A financial plan is a comprehensive picture of your current finances, your financial goals and any strategies you’ve set to achieve those goals. Good financial planning should include details about your cash flow, savings, debt, investments, insurance and any other elements of your financial life.
Financial planning is an ongoing process that will reduce your stress about money, support your current needs and help you build a nest egg for your long-term goals, like retirement. Financial planning is important because it allows you to make the most of your assets, and helps ensure you meet your future goals.
Financial planning isn’t just for the wealthy: Creating a roadmap for your financial future is for everyone. You can make a financial plan yourself, or you can get help from a financial planning professional.
A good financial plan is guided by your financial goals. If you approach your financial planning from the standpoint of what your money can do for you — whether that’s buying a house or helping you retire early — you’ll make saving feel more intentional.
Make your financial goals inspirational — what do you want your life to look like in five years? What about in 10 and 20 years? Do you want to own a car, or a house? Are kids in the picture? How do you imagine your life in retirement?
You start with goals because they will inspire you to complete the next steps and provide a guiding light as you work to make those aims a reality.