How to shop practically with decreasing budgets
Financial cuts, government policies and workloads. It’s been a challenging time for everyone and it’s easy to overspend. You’ve had a set budget for a long time but now that budget has started to decline, how do you now manage that? Luckily we have some handy tips and information for SBMs to help you get by.
Develop ways of estimating your expenses
We know that SBMs must manage finances, but what about when it comes to budgeting and cost-cutting? You won’t be able to take control of your budget until you know exactly what elements are included within it. If you don’t know what you are spending your money on, then you won’t know where to cut expenses. This is a vital part of managing your budget and decreasing it too.
Make sure you check over every aspect of your school's incomings and outgoings in a much more thorough manner. Whether you use a pen and paper, spreadsheet or app, gather up your figures and keep up to date. Don’t assume the same spending level as previous years as you will find that it changes every year. You will need to adjust the spending level depending on new costs and earnings.
So now you have your updated expenses, you have your budget and you know you need to cut back. The best way to find out what you don’t need anymore is by asking yourself some questions, as well as asking your school some questions.
Questions such as:
Are there categories you can readily cut back on?
Did we really overspend or do we simply need to cut back?
What else will be needed to run the school and its activities
Chances are you need to cut back on certain areas which might sound challenging but it’s possible!
Reducing monthly/yearly costs, such as utilities, is always a great place to start as this is a huge area that takes up a lot of the budget.
Look out for subscriptions that are up for renewal as it could be an opportunity to lower the costs if you need to renew. Get in contact with the various companies and see if they can offer you a deal/discount, or cancel the contract if the school no longer needs them. Alternatively, you can look for another supplier or contract that may be cheaper. It can be a long process however it can lower your costs in the long run.
Spending less on suppliers is another key area to consider. Using suppliers such as ourselves as we offer regular discounts for schools placing orders. Take advantage of bulk buying.
Strategic financial planning
Keep yourself informed by linking the school’s finances to curriculum planning and any potential changes that may impact the budget in the future. This could include, resources, staff requirements and funding allocation.
It may not be possible to make significant changes in a small amount of time, however, every little step helps and you can consider your plan for a more long term goal.
For more information on how schools can use ICFP to create the best curriculum for pupils with available funding, view the government guide here.