3 Tips to Make the Most of Your Budget

The new year typically comes with a new budget. This week I got the chance to upgrade a few new parts of our system, getting some much needed rechargeable batteries for our wireless mics.

These batteries will not only add reliability to our services, but save us hundreds of dollars in the long run and dramatically impact how we’re stewarding creation.

As I work on planning my budget for the year, here are a few lessons to keep in mind.

1. Work within your budget

Learn to work within whatever budget you have. If you don’t have a regular budget, ask for one. There’s tremendous value even if you only have $500/year to designate to production upgrades.

Budgets are limitations, but limitations aren’t a bad thing, limitations breed creativity. Every church has budget limitations (yes even the 10,000+ member churches).

Working within your budget is how you can practice stewardship and also shows your leadership you’re responsible with managing your church’s resources, meaning they will most likely trust you with more in the future.

2. Focus on value, not on price tags

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of gear and how much it costs. Don’t solely make a purchasing decision based on what something costs, look for the value the object creates.

For example, say you’re buying a new wired vocal mic. There are mics you could get for $60 but they’ll most likely need to be replaced multiple times down the road, eventually costing multiple hundreds of dollars.

If you were to take that $60 and bump the price to $99 to invest in a Shure sm58, you would get multiple times the amount of value. For that $99, you’re buying a new vocal mic, but you’re also buying longevity (since that mic will easily last 25+ years), reliability (since you know this mic is tried and true) and peace of mind (you know it will work every time you use it.) This applies from vocal mics all the way to audio consoles, PAs, cameras and more.

I would argue you should never make a purchase based on how cheap you can get something, you should always look to purchase something based on the value it creates.

3. Use your budget to love people, not just buy gear

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending money on gear as much as the next guy or girl, but your production budget has the power to be much more than a means to get new toys.

Use your budget to grow your team. Here are some ideas:

  • Give them gifts cards when you see them serving above and beyond
  • Take your team to meals to get to know them better
  • Provide food during special events. (Having a box of donuts or bagels on a Sunday morning for your team is a tiny cost but can show thanks and provide incentive for people to join the team.)
  • Take your team to a conference

There are plenty of way to use your budget to upgrade your systems and serve your team. What will you do with your budget this year?

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