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.

Financial Planning Software

When it comes to planning your financial well-being, it might be helpful to use one of the many tools available today. Some of these tools include financial planning software. Depending on the type of software you purchase, it could help you in a variety of different areas, such as planning for your retirement or keeping track of your personal and business dealings. Many of the financial planning software that is available today can do all of this and so much more.

There are several different types of financial planning software available on the market today, that you will have no problems in finding one. However, whichever type you choose, you should ensure that it performs exactly as you need it to, in your financial planning venture. For example, some software can help you in managing and calculating your 401k, estimate the costs of college or savings, keep track of your stock portfolio, or analyze the goals of your IRA.

Some other features include keeping track of your profit and loss in regards to your business, balancing your checking account or multiple accounts; maintain a organized list of your customers, contacts, or even employees. There are so many features that come with various financial planning software that it is imperative that you research the software to ensure it can offer you exactly what you need.

The prices vary greatly depending on the financial planning software you purchase. For example, the latest version of Microsoft Money Home and Business, which is perfect for home-based business owners, personal finances, or businesses that employ less than five people, runs for a cost of around $60.00.

The financial planning software that is the most popular and used by many is Quicken. The home and business version of Quicken, gives you power to categorize expenses both personal and business, in efforts to help you when it comes to taxes and reports. Quicken helps you in finding all the deductions you can claim and simplifies the process of preparing your taxes, as well as helping you in managing your flow of cash in an effective manner. This program runs at a cost of about $80.00.

Of course, the choice is yours and you should only make the decision after conducting research on the different financial planning software, determining what your needs are, comparing prices, and comparing support of the company. Make sure when you make any type of investment that you only do so after gaining knowledge and the best information.

Marketing Education And Training: Mlm Secret Profits

When you start in the network marketing business, it is usually because of a couple of reasons. You are fed up with your job. You need more money than your job can give you; or, you simply want to start a business that will be with you for the long term. Many people start in the network marketing business because they believe that following an already organized, successful plan is easier than trying to create a business plan, product or service and promotional materials to get things off the ground. In many respects, network marketing takes care of many of the baffling, hard parts of business startup.

That’s the advantage of getting started with network marketing. The disadvantage to it is that they have no idea how the plan really comes together or how to judge whether the plan is good or bad at the outset. They are aware of how they need to network and far too many of them think that it ends with begging friends and family into helping them! While the plan is there, implementing it is a lot more difficult but very doable.

Prior to starting out, people need to be trained. Marketing education and training comes before prospecting MLM partners and associates because what a person learns and knows needs to be translated and transferred to the people being recruited in order to build a successful organization where everyone makes money. Lured by the hype, most new network marketers need training to get the information needed to make the product or service they are about to sell workable in the long term.

One of the first things that new network marketers need to learn is how to stop harassing and prospecting MLM associates in places where most people are not comfortable talking about a business opportunity. If you see a mother with two kids in the grocery line at the supermarket, this is probably not the best place to approach her with a full blown opportunity presentation. Another favorite approach after the new marketer runs out of friends and family to talk to is they buy useless leads that are either dead or broke or both. They are, in any case, not interested and consider your call the desperate warbling of a telemarketer.

Getting the correct type of marketing education and training is also crucial. In many network marketing programs, the new associate is taught that in order to be successful, they will need to take tough action: cold calling hundreds of businesses in order to be successful at prospecting MLM associates. The other, less strenuous method is generally not taught and most often overlooked – how to build an effective lead capture system complete with lead capture pages as well as other more highly converting methods that almost guarantee a successful outcome.

Many of these techniques were viable before the Internet and network marketing systems merged. Using the latest technology coupled with revamped systems tailored to use on the web, the new methods have revolutionized the industry making business opportunities easier to work and building teams a much less arduous task. All of the new technology and systems are there, but it takes a specialized training in order to take advantage of the new systems.

New marketers these days are combining MySpace, Facebook, Youtube and other programs into methods that allow them to contact MLM associates by the thousands. If you want to get new members, you are definitely playing the numbers game, but if you learn to use these methods, you’ll find that your numbers are going to skyrocket, only because you are able to reach more people with a single effort!

As long as you have the proper marketing education and training, you are going to find that you can take your business to the next level easily. You’ll be in a place of complete abundance. Make sure that you have both the training and the technology to become the next network marketing success. This is something that is real, and within your reach!