Budgeting and Business: Interview with Leila Juzvaitė-Gembutė

Writer: Alika Stepanishcheva

Editor: Mariia Lysikova

Photographer: Margo Smolenska


Are you planning to open your own business? Are you interested in balancing your budget? 


The last event of Student Success Week on Budgeting, Finances & Wedding Business led by Leila Juzvaitė-Gembutė was just about it and more! 


If you wonder how to combine your creativity and logical thinking, this article will help you to gain some essential knowledge. 


Despite the fact that it was Leila Uzvaitė-Gembutė’s birthday, she dedicated her time to help students. Let’s learn more about LCC Students Financial Services Director. 


Her professional and academic experience includes:


    • LCC graduate - BA in Business Administration (‘07)
    • LCC employee - Payroll Administrator (‘07-’09)
    • LCC employee - Student Financial Services Director (‘09-...)
    • Dvel Laime - Co-Founder / Wedding Planner (‘11 - …)
    • Taylor LCC graduate - MBA (‘17- ‘19) 


Firstly, Leila spent some time giving students practical advice on budgeting.


  • What is the budget?


Leila Juzvaitė-Gembutė explaining the
importance of budgeting.

“Budget is your direction. While driving or heading in a certain direction, I use maps as many other people do. It gives me a step by step guide where to turn and what to do. The budget does the same thing! It guides you to your goal, sets your financial stability, and helps you to save step by step.”



  • How to manage a budget and save money?


“If you plan on saving a certain amount of money, you need to plan ahead of time. Take a piece of paper and set a goal, think about how much money you want to save, and write down your current amount and your usual spendings. This way, it will be easier for you to focus on your aim and other priorities. However, budgeting might be challenging and the hardest part would be striking to your financial plan. That’s why you should constantly remind yourself about why you’re saving, what’s your goal? Budget is about you telling you what to do, just listen.”


“Budgeting takes practice and in order to improve this skill, it is important to keep track of your expenses for a month. After indicating every aspect of when, how, and what you spend your budget on, you are going to see the real picture of your financial activity. Then, you will know each step ahead of time and action, thus it would be easier to apply your knowledge not only in the personal but professional sphere as well.”


A budget is permission to spend, not a restriction.


“You have to balance and adjust your budget every month. You have to tell yourself what to do instead of wondering where that money went at the end of the month. You should try to follow the chosen direction, and if you take the wrong turn, go back on the road. It's like having a map guiding you. Budget is not a punishment, it is an opportunity to achieve your goals.”


Lila Juzvaitė-Gembutė is not only Student Financial Services Director, she is also an owner of a Wedding Business. 


  • What does Wedding Planning Business do? 


    • Plan a wedding
    • Event design
    • Product styling 
    • Studio design 
    • Book launch 


“ Contrary to popular belief, the wedding business is not that romantic.”


Leila provided several examples of budgeting in her Wedding Planning Business. It was a great opportunity for students to see how to apply budgeting skills in both professional and personal lives. 


  • How to manage budget In Wedding Planning Business?


“First of all, it is important to  apply one of two options:


    1. Figure out how much cash a couple can spend 
    2. Calculate how much the wedding couple wants will cost and then worry about where they will get the money


A personal budget is one thing but the business budget is another. It is important to consider both a couple’s budget and their dream because they influence one another and result in a general outcome. The overall journey of wedding planning requires compromises and schedule changes because sometimes you want something more but your budget is limited.” 


Leila Uzvaitė-Gembutė advises to list priorities and deeply think about what is truly important.


  •  What led you to the sphere of finance and your own Wedding Planning Business? 


“When I graduated, it was a strategic move to start working in a financial office. I wanted to get not only theoretical but practical knowledge. After working in a finance office for a year and a half, I realized that I am good at numbers, but I need more human interaction. As a result, I was promoted to Student Financial Services Director, and I have been working there since 2009. In 2011, I started Wedding Business together with my friend.


My sign is libra, which is about balancing. Somehow I noticed that on the one side, I am very logical and on the other, I am very creative. Thus, I needed to release my creativity after and the best option was Dvelkia Laime, a Wedding Planning Company. Then, I understood that I need more knowledge, hence I started my master’s degree in International Business Administration at LCC International University. I was combining two jobs and a master’s degree at the same time.”


  • How do you set a balance between LCC job and your own business?


“At LCC, it’s a bigger mission. I am truly blessed that I am able to be involved in student life. It’s truly interesting for me to get to know the students and to see them during the freshman year and then when they graduate. For me, LCC job is about meaning and marketing team which is incredibly creative.”


  • What skills are necessary for starting a business or working in the finance sphere?


    • Logical thinking
    • Flexibility
    • Like routine 
    • Well follow rules 


  • What or who inspires you to move forward in the sphere of business and finance?


“Getting out of my comfort zone and adjusting to something new gives me the knowledge and motivates me to explore more in the sphere I work. Wedding planning is a stressful journey, but once we see that happiness in a couple’s eyes, we see the purpose.” 

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