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Sorority Skill: Understanding a Budget

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Sorority life provides an opportunity for members to learn and practice skills that they may not get from their course work. Budgeting and understanding a budget are skills that can be used for life.

Every sorority chapter has a budget. At the beginning of each fiscal year chapter leaders with support from their inter/national organizations create a budget. This budget is also presented to the entire chapter outlining how member’s dues are allocated for use. In some organizations, each chapter member then votes to approve the proposed budget.   

Once a budget is approved, the chapter treasurer and other officers monitor the budget throughout the year to ensure it stays on target. A chapter’s budget, like a personal budget, includes two sections: income and expenses. A chapter’s income comes from member dues and expenses include supplies for philanthropy and sisterhood events, all-chapter T-shirts, chapter retreats, social events and more.

Even if you don’t help create your chapter’s budget, understanding and maintaining a budget is an important skill to have as a college student. The following steps can help you successfully manage your budget:

1. Create a weekly or monthly budget by including income, such as money from babysitting or a part-time job, and expenses, which may include sorority dues, food, entertainment and other wants/needs.

2. Track your expenses so you’re fully aware of where your money is going.

3. Regularly reassess your budget, since incomes and expenses fluctuate.

Whether you’re creating your chapter’s budget or your personal budget, always remember to keep your expenses less than your income. There are many resources available to help you manage your budget, such as Mint, Slice and PocketBudget -- three easy-to-use smart phone apps. Or you can use an Excel spreadsheet or Google sheet with formulas to help.

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