You have your budget. It’s your responsibility to stay on track and steward it well. However there are times when it’s okay to over spend. Huh? Yep, here’s when it’s okay.
- When your bottom line doesn’t change. Yeah, this one was kind of a trick. Typically the people you report to are going to be concerned that you stayed within your annual budget. The fact that you spent $100 more on cookies and $100 less on paper clips is something the finance department isn’t going to care about. If they do… I’d suggest a good hard look at where you’re at. To be honest, I like to spend what I need. If I didn’t budget enough for background checks this year, I don’t want to pay for the difference out of my curriculum account. Then when it come time to budget next year, I, nor will my leadership know that I simply didn’t have enough money to run background checks. So, on essential accounts, I try to spend exactly what it costs to do ministry. If I’m over, then that’s okay. It helps me see what I need to increase for next year. However (and this is a big however), you have to make sure you still stay under your bottom line. So if you went over in curriculum, craft supplies and background checks, you need to come in under the same amount in other areas.
- When you get permission. I know it sounds like a no-brainer but it’s true. Although budgets were set back in October, you never know where things are now. Talk to your pastor about getting some more money. Don’t communicate need, communicate vision. Tell him what the payoff is for getting that little bit extra. You never know, but the pastor could have an extra $5000 sitting in an account he originally planned to use but is no longer going to use it. Who knows, you may be able to convince him that the money is better spent on your area. (Or there could be a giving surplus that the leadership hasn’t yet decided how to spend it). In this case, spend over your budget with this extra money. It gives you a better picture of what it actually costs to do ministry which will help you plan for next year. If you show that you have a need, stay under what you have been allocated and knock it out of the park… you’ll get the attention (and possibly the funds) your ministry deserves.
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