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Can TikTok budgeting trends actually help you save money?

We asked a finance expert
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Posted at 1:49 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-13 16:04:45-04

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — Budgeting and savings tips are getting millions, even billions of views on Tik Tok, under the hashtags "Fintok" or "Stocktok". Some of these tips say they can save you thousands, but can they?

"Tik Tok is fun, but they only have two minutes to explain it to you and I think finance takes a little longer than that," said Sarah Blankenship, COO of Wilcox Financial in Amherst.

Saving money is getting views on Tik Tok is a good thing, Blankenship thinks, but says it can be risky. Even Tik Tok warns users saying before you follow any financial advice you see on the app, do your own research.

So we talked to Blankenship about three trends to see if they can really save you money.

1. Following #BudgetTok
There are all kinds of videos where people break down bi-weekly budgeting, showing how they journal or break down their budget.

Blankenship says this is great, but make sure you're not following any one budget religiously.

"You have to do what works for you, if you're someone who really likes journaling and keeping notebooks, then absolutely. Some people really love everything inside their smartphone," said Blankenship.

How much can you save?
It depends on your income, expenses and how much you're able to set aside. One Tik Tok broke it down like this for someone who makes $2000/month:

Paycheck #1Paycheck #2
Rent$800
Food$200$200
Utilities$50
Internet$150
Car$300
Total$550$1,150
Savings$450-150
TOTAL SAVINGS$350

2. 50/30/20 Spending
This is a trend suggesting you split your income into percentages:

  • 50%: Needs
  • 30%: Wants
  • 20%: Savings

Blankenship says this is a great strategy to use, but it's not one size fits all.

"Everyone has a different lifestyle. Some people are gonna need a lot more money in retirement, some a lot less," said Blankenship.

How much can you save?
If you make $2000/month and do a 50/30/20 spending plan, you can save $400/month. If you go 60/30/10, you can save $200/month.

3. Cash Stuffing Challenges
People are using envelopes to store different amounts of cash every week and then open them at the end of the year, amounting to possibly thousands in cash. But you may want to think twice on this one.

"It's risky. It's in your house, it can get lost or stolen...so it's usually better to have it protected in your bank account," said Blankenship.

She recommends setting up automated savings in your online account so you don't even have to think about it.

How much can you save?
If you put away $10 every week for a year, you're looking at $520 in savings come the new year.

For more money tips from Wilcox Financial, click here for their website.