Consumer Watch: Budgeting advice from non-profits – Money Perception

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Running a family budget can be similar to running a business with hard lessons on the importance of sticking to a budget.

Many non-profits have fluctuating budgets that depend on outside generosity, and must pay special attention to their expenses. It turns out there are some money lessons consumers can take away from non-profits to help better the individuals or family budget.

Non-profits like Serve Moore, and the Red Cross help people in times of need, but other than their work, special attention to how much they are spending is important. Budgets must be balanced and approved so organizations can stay afloat and keep doing good work.

“It is looking for efficiency, looking for places where we can buy things inexpensively… I think we are really, really good at making our money go a long way,” says Marnie Taylor, the president and CEO of the Oklahoma Center for Non-Profits.

This organization provides support services for non-profits across Oklahoma, and Taylor says these are often run like any other business, but make the effort to stretch the dollar further, just like many Oklahoma families.

“I have it all accounted for, and once you start counting it, and you look at it, and you think, oh my gosh certainly I couldn’t have spent that on haircuts or why did I do that. I think counting it is really what I have learned,” says Taylor of the budgeting insights she developed by working in the non-profit sector.

Budgets are essential to keep an eye on the bottom line, but Taylor says with non-profits and families alike, practicing gratitude keeps you sane. Focus on what you have versus what you don’t.

In an attempt to stretch a dollar as far as it will go, many non-profits say they look for discounts and specials whenever possible. For example, if your family has a membership for something like AAA, make a point of using every discount available with the membership whenever possible.