How To Use Loud Budgeting To Reach Financial Goals

A new trend called loud budgeting recently burst upon the frugality world and has taken it by storm. This movement, primarily led by Gen Z’ers, is centered around becoming open, honest – and very vocal about your budget and financial goals when declining social invitations from family and friends.

According to a recent article in Money Magazine, “… quiet luxury has been replaced by “loud budgeting,” a new concept in which you make your frugal mindset obvious.

“It’s not ‘I don’t have enough,’ it’s ‘I don’t want to spend,’” creator Lukas Battle put it in a TikTok video with over 1.4 million views. Or, as he said in another clip, it’s “‘sorry, I can’t go out to dinner — I’ve got $7 a day to live on.’”

I, personally, been utilizing the loud budgeting technique for decades – and, yes, it works. While raising four sons, debt free on a low income, my husband and I learned how to maintain important relationships, while navigating numerous social situations which involved spending money.

To see us talk about loud budgeting and how it can help you stick to your financial goals and save more money, watch the video below.

If you’re intrigued, here are some suggestions for giving Loud Budgeting a try .

Have Clearly Defined Financial Goals

Whether it’s saving for a down payment on a home, paying off debt, or building an emergency fund, by publicly declaring your objectives, you’re more likely to stay accountable and motivated to stick to your budget. Remember, your spending decisions should always support your goals.

Say “No” Clearly

Don’t leave your friends hanging with a “No” that really sounds like a “Maybe”. Communicate openly and transparently with their loved ones about your financial goals and constraints.By explaining your priorities and limitations upfront, you can foster understanding and support from your inner circle, reducing potential tension or misunderstandings.

State your reasons for skipping a social function simply and clearly. You are responsible for being kind, but firm in your answer. You are not responsible for the reactions of others.

Not everyone is going to be your biggest cheerleader and your fan – and that’s okay.

Offer Budget-Friendly Alternatives

We live in a consumer driven society. We have been trained by companies to judge the quality of any experience by how much money you spent to do it.

Instead of constantly declining invitations to expensive outings, take the initiative and host your own budget-friendly gatherings.

Whether it’s a game night, movie marathon, or picnic in the park, you can still enjoy quality time with friends and family without breaking the bank. There are plenty of ways to have fun without spending any money.

Keep Your Words Positive

You have to be careful how you phrase you’re no. We just don’t recommend saying, “I can’t afford it”. We would always suggest phrasing it positively.

Try saying, “I choose not to spend my money this way” or “We’ve already spent our entertainment budget for the month.” You might follow up by asking them to get something on the calendar for next month. Then, be sure to say back enough of that money in order to go out to dinner then.

Keep a Mindset of Abundance

Loud budgeting can’t make it appear like you were living in deprivation, rather than deliberately choosing when, where, and how to spend your money, because you have money goals.

Rather than saying, “I can’t afford to go.”, spin it into a positive way of expressing that you have specific financial goals and you’re making choices with your money right now.

Your mindset can mean the difference between reaching a goal and stopping before you’re halfway there.

Don’t Say “No” to Everything

One of the main mistakes made with loud budgeting is that you either decide to start saying “no” to everything or you begin justifying participating, so you don’t upset family or friends (even though this decision is detrimental to your goals).

Before deciding whether to accept a commitment, carefully calculate the entire cost. However, if the final total on paper doesn’t suit you, then simply decline the invitation.

But remember, sometimes, with a few simple adjustments you could still attend an event and not negatively impact other financial goals. For instance, when considering dinner out with friends, you could skip alcoholic drinks. Look at the online menu ahead of time and determine which entrées, if any, fit into your budget. This evaluation process takes less than 15 minutes and could mean the difference between staying home or being able to enjoy an evening with friends.

Don’t Be Afraid to Upset Others

People-pleasers, like me, have a hard time adjusting to Loud Budgeting. We hate disappointing people or, even worse, making them mad. We can get stuck living in fear.

When we began Loud Budgeting, I found myself still saying “yes” way too many times and ultimately it impacted our ability to meet financial goals.

An example was our yearly family Christmas gift exchange. Each person in the family, including kids, drew a name and bought a special gift for the person whose name they selected. This worked fine when there were just two of us. But as our family grew, this tradition involved a lot more money.

Our day of reckoning came when we realized we were spending more on the gift exchange than we were on holiday gifts for all of our children combined. It was time to make a change.

By Thanksgiving, we gathered our courage and opted out. I had visions of angry in-laws and unkind words being volleyed at us for our decision. However, the end result was not nearly as bad as I had depicted it in my mind. Some in the family did not understand, while others quietly accepted.

As a Loud Budgeter, I gained confidence, as I set boundaries in a firm, but helpful way. However, I had to go through a lot of soul-searching to come to my own healthy balance between caring for my own needs and seeking the approval of others.

Don’t Over-Explain

There’s a fine line between being clear in your intentions and giving way too many details. This is the lot in life of the over-explainer. It is heartbreaking to realize that we will not receive unanimous understanding or appreciation of your newly-found financial- freedom goals.

A quiet, but firm, decision (with no wavering) may result in them backing off – or at least keeping their opinions to themselves. As a rule, it helps to remember “the less said, the better”. Don’t feel obligated to over-explain yourself.

In the long run, loud budgeting can help you gain confidence, set boundaries in a firm, but helpful way, communicate with friends and family in a way which is healthy while spending money in a way which is consistent with your values and goals.

Your Turn

Have you heard of loud budgeting? And if you have do you use loud budgeting as a tool to help you save more money and reach your financial goals? Tell me about it in the comment section.

2 thoughts on “How To Use Loud Budgeting To Reach Financial Goals”

  1. Hope and Larry,
    I really like the options you gave about sharing ones “loud budgeting.” I did find myself “over explaining why” or coming up with a lame excuse why we could not participate in various activities. I wish I had known about loud budgeting sooner, but better late than never! Thanks for sharing.
    I am pleased to see you two soldiering on spite your infirmities. Just letting you two know I am praying for you guys that God will continue to heal you. Anyone that has gone through physical difficulties knows it does take a toil on your being. Please let others help you and get lots of rest. Love ya guys!
    Katherine from Texas


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