Setting financial boundaries isn’t a new concept, but there’s a new name for it. “Loud budgeting” is a viral money trend that’s encouraging people to be more open about their finances.
TikTok content creator Lukas Battle is credited with popularizing the term. In one cheeky video, Battle gives an example of loud budgeting: Saying “Sorry, can’t go out to dinner, I’ve got $7 a day to live on.”
And while Battle’s example might be funny, practicing financial transparency is resonating with many people who are feeling financial strain.
What is loud budgeting?
This approach is about looping others into your financial goals and combating money shame.
“This means making better spending decisions that support your goals, and being honest with friends and family about why you are opting out of gatherings that require you to spend, such as going out to dinner or going away for a weekend trip,” Andrea Woroch said in an email. Woroch is a personal finance writer and consumer savings expert who has appeared on “Good Morning America” and other TV news shows.
It’s also about aligning how you spend your money with the goals you want to achieve, which can be empowering.
You can say, “I don’t value this enough to spend money on this because I’m saving money for a down payment, or … I’d rather not spend money on this because I’m saving for a vacation,” Giovanna “Gigi” Gonzalez says. “It gives you the power back, and it shows that you have clarity on your financial goals.” Gonzalez is the author of the personal finance book “Cultura & Cash” and a TikTok content creator.
Loud budgeting can help you save more, find support
Strengthening your boundary-setting and communication skills, and holding yourself accountable, can help you save more money to put toward your goals.
“Having money goals is something to be proud of and something that you should really communicate to your friends and family, so they know where you stand financially, because when you don’t, people just assume that the money you have is a free-for-all,” Gonzalez said.
Being transparent about money may also open up support. “Speaking openly about your finances leads to more candid conversations about money with others who may have gone through a similar struggle, and [who] can offer advice or tips on how they improved their own financial situation,” Woroch said.
How to make this a habit, not a passing trend
Some ways to build loud budgeting into a regular habit include:
1. Address your feelings about money
The emotions you have tied to money can affect your financial wellness, and how you feel about money can be shaped by your cultural background and other factors, like generational trauma.
For example, Gonzalez says, “I think because in my culture, the Latino culture, it’s very much expected that you just provide money … it’s very much seen as an obligation that you have to your elders, for the sacrifices that they put in so that you’re able to now have a better life.” And familial expectations about money can cause conflict and strain your finances.
Addressing your feelings about money with a professional like a financial therapist can improve your ability to set money boundaries and communicate them.
2. Get an accountability partner
Share your financial goals with someone you trust and who will help to hold you accountable.
“Is there someone else you know who recently proclaimed their loud budgeting efforts on social media or in your circle of friends?” Woroch said. “Reach out to share your goals and support each other by holding each other accountable with monthly check-ins or texts when you’re feeling like spending.”
3. Set clear goals
Think about the kind of life you want to live and set money goals accordingly.
When Gonzalez wanted to travel the world, she bought a map and put it where she could see it every day. “But for somebody else, maybe their big dream is to buy their own home,” she says. “So I tell people to keep the motivation and momentum going … make your lock screen [a picture of] your dream home.”
Keep your money goals front and center as you navigate the short-term discomfort that might come with having to say “no” to things that don’t align with them.
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4. Show up in other ways
You can make loud budgeting a habit and still show up for the people you care about.
Gonzalez suggests finding alternative ways to offer your support. “I’ve had a friend ask me to [co-sign] for his car, and I told him, ‘I love you but that’s a big commitment and I don’t feel comfortable,’” she said. “And I explained to him the reasons why: ‘If you were to default on this, It falls on me or my credit’.” She offered to help her friend research more affordable car options instead.
Supporting your loved ones in nonmonetary ways might also look like cooking or cleaning for them, babysitting or helping in their job search.