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8 budgeting, personal finance, and career tips from top CEOs

Think you're in a financial crisis? Try budgeting the resources of a Fortune 500 company! Budgeting (and forecasting) are 2 of the most critical business areas for a CEO to concentrate on, and they regularly handle budgets of millions (if not billions) of dollars. Here is the advice given by some of the countries top CEOs that YOU can apply to your personal finances, career, and overall productivity:

Personal finance advice from Fortune 500 CEOs

"Talk about the major priorities you have... low priorities, either delay the spending on those items or eliminate them..." DAVID EHRENBERG, Founder and CEO, Early Growth Financial Services

It is crucial to identify your priorities. There is a significant chance that you are spending way too much money on expenses that don't matter that much to you, or your long term happiness. Be frugal and make cuts in these areas so that you have more disposable income for the things that DO matter to you.

"Budgeting is a planning exercise ... a strategic planning and goal setting process." -JAMES BURDINE, Strategy Consultant, Productivity Coach, and Entrepreneur

Our tip: Know where you want to end up, and plan accordingly. Going in blind is dangerous, so determine your goals ahead of time - this will help you know what you can cut to reach them and what is important enough to keep.

"...pick smarter-- quality over quantity!" KEITH BYRD, Co-founder and CEO, Transportation Impact

Don't do something half-assed. Take pride in your work and deliver the best possible results. Managers will take notice.

"Live like a sprinter... that means working at your highest ... for no more than 90 minutes at a time, and then taking a break." TONY SCHWARTZ, president of the Energy Project

A simple idea, but one that pays dividends. Keep yourself well-rested and give yourself time to recover. It's much harder to come back from burnout.

Top CEOs give budgeting advice

"Don't try to do everything... Concentrate on a few big things, make an impact, and people will notice that impact." -WAYNE PACELLE, President, Humane Society of the United States

Over-deliver on your promises, and people around you will be impressed.

“Well, I’m here...I might as well drop off a brochure.” -WARREN BUFFETT, American business magnate, investor and philanthropist (considered 1 of the world's most successful investors)

When Buffet was younger and still driving a Buick to meetings on the 34th floor of an office building in NYC, the elevator stopped accidentally on another floor. He said what the heck and dropped off his brochure at a company which went on to become one of his largest clients. The lesson? Never turn down an opportunity, and always keep your eye open for one.

"Don't rush... gain mastery and take the longer view." -JACQUELINE HINMAN, CEO, CH2M Hill

It's important to learn all of the skills that you can to improve your earning potential. Take the time to make yourself a better person (and better job candidate!). These things can take time, but persistence will pay off in the long run.

Personal Finance Tips from a CEO

"Muffle the interruptions ... especially email." -GINA TRAPANI, founder, ThinkUp

A practical tip for avoiding becoming a slave to your inbox. While it may seem necessary to answer that inbox notification right away, most of the time, it can wait. Make sure that your inbox is not a productivity drain - take an hour to answer as much as you can (important stuff first) then move onto another project. On the other side of things, keep your own outgoing emails short and sweet.

"Have the courage to go and do what you believe" -WALTER ROBB, Co-CEO, Whole Foods Market

Our tip: don't be afraid to take risks. Nothing worth having comes easy.


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or, check out our tips on career advancement here:


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