What is ‘cash stuffing’ on TikTok? Meaning explained as trend to save money goes viral

TikTok is flooded with various trends, ranging from fun tasks to deadly challenges. One recent viral trend that seems to be having a positive impact on users is called “cash stuffing.”

The idea behind the trend is to divide banknotes into different envelopes instead of using online transactions. This trend is helping users manage and budget their expenses, practice healthy spending habits, and even save money in the longer run.

The hashtag #cashstuffing has thousands of videos linked to it on TikTok with over 500 million views.

“Cash Stuffing” TikTok trend explained

In the videos, creators sit down and record themselves budgeting or “cash stuffing” money for different expenses. While some might have plain white envelopes, others use transparent zip locks, and few have elaborately decorated folder pouches.

The content is similar in all these TikTok videos, where creators describe why and how they budget their money, telling viewers the exact amount of cash they put in each pouch. Some keep a journal or a diary, where they calculate and document the amount of money going in each of the pouches.

This trend does not come with many rules. People are free to decide the categories for each envelope and the amount of money they will dedicate to it. The only rule is to not spend more than the allotted amount for each category.

People have shared that their spending habits have gotten better since they introduced “cash stuffing” in their lives.

However, before participating in the trend, people should keep in mind that physical money comes with its own set of risks. They are at risk of getting stolen or lost. They can also get spoiled or burned in case of a disaster like a flood or fire.

How to take part in the “cash stuffing” TikTok trend?

To take part in the trend, participants need to figure out how much money they spend or need to spend on important utilities like rent, groceries, and gas. They can also add other categories like expenses for a close one’s birthday, Christmas, vacation or an expensive gadget.

Once they get their salary, they need to allocate money to each of the categories. Important categories like gas and groceries are given more priority than categories related to luxury and gifting. The time period between each cash stuffing can depend on their salary terms.

People can also use apps to budget their income in bank accounts. However, this trend apparently has a better effect due to its tangible features. Giving away hard cash can, supposedly, make a person more aware of their expenses when compared to online transactions.

Research done by Warwick Business School in 2020 showed that consumers with contactless cards spent “significantly more” than those without them. The researchers concluded that contactless payments can “promote increased spending and can promote decreased cash usage and increased use of debt.”

Virtual money can add an “unreal” feeling to the money, while holding it in its physical form makes users more aware of their expenses. It also prevents people from getting into debt and spending on “Buy Now, Pay Later” systems (BNPL), credit cards or overdrafts.

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