A hot new Gen Z personal finance trend has emerged on TikTok, where young people are talking about the concept of “loud budgeting.” The phrase was coined by TikToker Lucas Battle, who said that instead of idolizing celebrities who dress with “quiet luxury,” everyday people who want to save money should embrace “loud budgeting.”

What is loud budgeting, and how can it help you save money in 2024? Let’s find out.

Loud budgeting: A new kind of financial freedom

Often when people are trying to save money, frugality becomes a kind of quiet suffering and monklike self-isolation. You stop seeing friends, you cut back on expensive-but-fun retail therapy, you start eating sad bagged salad kits alone at your desk instead of going out for lunch. It’s no wonder that budgeting has a bad reputation. No one wants to deny themselves joy and pleasure, even if their bank account suffers as a result.

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The concept of loud budgeting is about financial freedom of speech. Instead of suffering silently and abandoning your friends because you can’t afford to split a bar tab or restaurant bill, loud budgeting lets you be loud and proud about being frugal.

Loud budgeting statements might include:

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  • “Sorry, I can’t come out tonight because I’m trying to save money.”
  • “I’m trying to make all my meals at home this month so I can pay off my credit card.”
  • “I don’t want to buy that expensive (clothing item/exercise equipment/new smartphone or gadget) because it’s not worth it to me.”

Loud budgeting is about declaring your independence from consumerism and embracing a more minimalist lifestyle. You don’t have to just mindlessly keep buying what the celebrities and social media influencers are selling. Loud budgeting is egalitarian, inclusive, a way for the average person to fight back against high inflation and overpriced stuff. It’s like “Fanfare for the Common Man” for personal finances.

Let’s look at a few ways that loud budgeting can improve your personal finances and financial wellness — beyond just the numbers in the bank.

1. Loud budgeting helps you be mindful about purchases

In the past few years of pandemic isolation, big increases in online shopping, and rising inflation, some people have responded to higher prices with “doom spending” — buying more stuff, even if they can’t really afford it. Many Americans have depleted their savings since 2020. There has also been a recent increase in credit card delinquencies.

Loud budgeting is an antidote to doom spending. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media or online shopping sites to get distracted by new things to buy, loud budgeting helps you be mindful about purchases. It helps debunk and demystify the advertising mind tricks that big companies use to get you to buy stuff you don’t need. Instead of helplessly putting more purchases on your credit card, as if you have no free will, loud budgeting lets you say: “I don’t want to buy that, and I don’t have to!”

2. Loud budgeting helps you set boundaries

Lukas Battle’s original (funny and entertaining) TikTok video describes how loud budgeting isn’t about “not having enough” money, it’s about saying “I don’t want to spend it.” This can be a healthy way of establishing emotional boundaries — not just with your money, but with other people in your life.

Lukas gave an example of how, if your friend texts you asking to hang out, you can say to them, “I don’t want to spend money on gas so I can come to your place and listen to you talk about your ex for three hours.”

It can be hard to be young. Sometimes you might find yourself hanging out too often with people that you don’t really enjoy, or spending too much time and money in bars, or on pastimes that really aren’t good investments. Loud budgeting can give you clarity and confidence to say, “I would rather not spend my time (and money) on these people or experiences.”

3. Loud budgeting helps you know your worth

Lukas Battle’s TikTok video describes how, instead of buying luxury clothes or an expensive handbag, it’s “more chic, more stylish, more of a flex” to not buy expensive stuff. Loud budgeting is a way to get one over on the system, and keep more of your hard-earned cash for yourself, instead of losing it to soulless corporations.

Loud budgeting is a declaration of financial independence from young people on TikTok. Could this become a big new trend in personal finances? The fact that so many Gen Zers are interested in “loud budgeting” is a sign that many Americans, especially young adults at the early stages of their careers, are feeling tapped out and tired of shopping.

Bottom line: If you want to save more money in 2024, you might want to try “loud budgeting.” Be more mindful with your spending, create better boundaries about how you spend (and who you spend time with), and raise your standards for how and when you’ll spend money. Loud budgeting could (not so quietly) put extra cash back in your bank account, help you invest your time more profitably, and restore your sense of financial wellness.

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