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Jun 7, 2024

What is loud budgeting?

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Two people having money conversations

If the idea of financial planning makes you want to cover your ears, you might want to consider a new way of thinking about managing your money, one that’s all about making your voice heard. Loud budgeting is a growing trend in which people talk openly about how they manage their money with friends, family, and even on social media. For many people, loud budgeting is empowering; instead of feeling isolated with money worries, they tap into the power of community. And being transparent about your budgeting can help you hold yourself accountable to your plans and set the boundaries you need. 

The idea of loud budgeting gained popularity on TikTok, where proponents celebrated the benefits of being transparent about their finances. This approach has seemed to resonate especially well with millennials and Gen Zers, who are often juggling high student loan debt, wage stagnation, and a tough housing market. Instead of struggling in silence, loud budgeting encourages people to share their challenges, aspirations, and successes. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

The benefits of loud budgeting

Support and community

Talking about money has long had a shadow of taboo or even shame, especially if you’re sticking to a tight budget. Loud budgeting takes away that sense of secrecy, allowing people to be honest and get support from others who are in the same boat.

For example, when you’re loud budgeting, you don’t have to make excuses for frugality: instead of making up a reason you can’t go out for dinner with friends, you simply tell them it’s not in your budget, and the group can come up with plans that are affordable for everyone. Instead of FOMO, you wind up feeling supported and connected. 

Tips and advice

You don’t have to go it alone when managing your personal finances, and loud budgeting puts you in touch with other people who can offer advice from their own experience. Whether you’re building a budget, looking for ways to save money, or coming up with ideas for a side hustle, why not tap into your friends and social network? 

When you make loud budgeting part of your approach to money management, you have an avenue for asking others to offer their tips, connecting with people who share your circumstances, and getting advice from peers who understand where you’re coming from. And you also have a chance to help other people with the knowledge you’ve gained. 

Accountability and awareness

People who practice loud budgeting share many aspects of their financial lives, from their goals and plans to the specifics of their income and expenses. Exactly how specific you want to be about your finances is up to you, but by being loud about aspects of your finances, you build in accountability and self-awareness. 

For example, say you want to save a certain percentage of your paycheck each month for retirement. Telling others about your goal helps keep you accountable to your plans when you’re tempted to spend instead of save. And by talking about your financial goals and practices, you’ll be more aware of your habits; it’s harder to overlook impulse spending or backsliding on your savings commitment when you’re regularly communicating about your finances with others. 

Clear boundaries

Loud budgeting isn’t necessarily about telling people that you can’t afford something. It’s about setting the priorities that matter to you, making clear decisions about how you want to spend your money, and communicating those boundaries to other people. And that empowers you to stick to your plans, even in the face of peer pressure. 

Say you’re invited to be a bridesmaid at your sister’s wedding, and the dress she wants you to buy costs a lot more than you’re comfortable spending. If you’re engaged in loud budgeting, you already have a practice of clearly stating your financial plans and boundaries, so it’s easier to let her know you need to collaborate on a different option. 

How to start loud budgeting

Build a budget and stick with it

If you want to start loud budgeting, you have to start, well, budgeting. There are lots of options for creating a budget. Consider one of these popular methods:

  • 50/30/20 budgeting: With this method, you divide your income into three spending categories: needs (50%), wants (30%), and savings/investments.
  • Zero-based budgeting: This approach entails assigning every dollar you earn to specific expenses, savings, or debt repayment. 
  • Envelope budgeting: Using physical or digital envelopes, you allocate money into spending categories, and when an envelope is empty, you’re done spending for the month. 

Once you get rolling with your budget, get loud about it. Talk to friends and family about how you’re managing your money, share experiences, and learn from others’ tips. 

Keep your budget on beat

Any kind of budgeting calls for regular maintenance and adjustment, and loud budgeting is no different. Try these tips to ensure your budget remains in harmony.  

  • Make budgeting a habit: Track your spending frequently, and review your budget weekly, making adjustments as needed.
  • Use smart tools to stay on track: Take advantage of budgeting apps and online banking features that make budgeting faster and easier.  
  • Get in sync with your peers: Share your financial achievements and challenges with friends; that’s the foundation of loud budgeting.
  • Don’t shy away from changing tactics: If you’re consistently overspending in one category or not reaching your savings goals, it’s a sign to adjust your strategies.
  • Celebrate successes: Treat your financial victories, however small, like the hit records they are. Successes are one of the most rewarding things to share as a loud budgeter. 

Is loud budgeting right for you?

Not everyone wants to shout their financial situation from the rooftops, and loud budgeting doesn’t have to mean over-sharing or making yourself feel uncomfortable. You get to decide just how loud you want to be about your finances. By communicating with friends and family about your financial plans and boundaries, you have a chance to banish the secrecy that can make budgeting feel lonesome and get ahead of the awkwardness that comes from hard financial conversations. And ultimately, loud budgeting can give you a sense of community and empowerment as you chart your course toward the financial future you want.

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Written by

Tara Blaine

Tara Blaine draws on over 20 years of experience as a writer to translate seemingly complex financial ideas into insights readers can put to work in their everyday lives. She’s written personal finance education materials for numerous institutions, helping customers learn smart techniques for budgeting, overcoming debt, saving money, and planning for their long-term financial health.


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