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Loud budgeting is a personal finance TikTok trend that emerged in early 2024. The concept – saying no to social activities that put a dent in your budget so you can focus on your financial goals – requires getting real with friends and family.

Loud budgeting encourages you to be honest with loved ones about your savings goals, monthly expenses, and the weight of any larger debts. The idea is that transparent conversation makes it easier to resist social pressures to spend, ditch the FOMO, and prioritize your budget.

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Raise your hand if loud budgeting has been working for you #moneytok #fintok #loudbudgeting #budgeting101 #howtobudget

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What is loud budgeting?

TikTok influencer Lukas Battle coined the term “loud budgeting” in December 2023, calling it a new concept for 2024.¹ The idea is simple: you should feel empowered to say no to a dinner with friends, a destination wedding, a holiday gift swap, or any other social event that costs money.

But it’s more than just saying “no.” Loud budgeting empowers you to speak up about your savings goals, budgets, and ongoing debts to help friends and family understand why you’re saying no.

That means you might need to have some frank, tough conversations.

  • You might tell a sibling you can’t afford to be at their wedding because the cost of all the parties (and the dress) is too much to juggle with your student loans.
  • You might skip a weekend getaway with friends because you’re saving for a down payment on a new home.
  • It might even be as simple as saying you can’t visit a friend because you don’t want to spend $10 on gas when your budget is tight.
  • Saying no is only half the battle. For loud budgeting to work, you need to stay focused on your goals. That might mean ditching streaming services to cut down on expenses, taking on a side gig to earn more income, or consolidating credit card debt into a simpler personal loan.

In short, you’ve got to walk the walk after you talk the talk.

How to loud budget

Does loud budgeting make sense for your financial goals? Here are a few tips to make this TikTok trend work for you:

1. Set goals – and stick to them

Feeling empowered to say no and miss out on certain social interactions is important, but loud budgeting is more than simply staying home on the couch. It’s important to have a solid plan of how you will tackle your financial goals, whether that’s paying down debt, establishing an emergency fund, or saving up for a big purchase.

If you’re new to budgeting, research various money challenges and budgeting hacks to help figure out which ones might work for you. Here are a few popular budgeting techniques:

2. Have conversations in person when possible

Talking about money with loved ones can be difficult. Chime developed Dollars & Sense™, a game that encourages honest money conversations to help everyone get the ball rolling.

But having these conversations is a crucial part of loud budgeting. Because there might be a lot to say – and tone matters – it’s helpful to try to have initial conversations in person, or at least over the phone or through video.

For instance, you might sit down with your friends to let them know about your new financial goals and how you expect this to impact future hangouts. Being proactive by having this conversation now makes it easier to shoot a simple “Sorry, I can’t” text the next time you get asked out to bar trivia or the movies.

3. Find other ways to interact with loved ones

Loud budgeting is about rejecting the social pressures to spend, particularly during high inflation. But it doesn’t mean you have to give up your social life. Look for new ways to interact with friends and family:

  • Invite people over for a game night, but make it a bring-your-own-snacks-and-drinks kind of event.
  • Want to catch up with an old friend? Instead of getting drinks at a bar or grabbing dinner, ask them to join you for a walk in the park or try grocery shopping together.
  • Can’t afford birthday presents for all your loved ones? Offer favors – mowing their grass or an evening of babysitting – to show your appreciation for their friendship.

You’ll have to get creative, but it’s not all on you. Encourage your friends and family to come up with new, fun ways to hang out without the need for spending.

Looking for more money tips and tricks? Follow Chime on TikTok.

4. Allow little splurges now and then

Committing to loud budgeting doesn’t mean you have to shut off spending completely. Part of building a sound budget is determining how much money you can spend on things like dining out or going on vacation.

Think of budgeting like dieting: if you totally deprive yourself of everything you enjoy, you’re more likely to cave in and give up entirely. But if you allow yourself the occasional “cheat day” – a meal out with friends, a gift exchange with a family member – you can find little ways to spend that make you happy without going overboard.

Not sure how much you can afford to spend while being strict about your financial goals? Use our budget calculator to find the right balance for you.

Ready to put your savings to work? Open a Chime high-yield savings account to watch your money grow.*

Overcoming the discomfort of loud budgeting

Tough discussions with friends and family about sensitive subjects like finances can be intimidating. You might be worried that loved ones will be annoyed by, or not understand, your decision to decline social events. You may also just be uncomfortable with the idea of sharing your debts or money struggles.

For loud budgeting to work, you’ve got to know your audience. Only use this strategy with people who love and respect you and support your ambitions. If you’re worried about judgment or pressure from someone when you say no, you might want to consider another tactic with them.

And remember: You don’t owe anyone an explanation. You can be as detailed or high-level as you’d like. While there’s no shame in having credit card debt, don’t feel pressured to share details you’re embarrassed about. A simple “I’m focused on paying down my debts” is more than enough when participating in loud budgeting.

Other ways to avoid overspending

Loud budgeting is a relatively new trend. It might not work for everybody, and it’s not the only way to avoid overspending. Here are a few other ways to help you cut costs:

Join other popular trends

Loud budgeting wasn’t the first big money trend to gain traction, and it certainly won’t be the last. There are several other money-saving hacks – some are trendy, and others are tried-and-true favorites. See which one works for you.

Take a media break

TV, radio, social media – we’re constantly connected and viewing ads. If you find yourself impulse buying because of an ad you saw for a new pair of shoes or joining a cool subscription service you saw promoted on social media, try taking a two-week break from your favorite forms of media.

Shop with cash

If you have a habit of overspending at stores, start shopping with cash and leave the cards at home. This gives you a finite amount of money you can spend.

Focus on discounts and rewards

Clipping coupons may seem old-fashioned, but you can still find discount codes online to apply to purchases. Joining rewards programs with merchants you shop at regularly – like your preferred grocery store or gas station – can help you cut your shopping bills.

Swiping a rewards credit or debit card or participating in a rewards program like Chime Deals™ can also help you earn cash when you buy groceries or fill up the gas tank.

Be loud and proud about your financial goals

Loud budgeting can help you focus on your financial goals and have transparent conversations with friends and family. By embracing loud budgeting, you free yourself from various social pressures and allow yourself to spend how you want.

But a key part of loud budgeting is knowing how to budget – prioritizing setting money aside for emergency savings or other goals, cutting costs, and tracking your spending. Learn how to budget like a pro in our comprehensive guide, which includes downloadable templates to get started.

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¹ Information from TikTok as of April 3, 2024: https://www.tiktok.com/@lukasbattle/video/7318206234392349995

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