2024: The Year of Loud Budgeting

Feb 16, 2024

A viral video by TikTok influencer Lukas Battle with more than 1.5 million views and 180,000 likes announced this year’s trend of “loud budgeting,” which encourages consumers to take control of their finances and be vocal about making money-conscious decisions, rather than modeling purchase decisions after celebrities and their bottomless pockets.

According to Battle, loud budgeting is centered around the everyday person, or the “average Joe.” “Let’s send a message to corporations about the national inflation level. Let’s take a stand,” Battle said in the video. “It’s not ‘I don’t have enough.’ It’s ‘I don’t want to spend,’” Battle added.

TikTok’s core audience is Gen Z, which includes people 18-to-25 years old. Gen Z’s embrace of loud budgeting is not surprising, given its earlier embrace of investing and planning for the future. In a May 2023 survey of Gen Z people from the United States and three other countries by the CFA Institute and the FINRA foundation, more than half said they were already investing, and 82% of American Gen Z investors said they began investing before turning 21. More than four-in-10 of Gen Z investors from the U.S. and Canada cited fear of missing out (“FOMO”) as a factor to start investing.

In a survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 66% of Gen Zers said they’d started saving for retirement, stashing away a median 20% of their annual pay — almost double the share of saving by older generations.

According to a recent Vanguard report, 62% of 18–to-24-year-olds contributed to their workplace retirement plans in 2021, compared with 30% of people who were the same age in 2006. Growing participation is linked to employers increasingly auto-enrolling new workers in retirement plans. It also reflects how retirement feels out-of-reach for many young adults, pushing them to save as early as possible after witnessing economic downturns and their parents’ and grandparents’ struggles to achieve retirement security.

Life insurers know that financial security through retirement is a big challenge for many. We are committed to helping many more American workers save for the future. In fact, life insurers already manage 12% of all defined contribution plan assets and 10% of all IRA assets.

Loud budgeting for retirement security. Gen Z, we hear you loud and clear!

Aaron Hoppenstedt

Aaron Hoppenstedt is the Knowledge Management Specialist at the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). He is responsible for managing the ACLI library, a collection of current and historical books and journals, ACLI produced materials, and electronic resources. He also assists with insurance industry and legal research for colleagues.