Re: contingency fund questions
From: Mac Thomson (
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 19:57:07 -0800 (PST)
Our annual operating budget includes a 10% contingency budget which is available to teams who have extra expenses beyond their budgets. Our Steering team authorizes the spending from the contingency fund based on requests from the teams. Any operating profits plus a direct contribution from dues goes into our reserves fund each year. After about 25 years, we plan to have that fund built up to about $150K - $200K. The money is earmarked for specific anticipated repairs and replacements, rather than just a miscellaneous emergency fund, although it can serve as that in a pinch.


Mac Thomson

Heartwood Cohousing
Southwest Colorado

"A closed mouth gathers no foot."

On Nov 12, 2009, at 4:16 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:

Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 22:18:00 -0800
From: Jodi Coleman <jodicoleman1000 [at]>
Subject: [C-L]_ contingency fund questions

Last year (our second since moving in), our community created a contingency fund for unexpected and emergency expenses. We took the excess from our first year's budget (and the excess from each budget thereafter) to create the fund. We created the contingency fund so that each work team wouldn't
feel the need to have a sizeable miscellaneous/emergency line in their
section of our budget, and instead they would know that money could be
available to them if they needed it. Going into our third year, we now have a healthy amount of money in this fund, so we are now needing to decide
where to cap it.

We are wondering how much money (what percent of the budget) other
communities have in their contingency funds.  I have read that several
places have 10% of their budget as a contingency fund. Is this 10% of your operating budget, or is this the whole budget including any additions to the maintenance reserves? Have folks found your systems to be adequate? Any
advice folks have would be greatly appreciated!

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