Whether for business, organizations, or other types of programs and activities, finance is an issue that must be faced. Keeping track of money can be difficult, which is why you should start by making a program budget. The program budget will keep your activity, program, or organization in good shape, financially speaking. Here’s how.
- Format. There are several applications that you can use to create the program budget. Although a simpler word processor such as Open Office can be used, try to use spreadsheet applications, since it is easier to make calculations while using the spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel. These programs come with formulas to help easily add items or perform mathematical equations with the figures in the cells. You will need to make a column for the various stages of your program. For example, in the planning and research stages, add a column. Add another column for the manufacturing stage, the operating stage, and other parts of the program.
- Income and expense. Next, you will need to assess whether the columns that you have created add to the income or the expenses for the program. For example, if you have used products in the manufacturing stage, the column will be classified as an expense. If you have a presentation stage where you showcase your products in a trade show, this can be considered as an income column especially if you have managed to sell some items in the show. Do this for all of the columns. Keep in mind, however, that most columns will have a bit of expense and a bit of income in it. Get the total and if the figure is negative, this means that the column is an expense.
- Projections list. Before even carrying out the program, you will need to create an approximate budget for each column. In the planning and research stage, for example, try to assess how much you will spend. In the manufacturing stage, get quotes for the materials that need to be purchased. Do your research before attaching price tags on the columns, so that the actual program budget will be as accurate as possible, all while keeping in mind that there will be some minor variations even in some of the best lists of projected expenses and income.
- Subtract. To get the projected total income, you will need to take the sum total of all the expense columns and subtract these from the sum total of all the income columns. The result should be a positive figure, which means that you have made some revenue. Otherwise, you will need to streamline the program budget so that you will be able to work within the income that is available to you.
Keep in mind that you need to check the program budget regularly to see if your expenses and income are still in keeping with the projected budget. If not, you will need to make adjustments as necessary to ensure that you will not run out of funds before the program or the project you are working on has reached its completion.