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What Is a Fixed Budget?

A fixed budget does not allow any room for change during the time period it covers.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Fixed budgets are budgets that are drafted on the basis of specific criteria, and do not allow any room for any changes or variations in activity at any point during the period of time covered by those budgets. For businesses, this means that a fixed budget is drafted for a calendar or operational year, and is not amended at any time during that year, even if there are changes in the level of business activity that take place. This is true whether the company experiences a sudden increase in profits or a slump in sales.

The fixed budget is a different budgeting approach than a variable or flexible budget. With a flexible budget, there are provisions for revising specific line items, based on the level of revenue generated during the course of the year. In contrast, a fixed budget is carefully crafted to remain in place for the entire period cited. This approach helps to ensure that each department within the organization always knows exactly how much they have to spend at the beginning of the period and how much is remaining at any given point during the budgetary period.

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One of the benefits of a fixed budget is that each section of the document is developed based on historical data and the current financial status of the entity. It is not unusual for the budget itself to include provisions for transferring funds from savings or other types of financial holdings in the event that income proves insufficient to cover all line items within the budget. For example, a religious denomination may draft an operating budget that is based on the amount of donations received in the previous period. That same budget will include provisions for transferring money from some type of contingency account in the event that donations for the budget period prove to be less than those projected. This approach helps to improve the chances of enjoying a balanced budget, regardless of what activity takes place during the period.

It is important to note that even though a fixed budget does not change during the course of the calendar year, the data that is recorded during that period will have a direct impact on how the fixed budget is drafted for the next period. If sales increase substantially during the previous budgetary period, there is a good chance that the upcoming budget will reflect that increase in sales and thus rely less on savings and similar assets to balance the budget. At the same time, if sales decrease during the period, the fixed budget for the next year will take this data into consideration, and possibly rely more on savings to cover the upcoming budget.

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Discuss this Article

Bhutan
Post 2

BrickBack- I agree with you that you have to draft a budget with your fixed expenses first and you also have to include an element of savings into your budget.

Saving additional funds on a regular basis allows for rainy day fund. This provides a financial cushion that will help you with any problems that come along.

BrickBack
Post 1

I think that it is important to draft a budget containing fixed expenses first.

In order to calculate a budget you would have to look at the regular expenditures that you have month to month. For example, a mortgage payment, a car payment, a student loan payment, or a tuition to your children’s private school are all considered fixed expenses because the payments remain the same over time.

In a business, the lease is a fixed overhead cost along with signed contracts from other service providers.

Most businesses need a combination of a fixed budget and a flexible budget. A flexible budget allows for mishaps or problems that arise in the industry that were unforeseen.

For example, the addition of competitors and a slower economy might cause a company to increase its advertising expense in order to yield more customers.

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