Forget about keeping up with the Kardashians. New superstars are in town, best described as the “anti-Kardashians.” These new stars have been inspired by a TikTok content creator named Lukas Battle. Rather than spend their time showing the world how “fabulous” they are and flaunting (questionable) wealth, Battle and others like him are gaining traction by addressing their financial situations humbly and realistically.
The practice is called “loud budgeting.”
What is loud budgeting?
Loud budgeting is the practice of candidly sharing one’s financial situation. It’s about being honest about the steps they’re taking to live at or below their means. There’s no posing or trying to be anything they’re not. Loud budgeters have committed to respecting their monthly budgets and making short-term decisions to benefit their long-term goals.
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If you happen to be on social media and see a video of a young adult explaining why they would not agree to spend $100 for a night out with friends, it’s likely a case of loud budgeting. For that person, spending $100 for an evening out means having less money to pay down debt or deposit into their high-yield savings account.
Many young adults realize that the “perfect” bodies posted on their favorite sites are airbrushed. They also know that most social media images of a person surrounded by expensive luxury goods are likely staged. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Loud budgeting is all about being proud to be frugal and sacrificing momentary pleasures for long-term gain.
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A change in course
As a direct response to overconsumption and worsening consumer debt, this new breed of social media hero is getting real about their financial situation. Rather than brag about tennis shoes that cost them hundreds of dollars, a loud budgeter is more likely to share where they buy secondhand clothes or sell some of their belongings to pay down debt.
Loud budgeters are also quick to describe their motivation. They want to be able to pay bills without losing sleep at night. They want to save money and invest for the future. They may not have as much stuff as others, but that’s okay. A loud budgeter has goals and a plan in place to reach those goals.
Conspicuous displays of wealth are nothing new, but loud budgeters have gone viral in rejecting those displays. Shortly after 2024 rang in, TikTok user Lukas Battle announced his plan to get real about his financial situation. In very little time at all, Battle’s TikTok video had amassed more than 10 million views, and others began to share their stories. Suddenly, being authentic about money became the hip thing to do.
How loud budgeting can be a game changer for you
To find financial peace of mind, loud budgeters are stepping back to a time when carefully managing money was respected and showing off was considered crass. In the meantime, they’re building a solid financial foundation from which to grow. If you’re interested in joining the loud budgeting generation, here are some steps you’ll want to take.
- Forget about the Joneses. Keep your eyes on your financial goals rather than attempt to keep up with what others have.
- Remember that “I don’t want to spend money” is a complete sentence. Even if you have the money to spend, you don’t have to.
- Learn to say no. If spending money today means taking money from your future, stand your ground by being honest.
- Stop thinking of the phrase “I can’t afford it” as dirty. There’s nothing wrong with being vocal about your expenses — or being short on cash.
- Don’t think you’re alone. There are far more people like you than you might imagine. Just because someone hasn’t shared their financial situation does not mean they don’t have struggles.
- Remember that you’re on your own. No one is going to save you if there’s a financial crisis and you need to tap an emergency savings account. No one else will likely help you pay down debt, buy a house, or retire one day. Taking a stance today means being in better shape to take care of yourself in the future.
Loud budgeters share the goal of becoming financially healthy, but each person does it in their own way. For example, some people dine out less often or use coupons more often. Others offer to visit with a friend over a bottle of wine rather than meet in a bar where they’ll spend more money.
Once you’ve settled on your goals, play around with which money-saving techniques will work for you. And then, don’t be shy about letting the people you care about know you’re on a quest to build a healthier financial future.
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