Financial Planning Strategies and Resources

Engaging in strategic financial planning can help you achieve personal wealth. Whether you want to build a retirement nest egg, purchase a vacation home, pay for your child’s college education or purchase investment property, financial planning is best way to reach your goals.

In today’s economy financial planning has never been more important. Unfortunately, many people falsely believe they do not possess enough money to save for the future. The truth of the matter is most people can set aside at least five dollars a week. It’s simply a matter of reviewing finances and making minor budget cuts.

People who are living paycheck to paycheck may want to consider obtaining credit counseling. Although most credit counselors charge a fee, there are several non-profit agencies that utilize a sliding scale to adjust fees for people with low incomes. Depending on income levels, some people can obtain credit counseling at no cost.

Many options are available to help people commence with financial planning. The Internet provides a wealth of educational resources to help consumers regain control of personal finances. Local libraries offer numerous money management books, along with home study investment courses.

The first step of financial planning requires thorough review of income and expenses. Most consumers have more money than they realize, but often waste it buying unnecessary items. A simple way to determine if you are wasting money is to track every expense for one month. Write down every penny spent, than review to determine where expenses can be trimmed.

If you find you are spending $100 each month on coffee drinks, fast food lunches, yard sale items and online purchases, consider eliminating those expenses and placing that money in a high interest savings account. Over the course of ten years, this small amount could turn into $12,000 plus interest.

Financial expert, Suze Orman, suggests setting aside a minimum of 10-percent of earned income prior to paying living expenses. Many people feel guilty about paying their self first, but if you want to get ahead in life you must learn how to include savings in your household budget.

One credible source for learning how financial planning can help you become debt-free is Dave Ramsey. Ramsey is known for his no-nonsense approach to debt management. His website is packed with debt reduction tools and advice which can help anyone achieve financial freedom regardless of their income.

Ramsey’s website offers his no-cost Gazelle Budget™ Lite online budgeting software to help consumers create a zero-budget financial plan. Visitors can peruse financial planning articles, download household budgeting forms, purchase personal finance, money management and investing books, attend financial classes or obtain personal coaching from Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

Another great source for learning about various financial strategies is through certified financial planners. These professionals can help consumers achieve short- and long-term investment goals. They are trained to help individuals be aware of negative spending habits and learn how to implement get out of debt strategies.

The best place to find certified planners is through the Financial Planning Association website at FPAforFinancialPlanning.org. Visitors can locate information about retirement planning, estate planning, saving for college and buying a home.

There has never been a better time to begin financial planning. The sooner you start, the easier it is to build wealth. Before you dive in, take time to conduct research to determine which type of planning is best suited for your needs. Then, create a savings plan and make a commitment to stick with it.