How long can $100 last in New York City? Comedian Frankie Hoy has spent much of November trying to find out.
Today, 27 years old, he has it went viral — and amassed more than 100,000 followers — on TikTok in recent weeks as she documents a financial experiment in which she tries to stretch $100 as far as possible.
In each video, he narrates his daily spending and saving adventures. Sometimes that includes showing viewers how he makes homemade coffee in his truck, the one he lives in. Other times, he shares where he bought an affordable slice of pizza. In some videos, he documents the complimentary meals he receives from his catering job.
The purpose is to be transparent about where you spend money and where you can save it. He ends each video by providing his remaining total. In some cases, you’ve even shared the days when you haven’t spent any money.
Today he published his first video from the November 4 series: bought a coffee for $4.34 and a gallon of water for $3.36. Soon, thousands of people began to follow his journey.
“When I was receiving 50,000 [views] I got anxious. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I don’t know any of these people. And then it turned into hundreds of thousands, and I got anxious again,” Hoy said. “It’s just been a roller coaster of being anxious and then not being anxious, but most of the response has been positive.”
Before publishing his financial experiment, Hoy, who moved to New York from Perris, California, a year ago, published his comedies and skits in which he acted. Now, he mainly posts videos related to the experiment.
The experiment has had two positive results, Hoy said. He has become more financially savvy and has increased his audience on TikTok. Some of his videos have amassed over 1 million views.
The first time one of his videos blew up, Hoy was at an open mic comedy show. He had no idea why his phone was ringing so much until he opened TikTok.
“I got all these comments like ‘I’m engaged.’ And I was like, ‘On what?’ And then I opened it up and I was like, ‘Oh, thank God. It’s my video,’” Hoy said.
Because of the experiment, he said, he has also stopped drinking alcohol, which has helped him save money. He has also learned to control some of his late night cravings, like ordering a whole pizza. Instead, she tries to make smarter decisions, like ordering from Too Good To Go, an app that helps restaurants sell unsold food to customers at reduced prices.
Beyond learning how to stretch your money, Hoy said, the response to his experiment has been exciting.
“I’m very happy that people are interested in following me and people see my stand-up, but I really enjoyed the vlogging part,” Hoy said.
It’s also been great to see so much enthusiasm from his fans, Hoy said. Some have latched on to some of his catchphrases, like his old-fashioned way of saying “New York City” or his stuffy way of saying “dee-lish-ous.” He said he’s even been tagged in videos in which others attempt his $100 stretch challenge for as long as possible.
“I quote ‘nyc’ ‘yummy’ ‘free’ ‘big city’ etc. in the daily,” wrote a commenter on the 24th Today video.
On Tuesday, Hoy posted its Day 26 update, saying it had $6.96 left. But he is not worried. His catering job has helped him save some extra money. He has also recently started selling merchandise.
He’s already sold four T-shirts for $18 each, which means he might soon be tackling his next $100 experiment.