Budgeting 101

Have you ever wondered the secret to budgeting?

Well, today is your lucky day! Student Activities breaks down Budgeting 101.

Why do you need a budget?

•Every organization should have a budget, no matter how small it may be!

•It’s helpful for an organization and keeps everyone on the same page.

Step 1: Determine the Current Amount of Money Available

  • Does your organization collect member dues? If so, how much was collected?
  • Where does your organization receive funds from? Available Funding Resources
  • All of these amounts need to be tracked and recorded as Income.
  • Tip: Use an Excel spreadsheet!
  • Remember, “Never spend your money before you have it.:” -Thomas Jefferson

Step 2: Realize the Goal of Your Organization

  • What should this income be used for?
  • What types of activities does your organization want to do?
  • Tip: It is important to prioritize the ‘must-haves’ from the ‘would be nice to haves’.

Step 3: Establish Formal Guidelines for How to Spend Your Income

  • Allocate an amount of funds for each event.
  • If members spend personal money for an event, be sure to have a process in place for reimbursement.
  • Tip: It is important to have some flexibility as expenses are always changing, but be sure to stick to the budget as closely as possible.

Step 4: Allow Members to Approve the Budget

  • Institutionalizing the budget into the organization is crucial so that all members  understand the importance of it and can see where their money is being spent.
  • Tip: If your members vote on the budget, then they will feel a greater duty to contribute dues and follow guidelines

Step 5: Review the Budget

  • A budget is never set in stone!
  • Those in charge of the budget (i.e. Treasurer) should review possible changes in allocation amounts and determine if dues should be increased to cover future expense or decreased if there is a surplus of funds.
  • Budgets should be reviewed monthly to make sure all funds are accounted for and on track to be spent (and not run out!) for each semester. Make sure to LOG everything.

Typical Expenses

  • Artist or Speaker Fees
  • Marketing/Promotions
  • Catering
  • Food for Staff
  • Venue Rental Fee
  • Equipment Rental
  • Security
  • Supplies/Programs
  • Technical Requirements

Example of a Program Budget: