‘Loud budgeting’ goes viral: What to know about this hot money trend

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A few years ago, social media was the place for young people to share their monetary accomplishments by posting the luxuries they’d bought and bragging about all kinds of comings and goings. 

Today, there seems to be a shift in posts related to money. 

Now, according to users on TikTok and other social media platforms, it’s all about being humble and even frugal — and being proud of it. 

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This new trend is called “loud budgeting” and it’s gaining traction as a no-shame approach amid today’s personal finance realities, especially for Gen Z. 

TikTok posters, for example, are saying they can’t venture out for dinner, can’t buy brand-new clothes (they have to buy second-hand instead), and don’t have any extra cash to spend during the month after they pay their rent, car payments and credit card bills. 

“Loud budgeting is part philosophy, part practicality,” Erica Sandberg, a personal finance expert with CardRates.com based in San Francisco, California, told Fox News Digital. 

“Essentially, it’s being candid about your financial circumstances and what you are doing to live at or beneath your income limit.”

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Rather than project a false sense of prosperity and display consumer goods that they can’t really afford, people are living more honestly and openly, with respect for their personal budget, Sandberg said.

“I think people were getting sick of nonstop images and displays of wealth when they know that is either almost unobtainable or false,” Sandberg told FOX Business. 

TikTok phone and couple looking at their finances split image

“They want to be true, authentic,” she added. 

“But I think a lot of them also believe that by rejecting overconsumption and consumer debt, they’ll be able to make ends meet, save for the future and enjoy life. Loud budgeting is empowering.”

Why is the trend going viral?

The concept has appealed to the TikTok generation because it’s different, Sandberg speculated.

“There is a certain shock value in people declaring that they will not be splurging even on a small thing or service.”

“There is a certain shock value in people declaring that they will not be splurging even on a small thing or service because it doesn’t make economic sense to them,” she said.

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“In some ways, loud budgeting goes hand-in-hand with a simple lifestyle — such as ‘van life’ and tiny homes — but also environmentalism and making more mindful purchases.”

American money exchanged by hand

What’s the catalyst for this trend? Why are people no longer ashamed of cutting back?

The loud budgeting trend reaffirms that it’s OK to have financial goals and make sacrifices to meet them, said Jaime Eckels, partner and certified financial planner with Plante Moran Financial Advisors in Auburn Hills, Michigan. 

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“Between high interest rates, inflation and student loan payments going back into effect, many Gen Zers are facing headwinds when it comes to saving money,” she said. 

Many in this generation “are shocked by the cost” of everything, said one expert.

To that end, Eckels said many Gen Zers have spent most of their life being tempted by social media influencers showcasing costly products and experiences. 

Person reviews receipt over grocery items on counter

“And as this generation comes of an age where they’re seeking financial peace of mind, many are shocked by the cost of it all,” Eckels added. 

“Rather than feeling pressure to keep up with the Joneses, people are saying, ‘I just can’t afford it and that’s OK.’”  

And thanks to social media, there’s an audience publicly agreeing with and supporting that sentiment, she noted.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle.

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