Regardless of whether you are organizing a project for work or planning a personal project to undertake in your spare time, chances are you need to develop a budget for it. This can help you keep costs down and make sure you don’t spend too much. Of course having a budget only works if you know how to develop a project budget. Read on to learn how to develop a project budget.
Know how much you have to spend. It is important when you sit down to develop a project budget you know exactly how much money is available for the project. At work your boss or the finance department may give you the total amount available for the project, while at home you may have to decide exactly how much you can afford to spend.
Determine what expenses are mandatory or most important for the project. Each project has certain things that are required in order to make the project a success, and these should take priority in your budget. For example, having an event requires a location, thus money to reserve a location should be high on the priority list for your budget.
Gather estimates from different companies and businesses. Once you have identified the key elements of your project budget, you can begin getting estimates from area businesses to determine which offers the best price or value for your project. You may find that you can save enough money on necessary expenses to add some extra, non-essential items to your budget.
Write it out. While you may have a budget lined out in your head for your project it is important that you write it down on paper as this will help you ensure you stick to it. Of course it is also important that you put it on paper if working with a team to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
If a specific dollar amount hasn’t been defined for your project yet, you can still tentatively prepare a budget. Developing a tier system with three or four different budget amounts ($500, $1,000 and $2,000, for example) is what you should use when the overall amount is unknown.
Allison Dodge has been a writer since 2005, specializing in education, careers, health and travel. She has worked at educational institutions for more than 10 years. Dodge has a master's degree in education administration.