How To Write A Budget Proposal

To help organize your plan's finances, you must learn how to write a budget proposal. A budget proposal states all possible financial expenses along with a justification for each expense. A spreadsheet is one of the best ways to write a budget proposal. A successful budget proposal will help you get the financing you need for your plan, project or organization.

Things you'll need:

  • Spreadsheet application (Microsoft Office Excel or OpenOffice Calc)
  • Word processor application (Microsoft Office Word or OpenOffice Writer)
  1. Open the spreadsheet application of your choice. The first screen you see should be a blank spreadsheet.
  2. Create an Items column as your first column. Type “Items” in cell A1. List all expense items, one in each cell, underneath Items.
  3. Create a Costs column as your second column. Type “Costs” in cell B1. List all costs related to your expenses. Line up each expense with its appropriate item. If you are creating a yearly budget, use each month as your column headings instead.
  4. Total your expense column. Click the first empty cell under the Costs column. For months, you will need to do this for each column. Press the “SUM” button on your toolbar, which looks like a capital E.
  5. Format your spreadsheet. Highlight all column headings and apply Bold and Underline to the headings to make them stand out from your data. Format your totals in either bold text or a different color. Use the Formatting toolbar in your spreadsheet application to apply formatting.
  6. Open your word processing application. This document is used as your actual proposal.
  7. Type your first paragraph. Outline the project or plan's background, such as past accomplishments or what has led up to the project or plan.
  8. Make a list of each expense. Type your justification beside each expense. Be persuasive and detailed with your justification. You can also include a brief explanation of each expense on your spreadsheet. If you do this, create a new column called “Justification.”
  9. Type a final paragraph. Explain how important the plan or project is along with reasons why the desired budget is necessary.


  • When you estimate expenses, add approximately ten percent to the price. This will allow some room to negotiate if your budget isn't immediately acceptable. This also covers the possibility of price increases.
  • You can use any word processing or spreadsheet application as long as the programs allow you to format text and sum columns.


  • Double check all figures and data. Any discrepancies may cause your budget proposal to be rejected.
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