How to Prepare a Budget Proposal

by Pat Fontana; Updated September 26, 2017

Preparing a professional, successful budget proposal involves using a computer spreadsheet program to organize your numbers and create an easy-to-read presentation. You will also need to write a brief description of each item and a justification for your budget request to give the reader more information on which to base his or her decision. The following steps will help you prepare a successful budget proposal.

Items you will need

  • Computer
  • Spreadsheet program
  • Word processing program
Step 1

Open a spreadsheet program on your computer. Create columns for the items to be included in the budget, a second column for the costs of those items and a row at the bottom for the totals.

Step 2

For a yearly budget, create columns for each month’s expenses, with a final column for the yearly total. Across the bottom row of the spreadsheet, calculate the total expenses for each month.

Step 3

Open a word processing program on your computer. Create a document that will become your finished proposal. Write the first section as a background to your proposal, describing your previous successes or the accomplishments of your department.

Step 4

Format the numbers in the spreadsheet so that the totals are in bold print. Select the entire spreadsheet, copy it and paste it into your word processing document.

Step 5

In your proposal document, write a justification for each of the budget items. Include a brief background of the usage and a description of the future need for each item.

Step 6

Conclude your proposal by addressing the need to continue operations at the level indicated by your budget spreadsheet.

Tips

  • When calculating costs, add an extra 5 percent to 10 percent, and use that figure in your proposal. It is easier to negotiate down than to have to request more.

Warnings

  • Double-check all figures and write-ups to ensure they are accurate and speak to the reader, whether that is the budget director, a supervisor or the company president.

About the Author

Pat Fontana began her career in 1981. Her extensive experience includes work in small business, entrepreneurship, marketing communications, adult education and training. She has written for Entrepreneur, Atlantic Publishing and other clients. Fontana earned a Master's degree in English with a concentration in Technical and Professional Communications from East Carolina University.