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I need to start tracking costs...any inspirational examples?


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I started doing this for the love of a lovely scented home. After great reviews and an amazingly successful craft show last year (followed by a huge move!) I'm ready to start taking this all to the next level next year, with any luck!

I never really kept track of costs too much, since it was fun, but I really do want to start. I have NEVER been good with money related things, so I'm a bit stumped. My hubby has excel on his computer.

Does anyone have any ideas/suggestions on where to stary?

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I keep track of the shipping on what I order and figure that into the cost of each item. If I am shipping wax, then the shipping is usually 75% of the shipping cost because its the heaviest. I assign a basic amount to wicks and colors and fragrances etc unless a fragrance is the only thing I buy, then that fragrance absorbs the cost 100%.

So. I write down the cost like 50 pounds of wax cost $100 for the wax, $30 for shipping (just an example) So the cost of 50 pounds is $130 or $2.60 per pound.

Since I make small batches for now, I add up the costs for 1 pound batches. 1 pound of wax+an amount for color, wick and the cost of fragrance used in that 1 pound. Some are one ounce, some are more. Then I add the cost of the jar and packaging.

Add all of that up and you have the cost per unit. If a cost changes, I go back to my notebook and change the core cost.

If you can use a spreadsheet it would be a lot quicker. I learned accounting when I was 13 helping my Grandmother who was a bookkeeper. After that I studied accounting in college, but we still didn't use computers then and so all of my experience is by hand. Yup, I still do it all by hand. It takes me longer to figure out how to use the computer and I have everything done in my head faster so I have never changed.

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It is actually very easy to track everything in Excel, if you or your husband are fairly proficient in using it. I believe if you do a search in this forum, you will find at least a few Excel spreadsheets that members have been kind enough to share. None of the ones on here actually fit my need, so I wrote my own. I make double glassed gel type candles that are very similar in design, (outer glass vessel, inner votive glass, gel, embeds, etc.)

I merely took very careful measurements on each of the elements of my candle designs, and put the cost figures in my spreadsheet. As costs per element change, a simple change in the spreadsheet, resets my cost basis.

I have written a Sample Spreadsheet for you to examine. ONLY the actual Cost of the bulk items is correct (via Caldlewic.com) I made guesses at the shipping costs, and other things like the number of Wick Tabs in a 1lb bag. I gave a few sample examples, assuming a 9oz candle holder would need 9 oz of wax and 6 inches of wick and a wick tab. I couldn't put the Excel file in here since I couldn't find a way to attach it. (Only the screenshot) If you want it for reference, drop me an internal note with your email address, and I'll send you a copy.


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