In a word…. Absolutely!
Budgeting is vital to any enterprise, and it is likely that you already undertake this at some level, even if it is only on the back of an envelope!
What is certain is that careful budgeting can help structure your season. With this said your budgets will only be as good as the information that you put into them.
Taking some lessons from business, it is generally accepted that project management is based on three legs, namely budget, time, and quality. Equally it is also generally accepted that you can succeed with any two of these, but not all three. A case in point is Formula One. Here innovation and specification are the main driving force (quality), and generally these aspects will be required within days (time). Achieving these directly lead to the astronomical costs associated with this branch of motorsport (budget).
Cost overrun is one of the most common failings in projects. When looking at your season it is human nature to be as optimistic as possible – you want the season to go well. With this being the case it is also human nature to underestimate, or even totally ignore, the real cost of competition. Do NOT do it!
When compiling the budget for the season you should very candidly assess how much you can really afford to put into your team. Set your limit and unless there is a clear change of circumstances, such as a new sponsor, stick to it.
Having decided how much there is to spend you should also list ALL the expenses that you foresee for the year. Some of these are quite black and white such as club membership, race entrance fees and your competition license. It is the slightly greyer areas that can cause problems: travel costs, hotels, meals, it is very easy to overlook or understate these, but the net result of this could be catastrophic. In simple terms the more accurate your budgeting is the fewer headaches you will endure over the course of the year.
This may also help you to assess your goals… It may be that buying a better car seems like a wonderful plan, but this falls a bit flat if there is no money left to actually enter a race!