A Budget Confession

  I have a confession to make.  I love budgets.  *whew!*  I feel so much better now that I’ve admitted that!  OK, so now that you think I’m crazy, let me explain why.

18 1/2 years ago, I started with bookkeeping.  I loved it, but I knew it wasn’t everything.  Ten years ago I got a job managing the accounting department of a college.  Apparently I knew my stuff, since I didn’t have a degree at the time, and I was now telling others with degrees what to do!  One of the main components of my position was preparing budgets and forecasts for various projects and the department as a whole.

I learned tax preparation too, but tax didn’t tell me how to organize the bookkeeping to really make an impact in my job.  I knew what was legal, but not what was right, if that makes sense.

But budgets!  Glorious budgets and forecasts!  I had found my calling!  I learned about fixed and variable costs.  I learned how to make the numbers reflect the health (or demise) of a project or organization.  And I learned how budgets can RULE THE WORLD!

Seriously.  Where else can you look at a set of data and predict or change the future?  Only with some serious mojo, or a budget!

So…. Maybe I have a god-complex (I don’t think so……) but I love that I can look at what a business has done, see where it’s problems lie, and help them improve.  I can see what they’ve done and predict what they will do if nothing changes.  Then the fun part comes – I can see what to change to make things better!  Changes in advertising can increase sales.  Cut back on unnecessary office lunches, and apply that money to a new project.  For me, it’s fun to see what money is being spent where, and making sure my clients are getting the BEST bang for their buck.

I also appreciate budgets because they can be used as a comparison tool to make sure the business owners are remaining focused on their end-game.  A monthly budget to actual comparison will help owners to do that.  They can make sure their expenses are in line for where they are in the year.  If they have a new venture they are considering, a budget can help them see if they can afford it, or what the new venture will do to their income and expenses, and how it will affect their bottom line.

My personal budget – I use it as a motivational tool.  I know a project will take several months to pay for.  I use my budget to say, ‘OK, this will be done by September, but, really, I want it done in June’ and find ways to make that happen.

You may still think I’m crazy, but I love what I do.  I didn’t realize this would turn into a more personal-info blog than an informational blog, but, I think you get the intent here, yeah?  GOOD!