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How To Create a Bare-Bones Budget


Need to do something drastic to get your finances back on track? Then, try a bare-bones budget. It'll take your spending down to the bare-essentials, and get your bank account built back up in a hurry. Here's how to create yours:

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 1-2 hours

Here's How:

  1. Itemize your current expenses. Include everything from your mortgage to your morning cup of coffee.

  2. Cross out all non-essential expenses. Things like cable TV and extra trips to the store need to go.

  3. Carry all the remaining expenses over to the Bare-Bones-Budget Worksheet.

  4. Total your expenses. The resulting figure is the minimum that you need to survive and remain current on your bills.


  1. For maximum effect, be honest about which expenses need to stay and which don't
  2. Remember to build some money into your budget for unexpected expenses; they will crop up
  3. Seek out free entertainment to avoid feeling deprived during your bare-bones days
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