The idea that if you spend less, you’ll save more is far from a new concept, but what is old can always be made new again in the age of social media. Re-branding the idea of budgeting for a new generation raised by rampant consumerism means making a splash on social media. To combat the concept of “quiet luxury” and spend less, Gen Z is turning to #loudbudgeting, with videos on TikTok garnering millions of views.

This generation is stepping into adulthood amid an evolving financial landscape where TikTok trends like loud budgeting can significantly impact their personal finances. So, will this trend be the one to help keep Gen Z out of debt?

What is loud budgeting, and why did it trend on TikTok?

“Loud budgeting promotes being intentional with how you spend (or don’t spend) money,” Jamie A. Bosse, a Certified Financial Planner, Principal, Wealth Manager at Aspyre Wealth Partners, tells Credello. Bosse explains it as a way of saying, “‘I’m choosing to save money for THIS instead of spending it on THAT.’”

Many of the TikTok videos following the loud budgeting trend detail penny for penny how Gen Z is spending their money — from exact paycheck amounts to how much is currently sitting in their checking account and what they’re allocating for bills and debt payoff; this generation is putting it all out there.

In one #loudbudgeting video, TikTok user @kaitalayna shares the specifics of her payday routine. The 26-year-old posts that she has $31,000 in debt and breaks down how much of her net pay will cover various aspects of her budget, including debt payoff. Being upfront and honest (AKA loud) about her finances, she’s inspiring others to follow her lead.

Another example comes from @abmccarthy5757, who is working to pay off $27,745 in debt from credit cards, student loans, and a car loan. In one video, she details her reasons for budgeting and planning to inspire others and hold herself accountable for the moves she’s making.

Transparency and accountability are key focuses of the trend. In addition to payday breakdowns on TikTok, here are some examples of loud budgeting that Bosse shared with Credello:

  • “Instead of going out for drinks tonight, let’s save our money and have drinks at my place.”
  • “I am saving up for a trip to Greece, so I’ll skip the movies with you guys today.”
  • “I am working on building my emergency fund, so I’ll eat at home and meet up with you after you’re done at the restaurant.”

David Delisle, founder of The Awesome Stuff™, is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, real estate investor, speaker, and most importantly, a father. He spoke to Credello about how social media — and the loud budgeting trend, in particular — impacts Gen Z’s financial decision-making.

“Gen Z is more heavily influenced by social media and peers than any other generation,” Delisle says. “And unfortunately, most of what they see is extreme luxury leading to happiness. This is a very dangerous mindset. Not only is it untrue, it leads to money dysmorphia which leaves you feeling insecure about your finances regardless of the reality of your situation.”

Loud budgeting serves as a counterpoint to the trend of quiet luxury by emphasizing transparent and open discussions about finances in complete contrast to traditional luxury consumption’s discreet and often exclusive nature.

Gen Z’s money mindset differs dramatically from their predecessors

“Many Gen Zers, myself included, vary from previous generations in multiple ways. Their willingness to talk about the ‘taboo’ topics, including money,” says Bri Conn, an investment advisor representative at Childfree Wealth, a life and financial planning firm dedicated to helping people without children. “This is part of the driving force behind the loud budgeting trend.”

In a departure from previous generations, Gen Z trends to focus their spending more on conveniences and amenities — think DoorDash, Uber, etc. — than planning for the future. “While they are focused on improving their financial standing, they’re not going to sacrifice present happiness and comfort for things like retirement — an institution I have found many in Gen Z don’t have much faith in,” David Kemmerer, CEO at CoinLedger, tells Credello.

Faced with economic uncertainty, rising education costs, and a fiercely competitive job market, Gen Z has adopted a rather pragmatic approach to finances. They also prioritize financial stability and transparency while seeking solutions that align with their digital-native lifestyles. However, Delisle shares that for Gen Z, social media plays an “overbalanced role in shaping their financial habits.” So, understanding these fundamental shifts is essential in deciphering the appeal of loud budgeting among Gen Z

What can loud budgeting do for Gen Z?

Conn explains that while not every financial trend on social media is worth following, she believes that loud budgeting is. “It’s simply open and honest communication regarding finances. Gen Zers who embrace this focus on prioritizing their money in ways that help them reach their financial goals,” she explains. “The loud part comes in by sharing their budget and goals with those around them. Sometimes that means declining social events or suggesting more affordable alternatives.”

Though loud budgeting represents a departure from traditional financial management methods, leveraging technology and social media platforms to discuss, track, and manage finances openly can potentially enhance this generation’s ability to pay down debt.

“I see a key feature of loud budgeting being transparency and accountability. Money is still something that we feel a lot of shame and secrecy around,” Delisle shares. “Loud budgeting attempts to correct this by voicing our financial situation and goals to our friends and peers. By bringing this into the light, we are able to remove the shame and insecurity around money.”

For Gen Zers looking to pay off existing debt, Credello’s debt payoff calculator is an easy way to get started using the snowball of avalanche method. Simply plug in your information to see how different payment amounts impact your debt payoff timeline.

Encouragement and support are key factors for loud budgeting success

So, what’s the catch? Not much, honestly. Conn calls loud budgeting “one of the good trends.”

From sharing budgeting tips on TikTok to creating digital spreadsheets for expense tracking, Gen Z can embrace loud budgeting to foster accountability, community engagement, and financial empowerment. “Oftentimes money matters are considered impolite to discuss openly—this is another thing Gen Z doesn’t have a lot of patience for in my experience,” Kemmerer says.

Oversharing? Well, that’s something Gen Z seems inherently fine with, though Bosse shares that “Conversations can get awkward in social circles if someone shares more detail than others want to know and share themselves.”

Unlike the discreet nature of traditional budgeting, loud budgeting thrives on transparency and collaboration. “I suppose at worst it might seem a little rude depending on your company,” Kemmerer says. However, it really boils down to priorities and how they’re shared.

“Your priorities are going to be different than other people’s, and just because you don’t value something, doesn’t mean someone else might not,” Delisle explains. “For me, loud budgeting is all around awareness and mindfulness; something I talk a lot about in my book. It’s not that you shouldn’t buy the Rolex or Land Rover, it’s being aware of what’s truly important to you. And for many, it won’t be those items. And this is where this more mindful approach to budgeting becomes really powerful.”

As with many social trends, while not everyone will be into it, the effects are catching. “Not everyone will understand loud budgeting. That’s okay. Gen Zers shouldn’t let someone’s misunderstanding negatively impact their overall financial goals,” Conn says. “However, those that do embrace loud budgeting will likely find others in their friend group are happy they started the conversation & may start embracing it as well.”

Bottom line

In leveraging technology and social connectivity, Gen Z has the opportunity to redefine conventional notions of financial management and pave the way toward a debt-free future. Understanding the trends shaping their future is paramount to realizing this vision and ensuring Gen Z’s financial well-being in the years to come. In short, “The idea that finances can only be talked about behind a closed door needs to go,” says Conn.