MONEYSAVER: Loud budgeting – talk about your finances and end the money chat taboo

Talking openly about money can make life a lot simpler
Illustration of a woman holding a megaphone in one hand and piggy bank in the other illustrating loud budgeting
Woman shouting about saving money
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My friends and I can talk about almost anything for hours on end, but not money. Before I started writing this column, our discussions about finances began and ended with, ‘Gee, everything’s so expensive these days!’

For many years, talking about money wasn’t in my comfort zone. As illogical as it was, I felt ashamed of struggling as a single mum and always felt I had to put on a brave face.

I’ve had to shake that inhibition and learn to be more open, and in doing so other people now feel safe being honest with me about their finance struggles.

That’s why I was excited recently to hear about a new savings technique called ‘Loud Budgeting’.

It’s all about being honest and transparent about your financial situation, rather than treating it as taboo.

What is loud budgeting?

Loud Budgeting means not hiding or apologising for your financial situation or goals, and not being embarrassed. It’s about normalising conversations around money, so you no longer have to deal with problems on your own.

Being open about your budget can promote understanding, empathy and support within your circle.

Getting started

First, you need to set a budget. This will depend on whether your goal is to pay out debts, put money aside for a goal like buying a car, or just to squirrel away some savings.

Work out your weekly expenditure, set your goals and spending limits, and commit to your plan.

Being loud & proud

If you only have $20 for incidental spending each week and a friend’s having a birthday get-together at a restaurant, speak up. Say, ‘Dinner isn’t in my budget, but I’d love to have you over for coffee.’
And if the kids want takeaway… Tell them you haven’t allocated money in your budget for that.

Neighbour asks for a lift to the airport? Explain the trip isn’t in your petrol budget, but you’re happy to help if they contribute.

No more breaking your budget out of guilt or a sense of duty, and no more trying to cover up the fact you can’t afford something.

The benefits of loud budgeting

When the people around you understand your budget they’ll (hopefully) be more sensitive to your limits.

Loud budgeting helps break the habit of spending to fit in, or trying to keep up with friends or family who have more money.

Importantly, Loud Budgeting helps eliminate the shame and guilt so many of us feel when it comes to money.

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