Many people believe financial planning is reserved for the wealthy. Others believe creating a financial plan is too difficult or they do not have enough money to save for their future. These false beliefs can prevent people from achieving their financial goals and leave them living paycheck to paycheck and praying no unexpected financial emergency occurs.
The reality is financial planning is more important today than ever before. With a weakened economy and increased cost of living, most people are worried about their financial future. Financial planning can provide a sense of relief and the opportunity to build personal wealth.
Many options exist in the arena of financial planning. Finance tools can include a basic savings account to a diversified financial portfolio consisting of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and real estate investments.
Individuals struggling to make ends meet might benefit from creating a household budget. A large percentage of Americans have more money than they realize, but waste it on items they really don't need.
Budgeting can be an effective way to investigate daily expenditures and eliminate unnecessary expenses. A good way to track expenses is to write down every penny spent for at least one month. Most people are shocked to see how quickly that pack of gum, morning coffee and fast food lunch eat through their finances. By making simple changes and avoiding impulse buys, most people can save at least $100 or more each month.
One trusted resource for learning how to budget and engage in financial planning is Dave Ramsey. Ramsey offers Gazelle Budget™ Lite online budgeting software via his website at DaveRamsey.com. This financial planning tool allows visitors to input income and expenses and quickly create a realistic budget.
Other valuable features available at Dave Ramsey's website include financial planning articles, budgeting forms, list of personal finance and money management books, first time home buyer tips and resources, investing guides, financial classes and coaching via Ramsey's Financial Peace University, and an online community forum where visitors can share and learn financial planning strategies.
Individuals who prefer one-on-one guidance might benefit from working with a certified financial planner. These professionals are skilled at helping people achieve both short and long term investment goals. They are trained to spot excessive spending habits and provide sound advice on how to reduce debt, pay off credit cards, and develop financial plans.
A good source for locating certified financial planners is through the Financial Planning Association website at fpaforfinancialplanning.org. FPA offers a wide range of financial tools, articles and videos which cover topics such as retirement planning, college planning, home ownership and estate planning.
It is never too late to begin financial planning. However, the earlier individuals get started, the easier it is to build wealth. We invite you to learn more about personal money management and wealth building by visiting our financial planning article library. New articles are published weekly, so take a moment to subscribe to our mailing list and receive instant notification of updates.
Published on January 26, 2010 at 02:06 AM | Comments: 1
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