Shoestring Budget

Cite this article as:"Shoestring Budget," in The Business Professor, updated September 10, 2019, last accessed December 4, 2020,


Shoestring Budget Definition

“On a Shoestring Budget” refers to a project or task that is attempted with a small budget or minimal capital funding – which is generally insufficient for the proposed capacity of the project.

A shoestring budget is likened to a shoelace that when stretched is enough to keep a pair of shoe on the foot, but parts of the foot might hang out.

A Little More on What does on a Shoestring Mean

While a shoestring budget is a budget is generally considered insufficient for the underlying project, there is a notion that, if a shoestring budget is stretched, the budget might just be enough for the project.

“Bootstrapping” is a related but different concept. It refers to individuals carrying out a project with only the use of available resources.

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