Four secure ways to set up a bad budget

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Posted by Vincent Maria Klein on September 8th at 9:21am

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?

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