The 7 Steps Of Do-it-yourself Financial Planning

You are in control

You are already your own financial planner. Regardless of the extent of help you receive from professionals, you ultimately are the decision maker and you are responsible for your own finances. Although the financial world has become increasingly complex, it is becoming easier today to do a lot of your own planning. The variety of resources has expanded such as software for money management and planning; online tools for banking, financial planning and investing, and resources, and books and blogs that are easy to understand. These resources may be good news for you if the cost of professional fee only financial planners is out-of-reach to you. Besides the cost of fees, others may avoid planners because they have heard stories of advisors trying to sell a product that didn’t fit their situation. Cost savings and avoiding product pitches are excellent benefits of being your own planner.

Everyone should take a more active role in their financial affairs. Not only does it help with educated decision making and fraud avoidance it also helps you better communicate with your other professional advisors such as your accountant and attorney. You will also find yourself spotting opportunities when they cross your path.

Becoming a better manager of your family’s finances will also help you ‘dig out’ if you are struggling financially. When you consider the low savings rates and the high household debt, many more people find themselves in this category today.

The following are 7 steps to do-it-yourself financial planning:

Step 1: Commit

The first step to financial planning always begins with commitment. Whether you are having financial difficulty, or have just avoided setting goals and mapping out a plan – commitment is the first step. Commitment provides the discipline and focus needed to help sustain you on the path towards your goals.

Step 2: Set Goals

Without specific goals and a plan to achieve them financial success stays a foggy dream. Therefore the second step is to list the dreams that will motivate you. Write down all of the goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will serve as the driver, or the fire in the engine giving you the motivation to move forward. Everyone has dreams, but without constant watering and attention dreams will go dormant. Leave your past mistakes and inaction behind you, light a new fire and chart a course forward. You have an enormous amount of potential and talent, and if you have made mistakes you now have more experience and wisdom. Dare to imagine what you could achieve because your best years are ahead of you.

Step 3: Assemble and Organize Information

Get your stuff together. Planning is easier if you assemble everything in one central location. Make an organized filing system either in a cabinet, accordion file, a box, any way that works for you. Now locate and file all of your tax returns, receipts, insurance policies, contracts, wills, mortgages, deeds, titles, pay stubs, employee benefit statements, banking (loan, savings and checking), bills, investment and retirement plan statements and any other important papers.

Step 4: Manage Cash Flow

Your household is a business. You need to know how much you are earning and spending each month. Balance your checkbook and establish a budget. There are dozens of books and software to help with this, and your bank’s website may provide this as well. This will help you know when and where you are overspending.

Step 5: Self Educate

Establish a sound foundational knowledge base about financial matters. Start with books about budgeting and money savings tips, debt, basic insurance and investing. Be sure to include reading about mutual funds and financial planning. Avoid get-rich-quick, real estate, gold or innovative ‘secrets’ books. Stick to the fundamentals. I find the “For Dummies, ‘For Idiots’ and ‘D-Mystified’ book series to be very helpful for many people. Lastly, stay informed about current financial topics by reading financial magazines, newspapers, the business section of papers, and blogs.

Step 6: Create a Written Plan

A written plan serves as a road map towards your financial destination. It helps you understand where you are presently and the steps that you need to take to move forward. A financial plan is a process. Your life will change, therefore you should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. You should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. If you write your own financial plan, you will have to obtain financial planning software. Your other options are to pay to have a written financial plan completed by a fee financial planner or by an institution or professional that provides products. Be sure to find out about how the planner is compensated and what your fees will be.

Step 7: Engage Professionals

Most people can’t entirely do all of their financial planning by themselves. Assemble a team of trusted professional advisors that you can rely on to help you implement different aspects of your plan, answer your questions and be on the lookout for you. The professionals that can be the most advantageous are a proactive tax accountant and financial advisor with extensive planning, investment and insurance knowledge, an attorney qualified in estate planning, and a banker that can help with credit ratings and debt management. Before committing to anyone, get referrals for trusted professionals from people whose opinion you respect and don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions.

Loads Of Enjoyment With Online Games

The internet has become a major source of gaming content with the passage of time. Just like the games that can be installed and played on the computer, the online games also need a computer to run. The main reason why online games are now taking over the local computer games includes their wider range and easier availability. It is possible to enjoy racing games like truck games and car games to even bike games and unicycle racing games. Then there are traditional classics like card games, casino games and highly popular arcade games which give a hint of the days of gaming long gone by.

The thing that is important to know about online games is that online games are not just about playing. There are complete communities built around these games. You can find blogs and discussion forums about online games which are extremely helpful in enjoying the game to the max. In case you are stuck somewhere and need some help or if you have developed some nice trick or strategy that you want to share, these forums and blogs are just the place. Above all, you can find reviews about the games that you should play and the games that you should avoid.

Playing online games is extremely exciting and at the same time, extremely challenging. The adrenaline pumping that you can receive by playing online games can not be paralleled by anything else. There are a number of people who are involved in playing games online. You can easily find competition and you can also find allies for your games.

The best thing about online games is that you can find free online games. You have to look for them though. Most of the online gaming sites provide you a subscription model. In this case, you would get a free trial membership that would last for anywhere between a week to a month. After this, you would have to cough up money to keep on playing games online. Creating a new account would not help because you would not be able to transfer your game levels and statistics from the old user account to the new user account. The thing is that free online games are available. While they are not exactly free because they are being sponsored by advertising on the site. You would have to look for the games that are completely free and not just a ‘free trial’.

There is an endless variety of online games that you can play – from games as simple as Texas Hold’em Up Poker that allows you to gamble against other players to games like Chess where you pitch you gray cells against the power of a computer or the brains of other people. After you have finished a long and tiring day of work, online games can be the perfect way to vent your frustration and make yourself fit and free for another day at work. With online games, you can easily get fast track entertainment at almost no cost.

Food For Thought When Travelling

That’s what most people try to tell themselves when they go travelling. The stress of remembering the lights you left on in the house, the rubbish you forgot to throw out or the toothcrush that didn’t make it into your suitcase will make your trip agonizing.

If you’re one of the people above then you know that life’s little lessons are tried and true – buy a travel checklist. This will help you to ensure that your essential travelling documents like passport, flight tickets and itinerary are with you as well as your tanning cream and bathing suit.

Finding the right packing style for your trip is actually kind of fun. Even if you don’t know where you’re going yet or about how much you want to pack with you, take the time to shopg and compare. You can compare the measurements and weight of suitcases, flight bags, carry on luggage, garment bags, and hand bags online or in the retailers near you. Try to look for accessories that are light but of durable quality. Lots of sales assistants try to sell you the colors you’re looking for and don’t think about what you need to put in the case. The more appealing cases and bags, usually high quality, tend to be the heaviest of them all. When you find something you like, literally weigh it out in your mind before buy it.

Travel diaries and disposable cameras are a very important of your trip. Without these accessories you have no real way of recalling the most craziest and most fascinating experiences you’re about to have. You know what it’s like when you ask someone how their holiday was and they tell you they saw the beach and a couple tourist areas and took in a show in the evening for fun. You want to see it too! Take a look online or in the shops to find the product you like and will actually use.

Most people don’t think they’ll last long on a journey before they get comfortable and fall asleep. For some that is true but for others, like me, we need something to keep us entertained. A good book to lose yourself in will take your attention off the clock and allow the chance to escape the journey into a whole different time and/or place. Best sellers can be purchased at the airport at a slightly higher cost to the average retailer or bookstore but usually carry a wide selection.