Budgeting Basics

A crucial part of any producer's job is managing the overall production budget. Indie producers need to take in many considerations beyond venue, artists fees, and tech. Insurance, playwright's royalties, accessibility costs, set transport and publicity are just a few considerations that are often overlooked.

What are budgets for?

Budgets are a tool producers use to lay out a financial plan for a production. Budgets should tell an accurate story of your show in both revenue and expenses. It’s also an important tool for scheduling when you will make expenses and expect revenue. Most budgets should follow the triad rule: Fast, Cheap, and Good; you can only have two of the three.

Before you start building a Budget

Use Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to build your budget. Not an expert on Excel? There are free courses held at the Toronto Public Library, use your library card to access Lynda.com or head to YouTube. Also, check out the templates on this site to get started.

Where to start

It can be difficult to know how much a production will cost before you’ve actually begun the creative work.

Tip: Start with your Expenses. This helps understand how much money you will have to make on things like ticket sales, bar sales, through donations, fundraisers and how much you will need to ask for from any granting bodies that you will be applying to.

What is the production’s priority? Are you focusing on a long rehearsal process, is it about the sound design, or a short but intense physical creation piece with many actors? Have you considered how your production can be accessible to people with disabilities? Organize your Expenses in order of importance as a useful exercise.

Additional Resources

FinancialLit has detailed descriptions that can be useful when building a budget for your project.

Need a Company Bank Account? The following banks offer Not-For-Profit Account Plans with very low monthly rates. Look into which plan works best for you!
TD Bank
Alterna Savings

This page was last updated on: November 25 2019  
Created by klemieux. Last Modification: Monday November 25, 2019 12:38:13 EST by kpalm.