If your new to budgeting, don’t try to budget down to the last penny. Predicting exact results down to the penny is not the objective. Rather, budgeting is more about giving your employees a direction to use for course corrections at a level of detail where it matters. If you try to forecast every last expense, regardless of how small, the details will drive you crazy. Make the tradeoffs when necessary. You have finite resources available to you. If you must spend money for something you didn’t budget, decide what budgeted expenses can be removed to “finance” the new item. Without this discipline, you will almost always overspend-because there are always good reasons to spend money. They don’t always produce more profit, however. Set both profit and cash flow targets. These two measures are very different and require different kinds of measurement and monitoring to prevent unpleasant surprises. Don’t believe me? Keep in mind that every year businesses with great profits fail due to a lack of cash. Ask three questions to analyze the results. How are we doing compared to the budget? If results differ from the plan, why did this happen? What must we do now to have a better result next month? How can we keep the positive differences and avoid more of the negative ones?
List down your goals. Once the family has set and agreed on priorities, the next step is to set the goals. Goals are specific and measurable conditions that, when achieved, will support the priorities. In setting goals, establish a target that is both challenging yet achievable. A 10-15% of the family’s income is a good savings target for a child’s future education: stretching yet reachable. Try to limit your family into setting 1-2 goals per priority, to maintain focus. Work towards your goals. After setting your priorities and goals, start living by them. All of the family’s activities will be geared towards working at your goals. Track progress, particularly on financial goals, by using an income and expense-tracking tool. The simplest way is to get a notebook and list down all expenses and incomes and set a budget for future spending. There are those that invest in computer software or a family accountant. Whatever it is, the important thing is to have a system of monitoring the family’s performance towards achieving their goals. Evaluate your family life. At a certain point in time, when you feel like its time to evaluate your life, check how your family is doing against the goals. Goals that have been achieved can be checked off the list, and new ones can be formulated. At times, in major changes, say a career move, or when a family member goes away, it may be time to re-evaluate priorities. When such a time comes, then the cycle begins, just like what its for: life!
Most variances may be relatively small and not worthy of management’s attention, and these may obscure the more important variances. Variances that are material, for example those that differ more than a certain percentage and/or dollar amount from budget, should be highlighted to bring them to the reader’s attention. The level of variance materiality may differ from one organization to another, and should be set appropriately. It is helpful to use both a percent and a fixed dollar threshold in determining the materiality threshold. For example, all variances that are over 10% and over $1000 might be deemed to be material. Variance explanations do not properly identify underlying cause of variance. For example, rather than say that “salaries are higher than budget due to a higher number of employees than planned”, it might be more meaningful to explain that “salaries are higher than budget due to hiring additional employees to meet greater than expected demand for services”. Budget process is not clearly defined. There should be a financial policy that specifies who is responsible for developing the budget, who is responsible for approving it, and the timeline for this to occur. The budget should be developed, approved and entered into the accounting system before the beginning of the fiscal year.
More people than ever before are working from home today and it is crucial that planning budgeting is a key component in any work from home plans. This is an area where failing to plan can have drastic consequences, especially if you leave steady employment to start your own business. Many people have found success in at home businesses with little to no start up costs. Depending on the business model you pursue, your start up costs could be a fraction of what it would cost to open a brick and mortar business. Gone are the days where you must have either thousands of dollars in capital or be able to take out a business loan. Now, you can sell items from your home without having any inventory at all and not even have to worry about shipping costs, storage, or the time involved in shipping and handling. Many people have found success selling not items, but talents they’ve had for years over the Internet. Writers, photographers, and graphic designers regularly sell their services online and many of them have little to no start up costs.
You will get troubles if you don’t have a financial planning budget. Credits cards will mess you up and borrowing money from friends may ruin your friendship with them. Financial planning budgeting is a must for you and your employees. Money can be tough to handle, and many of us simply develop bad habits when it comes to using it. Most of us don’t have enough money to buy what we want. To be economically fit, we have to be careful on how we spend our income, the same goes for your church. Financial planning budgeting is the only way of solving unnecessary expenditures. However, it’s very, very easy to get into debt with credit cards, where you “buy now, pay later.” Credit cards are very easy to get, and they include Visa card, MasterCard, as well as those from retail stores. You don’t need a lot of income to get access to these credit cards, either. However, think before you do get one. Your view and credit card companies view is not the same. If you do utilize credit cards for business purchases, make sure your keeping close track of yours and your employees expenses. Stick to your budget plan and soon (if not already) it will be a common practice to incorporate in all aspects of your life.