Loud Budgeting and Other Top Money-Saving Trends

posted in: Personal Finance


Budgeting trends on social media are creating a new generation of financially savvy savers.  From loud budgeting to no-spend challenges, consumers are experimenting with creative ways to stay on budget

Here are five popular budgeting trends to be aware of:

Loud budgeting

Essentially, loud budgeting is communicating openly about your commitment to saving money while also sharing how you do it. I’ve always been a loud budgeter, especially now that I save money for a living. I feel like this is something many people from The Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, and older Gen Xers are comfortable doing, but financial transparency fell out of favor for a few decades, as it was considered in poor taste to share about money.  I’m glad open dialogue is back and people can discuss their budgeting constraints and goals with those around them rather than feeling pressured to keep quiet, while also keeping up with the Joneses.

The 52-Week Savings Challenge

This savings method has been around for at least a decade, but it’s suddenly popping on social. How it works is that you save $1 the first week, $2 the next, $3 the next, etc. Ultimately, you save $52 the 52nd week.

If you commit to saving every week, you’ll have saved $1378.  I’m on the fence about this one because I think it could get confusing because the amount you save changes every week. There are handy charts you can download, though!

A more straightforward solution is to save $25 a week and you’ll have $1300 at the end. Or $30 a week for $1560.

No spend challenges

Looking to save money for a big purchase or to build up your rainy day fund? A no-spend challenge may be a good path to take. No spend challenges are when you commit to not spending money on non-essential items for a certain period. I like this idea, but it’s important to save that money that you’re not spending in a high-yield savings account, and eventually a Certificate of Deposit, so those savings really work for you. Online banks are often a good place to deposit your savings because they are easy to set up, the funds are separate from your regular bank account and they often offer high APYs (annual percentage yields). For example, Bread Financial has very generous APYs, with 5.15% on a high-yield savings account with a minimum $100 deposit and 5.5% for a 1-year CD. 

Cash Envelope Systems

I’ve seen a bunch of TikToks about this one and I can’t say I’m a fan.  First, if you are setting aside money for bills, you can’t pay those bills in cash so that money needs to be deposited into your bank account.  Too many steps, IMO. 

If you’re setting aside funds for various things that could be paid in cash, like shopping in-store or going out to dinner, this could be helpful with establishing good spending habits, but do you carry around enough cash for this to work?  Also, I feel like having cash in envelopes that are right at your fingertips is too tempting – what’s to say that you won’t dip into those envelopes? I feel better about writing out a budget and making sure you have those funds available in your bank account.

Girl Math

I was immediately bothered when I heard this one. Girl Math is basically how women justify certain expenses, like how low-cost items or items you buy in cash are “free,” and how paying by credit card and being reimbursed by someone by Venmo is a net positive. While Girl Math is intended to be tongue-in-cheek – and I admit it’s amusing if you look at it in that way – I don’t think perpetuating gender stereotypes is productive.  


I love that secondhand shopping is gaining traction. Not only is it an excellent way to save money, it gives items a second life which is great for the environment. My daughter, husband, mother-in-law, and I are avid thrifters, and going secondhand shopping has become a tradition for us.  

If you are new to secondhand shopping, I would start with small boutiques and consignment shops. They are tastefully curated so there’s not a lot of digging to do. Once you get used to that, try a Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Amvets. These are much bigger stores so they require some patience, but you’ll find that the selection is much broader and the prices are significantly lower.

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Smart Shopping Expert

Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who has specialized in smart shopping, personal finance, and retail for more than a decade. She has appeared on TV over 1,000 times; including Today Show, GMA3, NBC Nightly News, Inside Edition, and network affiliates nationwide. She has been named a Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn, and her expert commentary has appeared in Forbes, USNews.com, Kiplinger, Yahoo Finance, and numerous others.