DEFINITION of 'Shoestring'
A slang term used to describe a small amount of money that is considered to be inadequate for its intended purpose. A shoestring can be used in a number of idioms, such as: "The company financed that last project on a shoestring," or "Jim is living off of a shoestring budget."
BREAKING DOWN 'Shoestring'
Although a shoestring budget is considered inadequate, it may just be enough for an individual to live on or for a company to profit from a project. For companies, a particular project's return on investment would be much greater, due to the lower initial cost.