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Advice on budgeting

Time

You have to remember to budget enough time to do your project. Planning is essential, although you may think it's is taking time out of when you could be doing research. However, if you plan your time you will probably be more able to work around any delays that come up, because you will know what you have managed to get done and what you have yet to do. Planning your time also helps you to stay focused on your objectives and prevents you from taking avenues in your research that lead you away from your original purpose. It will also help you to keep on doing the research and not feel that you can leave it for a while and come back to it later. If you have a fixed timetable and deadlines, you know that you have to keep working. Even if there are no external deadlines, set some for yourself.

Money

Some projects will not be so constrained by financial considerations, such as dissertations for university courses, or a personal project that is self-financed. However, if it is a project that has received funding from an outside body, a financial budget is essential. Make sure you know how much money is available to put into the project and decide how that should be spent. You may like to get a few quotes from several companies if you need to go to a contractor for some of the work, such as graphic design or publishing. You will have to be strict about how much money is spent on each part of the project otherwise you may have to scrimp in some areas to make up for overspending in others. Don't forget to budget for expenses that often get overlooked such as:

  • Travel
  • Stationery
  • Photocopying

It is also a good idea to budget a contingency fund of about 10% of the total for unforeseen costs. 

 

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