“It’s not in the budget” is just an excuse

“It’s not in the budget.” “We don’t have the budget for that now.” “We didn’t budget for that item this year.”

If you have ever worked in a credit union or bank, you have surely heard those words. Or should I say excuses? Because that is what those phrases are.

Technology, marketing and training. Those seem like the areas hardest hit with the budget axe. But the “not in the budget” excuse can strike every part of the operation.

How do you avoid the excuse trap? Here are four ideas:

  • Shift dollars—The budget is probably the budget. There are certain net income numbers you are striving to hit. But that doesn’t mean when a new idea or project arises that you should automatically rule it out because you didn’t budget for that item. Just pull the dollars from another project. For example, if you don’t have the budget for a marketing audit then pause an advertising campaign because you feel the audit will improve your overall marketing efforts.
  • Admit it’s not a priority—You need to align the budget with what is most important to your financial institution. So be honest when it comes to talking numbers. Is there really no room in the budget for a particular item or is the honest truth you don’t want to spend the money on it? For example, you may say you want to be a fast follower in technology but your financial priorities are more important than offering an awesome mobile platform.
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