Our fiscal year ends in June, but for many youth workers, the end of the year means a reset to the budget year. I realize not every youth ministry benefits from the blessing of a budget and even if you do, times are really tight for everyone right now. Either way, here are a few of the things I might spend end of year budget on:
Are you kidding me? Money left? I’ve actually a little overspent or barely have enough to go to McDonald’s with! If that’s the case – use the pennies left and hit up the Dollar Menu and taking out your senior pastor to help soften the blow when he/she actually finds out the bottom line. I recommend springing for the McRib combo.
Invest in items that benefit you in the next fiscal year
Use the offerings and tithes that have been entrusted to you by getting some long-term bang for your buck. Looking for small group material that will work in the coming year? Grab the LIVE curriculum now, and set yourself up for the next season of small groups. Think about services like SimplyTxt or stocking up on sale items and discover discounts that will give you a supply of resources you typically reach for close at hand.
You can never go wrong with volunteer training
Search for end of the year resources to help encourage and/or train your team in the various aspects of youth ministry. Picking up Youth Worker Training on the Go or a little book for each of them might be good use of your budget money. Short, quick reads will always win. Be sure to write a note inside, too!
Go for personal development
This is a big one for me – when I head into the end of a budget year, I try to register for an event or training that will help me be a better youth pastor. Registering in advance is expected, and doing it over two budget years may allow you to spread the costs out. This year I’ll be at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Chicago – spots are going fast (I hear it is 75% sold-out) and it’d be fun to meet you and you could use the break.
Pre-pay for Events, Camps or Retreats
If you know the camp or retreat center you’ll be using in the coming year, consider placing a deposit on the location and lock it in. If you’re doing an event at a rollerskating rink and you know the date, plunk down some money in advance while you’ve got it.
A few ideas as we end 2009 – if you are interested in more related articles, check out 6 Ways to Stretch Your Youth Ministry Budget, When to Buy Youth Ministry Resources or the book $5 Youth Ministry.