Professional event planners know all too well than to go beyond the budget that the client has set. Budget planning is one of the most challenging parts of mounting an event, because you really can’t predict what’s going to happen at all times. However, there are ways for you to make sure that every move is accounted for and every dollar spent is justified.
Fortunately, creating a budget is something that is repetitive and pretty much straightforward, so as long as you commit to making it, you should have a few to zero problems with money management moving forward. Here are four ways to create a budget spreadsheet or table and make sure your finances are on track.
1. List down every item you need
Break down your list to include every single item that you will be buying or paying for, even the small things. Case in point, one of the most common mistakes event planners make is grouping food and drinks together, because what if you will need to add to this item? The important thing is to be as thorough as possible.
2. Place a detailed description for each item.
A description is necessary to every item listed on your budget, as this will keep you within your limitations. It will also help the person who is approving the budget in making a decision. Descriptions will help those who hold the purse to better understand how essential an item is to your project. Simply placing “general items” can lead to budget issues and misunderstandings later on.
3. Write down the estimated cost.
Costs are going to vary, but it will help if you can list down ballpark estimate so you know how much money you will need to work with from the beginning. If it turns out to be cheaper as you move along, well and good.
4. Note the actual amount spent.
This slot is written beside the cost estimate table and is where you will be tracking the real movement of money. This is a crucial part of the budgeting process not just for now, but also for future reference, because you get to see which parts of event materials tend to change prices often. It will also help you plan better for future events.
With every financial entry you place in your budget spreadsheet, take note of the running balance so you know how much is left. If you charged your client a fixed package price, this balance will be a good thing for you as it means you and your team get to have a large take-home pay. Of course, budgeting does not equate to falling short of quality expectations or delivering substandard products and work. It simply means that you place you and your client in a win-win situation that will result in more event partnerships in the future.