What Teens Need to Know About Loud Budgeting

The money-saving trend that's taking over TikTok might help you hit your financial goals.
By Corrina Allen · February 5, 2024 · 6 minutes read
Teen Black teen boy in white teeshirt shouting into microphone

The number of things we currently learn about from TikTok is wild. From curing the hiccups to making the ultimate vegan nachos perfecting a go-to photo pose, TikTok has an answer or an opinion on nearly every topic.

Want to find out what’s in elephant toothpaste? TikTok is your platform. Need to figure out how to make your money go further and meet your savings goals? TikTok has you covered. And while advice that you find on the app is probably worth fact-checking (especially financial advice), the 2024 TikTok loud budgeting trend is one that’s worth some extra attention.

Read more: How to make money on TikTok

What is loud budgeting?

Think of loud budgeting as boundary-setting for your bank account.

The trend kicked off with a post made in early January of 2024 by Lukas Battle, a comedian with more than half a million followers on TikTok. His post, which currently has 1.5 million views, positions loud budgeting as the polar opposite of the quiet luxury or stealth wealth trend. If stealth wealth is about stockpiling expensive but understated items, then loud budgeting is about openly stating your budget limitations in a way that takes the shame or stigma out of not being able to spend, spend, spend.

Loud budgeting isn’t squirming around the fact that buying a frapp and pastry each morning would 100% drain your bank account, it’s about rejecting the kind of spending habits that are keeping you from achieving your savings goals. As Battle explains in his video, it’s not about the idea that you “don’t have enough,” it’s about saying loudly and proudly, “I don’t want to spend.”

In just a few short weeks, this trend, which has a hashtag with over 10 million views, has basically achieved the status of a genuine, emerging financial philosophy. And it’s being adopted by Gen Zs who are realizing that overconsumption and overspending beyond their means isn’t good for them.

Timing is everything. Loud budgeting has popped up during a period when cost of living and inflation are on the rise. Everything, it seems, is getting more expensive—from rent all the way down to a carton of eggs (which, btw, you can learn to poach with precision on TikTok).

Loud budgeting pairs perfectly with the wave of de-influencers who are also taking over TikTok right now. These are the creators telling us, no, we don’t need the $800 viral hair dryer, the overpriced travel mug, or the skincare fridge. They’ve bought or been gifted these things and they have REGRETS. Their message? We don’t have to have these things, even when the rest of social media is trying to convince us that we do.

So, while the rich and famous embrace “recession core” where celebs are embracing a minimalist style and fewer accessories, loud budgeters are saying “thanks, but no thanks”—to all of it. They’re focussing on their savings goals and rejecting the idea that they need to spend to keep up with trends.

Teen girl against yellow background carrying yellow shopping bags

How does loud budgeting work?

You know how it feels when you tell a friend you’re trying to make the track team or get an A on your upcoming chemistry test? It’s like, “Okay, I said I wanted to do it, now I have to really work to do it.” Sharing your goals, whether they’re related to school, your personal life, or your budget, makes you accountable. Talking about your budget goals and spending limits (whether it’s IRL or on social media) helps you stick with them. It also helps to get over the ick factor you might feel when it comes to talking about money, budgets, and spending.

When you say “I’m not going out for sushi this week, I’m saving for my first car,’” you’re communicating your excitement about your savings goals (that car, a college education, or a spring break vacation) and taking pride in the steps you’re making towards that goal.

“When I think about budgeting or living below my means,” says TikTok finance influencer Jenny Park, “it’s really important to reframe and focus on how my future self is winning by making these decisions now as opposed to focusing on what I can’t get.”

Loud budgeting is as much about the way you think and talk about spending as it is about how you actually spend. If you’re not sure how to do that, a good place to start is to have a conversation with your friends or your family about your savings goals. If they know you’re saving up for a study abroad program, a new computer, or even a pair of sneakers, they’ll be less likely to put pressure on you to spend money when you don’t want to. The next time a friend wants to go out for a pricey meal or splurge on premium seats at the movies, you can remind them about your goal (that new laptop) instead of making up an excuse for why you can’t go (the imaginary exam you have to pretend to study for).

Remember: it’s not “I can’t spend money,” it’s “I don’t want to spend money on that, I’m saving money for this.”

Young teen girl with pink tshirt and pink headphones holding pink piggy bank

The benefits of loud budgeting

Okay, so the obvious benefit to loud budgeting is, well, saving money. This is a money skill that’s great to practice when you’re a teen and SUPER IMPORTANT to have once you’re an adult. Practice setting savings goals now and it’ll be much easier to do when it comes time to set aside money for big things like your first home.

Another benefit of loud budgeting is one we mentioned earlier: accountability. When you share your goals, you’re more likely to stick with them—thanks to support and encouragement from friends and family.

The less obvious benefit of loud budgeting is that by asking us to get loud in our conversations about money, the trend is helping to break down the stigma and shame that surrounds finanances. Being open and honest about money, your goals for saving, and your budget shouldn’t be something that you feel embarrassed about. The more you talk about it, the easier it gets—for everyone!

Okay, but how do I budget?

So we’ve nailed the loud part, now it’s time to actually budget. For real. Figuring out where to start can be a little confusing. One really simple strategy is to set up your spending and savings around a zero-based budget or ZBB. It’s a budget where you find a spot for every dollar you earn, whether it goes into your expense category or into savings. In other words, you subtract your savings and expenses from your income until you end up with a nice, round zero.

Finfluencers on TikTok also talk about “cash stuffing” or “envelope budgeting” which is a method that can be useful as your expenses grow and you have to pay for things like your phone bill, your internet, groceries, or your Spotify subscription. You don’t have to use actual physical envelopes and cash to do this (though some people do). You can create categories or “envelopes” on a spreadsheet or budgeting app and allocate (aka stuff) your cash there instead.

Mydoh can help you set savings goals and organize and track your spending. With Mydoh, you can better understand your budget and start saving for up to three different goals at a time. New runners? Check. Spring break? Done. Headphone upgrade? Yep! You’ll be able to monitor your progress and celebrate when you get there.

It’s your money and that means you are in control of where and when you spend it. Loud budgeting helps you communicate your financial needs to your friends and family so that you can save for the things you want instead of spending on stuff you don’t really need.

Welcome to your loud budgeting era.

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This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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Written by Corrina Allen
Hi! I'm Corrina, a Berlin-based, Canada-born writer. Here's the best money tip I have to share: saving actually feels AMAZING. At first, it’s tough ( there are so many temptations to spend!) but when you start to see your savings really grow, you just want to save more. Give it a try.

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