Whether you’re struggling to get your debt under control or simply want to build up an emergency fund or a down payment as quickly as possible, a bare-bones budget is a powerful tool to help get you there. It’s just what it sounds like: your essential expenses, and nothing else.
A simple, stripped-down budget can be helpful for an aggressive savings plan, but also if you experience job loss, take a pay cut, or need to pay down debt. Even if you don’t need to go bare bones now, you never know when you will. Since my husband and I are self-employed, we plan our spending around a basic, bare-bones version of our budget that we modify each month based on our fluctuating income.