Pub. 12 2024 Issue 1

Loud Budgeting Explained

In a World Where Financial Openness Has Been Historically Hush-Hush, It’s Time To Turn Up the Volume

Meet “loud budgeting” — a bold and outspoken new approach to money management recently made viral by TikTok. Instead of people quietly whispering to themselves about student loans or credit cards, loud budgeting would have them shout from the rooftop about skipping coffee breaks in favor of high-yield savings accounts.

“Loud budgeting gives us a way to challenge social norms in support of healthy financial habits,” said Julie O’Brien, head of behavioral science at U.S. Bank.

This trend’s approach helps people from falling into a “compare and despair” trap where they compare themselves to others and feel badly about not seeming to measure up. With loud budgeting, they can take pride in their financial situation, prioritize healthy money management and feel good about their choices.

O’Brien explains how people can embrace the loud-budgeting lifestyle to better invest in themselves and their future.

What is the first thing to know about loud budgeting?

Loud budgeting is all about openness in financial management. It involves discussing your financial goals, struggles and strategies loudly and proudly with those around you, breaking the traditional silence surrounding money matters. For example, don’t be afraid to say “no” to an expensive concert all your friends are attending or brunch every weekend. Be strategic and balance your luxuries, big or small. Just so you don’t feel totally left out, pick some things to say “yes” to and some things to put aside in favor of your savings. Be proud knowing you took the money you saved in lieu of a night out and instead put it in an account you’ve dedicated toward a savings goal like travel, loan payments or an emergency fund.

What are the benefits of sharing your financial journey loudly?

There are really two things that everyone can benefit from when it comes to loud budgeting. First, there’s instant accountability. You are publicly declaring your financial goals, which increases your commitment to achieving them.

Second, there’s emotional support. Having open conversations about money can alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with the once-taboo topic.

Where should someone start when it comes to loud budgeting?

Think about loud budgeting in terms of community building. Taking on loud budgeting starts with close friends and family. Use the loud-budgeting tactic to influence your plans — like suggesting a game night in instead of a dinner out. You can also find support in like-minded communities. Look for groups focused on personal finance on Reddit or Facebook, where people are already getting real about their gains and losses.

Be sure you’re keeping track of your stats by understanding your financial status and checking in regularly. How much did you earn last month, and how much did you spend? Check your credit score — it’s always good to be in the know. The more you understand your own habits, the smarter decisions you can make.

Lastly, don’t be shy. Sharing is caring — don’t keep your money-saving tips to yourself. And don’t hesitate to share that you’re skipping out on movie night to add funds to a future down payment.

Keep going on creating a positive money lifestyle. Similar to loud budgeting, learn about how to de-influence your finances to help ease the spending pressure so you can make smarter purchases.

Julie O’Brien is a behavioral scientist working at the intersection of well-being and technology. She’s spent her career designing and testing scalable solutions that close the gap between what people want to do and what they actually do.

As head of behavioral science at U.S. Bank, she and her team do research to better understand barriers in financial decision-making, design high-impact and meaningful experiences to meet customer needs and empower teams across the organization to apply behavioral science through their own work.

Get Social and Share!

Sign Up to Receive this Publication in your inbox

More In This Issue