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 other necessary locations
- Debt repayments: No more than the required minimums
- Food: Essential grocery items only
- Phone: A basic landline
- Insurance payments: Health, auto, life, and disability premiums
- Essential family expenses: Daycare, 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: Magazine or movie rental subscriptions, concerts, trips to the movie theater, etc.
- Cable/Satellite TV
- Clothing: Anything beyond what is essential
- Cell phones and landline extras: Unless a cell phone is vital to your job or safety
- Restaurant meals
- Gas for non-essential trips
- Hobby spending: After-school activities, gym memberships, hobbies, etc.
- Non-essential personal care: Cosmetics, manicures, massages and extra hair services (color, highlights, perms, etc.)
Does a bare-bones budget sound like what you need to get caught up? Then, start planning yours now.