Money is so hard to come by, yet so easy to spend. We’ve all lamented that the figures just grace through our bank accounts for a day or two—only to be completely wiped out due to bills and other costs the next day.
There’s also a never ending cycle of spending on things for just a smidge of serotonin and then doing it all over again when the joy runs out. When you’re really down in the dumps, nothing triggers that happy hormone like an impulse purchase. The reasons for our spending varies, but a common factor in what influences the things we buy is social media.
Trend cycles on TikTok (most notably the quiet luxury trend of 2023) are a huge factor in spending for some people. They buy items to get with the times—or just because they like it—which can put a considerable dent in your bank account.
Majority of these trends push people to buy things they don’t necessarily need. It’s a perpetual loop of one trend after another, and another, and then unsurprisingly, another. What’s trendy usually involves spending money on unattainable items, but one TikTok trend is doing the opposite.
Instead of spending, it encourages people to save. And to be loud about it.
Loud budgeting vs. quiet luxury
Money is taboo in many cultures, but this trend is bringing financial responsibility front and center. Loud budgeting is the practice of being vocal about your financial goals and sticking to them by talking about it.
A lot of the loud budgeting content on TikTok sees this new trend as simultaneously the antithesis and spiritual descendant of quiet luxury. Many content creators point out how rich people stay rich: by refusing to spend money.
Content creator Lukas Battle (who claims to have coined the term for and started the trend) says, “If you know any rich people, you know that they hate spending money.”
Quiet luxury is the trend that wants everyone to emulate how the upper class looks like they live, but loud budgeting is actually doing what the upper class is doing to stay there.
It’s a necessary push-back on unnecessary, impulse buys that we’ve all been a victim of. It instead shifts the focus on long-term financial health by way of high-yield savings accounts, investments, and setting boundaries.
Firm financial boundaries
The loud part of loud budgeting is important because it helps you set boundaries. For some of us, we can easily get carried away by looking at the sparkly object in the window and the sounds of our friends telling us to “go for it” and “treat ourselves.”
Being more financially transparent is also lifting a burden off your shoulders by communicating your responsibilities to yourself. It also sets expectations from other people.
Many of us feel the societal pressure to keep up with our peers and how they spend. If your friend makes considerably more money than you and invites you to dinner, it’s likely that you’ll spend a similar amount, even if you don’t earn as much.
While saying no to friends can be difficult, saying no to yourself can be even worse.
It’s important to really commit and set yourself up for success by differentiating needs and wants. You have to remember that you’re giving up luxury for now so you can enjoy it later. It’s also a good practice to build since prices are going up, but wages are staying down.
Saving is difficult for some, but it also helps you practice self-discipline. It’s a skill that once mastered becomes easier as you go along.
If you have friends or know people who are also loud budgeting, be respectful and supportive of their choices. It’s always tempting to adhere to the “you only live once” type of lifestyle, but trying to de-influence your friend from loud budgeting is disrespectful.
If you really care about someone, you’ll try to support them and their growth. That includes caring about not just their present happiness, but their future stability.
The basics of loud budgeting
One of the first financial goals anyone needs to accomplish is becoming debt free, if you have any debt. You don’t necessarily have to tell other people about it, but you tell yourself (and anyone who’s curious) that you’re working on your financial goals.
Being in debt is also one of the most stressful things people can go through, so it’s important to ease that worry as quickly as possible. Finding cheaper alternatives to products you use and setting up time-based repayment plans can move things along quicker. It can also make it feel more doable instead of targeting one big number.
But if you’re debt free, the first thing you have to do is create an emergency savings fund. Accidents, hospitalizations, and loss of income can happen at any time, so it’s important to save up for those rainy days as soon as possible.
A good rule of thumb is to save thrice of your current salary. It’s a good base number, but make sure to keep adding because you never know when things will come in handy.
The next important financial benchmark you should set for yourself is insurance. There are different types of insurance available based on your needs, but the most basic ones are life insurance and variable universal insurance.
For people who are self-employed or unemployed, health insurance is also something important to consider. Hospital fees can go through the roof if you or your loved ones get sick, so having health insurance can spell the difference between bankruptcy and financial health.
Making the most of things
Admittedly, there’s a lot of sacrifice when it comes to putting your financial health first. If you’re coming from a “treat yourself” type of lifestyle, making the change to loud budgeting can be hard.
Aside from making a budget, and more importantly, sticking to it, you also have to give up luxuries you’ve grown accustomed to. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy nice things, though. It’s all just a matter of perspective.
As with many things on the internet, it’s not impossible to find dupes for items and experiences that you like. These compromises can help you wean off of an expensive lifestyle without going cold turkey.
Some of the categories people spend the most money on (sometimes unnecessarily) are entertainment, eating out, shopping, and travel. These should also be the areas you can focus on if you really want to get your savings up.
Easy changes you can make are reevaluating your streaming services and going without for the time being. Instead of going out to restaurants for a meal, you can also try your hand at cooking at home or cheaper alternatives like local eateries.
For shopping, thrifting is still all the rage. Instead of buying brand new, you can make a day of scouring finds at your local thrift or second-hand shop instead—it’ll hit the entertainment and shopping birds with one stone.
Traveling is a luxury, but we all need a trip away for our own health and sanity once in a while. While it would be ideal to go wherever we want around the world, it’s not always possible. Prioritizing local destinations could be more budget-friendly and help the local economy of that area. Just make sure to be a responsible and respectful tourist.