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Loud Budgeting: A Backlash to Rising Inflation and Cost of Living

Maybe you’ve heard of “quiet luxury”, the trend of celebrities and wealthy influencers wearing luxurious clothing that is considered subtle because it doesn’t follow obvious style trends or have logos splashed across it. Or maybe you haven’t. If it’s new to you, forget about it: there’s a more meaningful trend that has lots of Canadians excited — Loud Budgeting.

Like some weird budget-constrained new-year’s baby, the concept of Loud Budgeting emerged in early 2024 thanks to TikTok creator Lukas Battle. The concept is fairly simple: no apologies for frugal living. Some examples: “I’m not paying for gas to drive across town to listen to you talk for three hours about your ex-girlfriend.” Or, from Battle’s post: “Sorry, I can’t go out to dinner, I’ve got $7 a day to live on.” The idea is to cut out the unnecessary expenses in your life, and don’t be ashamed to say you’re doing so. Simple, right? But there’s a bit more to it than that.

 

A Canadian Take on Loud Luxury

As Canadians, we’re generally conditioned to be polite. That tendency has a pull on our wallets – it can be simple things like being guilted into paying large tips, or feeling pressured to donate to a charity by an increasing amount of retailers. It shouldn’t, but it can feel embarrassing saying no to these things. And the pressure is higher in social situations. The stigma of “not keeping up” with others can put unhelpful pressure on us when money is tight, and the idea of being labelled as “poor” often brings associations of shame.

 

The appeal of Loud Budgeting is ending the shame of saying no when it comes to money matters. Taking the idea that money should not be spoken of and turning it on it’s head. Budgeting is a very real part of our lives, and multiple years of rapidly rising inflation have severely restricted the spending power of many Canadians.

@lukasbattle

Replying to @operelly LOUD BUDGETING IS THE NEW 2024 trend

♬ original sound – Lukas Battle

Our recent survey on inflation in Canada covered several aspects of the sweeping impact of Canadian inflation, including food price inflation, salary growth vs. inflation, debt management, and the impact on Canadians’ retirement plans and dreams as well as their real estate decision-making. It’s little surprise we’re starting the year with a trend focused on unashamedly spending more carefully.

The Appeal of Loud Budgeting

The original post on Loud Budgeting caught fire, with over a million views and over a thousand comments. People responded by sharing their own ideas on Loud Budgeting, such as “Me box dying my hair, doing my own nails and wearing $20 dresses… not cuz im broke 💅🏼 Cuz I why would I spend my money? 😂”.

 

Some additional aspects of the trend include:

  • It’s not about being “poor” or “broke”. It’s about advocating for the careful use of your money.
  • It’s not a celebrity-watching trend; it’s a bottom-up concept that everyone can benefit from
  • It can apply to virtually any discretionary spending area of your life
  • An underlying message to corporations and government is that inflation is causing significant lifestyle changes for Canadians

Why Loud Budgeting is Perfectly Timed for Canadians

Pie Chart: How concerned are you about inflation in Canada? Not at all 2.3 Not very 6.4 Moderately 14.9 Somewhat concerned 49.6 Extremely concerned 26.9 January 2024, 1,247 respondents.At LARi.ca, we’ve written extensively on the sweeping impacts of Canadian inflation. Our cost of living has risen over 20% since the early days of the pandemic. Faced with rising inflation, the Bank of Canada raised lending rates, sending our prime rate to highs we haven’t seen in 20 years. And the full impact of that will be felt in 2024 and 2025, when 45% of Canadians are forced to renew their mortgages at new rates.

 

Our recent inflation survey highlighted the level of concern Canadians have with inflation. Of over 1,200 survey respondents, 76.5% were either “Very concerned” or “Extremely concerned” about inflation in Canada. As a new year is upon us, a trend focusing on budget restraint – and one that, thankfully, removes any association of shame for simply living within your means – is not surprising, but quite welcome.

How to Make Loud Budgeting Work for You

Loud budgeting will work best when it’s not simply spontaneous spending decisions, but is backed by a well-thought budget plan. Here are some ideas and resources to help you get in front of that for 2024:

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