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3 Financial Planning Steps

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Organization, efficiency and discipline are the three primary steps of financial planning. Organization is knowing where your money comes and goes. An efficient portfolio means a better chance of profits, and discipline keeps you on the right track.

Statistics tell us that the average credit card debt per person - including all people who pay off their cards each month - is over $5,500. Folks don’t have a handle on the big picture of their personal financial world. If you are one of these folks, you should understand three important steps of financial planning and get started today, either on your own, using resources on the Internet, or by hiring a financial planner.

1. Organization

The first and most important step of financial planning is organization. You can be a lot closer to your financial goals in life by organizing your finances and understanding money flows, both inflows (like your paycheck) and outflows (bills).

If your financial life isn’t terribly complicated, an Excel spreadsheet may suit your needs perfectly. However, using something a little more sophisticated, such as Mint, Quicken or other online budgeting tools may become necessary, as you and your financial life continue to evolve.

There are a million ways to approach organization, but the “how?” is nowhere near as important as “when?” Of course, the answer to when to start organizing is now.

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