Most times when I ask the client what their budget is, they avoid giving me a direct answer. I think they feel that “If I tell her how much money I’ve got, she’ll spend the lot!”
If we as designers have a clear understanding of your budget, we know what direction to go in and are not sourcing items outside your resources. Also we may be able to plan the project in stages or phase in some elements at a later stage.
Once you have decided on your budget, draw up a Wish List and include any Must Have’s you want. Then if your Wish List is not within the scope of the budget, your designer may be able to suggest some alternatives or offer suggestions where you can make savings.
By being honest with your designer (and yourself), you’re more likely to receive an end result that you will love and still afford to enjoy.