How to Prepare a Budget

How to Prepare a Budget :: Budget is a financial plan. All of us know what is budget as we do make our financial plans in our personal life also. Planning is an important part of budget and unless it is done in a systematic and planned, the project may end up with shortage of funds or under-utilisation of funds in some or all heads. Though we are all doing budgets, this may help you in refreshing the plans/ideas. As we all know, before starting a project we do the project planning by doing the need assessment and identifying the issues and then designing the project. While designing the project we also need to look at the financial aspects of the projects such as the programme costs, staff, administration etc.etc. In the same way when we plan the financial plan (budget), we also need to look at the project in total and accordingly the financial planning (budgeting) needs to be done.

First of all we need to understand the overall project for which we are going to prepare a budget.  After that you need to split into the categories under which you need to prepare the budget.  Some examples are below:

I. Programme/Activities:

1) Let us look at the Identified Activities of the project

2) Prepare a financial plan to successfully take up the above activities

3) This could include e.g. training programmes, meetings, income generation programmes,capacity building so on and so forth depending upon the type of project you are taking up.

4) You should have a detailed planning for each and every activity i.e. for example let us take health awareness camp:

  • a) Number of Camps: How many likely camps during the project period
  • b) Number of days each camp runs for: If the each camp runs for 3 days you need to do the financial plan first for a day then calculate it for 3 days.
  • c) Number of Participants for each camp: How many likely participants for each camp and how much travel, food and lodging would cost for each participant. In some cases, some participants depends on their daily wages – may also have to compensate them etc.
  • d) Number of Resource Persons : For each person what will be the expenditure on consultancy fee, travel, stay etc. for each day. Then multiply the same with the number of days.
  • e) Cost of hiring of vehicles/fuel costs during the camp
  • f) Stationery required – clearly plan item-wise and their cost
  • g) Audio Visuals, pamphlets etc.

Above are some examples, however you need to see what else needed or what is not needed from the above list.  Accordingly you need to list out all  the things needed for organizing a camp.

Here we have taken example of one activity of a project – like that for each activity we need to do the budgeting.

II. Staff Requirements: The other most important thing that we need to look at is the staff requirement for successful implementation of the project.  Some examples are::

  • a) How many programme staff required with specialization
  • b) How many finance, admin staff are required
  • c) How many members from the existing team give a part of their time for this project –if so how much money needs to be paid.
  • d) What is the period for which the staff are required for
  • e) How much needed for advertisement for these positions
  • f) What is the likely salary for each position per month multiplied by the number of months
  • g) How much money needed for staff training
  • h) How much money needed for staff benefits i.e. medical, provident fund, gratuity,staff insurance, bonus etc. etc. depending on the organisation’s own policies.
  • i) If organisations have relocation (while recruiting the candidates may ask for relocation allowance to move from existing place to a new place to take up a job) allowances policies that also needs to be calculated
  • .j) Any other things that the organization may want to include as per their organisation’s policies.

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