The Budget Process


I have to say, I am definitely learning a lot about this vibrant organization while rolling up my sleeves in our budget process.   As I review each expense component, I often ask myself, is this reasonable and can it be trimmed to apply dollars to other areas to better serve families in our communities?

Other times, we have to account for one-time costs.  For example, if we need to replace an aged school bus, do we wait another year hoping not to incur higher repair costs in 2018?
I think we can all relate to the school bus example.  As our vehicles age, we often ask ourselves if we are able to push off a purchase another year and hope not to get hit with high repair costs.  If you see a purchase (or a lease) in the near future, it is important to determine what is reasonable for monthly vehicle expenses.

My simple back-of-a-napkin advice is applying the 10% reasonableness test when it comes to monthly vehicle expenses.   The measurement is that the cost of your monthly payments, fuel, repairs, insurance and local excise taxes should be in total no more than 10% of your monthly family income.

Sometimes you just need to take a breath and crunch the numbers as we do with the budget process at Children’s Friend, and ask the simple question – is it reasonable?