Finance expert weighs in on TikTok's most viral money-saving hacks
From 'cash stuffing' and the 'No-Spend Challenge', to the '50/30/20 rule', we cover some of the most popular ways to save money, according to TikTok, in this blog.
With the cost-of-living crisis prevalent throughout 2023, people are looking for more ways to help keep their finances in check.
Social media is the natural go-to for many looking for advice on money-saving ideas and at the start of the year TikTok did its bit with the launch of its #savingmoney hub to help users navigate these volatile, uncertain times. From DIY on a budget to cheap and cheerful meals, there are infinite clips on the platform that might spare you a few quid each week.
TikTok videos with finance-related hashtags continue to rise in popularity, with #MoneyTok and #PersonalFinance totalling more than 27.2 billion and 9.9 billion views, respectively. Even #CarFinance TikToks, perfect for drivers who want to save money on the road, have received a whopping 94.1 million views.
But what are the most watched budget-friendly hacks on the platform? Jonathan Such, Head of Sales at vehicle finance company First Response Finance, looks at some of the most viral money-saving trends on TikTok to give you much-needed financial inspiration.
#CashStuffing – 1.5 billion views
One of the most popular pocket-friendly tricks on TikTok is the handy 'cash stuffing' strategy, with the relevant hashtag piquing the interest of social media users around the globe.
Such explained: "In short, cash stuffing is a money-management system that consists of allocating monthly budgets for different bills, expenses or even treats for you and your loved ones. These might be rent payments, car finance and insurance, gifts for birthdays and festivities, and relaxing trips abroad.
"As you plan how much you'll need for each category, you put the corresponding amount of cash into separate envelopes, all of which are kept together inside a large binder. This means that, when the time comes to pay your utility bills or refuel your vehicle, you'll know where to find the funds for your receipts.
"In this respect, TikToker @budgetswithbeth has posted a detailed video showing you exactly how it’s done. With more than 14,000 likes and over 370,000 views, the November 2023 version of her cash-stuffing routine has certainly tickled the curiosity of fellow users, with many admiring her organisational skills and looking to follow suit.
"Cash stuffing encourages financially responsible behaviour and minimises impulsive spending. So, if you have a knack for planning out your monthly expenses, this might be the perfect strategy to stay on top of your finances."
#100EnvelopeChallenge – 330 million views
Another trendy hack that’s spurring thoughts and discussions online is the so-called '100 Envelope Challenge'. In fact, the #100envelopechallenge hashtag on TikTok has received more than 330 million views, meaning it's a sought-after topic in people's home feeds and search bars.
But what is this money-saving ploy all about? Using envelopes labelled 1 to 100, this strategy relies on you setting aside a certain amount of money inside each envelope, allowing you to save a good sum in the space of 100 days.
Some TikTokers suggest that the number on the envelope you pick determines the amount of money you place inside it. For example, if you chose the one featuring the number 50, you would have to stick a £50 note in it.
The reality is that, especially during the current cost-of-living crisis, this trick is not realistic. The challenge's default design is simply not feasible for everyone's needs or pockets.
However, if you like the concept of the '100 Envelope Challenge', you can always tweak it to suit your needs. You may want to half the amount of money you place inside the envelopes, or perhaps just put a fiver away each day.
#NoSpendChallenge – 157 million views
If you're on a tight budget, the 'No-Spend Challenge' could be a simple way to avoid splashing out more cash than you can afford. This is particularly true if you have an expensive season coming up or are dealing with pricier bills and costlier food shops.
Of course, cutting on all non-priority spendings can be a difficult ask, but turning it into a game can help you reframe your habits with a different, more positive mindset.
@thesavvysagittarius has shared her own #nospendchallenge goal on TikTok, showing how she plans to keep her bank account healthy by reducing non-necessary purchases. And inspired by the hack, followers are taking a leaf out of her book as well, with comments saying 'doing this too!' and 'just started – no money spent so far.'
A No-Spend Challenge can help you accelerate your savings and reorder your budget. But don't forget to reward yourself from time to time – if you hit your monthly goal, treat yourself to something you really enjoy.
#503020Rule – 27 million views
The '50/30/20 Rule' deserves a special mention, too, as it's been catching the eye of millions of TikTokers in the UK and across the world.
This money-saving strategy offers an easy and effective method to split your after-tax income into three spending sections:
- 50% of your earnings will go towards your needs, which includes things you must pay for survival and to abide by obligations. For example, these might be rent and mortgage payments, utility bills, car finance, and grocery shopping.
- 30% of your after-tax income will be for all the non-essential stuff that you want. Whether you fancy a meal at your favourite restaurant or a road trip in the countryside, setting aside 30% of your earnings should be able to help you tick treats and extras off the list.
- The remaining 20% of your after-tax income should be allocated to savings and investments. This means you will always have money in your back pocket in the event of an emergency.
There are several videos on TikTok demonstrating how this handy rule works, including this viral one posted by @kaseyhgammons.
In the comment section, the TikToker explains that the 50/30/20 ratio is merely a rule of thumb. So, if your bills are expected to creep up next month or if you have more leeway to shove aside some additional savings, you can amend the rule accordingly to fit your needs. The current cost-of-living crisis is putting more people's finances to the test, but a quick search on social media could provide you with handy budget-friendly tips to keep you on track.
Do any of these TikTok hacks sound like a viable solution? From cash stuffing to no-spend challenges, there are plenty of options out there to help you navigate these pricey times with more confidence and peace of mind.