Creating a Budget for Your Job Hunt? Sounds Crazy, But a Good Idea

Over the years, you may have heard the old adage that you have to spend money to make money. When it comes to job seeking, that saying is true. Even though you might not realize it, looking for a job can cost a lot of money – and perhaps more than you planned for initially.

Tip: Budgeting during your job hunt will keep you on track.

Although you may not have thought of it before, developing financial guidelines to follow while seeking employment is a smart choice. To keep a handle on job-hunting costs, it’s wise to set up a budget and follow it to the letter. By following a set budget, you can easily track your expenses and keep an eye on expenditures.

It’s easy to get distracted by all the interviews and applications you’ll fill out during your journey toward finding the perfect career position for you, which is why it’s all too easy to overspend and put your financial standing on even shakier ground. To guard against depleting more of your resources than intended, consider all the supplies you need for an ongoing job hunt prior to beginning your job search.

For your budget, list all possible expenses. These expenses will probably include transportation, first and foremost. How will you get to interviews? Whether you drive, take a train, ride on the subway, or catch a cab, transportation will probably be one of your main expenses. Be sure to set aside a good chunk of your financial resources in your budget to cover the cost of getting to and from interviews or other job-related events, such as job fairs.

Be sure to note expenditures in your budget for postage, envelopes, paper, printer ink, and internet access. You will need all of these things in order to put your best foot forward with potential employers. Use quality paper and ink. A badly printed resume is the sign of an amateur and could hurt your chances of being hired.

Finally, be sure you have enough funds to purchase appropriate job outfits. You can’t wear tee-shirts, torn jeans, and sandals to interviews and still expect to get hired. Buy a couple of outfits that will make you look clean and professional at your interviews. There are plenty of bargain shops that offer clothes at reduced prices, so while clothes will take up a good part of your budget, you don’t need to spend all your money to look decent.

Tip: Reap rewards by making a budget for your job hunt and sticking to it.

It’s hard to tell how long your job hunt will last, so be sure to stretch your dollars as far as you can. Plan for a longer-lasting employment search rather than a shorter one. That way you won’t put yourself in a tenuous position if you don’t land your perfect job within a week or two.

Also, while you might think you can simply keep all the figures and information in your head, you can’t. It’s better to write everything down so you can actually see how much you expect to spend, how much you should allot for supplies, and if there’s any room for unexpected expenses, such as a new suit should you get hired at a company that has a specific type of dress code.

Looking for employment is a serious undertaking that requires meticulous planning in order to be successful. By creating a budget for your job search, you can control your costs and effectively manage your financial resources until you secure the position you want.

A Budget for Your Job Hunt? Crazy But Good Idea

How do you stretch your dollar on the job hunt? 

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Bev Sninchak

Bev Sninchak is a veteran freelance writer with 16 years of experience producing content for both print and online publications. She writes about many subjects, from successful online marketing strategies to mastering the latest social media techniques. She can be reached via email at or at her LinkedIn profile,


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