If 2023 was the year of Quiet Luxury, then 2024 is the year of Loud Budgeting. Like with any new trend, TikTok is responsible for the buzzy new term that aims to encourage us to take control of our money and stop spending frivolously. Well, that's the idea anyway. The term was coined by TikTok user @lukasbattle who posted his in/out list at the start of the month and declared loud budgeting as very much "in".
Comments flooded the post with followers declaring it "so f*cking genius". Battle went on to post a separate video deep diving into what loud budgeting actually means and how to stand by it. Introducing the concept as the opposite of quiet luxury, the trend inspired by the likes of Sofia Richie and Kendall Jenner that involves a minimal, understated, and expensive aesthetic, Battle declares loud budgeting as actually "more chic, more stylish, more of a flex".
So what actually is loud budgeting? And how can you adopt it into your 2024 goal list? Read on to find out more, with expert advice on how to stick to it for the whole year.
What Is Loud Budgeting?
Battle continues his TikTok video by explaining more about the concept and it makes total sense. "You feel like you come out of the situation winning," he explains. "It's not 'I don't have enough', it's ''I don't want to spend'." It's less about looking to be like celebrities, and more about focusing on our own lives.
Essentially, loud budgeting is about being upfront and honest about your financial situation and taking control of where and how you want to spend the money you do have. It's about normalising the conversation, and ensuring friends and family don't get offended if you say you can't meet them at a certain time as you're spending your money on something else. There is nothing more frustrating than spending money on something you don't actually want to do (hello extortionate hen dos).
While it might sound like a social media buzzword, it's actually a healthy way to approach your finances, as finance expert Georgia Galloway at Finbri confirms. "People, particularly younger generations, are becoming much more comfortable about talking openly about their finances, and this could be, in part, down to the cost of living crisis; more people are in the same boat, so it can feel easier to discuss," she tells POPSUGAR.
It's actually been bubbling away for a little while if you think about the increase of de-influencing on social media, where content creators remind followers they don't have to buy the most popular and viral products just because others tell you to. "It promotes making your savings goals and values more of a priority than mindless spending," Galloway adds.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Loud Budgeting?
"It normalises having open and honest discussions about your finances, especially with those closest to you, which is very important," Galloway explains. "It can give a sense of empowerment, and can reduce the anxiety of keeping financial worries to yourself."
The concept can also help you to have a more realistic relationship with money and can help identify why you spend. Take, for example, emotional spending; the notion that we buy something to help us feel better. Taking control of your situation and being more honest with yourself, can help to halt these spending splurges.
"It can also help bridge the friendship wealth gap, by being firm about what you can and can't afford rather than keeping quiet and putting things on a credit card to try and match the spending energy of your friends," Galloway says. "By being 'loud' about making deliberate spending choices that are in line with your financial goals, it encourages other people to be loud, too."
However, this can come with some caveats. If your friends aren't on the same page as you or don't understand your financial priorities, it can cause some friction. The key is to be honest about what you can and can't do, or provide alternative options that don't cost as much money.
"Loud budgeting isn't just saying no to every suggested plan. You can still go out, do fun things, and enjoy yourself - it's about being more intentional with your spending and making smarter financial decisions, rather than not spending anything at all," Galloway advises. "Give yourself time to pause before buying things, to avoid impulse purchases that you may regret, and suggest cheaper or free alternatives to plans with friends, to still have fun without abandoning your financial goals."
How to do Loud Budgeting
"The first step is to keep track of your finances and expenses, so you can create a budget that works for you; not all budgeting methods work for everyone, so it might take some trial and error to find your perfect system," Gallow says. "Once you've worked out your budget and defined realistic and clear financial goals - from saving for a house, to paying off debt, or having an emergency fund - you'll know exactly how much you can afford to spend on luxuries and non-essentials; this will make it much easier to say no to things that don't fit with your plan."
Think long-term: what do you want to achieve financially, and work backwards from there. And take stock of where you're at right now and how you're investing and protecting your money. "The best investments will entirely depend on individual goals and circumstances, but something that is always important is making sure your savings are in an account with the highest interest you can get," Galloway adds. "Shop around for different accounts to make sure you're getting the most for your money, even if you don't have a specific savings goal in mind."