Budgeting is a way to understand your teams income and expenses so you can determine what actions you can take during the season. Having a good estimate of both will allow you to make sound financial decisions.
Here is a basic budget template. Click Here.
A budget consists of Income and Expenses. You need to be sure your expenses are lower than your income, so that you have a budget excess.
Income items include sponsor funds, student fees, fundraising money, grants, and material donations. A material donation doesn’t give you cash, but does save you an expense; so be sure they are recorded and accounted for properly.
Expense items include costs for registrations and event participation, costs for your robot materials, team support items such as shirts, pit displays and give-aways, and costs for machines and tools. If you include the value of a donated item as income, be sure to include it also as an expense so you don’t think you have more cash than you actually will.
When preparing your budget, you may find that your proposed expenses exceed your projected income. When this happens, you need to either find a way to increase your income (higher fees, obtain more sponsors), or reduce your expenses (use more kit materials, reduce travel expenses). The benefit of preparing a budget is that you can make the decisions early, and not simply have to stop spending because the money ran out!
The template in the link includes a column for INCOME and has several suggested line items, and two columns for EXPENSES. The expenses items are separated into 4 groups. The columns auto-sum and a short summary of income and expense totals are at the top of the page.