There are times when an activity that was budgeted this year did not use all of its allocated budget. Sometimes your group will consider that unused money as something that is to be carried over and used next year.
For example, you may have budgeted $1,000 for a special art project and only $600 was spent and you want the $400 to be available for next year. You may also decide to budget another $1,000 for the art project next year. If you spend that $400 in the new year and put it against the new art project budget, it will look like you only have $600 left, and that is not at all what you intend.
The key here is to recognize the unused $400 as part of your budget for the new year. A good way to do this (and make it obvious to the membership what happened) is to set up a Heading called something like Expenses from Prior Year. Then set up a Category called “Art Projects from Last Year”. This would have a Budgeted Expense of $400.
Make sure that you put the $400 in the Budgeted Expenses column. It means that you have that money available to spend.
Now when you have $400 worth of expenses for the Art Project you can allocate them to that “Art Projects from Last Year” category. Anything more would go against this year’s budget.
Sometimes people ask why MoneyMinder doesn’t just carry over those amounts. Two reasons:
- First of all, MoneyMinder is not a mind reader. It doesn’t have any way of knowing that you want the $400 for the art project carried over, but not the $25.46 that you didn’t spend on Hospitality or the $210 you didn’t spend on office supplies.
- Second, unless your group has specifically voted to Restrict Funds for a particular project, the $400 really needs to be approved again as part of the budget for the new year. And that is up to you to decide.