So, it is almost the new year. I am sure that many of you have resolved to do better with your finances this year.  Please know that I am here to help where I can. Just ask. I too have some changes that need to be made.  In November I did 6 web sessions with The Money Counselor. These were just a conversation between friends about different subjects to do with money.  I will be posting them on my site and on You Tube.

I have been asked many times over the last few weeks, “What are the basics steps to building a financial Plan?? Doing a financial plan is much like planning a trip.  Where do you want to go? Then how do I want to get there (drive, fly, or Cruise)? The same applies to a financial trip or plan.  One thing that is different from a trip, is that with a trip, you know where you are starting from.  For many people, planning a financial trip means first figuring out where they are at.

Also just like a trip, many people use the services of an advisor.  Someone like me.  I will come to your house, at your convenience, and guide you through figuring out where you are and how to get where you want to go.  Many people don’t like talking about their finances.  I totally understand that.  I love talking about money, just not my own. But even a travel agent would have trouble helping you, if you don’t tell them where you want to go, how you want to go, and what you want to do when you get there.

Financial advisors have to go through a lot of training, and examinations. We have very strict rules and laws about handling private information.  Licenses are too hard to get to risk losing them.  There is nothing to be ashamed of or worry about.  Money has no emotions.  Dealing with money needs to be emotionless.  No judgments.  The past is gone, only the future matters.

You need to remember that there are no quick fixes in the financial world.  Financial plans need time to work.  If someone says they can take you from $50,000.00 in debt to $50,000.00 cash positive in 6 weeks, watch out!!  It took time to get where you are, and it will take time to get to get to your goals.  I will warn you. You might have to make some lifestyle changes.  They are not often big changes, but there will be changes.  Often it just takes changing where your money is going, and having the most cost effective spending and investing habits.

Here are some areas where you might be able to get some savings.  Your insurance. What kind of policy do you have? Is it really doing what you think it is doing?  What does it cover and what does it cost?  The type, and amount, of debt that you have.  Credit card debt is very much different than mortgage debt.

Are you a candidate for debt consolidation? Should you have a line of credit rather than a credit card?  Do you know where your money goes right now? Do you need to change some habits?  Eat out less, make coffee at home.  These are most often where we can find easy money.

Next you need to look at your investments. Do you have any?  Are they makings as much money for you as possible?  Are they diversified?  Are they getting you towards your goals as fast they could?  For example. If you have $6,000.00 that needs to be $10,000.00 for the down payment on a house down in 2 years, and it is only making 3%, that goal is next to impossible to reach.

How can you fix that?  That is where your financial planner can help.  If you are well on your way, and going in the right direction, with the right plan, I will congratulate you.  There might be a suggestion as to some small improvement. Think of me as your financial travel advisor.  Send me an email, or face book message, or linked in.  I am here to help.  I can also handle your Real Estate needs, whether buying or selling.