How much change do you have for your fete stall floats?

Reader question:

I am after some advice on the amount of change people have arranged for your fete stall floats. What sort of break down of notes and change did you start out with in your cash floats?


Here is some advice from our Facebook community on arranging your fete stall floats:


  • We gave the bigger stalls eg: food, silent auction a bigger float than the smaller ones. Look at what you are charging & work out change from that. Most people will have $50 to break first up, so have that in mind. And try not to have any change smaller than 50c.
  • Definitely hire an ATM people will stay longer and spend more. Floats allow $150 – $300 for each one with a mixture of notes and coins.
  • We organise a float for each stall. About $50 worth of change. Mostly $5, $2, $1. We aren’t pricing anything with 50c this year. Painful.
  • We ran out of float last year as the ATM we hired was only giving out $50 notes. If you are hiring one make sure it has lower denominations in to try to prevent this.
  • Ours ranged from $50 in change (second hand stalls) to about $350 in mostly notes (pony rides, petting zoo, stuff that was $5/$10 per person)
  • Get more than you think you will need. As long as you have the funds in the bank, it costs you nothing and will save you stress and trouble. Instruct your stall holders not to open bags of change if they don’t have to. Will save you having to count it. Most of our stalls had at least a $200 float.
  • Food stalls would need a bigger float as you would expect a larger turn over. From experience, ensure each stall can make change of a $50 straight up. Most people don’t think to bring small change to a Fete!! Once the day is under way, a good idea is to make sure you collect as much surplus money from each stall as possible. This saves the people counting the money many hours at the end of the day.
  • We use a ticket system at all stalls so there is only cash at the welcome tent. 1 ticket = $1. This helps the need to a huge float as families will generally buy a bulk group of tickets eg $50 or $100 then divvy it up amongst the family


  • We had $100-$200 per stall and it wasn’t enough. Denominations depended on how much the items were being sold. We also had ticket booth for rides/side show and food/drink so less stalls had to deal with cash which was great. Used 1000 ticket rolls as above for rides and little laminated ones we made for chips/ sausage/ side show game/ etc. Haven’t had the debrief yet but I think it worked well that way. Definitely need bigger floats next time. Early indications suggest more like $500 for rides & food. Our money collector then checked each stall regularly and put each collection into a labelled snappy bag with name of stall and time to help records for future events.
  • Another reader agreed with previous point regarding having larger floats. They also provided this screenshot of their float breakdown:

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