How do you handle your fete stall cash floats?

Reader question:

We are doing an old-fashioned Fete where we control all of the stalls there are no external vendors at all (apart from the rides)….. Can anyone share advice on how to handle cash floats for our stalls?


Here is advice from different members of our Facebook community on how to handle fete stall cash floats:

  • Make sure you have clearly labelled containers to put the money into when you collect excess cash during the day. We didn’t and $$ got mixed up, so we weren’t totally sure we counted the correct $$ for the correct stall. Rookie mistake.
  • We gave our stalls a pencil case for money pick ups & they were labelled with the stall number/name. For the first hour or so, one of our money runners had a satchel full of money & was giving change to stalls who were inundated with large notes first up. We had 2 money runners all day looking after half of the stalls each. They were introduced to the stall convenors at the meeting before the Fete started. We also had a password the money runner had to give before any money for pick up was given.
  • Each of our stalls has a white container with a cut out hole at the top to stop money flying away in the wind. But it can be opened from the top if needed. Each of these tubs has the stall name written in permanent marker on the top. When each stall has finished they are required to bring to the lock up area to be counted at the end of the night.
  • We use our Eftpos machine as an ATM (we are actually hiring 2 extras for the day – cheap at $28 each from WBC who we bank with) and use our takings during the Fete as cash for withdrawals via the eftpos machine. We are going against hiring an ATM firstly due to the cost $440 and secondly we hear they charge the user a fee also.
  • We have Bum Bags to be worn at all times in the Stalls.
  • Look at tokens for stall holders instead and one or two locations where money can be changed over for tokens. That way you need one or two cash floats, less risk with cash and easier to count at the end!
  • We have runners to pick up cash during the day to take back to the treasury. They are all identifiable via ID badges with a photo list we have security on admin block. If you aren’t on the list you can’t come in.
  • We have two bank bags for each stall with the same number marked on each. Then swap them throughout the day. Eg. No. 1 stall – Fairy floss. Both bags have the number 1 on them. You hand over the first bag with the float in it. Then each hour or when called by the stall you take the empty one with the same number on it and give them the new one with any change requested, and take the first bag with all of their excess notes etc…. You then keep track of each bag as it comes in or out, so Stall 1 might have 10 deposits totalling $3000 and 3 withdrawals totalling $250. Then after the day has finished, and you get a chance to sit down and tally everything you sent an email to all stalls with the figures for the day.
  • Our stalls have varied amounts in their cash floats but each stall has a coloured pencil case with stall name on it. Each hour or so our treasurer goes around the stalls collecting excess notes in their individual case and the locked room ‘bankers’ check it, record it under the right stall name and any change required is returned in the case to that stall. A receipt slip given to stall of what’s taken each visit is something we will look at for this year too. Helps double check the balances.
  • We bought cash aprons for stall holders to wear to keep notes and change in. We also used the pricing for each stall to work out change floats and we had a sheet for each stall to record the float issued and any extra change given and surplus cash removed during the day.
  • Ask your local bank to lend you a coin counting machine. Much quicker and they usually give it to you for FREE.


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