Money For Lunch – 5 Hacks to Build a Crackerjack Budget for your Event

5 Hacks to Build a Crackerjack Budget for your Event

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Drafting a good budget may a tad hard to tackle, but nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it. On the long run, an event’s budget must cover both expected and, most important, the unexpected things that may come up.

Before building an event budget, Losberger recommends that we keep in mind the golden rule of planning: to stay realistic. Don’t get in way over your head to buy things you don’t need or stuff that requires special attention. Remember that, at any point; something can go terribly wrong, and you’ll need an extra something to cover it up.

With this in mind, here are some hacks you should keep track of when starting to build your budget.

Write it all down and keep it tidy

If you try to make mental notes of your budget, you’re definitely going to have a bad time. Write everything down you need and in a comprehensible format. No scribbling on pieces of paper or napkins.

The best way to go when drafting the budget is either to use an Excel worksheet, or applications like Expensify, Planning Pod, or Smartsheet.

When building your budget with Excel, be sure to make a column for everything. Here’s a good example of what you should include in your Excel worksheet:

  • The first column should always be reserved for items like catering, venue, location, entertainment, or seating. You can always specify if some of the items are rented or not.

  • Your second column should have a short and comprehensive description of each item wrote down in the first column.

  • The third column is strictly reserved to amounts;

  • Create a fourth column for costs. You can break down the column for cost into two smaller ones, one for estimated costs and one for actual costs.

Don’t be afraid of making adjustments to your budget

You should always make two copies of your budget: the original one with all the planned expenses, and a second one that covers adjustments. In this case, adjustments mainly refer to last minute changes, like extra tables or another location rental price.

Flexibility really matters in this case. Don’t be afraid to pay that extra something for an item, because, in the end, all that matters is your client’s satisfaction.

Expect the unexpected

When building your budget, be careful not to waste all funds, because, you might need them for later use. Some event planners believe that after planning your budget, you should always keep about 10 per cent of the funds in order to cover unexpected payments.

Pay extra attention to location rental and entertainment, because there will always be something you hadn’t covered in your initial budget.

Do a little trimming

After you’ve finished the first draft, take a closer look at it to see whether you can trim it a little. In this case, trimming refers to cutting some unnecessary cost. We all agree that a good event planner must include everything in his budget plan, but there are some things which can leave out entirely.

Remember that trimming doesn’t necessarily mean a decrease in quality. Your clients will be more than happy to hear that you managed to save them some money without actually sacrificing quality.

Make a small checklist

Before forwarding the budget plan to your client or your sponsor, you should make sure that you’ve managed to cover everything. Making a list will greatly increase your productivity and will decrease the chances of missing something important.

To err is human, but in this case, even the smallest error can have a tremendous impact on the event. Making a checklist and ticking completed tasks on the go is a good way to stay organised. It might not dazzle the client, but it will sure make your life easier.

Checklists are also great if you have several budget versions, each of them addressed to different aspects of the event.

Keeping it real tidy makes all thing go a lot smoother. But the most important piece of advice every event planner should receive is to keep a positive attitude and a cool head no matter what happens.

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