Out of Pocket Expenses-Do You Spend Your Own Money?

As a Girl Scout leader, the most priceless thing that we give to the girls in our troop and to the organization is our time.  No one can put a price tag on that.

However, from time to time, small expenses come up, or even large ones. You front the money for whatever it is…but do you ask to be reimbursed?

Photo from pixabay.com
Photo from pixabay.com

As many of you know, I am a teacher, and have been since 1987.  It is part of a teacher’s unwritten job description that we lay money out for things and never expect to be reimbursed for our purchases.  It’s just part of the job. When I taught public school, who do you think paid for bulletin board materials, stickers and my classroom library?

As a Hebrew School teacher, I have to ask permission to buy something if I expect to be reimbursed.  For a regular craft project, that is not a problem. But, I do not always know when I might find a bargain, so I just buy what I need and my colleague and I split the cost.

For example, the day after Christmas, my local Target had Chanukah craft materials for 90% off.  For a few dollars, I bought enough craft items to last me a few years.  There is no way I could have gotten permission to buy it and get reimbursed in advance.

So for me, an occasional out of pocket expense for Girl Scouts is something that I do not mind.

When I started out as a Daisy leader, I went to yard sales and bought a lot of craft materials for very little money.  Because I could not get receipts, I just ate the money.  It really did not matter.

I also do not mind spending a few bucks at the Dollar Store if they have something I need and I am there.  The receipts they give out are so small, they easily get misplaced.

I am curious if any of you lay out small or large sums of money for your troop. Have you ever had a problem getting it back?


9 thoughts on “Out of Pocket Expenses-Do You Spend Your Own Money?”

  1. I’ve been wondering this same thing. Times are tough and it feels like everything is expensive. Do you collect money from the girls monthly for dues or for each specific trip? Or do you take craft and event money out of the troop bank account? We are a small brand new troop with zero funds.

    1. Thanks you for your comment, Rebecca!

      I collect $35 in dues in September. This money is used for patches, craft items, and workshops. Since we do not sell cookies, I use my teaching background with making something from nothing! In the past, all field trips we took were free ones. This year, the girls wanted to go to Build-A-Bear , so I asked the parents to pay. We never do anything big ticket, so this was not an inconvenience for the parents.

      In our first year, I collected $25 in dues from each girl to cover supplies. You really do not need much as Daisy Scouts-crayons, markers and glue are the backbone of many crafts! Search the clearance bin of craft stores for things you can use. Save your receipts if you wish to be reimbursed.

      When my older daughter was a Girl Scout, she had to bring in her own art box with supplies, and she kept this in her Girl Scout bag. Other leaders buy supplies in bulk during the Back to School season and then get reimbursed.

      I wish you good luck on your leader journey! Please ask if you have any other questions!

  2. I do not collect dues. For weekly meetings my coleader and I usually have the things we need on hand for crafts, supplies etc. I’m a crafter and many times I look at what I have on hand and come up with ideas of what to do/make that way. For things outside of normal meetings we use troop money for supplies we may need for parade float decorations or international fair country booth supplies and decorations or snacks for bridging ceremonies etc. I do somtimes buy something small we may need but usually in that case its so small in cost or something I can use left overs at home that I don’t mind. I do also use my own paper and printer ink for newsletters etc but dont reimburse for that.

    1. I used a lot of my own things when we were Daisies, but I collect dues for patches and large craft items since we do not fundraise.

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