Can loud budgeting change your financial life?

This trend may be just the ticket to help achieve your savings goals.

Article published: April 03, 2024


In this article:

  • Loud budgeting may be that rare social media trend that could help improve your financial wellness.
  • When invited to expensive social activities by friends and family, loud budgeting involves being direct about declining because the activities are not within your budget.
  • The trend’s potential benefits come with some challenges, so we provide tips for overcoming them. 


Pop quiz: Have you ever heard of the Chubby Bunny, Harlem Shake or Kylie Jenner challenges? If you haven’t, take it as a win. They are social media trends, and like 99.9% of all social media trends, they are too ridiculous to explain. And while social media is not a place to seek financial wisdom, is “loud budgeting” an exception?


What’s loud budgeting?

Loud budgeting was popularized by comedian Lukas Battle on the social media platform, TikTok, known for its silly short videos. So, how on earth would a TikTok video aimed at Generation Z 20-somethings and created by a comedian harbor financial wisdom? Hear us out.


In short, loud budgeting is when you’re asked in a social situation to spend on something, and you decline by declaring that it’s not within your budget.


If you’re loud budgeting because of a financial goal you’re trying to achieve, go ahead and declare the goal too.

Perhaps some of us with pushy, fancy friends have already fantasized about a version of loud budgeting at some point, even though we didn’t call it that. Maybe you weren’t saying no to all-night clubbing due to student loans, but what if you substitute “clubbing” for “persistent invitations to expensive dinners or vacations”? Take out the goal of “paying off student loans” and insert “retirement savings” or a “529 plan.”


The power behind loud budgeting

Through its public declarations, loud budgeting can help make you accountable to your savings goals and keep you on track.

“You have to be careful of budgets,” says planner Ken Murray, Executive Director, Financial Planning. “Budgets are like diets and eventually people break them, but if loud budgeting helps make you accountable to your savings goals, then go for it.”

Murray says budgets are effective when they are used simply as a tool to save rather than just rein in expenses. If you’re only focused on expenses, you fall into the game of cutting expenses just to cut them. “Budgets have to be attached to a savings goal,” he says.

Yet, loud budgeting can be a challenge for some.


You need to say “no” to friends or family who like to spend, and it encourages you to be transparent about your financial goals.


In a society where talking about one’s finances in social situations can be taboo, that can be hard. It can be even harder if you’re introverted. However, it may help if you think of loud budgeting as gaining power over your finances and establishing boundaries.

“Don’t say to people, ‘I can’t,’ but rather, ‘I’m choosing to do something else,’” says planner Kelli Smith, Director, Financial Planning. “Loud budgeting is about publicly honoring your needs and your goals and claiming power over your finances.”

Little by little, those choices could help you achieve your savings goals.


Resist social pressures

If you’re not comfortable stating why you’re making the choice not to spend, you don’t have to explain yourself, Smith says. She adds that saying the savings goal to yourself may be enough to keep you on track.

Keep in mind that well-meaning friends who find out about your savings goals may want to offer financial advice. However, what may be good for their financial circumstances and temperament may not be good for yours. Stay on your own track, especially if you have thoughtfully created savings goals with your financial planner.

Your financial planner is always there to provide support, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them.



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