Loud Budgeting | How Gen Z got there first

Loud Budgeting | How Gen Z got there first


We all love a new viral TikTok trend, but when it comes to loud budgeting, Gen Z is ahead of the field.


Do you ever think of all the money you wasted when you were young? Taxis, takeaways, expensive pre-kid shopping treats with friends, extravagant holidays! Do you wish you’d just said no and saved that cash? If so, that’s loud budgeting.


In contrast to last year’s expensive "quiet luxury" TikTok trend and doom spending, loud budgeting is about proudly and openly sharing with others how much you can save. It's loudly stating that you are on a budget and can’t come out.


TikTokker Lukas Battle coined the phrase in a post about openly declaring that you can’t afford something because it’s not in your budget. In his video, which has amassed 1.5 million views, Battle says the trend is "the same feeling as sneaking candy into a movie theatre. It's about what I don't want to spend and the everyday person, not celebrities. Put that dollar in your pocket.”


It’s about choosing not to spend, navigating your financial limitations, and living within your means. As a result, loud budgeting has prompted a whole range of Gen Z creators to come forward and share their own budgeting and money advice on the cost of living, budget restraints and how to say no to going out. 


Louise Hill, CEO and co-founder of GoHenry says: “Where previous generations have been reluctant to talk about finances, Gen Z and Gen Alpha aren’t afraid to be open and honest when it comes to discussing money and setting boundaries around what they’re willing to spend. It’s a sign of their growing awareness and openness around finances, with our latest Youth Economy Report showing that recent events like the Covid pandemic and the Cost of Living crisis are making the youngest generations more likely to start saving early for their futures.”


In comparison, many UK adults find the idea of discussing finances excruciating. One study found that adults find it easier to discuss mental health than they do money. The survey also revealed that 25% of adults believe a conversation about personal finances is a complete no-go.


Money talks 


Gen Z has no such fears about money talk. They’re happy to be open about what they earn and talk about their financial goals, ditching the embarrassment of openly declaring what they can't afford.


Follow #loudbudgeting, and you’ll see Gen Z talking about their lack of FOMO and how they budget by cutting gym memberships, not buying coffee or lunch out, and going to the library instead of buying books.


The desire to be in control of their own financial futures is, of course, nothing new for this generation. Three-quarters of GoHenry kids (74%) say they don’t expect their parents to help pay for their wedding, and 64% don’t expect their parents to help foot the bill for the cost of their education, such as paying for university, training or an apprenticeship. 


Seven out of ten kids (71%) also feel it’s important to earn their own money. Children who are too young to get a job are giving their pocket money a boost by helping out around the house, earning a total of over £274M in 2023 and supplementing their pocket money with average weekly earnings per task of £0.74.  


Of course, the concept of living within your means has been around for a long time, and it’s easy to be cynical that this is just one more fleeting trend. Yet, studies show good money management is a combination of financial education and the confidence to put what you know into action. Loud budgeting, therefore, gives all of us, especially kids, the green light not to give in to peer pressure and to focus on building healthy financial futures.


Accountant and influencer Andreea Son from Stocks and Savings agrees: “Given that money is such a crucial part of everyday life, it’s important for kids to become confident in this topic and develop their financial skills from an early age. Money is still a taboo topic, and a lot of parents themselves grew up not talking about money, so it’s important to give kids a level of independence over their money and their choices.” 

The rise of viral money trends


While TikTok trends do come and go (dabbing, anyone?), it’s worth doing all you can to encourage loud budgeting with your kids. 


A Cambridge University study shows children’s financial habits are formed by the age of seven, meaning early financial education is key to unlocking a bright future. Anything that widens out the subject of good money management - in a way that’s relatable to young people - can only be a good thing.


It’s also an area Gen Z yearns for more information on, as seen by the rise of #MoneyTok. Money advice, challenges, information, and tips now appear daily on TikTok and have had over 11 billion views. With content that covers everything from saving to credit cards, compound interest, rising costs, and how to make money with a side hustle, it’s important to make sure kids and teens aren’t exposed to bad information - the hashtag #FactCheckYourFeed is part of a campaign by TikTok and the charity Citizens Advice to help protect against exactly that.

While financial education still has a long way to go in schools, keeping an eye on positive social media money trends is a good way to engage kids and teens in building strong money habits that will last a lifetime. With Gen Z set to account for over a quarter of the world's population by 2026 and have a purchasing power of over £35 billion, we need more trends like #loudbudgeting to encourage a money-smart generation.


Written by Anita Naik Published Feb 12, 2024 ● 3 mins