What do I do when the client has given me a budget and I am trying to stick to it but she keeps picking out things that are way too expensive?
I am afraid the when I present the final costs I will be so far over the budget that she won’t give me the job…
This is actually a good problem! You can use this to your advantage quite easily.
Think of this as a budget on 2 levels, one that is on target and one that includes all of her “I love its.”
You are obligated as a professional to produce a good design for the agreed upon budget so make sure you have a good specification for every item that is price appropriate. Then on you budget sheet (we use an excel sheet, see Purchasing for Profit in out Design Biz Tool Box for “how to” info.) add an option for the item or items that she loves that are over budget.
This allows her to make the choice (and you can encourage her) to go over budget and have what she really wants.
This is a win-win situation because you completed the job on budget, you made the design better by allowing her to have what she really wanted and you made more profit on the more expensive item.