Budgeting for your unit

Create a budget for running your unit, a special project or a strategic plan

A budget is a forecast of the amount of money you need to run your unit or other guiding activity

It may be based on what your outgoings were in the previous year, but you'll need to consider next year's plans too. Drawing up a yearly budget will enable you to plan effectively and ensure that all activities can be carried out.

Decide what you need to cover

When you're drawing up a budget, you'll need to consider the following things.

Annual subscription

Your budget must cover your annual subscription.

Unit running costs

These include:

  • materials for activities
  • books
  • badges
  • Leader's training fees
  • new resources.

Meeting expenses

Here you should consider:

  • rent of premises
  • lighting, heating and other utilities
  • additional equipment and insurance where necessary
  • contents and buildings insurance.

General expenses

Budget for the following:

  • postage
  • telephones and mobiles
  • stationery
  • transport costs – mileage or public transport (for trips and for adult volunteers travelling to and from the unit meeting place).

It's advisable to hold a reserve of between 3 to 6 months running costs within your account to cover unexpected costs. This should be included in the yearly budget.

Plan how you will cover costs

Once you know how much money you need, you can decide how much should be covered by regular subscriptions from members and how much from other sources, such as fundraising or Gift Aid.

Special projects, such as camp or holidays, should be budgeted for separately. Download our helpful guidance on budgeting for projects for details on how to do this.

Need support?

If you haven’t got experience of managing budgets or preparing simple accounts, speak to your appointing Commissioner or County Training Team and they will be able to arrange some training for you.