Northwest Herald

Oliver: Want to make better money management a priority? ‘Loud budgeting’ can help

Social media often gets a bad rap – and rightfully so – for how easy it is to run into misinformation and bad advice for a lot of things in life. But sometimes it can offer a trend or two that even experts can get behind.

One of those trends is “loud budgeting,” which is making the rounds on TikTok.

With these days of the ever-present “influencers” on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, it’s not surprising that there would be a bit of a backlash to all of the pressure to impulse spend. On Instagram, I follow a couple of people who are trying to “deinfluence” their followers from mindless spending. They want to help people be more intentional about what they spend their money on.

“Loud budgeting” takes this concept a step further by encouraging us to be more open about money management and making it known what our money goals are so that our friends and followers can keep us accountable.

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

Instead of the old concept of “keeping up with the Joneses,” we can think of ways of encouraging each other to stick to our own money goals.

For instance, one TikTok influencer is encouraging those who follow her to set aside a rainy-day fund, tackle debt, contribute to one’s retirement fund and find ways to increase income.

What exactly is “loud budgeting”? “Loud budgeting is all about openness in financial management,” O’Brien said. “It involves discussing your financial goals, struggles and strategies loudly and proudly with those around you, breaking the traditional silence about money matters.”

Too often, at least when we’re younger, we think we must maintain a certain level of spending. Usually that’s because we see our friends going to concerts, shopping or otherwise spending money. What we assume, often incorrectly, is that they have the money to cover everything. Maybe they do, but maybe they’re just going into debt.

Loud budgeting can help with that. “For example, don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to an expensive concert all your friends are attending, or brunch every weekend,” O’Brien said. “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 that you took the money you saved in lieu of a night out and instead put it in an account you’ve dedicated toward a saving goal like travel, loan payments or in an emergency fund.”

One TikTok influencer who is on the “loud budgeting” trend even offers alternative destinations (vacation dupes) that give the same experience as higher-priced locales. That way, with a little creativity, you don’t have to feel like you’re missing out on everything in the name of saving for retirement.

Creativity is also the name of the game when trying to start implementing loud budgeting ourselves.

“Taking on loud budgeting starts with close friends and family,” O’Brien said. “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.”

O’Brien also suggests getting more familiar with our own spending habits and knowing our credit score. The more we know, the better decisions we can make. Just be careful not to share too much detailed information about your money matters; identify theft is an unfortunate reality these days too.

She also encourages not keeping good tips to yourself.

“Don’t be shy,” O’Brien said. “Sharing is caring – don’t keep your money-saving tips to yourself. And don’t hesitate to share you’re skipping out on movie night to add funds to a future down payment.”

Who knows? Maybe you’ll be just the person to help someone else to start along the path of better money management.

Joan Oliver is the former Northwest Herald assistant news editor. She has been associated with the Northwest Herald since 1990. She can be reached at

Joan Oliver

Joan Oliver

A 30-year newspaper veteran who has been a copy editor, front-page editor, presentation editor, assistant news editor and publication editor, as well as a columnist and host of an online newspaper newscast.