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Residential Budgeting

The big issue for any church or charity is money and often this issue is also big for the young people or their parents so it is important to think carefully before running the residential who it is aimed at.

If you are aiming the event at young people from poorer areas is the church/organisation you work for willing to cut the cost for the young people and run at a loss so more can attend?…Can you afford to do it for free? Are there people in your church willing to pay for individual places?

Is the site far away? Perhaps if it’s close you can request that the young people make their own way, this way you don’t need to include fuel in the budget!

Food Costs

Typically you will find that budgeting for food is the bigger thing to do, of course this can vary on your menu but typically I work on the figure of around £3 per person per day, this may increase if there are less young people. Remember it’s cheaper to cater for more!

Shopping for the right amounts can always be tricky so there are some useful figures and sample menus plus advice on catering on our residential catering page

The Site

You will need to work out how much the site cost should be in the overall price of the residential, have a careful think about how many young people you will realistically take with you on the residential. Does the site you’ve booked charge per person or just for the overall site? (Either of these options has it’s advantages)


Are you planning to do activities on your residential? (I hope so!) Some cost more than others so make sure you budget these in too. It might be £5 per person for archery or just £50 overall for craft materials.


If you’re planning to transport the young people down there do you have the right amount of cars? or do you have a mini-bus? If you’re working fuel costs into your budget I’d advise working on 15p per mile in a car and 20p per mile in a minibus…of course in reality it may cost less than this depending on the cost of your fuel at the time.

To continue with our residential guide click here to go back to the list of topics