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7 Steps For a Successful Project Budget

How to Сreate a Project Budget: The Beginner`s Guide

February 23, 2023
8 min read

Predicting the required project costs is one of the most challenging aspects for a business when starting a new project. How to strike a balance between extra costs and risky cost reductions? How to allocate a budget and intelligently handle the IT project budget planning?

Reducing software product development costs without sacrificing quality is the right way to stay effective. However, cheap solutions at the start can sometimes lead to higher expenses later on 📈

To help you deal with all this, we've prepared a brief guide on how to create cost estimations for software development projects. It will come in handy whether you need a how-to for your first software development project or want to improve your estimation skills.

The importance of budgeting

If you skip crucial investments today, you risk paying a higher price tomorrow.

That's why proper and timely budgeting is a vital part of the initial stage of every product development process. It helps to allocate financial resources effectively, control costs, and identify potential financial risks early in the process.

Every project budget is a dynamic document, reviewed and updated throughout the entire project lifecycle. It brings a number of valuable things to the project management table, including:


With a well-prepared budget plan, you know where your money goes and can ensure that your timely project delivery. Let's explore more about how businesses benefit from timely budgeting planning.

Accurate resource estimation

It is crucial to come up with detailed estimates for the project cost. Once it is calculated, you can add the cost and resource estimates into a budget plan. Accurate resource estimation is pivotal in software development as it lays the groundwork for effective project management, ultimately leading to successful project outcomes.

Refined decision-making

Budget preparation for each project becomes a validated guideline for decision-making and future planning. By examining every stage, from estimation to budget adjustment, businesses can make informed decisions based on a comprehensive analysis of financial resources allocation, past performance, and potential adjustments required for successful project implementation.

Prioritized and structured project tasks

Estimating and budgeting each project activity enables the prioritization of tasks, allowing you to pinpoint key areas that require attention. Priority-driven budgeting identifies tasks offering the highest value and refines the strategic allocation of resources, optimizing overall project efficiency.

Unlocked decision-making options

Do you want to be a business prophet? Project budgeting plays a crucial role in advancing forecasting and other decision-making magic.

It provides a structured framework for decision-making by guiding resource allocation, supporting risk assessment, and ensuring alignment with project goals. It helps businesses make informed decisions throughout the project lifecycle.

Effective project management strategy

An approved budget helps build the software development project and allows it to progress smoothly. It is an essential tool for project management, as it enables project managers to establish financial constraints, prioritize spending, stay aligned with stakeholders, and keep the project on track.

Saved time and costs

Effective project budgeting and resource allocation and can reduce project costs and prevent budget overruns. A well-prepared budgeting plan enhances project profitability and saves your money (as well as your time as the most valuable resource).

7 steps to estimate budget for a project

As mentioned above, proper project budgeting is essential for effective planning, resource management, cost control, risk mitigation, decision-making, and goal alignment, throughout the entire project lifecycle.

Having learned about the benefits of project budgeting, are you ready to start the process of creating the budget plan? Let's figure this out together.


Project budget example

Developing a project budget can be a tricky task, especially for startups and brand-new projects. Nevertheless, it would be best to master this tool <medium>to pitch your project to stakeholders, acquire funds, and clarify how costs directly contribute to achieving project objectives<medium>.

You can learn from similar projects and create your estimate based on analogous project budget plans, but don't forget to make necessary adjustments to take into account the details and differences.

Here, we share a project budget example to explain <medium>how to create a software development project budget template<medium>.

This Freshcode's project budget document showcases cost estimation using the WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) and presents the detailed sections necessary for a comprehensive budgeting plan.


You can use this software development budget example to estimate MVP costs or adapt it to another type of product. All values in the template are customizable — assign them according to the project rates.

This simple project methodology, known as <medium>analogous estimating<medium>, involves comparing and compiling projects similar to the one your team is undertaking. It offers several advantages:

  • doesn't require a lot of resources
  • can be performed with limited available data
  • suitable for the project initiation phase
  • useful for initial stakeholder communications
  • can be improved and augmented with additional data over time

For consultation on creating a project budget or using estimation templates, please contact us directly.

Can I skip the project budgeting step?

<medium>Don't underestimate (in all senses 🙂) the software development budget<medium>, unless you want to risk missing milestones and going over budget.

<medium>Don't overestimate the budget with unrealistically large amounts<medium>, as this can tie up funds and discourage stakeholders and decision-makers from approving the project.

So, how to approach IT project budgeting and prevent common mistakes?


Wrapping up

Your project budget is not a project limiter. It's <medium> your safety bag, a shock absorber, and a compass guiding you through the project trail<medium>. It provides you with an action plan and a clear picture of where your money is spent.


A well-structured budget is the engine of a project, automatically fueling the process. By effectively controlling budgets, you can deliver outstanding outcomes 🏆

We know for sure that a professional budget plan speeds up the development process and makes it effective. Our business development managers are available to discuss this in detail. Please fill out the form on our website or contact our representative on Linkedin.

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