat, but it’s so big, it can be hard to keep up with it all! Definitely use one of the third-party Twitter chat services I mention later in this post to help you out.
When: Fridays, 12-1 p.m. Eastern
#Cashchat is a midsized finance chat, held every Friday. It’s not as big as #creditchat or #wbchat, but it’s quite a bit bigger than #moneychat, from what I’ve seen. One of their recent topics was a great discussion about student loan debt.
When: Fridays, 4-5 p.m. Eastern
I’ve only chatted in #MCChat once, and just barely caught the tail end of it, so I don’t know a whole lot about this chat, but it’s held late in the day on Friday, making it a great way to kick off your weekend.
Honorable Mention: #debtchat
Keep an eye on this one. #debtchat was a chat run by @DebtHelpOrg, but it seems to have gone on an indefinite hiatus. With such a great hashtag, though, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else picks it up again before too long.
When: Wednesdays, 4-5 p.m. Eastern
#DebtChat is back! Check out this Twitter chat every Wednesday, with host @DebtHelpOrg. This chat seems a bit small at the moment, but the moderator says they’re recovering their old momentum — I expect it’ll grow again in no time.
How To Keep Up With Twitter Chats
The default Twitter interface isn’t really suited for keeping up with a rapidly-advancing stream of tweets — it updates slowly and it has a tendency to jumble tweets when its algorithms try to group them into individual conversations. It also doesn’t come with any features that are nice to have when tracking a Twitter chat, like spam filters, a pause function, or the ability to filter out retweets. Thankfully, there are a number of services to help:
Tchat.io is my favorite service for Twitter chats. It’s fast, clean reliable, and the staff are top notch — they’re the only service I’ve seen go into action to implement a spam filter in real time when #wbchat was getting slammed last week.
Twubs is a really interesting site. I’ll confess I’ve never used them for Twitter chats, but their site allows chat curators to register their hashtag and add images, descriptive text, and more. It’s got some great social features, so you can get to know the other chatters a bit better.
Tweetchat was my go-to service for Twitter chats until tchat.io took their spot, and Tweetchat still has some great features that tchat.io doesn’t yet have, like the ability to highlight certain users in the chat feed. But lately I’ve been finding Tweetchat a little unreliable; its bugs are what drove me to tchat.io.
We’re On Twitter Too!
Every day, we tweet financial tips, tricks, and advice, along with links to some great personal finance articles that we’ve read. You can also find us active in each of the chats mentioned above, so check us out and don’t forget to say hi! You can preview our feed, follow us, or even send us a message using the widget below.
Did we miss one? If there’s a personal finance chat you really like, be sure to mention it in the comments and we’ll add it to the main post! Try to include the hashtag, the curator’s Twitter handle, and the dates and times of the chat. Thanks!
Photo by Rosaura Ochoa