Ops! I did it again. Once again I´ve set up a budget I cannot be proud of. Once again ran a youth camp that financially didn´t go well.
Although this time I had it all together. At least that was what I thought. I even had sent the figures to my team and asked for their feedback.
But it didn´t work out. Once again.
Like the occasion on which I missed to include food in my calculation. Or last year when I thought we could take all the leaders for half of the price and one attendant without even paying.
Finances are an important and sensible topic. And I have to admit: I´m not proud of my lack of competence in this area.
In the future I´ll try to be even more transparent with this. I´ll get myself even more help. That´s for sure.
For now this is an overview of what I have learned so far. Follow these instructions and I´m pretty sure you´ll set up a budget nearly as bad as mine.
1. Set unrealistic expectations!
The number of people attending wasn´t what I had expected. That made a big difference concerning our liquidity.
Believing for big numbers is a good thing. Just not when it comes to the budget. Unless God has spoken clearly and told you another thing you should do what the bible says:
„If you wanted to build a building, you would first sit down and decide how much it would cost.“ Luke 14:28
2. Make sure there is not enough takings!
Still I am afraid to demand reasonable admissions. When I did make the plan I once again thought of the parents who don´t have much money. And those who register more than just one of their kids.
Although my wife was right when she reminded me:
"What costs nothing is worth nothing."
A good youth camp just has to have an appropriate price.
3. Don´t build a buffer in!
The best budget is worth nothing if there isn´t any margin. I tend to calculate way too tight. And then I break out in a sweat.
I think what did work out this year was the money we estimated for fueling the car.
That wasn´t the case last year. One teenager´s health had some room for improvement when we started the camp. So he needed to see the doctors later on. Driving back a´d forth to the hospital we ended up spending way more money on filling up the car than we thought we would.
4. Don´t expect any contingencies!
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst. That should be the rule to follow.
For never ever does everything go smooth.
Is that pessimism? No. I think that is wisdom.
This time while still being on our parking lot I crashed the rental car into another vehicle. Yes, you did hear me right! Before we even had started I had an accident.
Never again will I rent a car for a church event without a proper insurance. Which will be paid by the church. You bet!
What have you learned about setting up a budet so far? Any tips or advice you can add to this list?