Gen Z’s Viral Spending Trend: Expert Warns of Drawbacks

TikTok is the home of savvy money-saving and budgeting hacks for Gen-Z – and ‘cash stuffing’ is the latest budgeting hack that is taking the world by storm. However, before jumping on the newest viral trend, you should be aware of some of the drawbacks.

Cash Stuffing

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The hashtag #cashstuffing has received a staggering 1.1 billion views and counting, signifying the impact that this trend is having amongst people who are looking to budget their finances. Cash Stuffing is based on the cash envelope system of budgeting that allows people to organize their budget using envelopes.

Does It Work?

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Sam Whillance, discounts expert at Deal.Town weighs in on what the viral trend involves and whether it actually works in practice.


Cash stuffing is the latest money management hack. It involves withdrawing cash from your bank account and dividing it into different envelopes, each one labeled for a specific outgoing, such as bills, rent, food shopping, etc.


The use of envelopes to tangibly allocate money to specific categories is helping many people to feel more in control of their spending and finances, which can often be lost in a world of spending online via bank cards or Apple Pay.


One video by personal finance TikTok user @shes.on.a.budget has received over 488K likes, in which they demonstrate how the viral hack works.


woman with money stuffed in mouth as a joke for cash stuffing.
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However, there are drawbacks to implementing this method in everyday money management, and it is questionable whether it is actually a practical way of living long-term.


For example, if you are withdrawing large sums of money for expenses such as rent and bills, this is usually paid with a direct debit or a standing order from a person’s bank account. If a person were to adopt the cash stuffing technique, they would then have to remember to deposit the cash back into their bank account before the payment is taken.

Poor Credit Score

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Not only does that add an element of inconvenience by having to physically go to the bank to withdraw and deposit money, but if you forget to deposit the cash in time, it may cause the payment to be missed, leading to financial problems and a poor credit score rating.

However, you can use the Modern Cash Envelope System to recreate the cash stuffing scenario but using different savings accounts or buckets to organize your money.

Loss of Interest

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This hack can also cause people to miss out on receiving the interest that they would gain from putting their money into their savings bank accounts.


Aside from being inconvenient and the risk of missing payments, there are also security risks associated with having large sums of cash lying around the house. Fortunately, there are other viral budgeting hacks that work more practically in day-to-day life.


The 50-30-20 Budgeting Hack

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The 50-30-20 is another budgeting hack sweeping TikTok, with over 6.6 million views for the #503020budget hashtag. It works particularly well for people who have several outgoings such as bills and rent payments.


Whether you are paid bi-weekly, monthly, per client, or per day, this saving trick can work for nearly everybody, if they follow the rule correctly.


The main premise of this rule is that 50% of your salary should be spent on obligations such as rent, mortgage payments, and bills. 30% of your monthly budget should then be allocated for spending on things you want, but are not completely essential. Should you be in the fortunate position of having disposable income, 20% can then be invested into saving for your future.


Often, many people will opt for setting up three different bank accounts to split their spending across the three categories, which works much better than withdrawing cash to put in allocated envelopes.

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This post was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved. 


Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.