Saving is important to many young people – and more and more are using a “cash trick” to keep track of their finances. On TikTok, so-called “cash stuffing” is going through the roof. What is behind it – and whether it really makes sense.
Fifty, one hundred, two hundred, five hundred euros. The cash is counted out in front of the camera, a lot of money. A young woman’s voice can be heard. Budgetit is her TikTok channel, where she counts money weekly and shares her latest savings challenges with her followers. With success: The influencer now has almost 164,000 followers. Saving is in: The number of users for the hashtag “Cashstuffing” on TikTok has been increasing for months, and it has now reached more than 834 million hits.
On Budgetit, the influencer tells how she divides her budget for the month and puts the bills in differently labeled foils of a ring binder bound in imitation leather. Such short videos can currently be seen everywhere – especially on the trend platform TikTok. So-called cash stuffing – which means stuffing money – has been a hit for months, users show their methods in short videos – and find many imitators.
The aim is to cover all expenses of the month with cash in order to keep an overview of the expenses. To do this, budgets are created for various expenditure categories – such as rent, groceries, leisure time or shopping. The respective budget is placed in appropriately labeled envelopes or transparent foil – hence the term stuffing. Payment is then made in cash with the respective envelope. A savings category is also possible – for example, to finance the next vacation or to have something on the high edge in the long term.
The idea behind it: if you literally keep an eye on your budget, you can divide it up better so that it lasts until the end of the month. Card payments and online shopping with credit financing, installment payments and the like tempt you to spend more than your own budget allows. Many influencers tell of previous debts that they were able to successfully pay off with the method and are now even saving money.
Fixed expenses such as rent, insurance and the like are usually debited from the account – that’s why cash stuffers transfer the corresponding amount back to the account shortly before the end of the month so that it can be debited from the landlord at the beginning of the month. Others leave the fixed amounts in the account and deduct them from the amount they withdraw in cash for the month.
It’s still complicated because bills have to be changed in order to be able to pack the respective budgets for each category in the individual envelopes or foils. Online shopping is also tedious: the money spent virtually has to be paid back from cash using the cash stuffing method.
Everyone feels the high inflation in their wallets. Everyday goods have also become very expensive in recent months. In this e-paper we give you tips that pay off immediately in hard cash: be it because you adjust your consumption behavior here and there – or use clever helpers such as apps to save.
But how can the new cash trend be explained? Mathias Lebdig, a financial advisor from Freiburg, suspects that it’s all about the feeling of having the money in your hands – and not spending it so carelessly. “The path to careful handling of money is a matter of taste,” he says: “But it is important and sensible to deal with your income and expenses.” But banks are currently giving interest on money that is invested in call money accounts again. For security reasons, however, Lebdig advises against keeping large amounts of cash at home.
According to Lebdig, the number of people who have incurred debt through online purchases and installment payments has been increasing for years. At the same time, surveys show that the desire for financial security is growing, especially among young people, but that they feel ill-prepared for life’s financial challenges. Young people and young adults are also looking for instructions on social media.
What is noticeable about the videos on TikTok is that they are mostly made by women, and the followers are also mainly women, as a look at the comments on the posts shows. The producers of the videos often offer cash stuffing products themselves, which are available via online shopping portals such as Etsy or directly on the TikToker websites. In the case of budgetit.de, starter packages with a ring binder “made of vegan leather”, a household book and a few simple cardboard cards are offered for 63 euros.
The Tiktokerin herself says on her website: “Budget planning has not only been around for a few years. But we think the system was too dry and boring.” The message is that saving can be fun.
Lebdig is critical of the sale of expensive cash stuffing paraphernalia: “The good approach of how to save money is used as a business model here.” no need for expensive equipment.
Because the method is not new. Budgeting and keeping a household book was already established in the days when employees still received their wages in so-called wage packets: the money was divided up for the necessary expenses, which were noted in a household book. Even then, it was important to keep an overview of the finances.
But does it absolutely need cash stuffing? Many banks offer something similar for their customers in the online portal – the expenses of the month divided into categories as a digital household book. This is how you keep track of things at the end of the month. Financial apps like Finanzguru also help to keep track of your own expenses.
The desire for financial security is becoming increasingly important among young people. A Schufa survey from May 2022 showed that 93 percent of adolescents and young adults would like more financial education at school. At the same time, the participants only rated their own financial knowledge with a grade of 3.3.
However, the study also showed that saving is important to many young people. Almost all young people (99 percent) agreed completely or somewhat that financial reserves made sense. According to the survey, 94 percent of young adults make sure that their account does not go into the red.
The Schufa survey came to different results. Although 74 percent of those surveyed want to hold on to cash, they reject abolishing it. At the same time, 83 percent of young people and young adults want more options for contactless payment with EC and credit cards – 30 percentage points more compared to 2019. Young people also want more options when paying with their smartphone.
The TikTok trend has not yet created a trend reversal. But the number of followers in cash stuffing continues to rise.