TCFM Reserves, Tasty Financial Snack #2

By Richard Fuller,
Community Development & Fund Raising committee

In Tasty Snack #1 we used our community vessel,

The "TCFM Experience"

The “TCFM Experience”

to talk about income and expenses.

Outline Exp all


All that color above the deck of the boat is money, coming and going.
In this diagram the different colors are expenses, going out, but of course that same money comes as INcome first.

Whether it is coming or going, it is our yearly “operating budget.” It’s what allows us to have the “TCFM Experience” each year.

For Snack #2, we don’t care about “income or expense.” We want to talk about “resources,” things we can use to do things we want, so let’s say our boat is filled with fish.  I couldn’t draw a fish, except for its wriggle–> ~

Here’s a boatload full of fish, a whole year’s worth. Boat with 2013 budget

In this imaginary “TCFM Experience,” all of our resources are represented as fish. People catch them in different ways and bring them for TCFM to use. We eat some of the fish. Some we trade for food vegetarians can eat, or for other things. Some we give away. If we get more fish than we need, we stash the extra in the freezer in the bottom of the boat.

Actually, the boat above deck is never full of fish, like the picture. People bring in some fish each month. And we eat fish all through the year, and trade them and give them away. So the whole year’s boatload of fish is not all there at the same time.

What if it’s July and we need to have more fish than people have brought us so far?

This is what Snack #2 is about. That’s why we have RESERVES. 

reserve = yearly

You never know when TCFM might need a whole lot of fish all at once. Maybe more than people have brought us so far in the year. For that reason we keep extra fish in the freezer, down below deck in the bottom of the ship. Here’s a picture with another whole year’s worth of fish in the freezer, down below the waterline.

(Of course the real TCFM keeps it extra money in a savings account, and in investments, but the important thing here is the RESERVES, so I’ll just go on talking about fish.) That’s a whole lot of fish in that boat. Enough to last a whole year without getting any new fish.

Here’s a boat with enough fish in the freezer to last for reserve = 3mosthree months, without getting any new fish.


Boat_reserve_2012 actuals


If TCFM’s reserves had been fish at the start of 2013, here’s what the boat would have looked like.

That’s $150,650. We had a surprising big expense this year, trying to keep mold out of the Grotto, so now our reserve is less than it was in January.

Updated 10/10/13






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