Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday's Wisdom: Budgets Bring Relief

Homeschool CPA Carol Topp delighted us with a wisdom-packed interview for Homeschool Group Leaders. We have given you glimpses into this interview by posting small portions over the past month. Soon the complete interview will be available for you to order. Here are the series posts in case you missed one blog:

This series wrap-up as Part 4 contains Carol fearlessly tackling the important and difficult subject of money and budgets.

HGL: Carol, what is the final top tip you would like to share today to help leaders love leading for a long time?

Carol Topp: You may laugh--it has to do with money. It is called a budget. A lot of leaders think, "What?! I hate dealing with the numbers. I am a people person."

But what those numbers on a budget do is help you plan, sit down and look to the future. That can do a lot to reduce stress. If you make a plan and know what might be coming, it will help you set priorities. What is important to us in our group? Is it important that we keep the cost extremely low? That is going to be a very different budget than saying our priority is top quality. It helps you focus, plan and set your group's priorities. So, believe it or not--having a budget might sound like it is a limiting thing, and some people don't like budgets. But instead a budget can bring great freedom and relief from a lot of stress.

HGL: Haven't you also written a resource for leaders on creating a budget for homeschool groups?

Carol Topp: Yes, of course. I am a CPA! I have one called Money Management for Homeschool Organizations. It is not really a very long book at all. It is only about 40 pages. I talk about money management in a very small homeschool group or in a medium size group (meaning more than 5 families, but fewer than 20) or a large group (more than 20 families). I discuss the different things you need to do in each stage. Obviously, if you are small and have 5 families, there is not much needed. You can operate just on cash. By the time you are medium and large, you need a checking account. I have a lot of information in this book. You can find it here. It is an e-book that you get the day you order it.

To successful stewardship and stress relief,
Denise & Kristen

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