There is no one right way to manage the financials of your Forum, so let me give you the two most common options I see, and you and your group can decide what works best:
- Option 1 – Everyone For Themselves: In this setup, there is no bank account, no accounting, and no treasurer. Instead, every meal, or expense that comes up is divided by the group and each person pays their share right away. This option is managerial easier as it eliminates any bookkeeping. It also is nice because if someone misses a meeting, they aren’t paying for everyone else’s meal. But it can be annoying to have to figure out for every meal and expense.
- Option 2 – The Kiddie Pool: In this set up, the group agrees to put a certain amount of money into a group fund every quarter. The group’s treasurer is in charge of the kiddie pool. All meals and expenses are paid by the treasurer and pulled from the kiddie pool. When the funds get low, the treasurer asks everyone to add more. This option is easier for in-the-moment payments. I also think this option creates a stronger sense of group identity as there is a shared “bank account.” However, it does require more backend bookkeeping.
As I said initially, there isn’t a right answer, only what works best for your group. Pick an option and try it out, if it doesn’t work, change it up!