Move beyond “girl math” and “quiet luxury,” a new personal finance trend is taking off on TikTok.
Social media users are embracing ‘noisy budgeting,’ a concept that went viral after Battle of Lucas on TikToker mentioned it as something he would start in 2024.
Today, just three weeks into the year, #loudbudgeting has over 10 million views on TikTok.
What is noisy budgeting?
Just as the name suggests, noisy budgeting is a financial strategy that focuses on your spending and financial situation. Financial responsibility, if you will.
“It’s not ‘I don’t have enough,’ it’s ‘I don’t want to spend,'” Battle said in his video explanation. He describes it as “the opposite of quiet luxury”, referencing a social media trend last year that involved a more subtle expression of your wealth through high-quality products that didn’t feature logos.
“(Loud budgeting) is about talking about your personal finances and making sure you’re advocating for yourself, especially in situations where sometimes you’re not a strong advocate,” said Zainab Williams, certified financial planner at Elleverity Wealth Management.
The concept is gaining ground at a time when rising costs are a major concern for many Canadians.
Canada’s annual inflation rate jumped to 3.4 percent in December, according to Statistics Canada data released earlier this month. Airfares, fuel, passenger vehicles and rents are among the main contributors to this increase. The report also reveals that prices of food purchased in stores increased by 4.7 percent compared to the same period last year.
And while the trend toward tightening budgets and sticking to financial goals is finding new resonance with many young people, for some it’s already a well-established way of life.
This philosophy is a long-standing habit for Reilly O’Connor, a Canadian content creator. O’Connor, who is also an early childhood educator, has posted several videos on social media depicting what she calls a “realistic day in the life,” where she highlights things like budgeting and access to what she calls “basic livelihoods.”
“We’re not paid enough…so we automatically have to make cuts and costs,” O’Connor said.
“I wanted to show that we can still live a happy life. Everyone has goals, but we can still be happy while we are trying to achieve those goals,” she added.
WATCH | Reilly O’Connor on a “realistic day in the life”:
O’Connor said loud budgeting not only led to concrete savings, but also empowered him.
“As soon as you are realistic and open about your financial situation, the easier it becomes and the less of a burden it will be, and the less you will feel like you are comparing yourself to others.”
“I think it really helped me stay accountable,” she added.
Williams agrees that loud budgeting can empower some people.
“What’s really great about social media is the fact that it exposes us to diverse ideas…whether it’s standing up for our own rights, when it comes to our money, “stories, or even understanding the types of questions you should ask your financial advisor, or tips and tricks on how you should save money,” she said.
But at the same time, such social media trends can create a sense of pressure for certain people to participate in something that might not be appropriate for their situation, according to Williams.
“It’s really about being truly true to yourself, rather than feeling like you have to behave a certain way.”
Financial Trends and Social Media
Noisy budgeting isn’t the first finance-related trend to gain traction via social media. The aforementioned Math for Girls and Quiet Luxury are two examples of money-centered social media trends.
O’Connor says media like TikTok has been helpful in how she manages her own finances.
“It created a support system in a safe place on the internet where other people could also share their tips and tricks.”
According to Williams, participating in online trends, especially with your money, depends on what you’re comfortable with.
“Money is a very personal thing for us. It can trigger different types of emotions in us, whether it’s shame, or a feeling of pride, because you’ve accomplished something.”
The most important thing is to be smart about what you consume online, according to Williams.
“It’s important to really check and evaluate what exactly you’re consuming and how that consumption is going to affect you in the long term.”