What Would “Bare Bones” Living Mean to You?

bare bones

A friend and I were discussing New Year’s plans the other day. She is resolving to get her debt under control and start saving more for retirement and her kids’ college funds.

“I’m cutting life down to the bare bones this year,” she said. “We’re not spending on anything extra until things are under control.”

So I said, “I guess that means you won’t be taking that trip to California you planned for the spring. That’s a shame.”

“Oh, no. We’re still going on that,” she said.

“But you could put that money toward your other goals. The trip’s still far enough off you could get your money back,


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9 Responses to What Would “Bare Bones” Living Mean to You?

  1. Liz says:

    My line of thinking re: “bare bones” spending is much more in line with yours. It’s only spending money on what you need to get by (food, shelter, utilities, etc).

  2. I like the idea of an experiment. I’m actually putting something together on my blog about that. I think EVERYONE is able to give up at least one budget item for a few months.

  3. LuckyRobin says:

    That is definitely not bare bones living. There is plenty of meat on those bones. She’s only trimming a bit of the fat away.

  4. Debbie M says:

    My idea of bare bones living is less than hers. But real bare bones living probably doesn’t involve housing, let alone utilities. Maybe you don’t even get the luxury of having all the nutrients you need, at least not short-term.

  5. Cindy says:

    You really still have “friends” like this? Just kidding.

  6. Katherine says:

    Bare bones spending to me would be cutting out everything that is absolutely not necessary. No cellphone, no cable, cut your own grass, make food from scratch. Act as if you didn’t have a job and no money coming in what all could you do without. On a positive note, your friend has realized that they have a problem and is willing to make small changes. Some people need to start with baby steps before they are willing to give up more luxuries that they have.

  7. Minny says:

    She has debt, this means the highlife she and her family has enjoyed has been lived on credit!

    You are right when you say that one persons idea of bare bones is very different from anothers. It seems that in this family there is no will to see reality. Interesting to know how much they have reduced their debt by this time next year.

  8. Gailete says:

    In a way she is living bare bones living since she sounds like she is starving her kids to death from lack of educational and quality experiences. She is providing a structure (bare bones) for her kids to grow up in, but no actual meat and fat to flesh it out. Sad to hear this. Who wants their kids plunked in front of a TV all day? Those kids should be playing outside or in, boards games if possible, reading books, playing pretend out of a dress up box if young enough, working on homework, learning how to clean and cook right along side of mom, having hobbies that allow them to organize and sort things and learn more about them. Since when can’t you spend time with your kids during a vacation week or two without going to California?

  9. Dee in RI says:

    My definition of bare bones is food, clothing, shelter, heat and electricity, a phone for necessary communication, life, medical, and car insurance if you need a car, and money for car maintenance and gas. I was raised in a household of 5 children, 3 adults, 1 television and 1 phone which we were not allowed to use for chit chat, some home sewn clothing, mom packed lunches for dad, and school lunches, and dining out was rare. My parents were eventually able to buy a house (3 family) and afford tuition for any of us kids who could qualify for catholic school. All on one income from a manufacturing job.

    Bare bones living is not a punishment. It can allow you to have the things that you feel are most important to you, and still spend time with your family.

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