The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Expenditure Estimates

Reference Number: MTAS-1818
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: June 10, 2016
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I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past.

Patrick Henry (1736 – 1799)

Speech in the Virginia Convention, March 1775

If you know the basics of estimating revenue, you should have no trouble estimating expenditures. Often, the same method is applicable here: past history is a good indication of future performance. If, for the last two years, you haven’t spent as much on office supplies as budgeted, chances are you won’t spend as much in the upcoming year. However, there are always unusual circumstances that must be addressed, but overall, this is a useful method for estimating expenses.

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