/ Student Life

Budget Template Best Practices

Are you ready to build your organization’s budget for next year? Have your Excel template handy as you read through these best practices.

Start with the blank budget spreadsheet provided, not any previous versions your group may have used. Save that sheet with this format: GroupName_Budget_AcademicYear.xlsx. Here is an example: WaterPolo_Budget_2017.2018.xlsx.
  1. Begin by typing each line item name, categorized properly by subcode. These should be concise but descriptive. More detailed information and rationale can be provided in the budget outline.
  2. The corresponding amounts will fall under the “requested” column. Any column with “funded” is for Appropriations Committee use only. 
  3. Please remember, DO NOT copy and paste. This may alter source formatting and make things difficult for you later. This also serves as a good exercise to think about each individual line item.
  4. Ask yourself:
    • Is the item still needed? Did we use this last year?
    • Is the request outdated? (i.e. Postage, printing that can now be electronic etc.)
    • Should the amount change based on attendance or change in price(s)?
    • Was this event successful last year? Is there an alternative?
    • What would we like to change or improve upon? 

5. Add new rows as needed.

  1. Hitting alt + enter will allow you to wrap text in a single cell. Please do not extend the length or rows or columns.
  2. Make use of formulas. Excel will do the heavy lifting for you. For example if you need 2 vans (cost of $90 each) for transportation on five separate occasions, enter: =2*90*5. This will also make it easier for Appropriations to determine your reasoning for a particular amount. 
  3. If you added additional line items, allow one space between the last line item in a subcode and the next subcode. Otherwise, you may leave the default three lines (see blank budget spreadsheet). 
  1. There may be subcodes that you do not use. Delete the extra rows that they create. 
  2. Make sure all the totals add up for each subcodes and total requested at the bottom. Formulas may have shifted when you were editing the document.
    Note: Income is subtracted from the total. 
Completed budget spreadsheets, along with the completed Group Template Outline, should be emailed to appropriations@hope.edu.