Do You Have An Emergency Bare Bones Budget Plan?

Your world is going to come to a screeching halt tomorrow.

An emergency will pop up, such as losing your job or being put on disability for weeks.

Do you know how to adjust your budget?

Most people don’t even have a regular budget, let alone an emergency bare bones budget plan.

You may not have a major emergency today, tomorrow or even this year.

However, I guarantee at some point in your life you will. Will you be ready?

You Never Know When You Need An Emergency Budget

Can you time travel? Can you see the future? I can’t do either. Otherwise I would have already won the lottery! Unfortunately, not everything in your future will go according to plan.

When things fall apart and your financial world comes to an end, the last thing you need to worry about is figuring out how to survive financially.

When the emergency pops up, you’ll be glad you have an emergency bare bones budget plan. It will feel like a lifesaver.

A Bare Bones Budgets Will Save Your Finances

What your bare bones budget will do is save you a massive amount of headache, worry and stress. Who needs those things when their world is crumbling in front of them? No one.

Since you were smart and came up with a bare bones budget, you’ll know what to do immediately to survive the coming months of tight finances.

Whether you lost a job, your largest client, got hit with a huge unexpected medical bill or even worse, got hit by a car, you’ll know how to take action to keep your finances afloat.

How To Make Your Emergency Bare Bones Budget

First, take out your normal budget. Next, take a hard look at your budget and pick the most important things you’d need to survive.

These essentials include house payments, car payments, food, water, heating, other debt payments and whatever you have to have to keep income rolling in the door and your lenders off your back.

See everything else in your budget? Dining out, fancy meals at home, cable TV, cell phone data packages, your entertainment budget. Those things are now gone. They don’t exist. You can’t afford them.

Your financial world just ended. You can’t go to TGI Friday’s.

Add up all of the necessities. See how much you have to spend a month to survive in a true emergency with your bare bones budget. If an emergency popped up tomorrow, how long would you last? 2 days? 1 month? 6 months? A year?

You’ll need to survive long enough to fix the emergency and get back to normal. If you aren’t confident you’d make it, start saving more money in your emergency fund or cut down your essentials even further.

If you could live for many times longer than it would take to turn your financial world around, you can add back some of the luxuries in your bare bones budget that others would not be able to afford during an emergency.

What If You Never Need A Bare Bones Budget?

Never having an emergency that requires a bare bones budget is an amazing problem to have. Hopefully no one ever has a financial emergency and you’ll never need to use your bare bones budget. Unfortunately, life doesn’t normally work that way.

Be prepared just in case. You’ll be happy should something ever happen. You won’t be nearly as stressed, freaked out or worried. You’ll know what to do.

Do you know someone who isn’t prepared for a true financial emergency? Use one of the share buttons below to share this article with your friends and family. Send them an email, tweet or tag them on Facebook with this link in a post. They’ll be thanking you for doing so when their financial lives get turned upside down.

How long could you survive if your financial world ended tomorrow? Do you have a bare bones budget plan?

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. Nice connection between zombies and personal finance.

    Do you think if there ever was a real zombie apocalypse that someone would try to make a buck selling zombie insurance? 🙂

  2. I love this! A “financial apocalypse” is something most people are NOT prepared for and why a lot of people end up in financial trouble. Crushing medical bills, unforseen home issues, etc are things a lot of people think will never happen to them!

  3. I guess that I don’t have an “end of the world” budget =) We could probably cut a few places but not many. Hopefully the whole zombie thing will never happen.

  4. Zombie apocalypse budget means we need to SPEND EVERYTHING WE HAVE now! 🙂

  5. I think if some manner of zombie apocalypse comes, I’ll be more happy that I have a few months worth of canned foods and survival skills than that I have an emergency fund. When zombies are walking the streets, there’s no way I’m going out to the mailbox to send in my student loan payment

  6. Setting priorities is the most important part of budgeting. Remember, budgets are supposed to help you reach your financial goals.

  7. I have a bare bones budget and it’s really nice to know that it’s there for me, just in case. I know what I can easily cut out and what I could do to survive.

  8. Ive found out recently from doing my budget that I can make a lot of cuts. So I’ve already made cuts and started on my emergency fund and it feels great to be progressing. Also love zombie referrrence. The guy in the pic kind of looks like Rick from The Walking Dead. It’s a show just in case you never heard of it.

  9. Bryce @ Save and Conquer says:

    Very creative way to tell people to have an emergency fund of 3 to 6 month’s (or more) expenses.

  10. I have a “zombie apocalypse’ budget! It’s very bare bones, but it will work in a pinch. As long as I don’t want to have any fun if my world ends – which, I admit, doesn’t sound like it would be priority in a case like that.

  11. Great point – things can change so quickly in life, you have to try as best you can to be prepared. I don’t actually have an apocalypse budget, but I should. I think I would be too good at rationalizing away the apocalypse and convince myself that I can still afford some luxuries even while zombies roam past my window. Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen!

  12. If the end of the world happens I just need enough money to buy bullets. I can suvive for a few months on my budget but not a year.

  13. LOVE this, Lance! We are slowly working on building up our e-fund for that very purpose. I think most people these days don’t have any type of “end of your world” budget, or savings to counter the financial trauma. Scary, isn’t it?

  14. Between my family, friends, and cultural community I know I’ll always be protected from “end of the world circumstances”. Sure, I’ll never want to have to draw on those resources, but it’s nice to know they are there.

  15. Great way to get the message across! After many years of being debt-free we have accumulated enough to feel comfortable with facing financial emergencies. I can remember those early days, though, when the slightest car repair or unplanned doctor’s visit caused a lot of anxiety. I don’t want to ever feel that way again. So…we keep saving as much as possible.

  16. Am still putting together my “fight-the-zombie-invasion” fund, slowly but surely…I prefer a more imminent thing though…Alien Invasion Fund – those ones might drop in anytime….lol. At the end of the day, life certainly does throw curveballs, its best to be ready when that happens!

  17. This is a very creative way to grab readers’ attention and stress the importance of having an emergency funding plan in terms that today’s popular culture can understand. Loved this post– was glued to it from start to finish!

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