4 Penny Pinching Tips For
Savvy Budgeting in TV News

4 Penny Pinching Tips
For Savvy Budgeting
in TV News

Written by Lois Lane
🕒 November 15, 2018

If you work in the news industry, whether for 10 years or just one, you’re familiar with how low the pay can be.

In fact, the Pew Research Center recently reported that in the United States, newsroom employees make less than other college educated workers. This is not surprising to me.

My first job in television news was working as a web producer/reporter making $10 an hour. Awful, right?

When I was hired initially I didn’t see it as extremely bad, because I was so thrilled to get my foot in the door and have a job in my field as a recent graduate. But after a few months reality set in, and I had to get a second job.

I’ve always been a person that manages my money well. I’ve always saved, never spent my money on frivolous things, and I never asked my parents for money. My mom simply gave it to me each time I went home, because she knew I needed it.

During my two year period of making what most in television news consider poverty, I tried to make ends meet the best way I knew how.

While I make a little more now, the following tips are still a must! Because, let’s be honest in most small to medium television news markets, it’s hard to get a decent salary. So here are a few basic tips to get you started on the right path to budgeting and saving.

1. Have a Plan, Make a Budget!

Take a few moments and write down all of your expenses. I usually do this in my planner.

From your bills to your groceries—everything that’s a necessity each month. For your bills, list them in the order that they are due, write the due date​ beside them and how much the payments are.

Writing your expenses down, helps visually without keeping it all jumbled up in your head.

2. How Much Can You Save?

I know, saving is so hard while living paycheck to paycheck. Trust me, I know all too well. But based on your income, and your expenses, think about how much you can actually save each month.

If you get paid every two weeks, think about transferring $50 of your money to your savings. Even if it’s $25, that’s still good. Something is better than nothing.

3. Resist the Urge to Eat Out

For many of us in TV news, especially reporters, things can get crazy at work—leaving you in line at the nearest drive-thru. Don’t do it!

Take time to make and pack your own meals at home for work. For reporters, since we’re always on the go, buy a lunchbox that includes ice-packs. There are some out there
that even have heating features.

4. Shop Smart!

For groceries, shop smart! For clothes, shop smart!

While you’re grocery shopping, pay attention to prices, use coupons—do what you have to do to save. You can find deals at the dollar stores on kitchen items, especially The Dollar Tree.

There are a few great apps out there these days that can help you save on grocery shopping. When it comes to clothes make thrift shops your best friend, and catch things on
sale at your other favorite stores.

For the most part, I never pay full price for clothes. I hope these basic tips are a greater starter on getting your finances right while on​ the grind in the news industry.

It’s rough earning less than what you’re worth, but please don’t give up on trying to save something. Remember something is better than nothing in your savings! 

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