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Loud Budgeting Is Shifting How We Think About Spending -- and Experts Love It

The TikTok trend makes it OK to say “no” to FOMO.

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The loud budgeting movement is still making a lot of noise on TikTok, after going viral earlier this year. With inflation and borrowing rates still high, now’s the right time to take a close look at your spending habits, so you can set boundaries that get you closer to your money goals. 

CNET Money experts like Alaina Fingal, owner of The Organized Money, love the loud budgeting money trend. “Being authentic and having boundaries around how we are spending our money, along with being able to communicate that message to the world around us, will lead to saving more money and paying off more debt,” she said.

Here’s how to make this TikTok trend a money habit you stick to.

What is loud budgeting? 

Loud budgeting is a financial strategy that puts your money aspirations front and center for friends and family to see. 

“It’s not, ‘I don’t have enough,’ it’s, ‘I don’t want to spend,’” said Lukas Battle, an internet personality. “It’s about the everyday person.”

Loud budgeting involves clearly vocalizing why you might choose not to spend money -- even if you have it. This level of accountability can help you stick to a budget without feeling guilty or experiencing FOMO, aka the fear of missing out.


#Loudbudgeting encourages you to talk openly about your money goals with friends and family, while rejecting societal pressure to spend. This strategy can help you make #money decisions that better align with your values.💰 #finance #moneytips #savings #budgeting #highyieldsavingsaccount #moneytok #financetrends #moneytrend #financialstrategy #loudbudget

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“It represents a move toward transparency and community in financial management,” said Shawna Martin, CEO of Seedling Coach. And that’s crucial for demystifying budgeting, debt repayment and saving, she said. 

You’re not only holding yourself accountable by vocalizing your money plans, but you’re also letting others in on your financial goals, which can encourage them to cheer you on. The people you share your money goals with may have tips to help you reach your goal faster. And when friends and family members clearly understand your financial priorities, they may even plan budget-friendly outings to ensure you can join in. You might even encourage them to set a similar financial goal. 

The loud budgeting trend on TikTok

Loud budgeting is all the rage on social media. Influencers are chiming in on the 2024 trend and offering scripts for different scenarios to help you stay on track. Some are even pitching goal suggestions, such as opening a high-yield savings account, paying off debt and maximizing retirement savings, like in Jenny Park’s TikTok

People are feeling the strain of continuing to pay off credit card balances, student loan payments and upcoming tax bills. As a result, they’re incorporating money challenges on social media such as the eating-in challenge to avoid eating out, which can cut into your budget. It’s one of the new initiatives to help work on improving your relationship with money.

Social media not only accepts but encourages people to openly talk about money, said Martin. “This openness is key in loud budgeting, removing the stigma and mystery traditionally associated with financial discussions.” 

What we take in on social media also has a strong influence on spending, from influencers recommending products to in-app ads. But users can also be influenced by their community and culture, said Fingal. Loud budgeting is an approach that can help many struggling with high prices, student loan payments and high interest rates on credit cards, said Bernadette Joy, a personal finance coach and CNET expert review board member.

Joy has also noticed a shift in the type of personal finance content people now prefer. Fewer people want personal finance content that glamorizes how much someone makes, she said. Instead, people want content that offers tangible steps to tackle financial goals and stresses, like tips to help pay back student loans.

While anyone can hop on the social media trend of loud budgeting, Fingal believes millennials and Gen Z are more likely to follow this trend, since these two generations use their phones for communication, news updates and entertainment.

Martin agrees. “This trend reflects significant generational shifts in personal finance, particularly among younger, social media-engaged generations,” she said.

Ways to practice loud budgeting

Loud budgeting shouldn’t prevent you from spending on experiences if they’re important to you. But it can help you focus on where your money is going and weed out expenses you’d like to minimize.

For instance, if you’re planning a night out with friends, you may decide not to drink to cut down on your bill, so you’re left with more money to put toward your financial goals. Just make sure your goals and expectations are realistic and sustainable. And share them with your friends, so they can cheer you on.

It also doesn’t mean you need to forgo a vacation altogether to meet your money goals. Shanna Miller’s destination dupes TikTok offers “destination dupes” to help support loud budgeting. 

“You can do and see some of the same things in different places for half the cost,” she said. “There are vacation dupes for that you’re going to get a similar experience and it’s going to fit within your budget.”

How to avoid social media pressure to constantly spend 

“There are people who have feelings of shame for not having as much money as their peers, and others who feel extreme guilt for having more money than their circle.”

Lifestyle inflation and keeping up with social media trends can be costly. It’s easy to get influenced into buying just about anything today -- think the infamous Stanley cup. But this also extends to home decor, furniture and lavish vacations. These impulse buys can lead to guilt and other negative emotions that can put you in an unhealthy mindset when it comes to money, said Fingal.

“There has been so much guilt around budgeting and other money topics,” said Fingal. “There are people who have feelings of shame for not having as much money as their peers and others who feel extreme guilt for having more money than their circle.”

Joy agrees. “It’s easy to just copy what someone else is doing because it’s trendy without realizing it doesn’t actually apply to your personal situation,” she said.

Since this new social media personal finance trend normalizes sticking to your budget and financial goals without feeling guilty, it may help anyone struggling to keep up with the lifestyles of influencers they see online. 

“Loud budgeting can help us focus on what truly matters, repair the emotional roller coaster that can surround budgeting and help us have healthy conversations about money with our family and friends,” said Fingal. 

Plus, social media can serve as a space to learn about money from friends and family who may not be financially literate, said Jannese Torres, money coach and founder of Yo Quiero Dinero. But be mindful about how much you share. For example, you may not need to tell people that you’re trying to save $100,000. Instead, it’s perfectly fine to say, “I’m saving for a big goal right now, so I can’t go to Cancun for your wedding,” she said.

Overcoming the pain points of loud budgeting

The downside of sharing your money goals online or with family and friends is that not everyone will agree with them. This can make it even harder to stick to your plan.

“It can be discouraging to share if other people don’t agree or relate,” said Joy. “In a world where many people are driven by likability and approval from their peers, you can feel discouraged in your own spending if it doesn’t match other people around you.” But that doesn’t mean you should stop. 

Instead, make sure you’re doing what’s making you happy. That involves aligning your spending with your values, instead of what social media may pressure you to spend on. It also may mean that you set your budgets and goals, but instead of loud budgeting, you do so quietly, Joy said. That way, you can focus on your goals without discouragement. Or you may build a small community of trustworthy people. 

“The strategy lies in finding someone trustworthy to share your financial journey with, providing a mix of support, accountability and motivation,” said Martin. 

If you have a community of people who want to see you win and are encouraging, loud budgeting can be a great way to build confidence in your personal finance decision-making, said Joy.

“I like to think it’s equivalent to having a gym buddy versus going to the gym alone,” said Torres. “When you’ve got someone who inspires you, builds your confidence and/or holds you accountable towards your goals, you have a greater likelihood of success at achieving that goal.”

Dashia is a staff editor for CNET Money who covers all angles of personal finance, including credit cards and banking. From reviews to news coverage, she aims to help readers make more informed decisions about their money. Dashia was previously a staff writer at NextAdvisor, where she covered credit cards, taxes, banking B2B payments. She has also written about safety, home automation, technology and fintech.
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