Key takeaways:

  • Gen Z and millennials have to deal with inflation, a high cost of living and the threat of another recession.
  • Loud budgeting is a personal finance TikTok trend that encourages people to set and be vocal about their financial boundaries.
  • Gen Z and millennials are flocking to loud budgeting as a way to manage their finances.
  • The benefits of loud budgeting include prioritizing financial well-being, avoiding overspending and reducing money stigma.
  • Making a budget, setting money goals and talking about your finances are all a part of loud budgeting.

If you're Gen Z or millennial, you likely have more than your share of money challenges given the high cost of living, out-of-control inflation and a looming recession.

A 2023 study shows that young adults (born 1981-2012) are stuck living paycheque to paycheque, forcing many to cut back on spending.1 Given these numbers, it’s not surprising if you’re cautious about taking on debt. But as it turns out, your generation is also more open to speaking about money.2

Enter “loud budgeting,” a new personal finance trend that everybody’s talking about. A loud budgeter will not only turn down a frivolous spend, but they’ll also tell you why. If you’re thinking about whether to add loud budgeting to your personal financial strategy, you’ve come to the right place.

What is loud budgeting and where did it come from?

If you’re up on social media trends, you may recall 2023’s “quiet luxury,” an elegant, monied lifestyle that traded flashy outfits spangled with logos for one or two simple (but still pricey) basics. Quiet luxury was rich but not in-your-face rich.

In contrast, loud budgeting cares about your bottom line — and isn’t afraid to say so. The term traces back to TikToker Lukas Battle,3 and encourages people to trade overspending for being vocal about budget-conscious decisions. You’re loud budgeting if you decline to keep up with your friends when it comes to spending and instead prioritize making healthy money choices. 

Why is loud budgeting appealing to Gen Z and millennials?

If you’re on TikTok, you’re far from alone. Gen Z and millennials account for the vast majority of users of the platform. With literally billions of videos to view,4 it takes something special to stand out. Battle’s loud budgeting video went viral because people were looking for better personal finance solutions.

Loud budgeting is trendy. Noting that rich people don’t actually like to spend their money, Battle calls loud budgeting “even more chic, more stylish, more of a flex” than quiet luxury. If you’re fed up with the consumerism of quiet luxury, loud budgeting offers an alternative.

Of course, there are other concrete reasons why you might want to budget loudly. You have a lot to think about when it comes to strategies to maintain your financial health. Part of the appeal of loud budgeting is that it’s not just for those with money problems. “It’s not ‘I don’t have enough,’” Battle says in his video, “it’s ‘I don’t want to spend.'"

In this way, loud budgeting is empowering, shaking off the shame of being frugal.

Benefits of loud budgeting

Placing more weight on your financial health over consumption and reducing money stigma sounds great — but is it an effective money management strategy? Let’s take a closer look.

Prioritize your financial health

Money matters don’t resolve themselves. It’s up to you to figure out your goals, measure your strengths and weaknesses (and your debts and assets), and make a financial plan. Putting a priority on your own financial well-being can only help because it gives you a positive framework for your spending and saving. Plus, having a plan helps you create boundaries around your financial decisions.

Avoid overspending

Overspending can mean spending more money than you earn, or it can mean spending money on one thing when it was set aside for something else. Either way, you don’t want to do it. When you overspend, you can blow your budget, get into credit card or other debt, and even damage your credit rating. Overspending can also cause stress, shame and guilt.

Speak openly about money

Of all the aspects of loud budgeting, talking about money is probably the most controversial because there’s social stigma around money talk. You help break down those barriers when you talk about your finances. When loud budgeting, being open about your money decisions and sharing strategies is a good thing. It’s liberating. It lets you to be more accountable, reduce money shame and make spending less normal.

There may also be some more widespread benefits to consider. In his video, Battle encourages people to “send a message to corporations about the national inflation level” and “take a stand.” In this way, loud budgeting is a way to protest the cost of living and take back fiscal power.

How to implement a loud budgeting strategy

Here are some steps you can take if you want to give loud budgeting a try but aren’t sure where to start:

  • Build a budget. The first step to getting your budget under control is to have a budget in the first place. Your budget can be super simple, especially if you’re a student. The point is to know exactly how much money you have so you can avoid overspending and meet your financial goals. Try Scotia Smart Money, a free money management tool that helps you to build a personalized budget.

  • Define your goals. Once you account for your living expenses, you can focus on other financial goals. Whether you’re saving for a vacation over the winter break or putting money away for a down payment, you’ll have better success if you work your money goals into your budget. These might include saving for retirementinvesting or building up an emergency fund.

  • Track your spending. Having a budget is only useful if you monitor how much money is going in and out of your account. There are lots of ways to stay on track with what you spend, but the simplest might be using your Scotia Smart Money app.

  • Stick to your budget. It might sound obvious but having a budget differs from spending within your budget. Throughout the month, there will be times when you’re tempted to overspend. Your job is to respect your own money boundaries. (This doesn’t mean you should never treat yourself. It’s realistic — and advised! — to include the occasional splurge in your monthly budget.)

  • Get loud. Talk about your money goals and savings strategies with your friends and family, and on social media. There’s no shame in making your financial well-being a priority, and this includes being transparent when you decline to spend on something because it’s not in your budget.

Loud budgeting examples

If you’re still not sure how to talk about your budget, don’t worry — we’ve got you. For many people, talking about money is embarrassing. This is changing, but like any new skill, it takes practice. Let’s look at a few loud budgeting examples:

  • When Jordan asks Farhad out to dinner, Farhad declines and tells Jordan he’s building up his First Home Savings Account to buy his first home.
  • James clips coupons and posts the deals he finds to social media so his friends can also use them.
  • Sylvia is saving for a trip to see her family. To remind herself of her money goals, she writes “Spain” on a sticky note stuck to her credit card.

As you can see, loud budgeting is just budgeting openly. It’s a way to take accountability of your financial decisions without shame or embarrassment.

Bottom line

For young adults today, financial challenges seem ever-present. Soaring housing costs, mounting student loans, and an uncertain job market paint a daunting picture. Traditionally, navigating these complexities has been shrouded in secrecy and shame.

Loud budgeting throws away the old playbook of financial solitude. Instead, it embraces transparency and community. By openly discussing their financial journeys, young adults are fostering a space of shared experience, support, and accountability.

Ready to get your finances on track for your future? Come in and speak to a Scotia advisor today