Ideas on How to Stay Organized and On Budget

9 Apr

Ideas on How to Stay Organized and On Budget

Many of my sorority sisters think that I have an easy job. I take that as a compliment because that likely means I make it look easy. Planning successful events can be anything but easy, however. You have to keep incredibly detailed notes and stay hyper-attentive at all times. My biggest piece of advice is to get a system you are comfortable with and then stick with that system.

Mine is a twofold system, coopted from the last social chair and improved on by me. When she showed me how she did things, I was excited. I am definitely a pen-and-paper girl, so I was excited to create a Party Binder. I take it with me just about everywhere I go. The girls on my committee joke that it is like a loyal boyfriend.I know they appreciate all the work I do. Inside the binder are ideas for future events as well as notes from past events. I write down menus; locations; music ideas; and contact information for vendors, social chairs, and other people like that. Once an event is over, I evaluate it. I write down what went well, what didn’t, how many people attended (if we didn’t sell tickets or it is a big crowd, it is a best-guess). It just works for me. If you more of a tech kind of person, there are apps out there that you can use to track stuff or you can just have a file on your computer. Since I know I am turning this job over at some point, I think that something I can just hand the next girl is the way to go—but to each her own.

To stay on budget, I keep copies of receipts with each event and review it so I can be better at estimating costs for stuff I’ll need at the next party. I keep a running tab on how much I have spent and how much is left in my budget for the year in there as well. The treasurer loves that! I meet with her twice a month for a few minutes to turn in my receipts and receive an update on what is left in the account. It helps catch any discrepancies in my math and prevents receipts from wandering off. I don’t want any surprises come the end of the year and neither does she! My best advice is to be thoughtful with your money. The stuff you’ll re-use, or that the most people can enjoy, are the things I spend money on first.

The other half of my system is a digital calendar. The chair before me required everyone to subscribe to a free online sorority calendar. I really liked that idea so I kept it. I have one girl on my committee whose whole job is to find out social events from the school and add them, along with our stuff, to the calendar. She uses a different color for mandatory events that everyone has to attend. This way, sisters can plan their study and work schedules around everything and it is all very clear cut. I have an additional calendar for myself and my committee because we often have be there earlier than everyone else and that kind of thing. I set reminders on my phone so that I always know where I am supposed to be and why. Meetings with other social chairs and stuff like that come through 20 minutes prior so that I never forget where I need to be next. It is super helpful to me and I definitely recommend it! I also set reminders for things that I need to follow up on, like confirming rental stuff and venues.

My last suggestion is to keep everything in once place all the time. My binder stays in my backpack unless I am using it, and my backpack has a hook right next to the door in my room. This way, I don’t have to waste time looking for it. File your receipts and deduct them from your budget as soon as you can so that your balance is accurate. Also remember the more detailed you are in your notes, the better off you are. You might not need all to know every detail if you need to find a piece of information, but it is easier to read through it to find what you need than hope you remember the info just in your own head.

So that is what works for me. Feel free to adapt these ideas to something that will work for you! Good luck!!