What a Bare-Bones Budget Looks Like
Has job loss, debt or another life change left you strapped for cash? If so, a bare-bones budget could be just the thing to get you back on track.
What is a Bare-Bones Budget?
A bare-bones budget is a budget that takes your spending down to the minimum required to survive and fulfill your financial obligations. It'll get you through a rough patch, but it won't leave you with a lot of extras in the meantime.
What a Bare-Bones Budget Includes:
- Gas- only enough to get you to work and the other places that you have to go
- Debt repayments– no more than the required minimums
- Food- essential grocery items only
- Phone- a basic land-line
- Insurance payments- health, auto, life and disability premiums
- Essential family expenses- day care, school tuition, alimony, child support
- Personal care- prescription medications, toiletries, work clothes, haircuts (as needed to look presentable for work)
What a Bare-Bones Budget Does Not Include:
- Entertainment spending- no magazine or movie rental subscriptions, concerts, trips to the movie theater, etc.
- Cable/Satellite TV
- Clothing- anything beyond what is essential is out
- Cell phones and landline extras- go down to a basic landline, unless a cell phone is vital to your job or safety
- Restaurant meals
- Gas for non-essential trips
- Hobby spending- after-school activities and gym memberships should be canceled, and all hobby supply spending suspended
- Non-essential personal care- spending on cosmetics, manicures, massages and extra hair services (color, highlights, perms, etc.) should be discontinued
Does a bare-bones budget sound like what you need to get caught up? Then, start planning yours now:
- Steps to Take When You Can't Afford to Pay Your Bills
- How to Get Help with Your Utilities
- 9 Ways to Raise Cash Quickly