Have you heard of ‘loud budgeting’? It's the latest social media buzzword that’s been floating around in 2024. First coined by TikToker @lucasbattle, ‘loud budgeting’ is an open and transparent approach to managing your finances. 

It’s about having clear financial boundaries so you can save money and stay on track with your financial goals. 💪

Especially in today’s media-heavy world - where you’re constantly inundated with images of what others are buying - it’s hard not to feel like you have to spend money to keep up. But the reality is that most people can’t afford to do that H&M haul once a month. Many are struggling to even pay bills. 

So, what is ‘loud budgeting’ exactly? And how can you use this trend to better your financial situation in the long run? 

What is ‘loud budgeting’? 

‘Loud budgeting’ is in the name: a bold and vocal approach to managing your money that's all about transparency, accountability and, ultimately, being in control of your finances.

‘Loud budgeting’ is all about breaking the silence surrounding money management and embracing a more open and proactive approach to handling your finances. 

So, instead of keeping your budgeting efforts hidden or feeling ashamed about financial struggles, ‘loud budgeting’ encourages you to speak up, share your experiences and support others on their financial journeys.

But, no one likes to admit they are struggling financially and we can easily forget that most of us face the same challenges!

Loud budgeting is about giving you full control of the situation.

By rephrasing your budgeting goals to ‘I’m not spending money right now’, or ‘I’m trying to spend less’, it can help reduce some of the anxiety associated with saying ‘no’ due to finances. 

‘Loud budgeting’ is about breaking down and combating the stigma around budgeting and not living beyond your means. It encourages more open and honest communication about money so you can prioritise your financial goals and not what others think about you. 

How to master your finances with ‘loud budgeting’

1. Start by setting clear goals

‘Loud budgeting’ begins with setting clear and achievable financial goals. Whether it's saving a deposit for a house, saving for a holiday or building an emergency fund, having specific objectives in mind will give your budgeting efforts direction and purpose.

Start by asking yourself some key questions: 

  • How much do I want to save each month?

  • Is my goal to invest more money? 

  • Do I want to save up for a specific event? 

  • Do I need more day-to-day cash flow? 

  • What are some unnecessary expenses I could cut out? 

Figure out what your main financial goals are, and work backwards from there. 

Here are some tips on how to build a strong financial foundation. 

2. Track your spending

Next, it’s important to know how much money you have coming in versus going out. You can use our free app to categorise your expenses, monitor your cash flow and identify areas where you can cut back or save more effectively.

Then, you can determine whether you need to work on saving and cutting spending (you have more going out than coming in), or work towards building your funds for your future (if you have more coming in than going out). 

Knowing exactly where your money is going is essential for your budgeting plan and financial goals.

3. Live within your means 

One of the easiest ways to go into debt and lose control of your finances is by not living within your means. It can be hard to say no to a social event, especially in university or college when it’s a key time to build relationships.

There are ways to enjoy your life, have fun, and stick to your budget. For example, if you can’t afford to attend an event or social, you could suggest a cheaper or even a cost-free alternative. It also means avoiding ‘impulsing spending’ - an unplanned purchase often spurred by your current emotional state. 

If you struggle with living within your means, here are a few tips: 

  • Wait 24 hours before buying something you see online or in-store. 

  • Suggest a budget-friendly alternative instead of just saying ‘no’ to a plan.

  • Practice mindfulness: do you really need that T-shirt or are you feeling down and could use a friend? 

  • Turn on notifications from your bank so you get an alert every time you spend - it will help you make more conscious financial decisions. 

4. Pay yourself first

The ‘pay yourself first’ method of budgeting is a great way to work towards a savings goal, no matter your income. While it can sometimes feel like you barely have enough for groceries, paying yourself first can help you set aside a small, or big amount. And then it’s out of sight and out of mind. 

Whether that’s £5, £20, or £100, putting some money into a separate account before any other expenses is a great tactic for long-term saving. You can set up a direct debit each month so you don’t even have to think about it! 

If you have a bit more monthly income, consider investing money into an ISA for a higher return savings account. You can also automate payments into these savings accounts.   

5. Earn additional income 

‘Loud budgeting’ is also about finding ways to ‘level up’ your finances. If you don’t have the funds right now to save or invest, finding part-time or freelance work opportunities can help you earn more to be able to put some money aside for your future. 

For students, it’s important to find work that’s flexible around an already busy schedule. There are websites like Fiverr and Upwork for finding freelance work. Or consider looking for on-campus jobs, which are generally more accommodating of your university or college schedule. 

For more, read these best tips for how to make money as a student.

6. Be vocal about your goals 

And of course, the main point of ‘loud budgeting’ is to be, well, vocal about your budgeting goals. 🙌

Being open and honest about your finances (you don’t have to be too honest, however) will help you stay accountable and also manage peer pressure from friends and family. 

Here are some examples of things you can say when you need out of a situation you can’t afford: 

  • I’m saving right now for a holiday coming up.

  • I’m focusing on budgeting right now.

  • I’m saving for x, so can’t make that dinner reservation, but I found this place [that’s within budget] instead.

  • I’m actually doing a ‘no spend’ challenge this month. I’d still love to hang out, can we do something that doesn’t cost money instead? 

Alternatively, it’s also always okay to turn down an invitation without providing a reason. Sometimes, friends and family won’t understand, and that’s okay. In these moments, a white lie doesn’t hurt. 

7. Embrace financial education

Lastly, one of the best ways to improve your finances is to learn about money. 

Check out the Blackbullion website for financial education pathways, quizzes and articles on everything you need to know to take control of your finances. 🤓

Not sure how to set a budget? Check out the Budgeting 101 pathway. Want to become an investing jedi? Learn the basics of investing. Or maybe you’re struggling with debt? This pathway will help give you an overview of everything you need to know about debt management. There’s learning for everyone, at any stage of your financial journey. 

‘Loud budgeting’ is about prioritising you  

There’s a lot of pressure to spend money these days. And social media is one of the biggest places for temptation. 

But often what you’re shown on social media isn’t real - or attainable. So, it’s important not to compare yourself to what you see online. 

‘Loud budgeting’ is more than just a trend - it's a mindset shift that empowers you to take control of your financial future with confidence and openness. 

Most importantly, it’s about prioritising you. 

It’s about making smart decisions for yourself to enjoy the present and future.  

Set clear goals, live within your means, focus on saving and perhaps also find ways to earn additional income. Don’t be afraid to be open about your budgeting goals - and continue learning about money management to develop financial skills and confidence for life.

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