Cutting the budget, before Suze Orman does it for us

22 11 2010

Money makes the world go round. Or maybe it’s love? Whatever it’s supposed to be, we all need cash. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy things that will make you happy.

We might be stumbling upon the reason why so many of us are kind of miserable.

I’m not complaining about low salaries for social workers. (I’ll get to that in my annual Christmas letter.) I’m talking about everyone’s favorite–the budget.

Does everyone have their Tums ready? Such discussions frequently induce heartburn.

Things are only getting worse in preventive services. ACS, the city organization that funds us, is getting their budget slashed. Guess what that means?

We’re next. But dont’ worry, we’ve been preparing for it for a while. I present, a lesson in frugality, courtesy of social services.

Now, before you get all distracted by the stunning decor (the slab of cardboard really makes the crate pop, don’t you think?) ask yourself: how much would you pay for, what is clearly, a damn fine cup of coffee? It used to be free, but come on guys, the Rockefellers don’t live here anymore. So for only a dollar a week, you get the privilege of starting your day with the best lighter fluid Mr. Coffee can brew.

Yes, Halloween just passed. But think of all we’ll save by recycling these treat bags that some kids left behind, after taking the candy? We’re talking tens of cents, people. (More savings than some Target coupons.)

Speaking of holidays, don’t worry. We will be ordering the traditional late November feast of two for one Little Caesar’s pizzas for our clients’ Thanksgiving party.

I see you looking with lustful eyes. Everyone has to bring their own pens here, so hands off! (Note: I got these at an alumni event. You were supposed to take one, I emptied an untended basket into my bag. Further note: I was not a part of the Class of 2004.)

Speaking of office supplies. I requested hanging file folders. Once the laughter died down, I developed the equally mildly effective system of organization you see before you.

Safety is, of course, our number one priority. That’s why, after our office was recently broken into, we took the precaution of carefully patching up the hole that had been punched in the wall. Really take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship. We also posted this helpful, laminated sign, so we won’t be victimized again.

I suggested posting a “Please, no burgling” sign out front as well, but it just wasn’t in the budget.

Don’t be shy. Share your social services/non profit/cheap boss ways to save. Because once we can’t cut any more extras out, we become the extras. Happy budgeting!




4 responses

22 11 2010

I guess now isn’t a good time to mention more cuts are expected in January?

22 11 2010

See, now you’re just being mean.

23 11 2010
Carolyn (from Canada)

Recently attended a staff meeting. We were told that we had already blown through our office supplies budget (and the fiscal year end is March 31). Ooops, no new pens for you, little girl. Two social workers immediately raised their hands and asked for early retirement. And now the CEO of the whole organization is on national television because he would rather eat a cookie than discuss life with the media. (Ah, sir. Just because they are asking you questions now, does not mean they are not going to the media release. They would be asking questions there as well). Makes a girl proud, it does.

23 11 2010

Wow. Five months with no new supplies? I hope that CEO brought enough cookies for everyone. Good luck!

I love those kind of meetings, because they always act like the things you’ve been spending the money on are so frivolous. I’m sorry, if I need a pad of paper, I’m going to ask for one. If it’s given to me, I’ll use it!

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