While I am still waiting to take Budget and Finance in order to understand these concepts from an academic perspective, I can talk from experience about the way in which I have managed by personal budget as well as numerous project budgets with AmeriCorps.
In these situations, I have found it incredibly important to keep a very clear and accurate account of the budget that I start with, how and where I spent it, what (if any) results the spending produces, and how much money I have at the end.
Besides diligent bookkeeping, I have found it very helpful to brainstorm unexpected spending that may occur and ways in which these situations will be handled. Whether that means putting a small amount to the side for emergencies, knowing where I can go in order to access emergency funds, or ways that I can pool together with others to avoid major blows when times are tough.
In the tough economic climate we are facing it will be extremely important for higher education leaders to find ways to collaborate on projects with other departments and those outside of the campus community in order to complete projects and offer high quality services. It will also be important to find creative ways to save money, create programs that require fewer financial funds and find ways to fund program through grants and other methods. At the same time, I recognize that universities must still provide services of high quality if they expect to attract students and continue to receive tuition dollars accordingly. While money is not a fun subject to talk about, particularly when it is not abundant, I see the need to be upfront and honesty with people concerning budget matters. Staying positive and maintaining a commitment to creative problem-solving is key.
More to come on this matter once I have started and completed Budget and Finance…