Shoestring budget means meager resources as opposed to ample funds. A person who has a shoestring budget is aware of his low income and has to have a clear outline of how much he is going to spend on the various necessities of life. People who have a shoestring budget want to make the optimum use of their limited resources in the different fields of life, whether it is for their personal needs, traveling, business, or planning a party or a wedding.
The expression shoestring may have been derived from a gambling game called faro. The term shoestring gambler was used for a petty gambler. A shoestring budget indicates that the person’s resources are as limited as the laces of his shoe. A popular notion refers to the shoestrings being low, almost touching the ground and hence a shoestring budget indicating a low budget. Another reference to the use of the expression shoestring budget may lie in the fact that shoelaces are relatively cheap and a shoestring budget may refer to having money just enough to buy shoestrings.
When a person is living on a shoestring budget, it means that his resources are so limited that he barely has sufficient money for a living. Such a person has minimum money to spend on basic necessities such as food, clothing and housing. People who have very low earnings have to generally plan their lives on a shoestring budget. But the saving factor is that, it is not the end of the world for those on a shoestring budget. There are many tips available for squeezing the maximum from one’s limited finances. For instance in matters of food one can buy a lot more by shopping in a local market than in expensive malls.
There are many people who love traveling but have limited funds for the same. But with judicious planning one can cut the unnecessary frills and still have an enjoyable holiday. People on shoestring budget general opt for cheap airfare or chose to travel by rail or road. They may book their hotel stay in cheap budget hotels and prefer cheap sight-seeing tours.
Those on a shoestring budget cannot spend too much on higher education. Taking loans may only add to the existing burden. The best way out would be to plan judiciously and still gain a decent education. This could mean attending a college in the local community. Another option would be to take online classes which would save a lot of money on all the overhead costs of attending a traditional school or college.
Shoestring budgets generally operate on an individual level but it can also be applied to business and organizations. It is common for many businesses to start off on a shoestring budget. There are a number of books and useful seminars offering invaluable tips on this subject. To begin with, a person on a shoestring budget, wanting to start a business can start operating from home thus saving on expenses relating to renting an office space and related overhead charges. Some businesses that run on a shoestring budget do away with expensive campaigning and advertisements and still manage to stay in the market.