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    Beginner Financial Planning: Where Do I Start?

    1. Brian @DebtDiscipline

      March 11th, 2015 at 7:24 am

      Great road-map Stefanie! All about starting, and once you’ve done that building your personal plan.

    2. Stefanie

      March 11th, 2015 at 8:24 am

      Indeed. I see too many people deterred from getting started thinking it’s too complicated when it’s not.

    3. Holly@ClubThrifty

      March 11th, 2015 at 9:03 am

      Great advice, Stefanie. I think it just feels overwhelming to people. Most of the time, getting started is the hardest part.

    4. Stefanie

      March 11th, 2015 at 10:23 am

      I think getting started is the hardest part followed closely by follow through, but I think even getting started with a failed follow through will still leave you better off.

    5. John @ Frugal Rules

      March 11th, 2015 at 9:22 am

      Excellent overview Stefanie! We were talking with a friend a few weeks back who was dealing with much of the same – just not starting because they didn’t know what the “best” way to do a given thing was. I think we can all be guilty of that at times with something that’s new or overwhelming to us. But, that inaction you pointed out needs to go away for the sake of time.

    6. Stefanie

      March 11th, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Agreed, crippling inaction doesn’t serve anybody.

    7. Laurie @wellkeptwallet

      March 11th, 2015 at 9:41 am

      Great road map here, Stefanie. I think adult choices anxiety affects all of us at one time or another, no matter what our age or what the circumstances are. Change is hard!

    8. Stefanie

      March 11th, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Thanks Laurie. Putting new habits in place is never easy. The payoff is oh so worth it though 🙂

    9. Elroy

      March 11th, 2015 at 9:52 am

      I think the important thing is to set goals. Without them, you’re a barking dog chasing a truck.

    10. Stefanie

      March 11th, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Definitely helpful to have something you’re saving towards motivating you.

    11. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

      March 11th, 2015 at 10:08 am

      I think people assume that financially planning their lives is a huge time consuming suck. OK it may be at first when you just get going, but once the hard part is out of the way, you just kind of flow with it. Basically you just have to kind of get up off the couch and start somewhere…anywhere.

    12. Stefanie

      March 11th, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Exactly- anywhere is better than nowhere.

    13. Tim

      March 11th, 2015 at 10:44 am

      It’s so hard to stress enough to young people to GET STARTED AS YOUNG AS YOU CAN!!!! I was doing some savings here and there along the way and started the 10% when I got my first job out of college… It was not till 3 years ago that I can to sense with reality and said I’ve got to get my savings rate up a bit if I want this to work for me.. However, we all have different goals and my goal back then was not focused on retirement…

      If only I had started saving just a few years earlier and or saving 15% instead of 10% where I might be now instead.. I don’t dwell too much on that but look forward rather and looking at what I have to do now to get to where I want to go in 3, 5, and 10 years.

      There are SOOO many more resources for younger folks these days and I think it’s awesome!!!

    14. Stefanie

      March 11th, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      The resources are fantastic and new ones are popping up every day. It’s great to financial planning becoming increasingly accessible to everyone and not just those with high net worths.

    15. Scott

      March 11th, 2015 at 11:27 am

      good tips for those looking to boost their financial awareness. Personally I do a lot of this, but I also have a financial advisor that creates the roadmap for me. I give him the info and then he builds the plan. Best part is it’s all “free”. Just paid through the commissions I would otherwise be paying for anyway.

    16. Stefanie

      March 11th, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      It’s unfortunate, but a lot of advisors require a threshold level of assets to work with clients. Often the people who need the most advising get left behind.

    17. Mel

      March 11th, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Analysis paralysis is such a problem at first. It was honestly why I love my target date fund IRA – since it kind of made sense to me even when other financial stuff didn’t and it was easy to start. Good luck with your budget bootcamp!

    18. Shannon @ Financially Blonde

      March 11th, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Great road map Stefanie!! I think it’s important to note that financial planning does not and will not look the same for everyone. It’s not always just about retirement planning, there are all sorts of financial goals that people want to accomplish and the best way that they can accomplish them is through a plan.

    19. Kali @ XY Planning Network

      March 11th, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      These are great tips! The wonderful thing about getting started with your finances now is that there is a wealth of information available to you via the internet. It’s amazing how accessible education is now. It does take some work to find the answers to your questions, but financial blogs, podcasts, and ebooks are all so helpful — especially when you consider they come with a community of people looking to help you out 🙂

    20. Chelsea @ BrokeGirlGetsRich

      March 11th, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      I took the ‘making an effort is good enough’ approach to my budgeting, and it actually revolutionized how I was able to meet my savings goals for my retirement account and emergency funds. My problem was that I absolutely hated the level of micro-managing most financial experts like to attach to every single dollar that comes into your bank account. So instead of doing that (because I never did it anyway, I just put it off and never gained any ground in my financial goals), I pretended like that advice didn’t exist and did it my way – a more minimal approach for sure, one that maybe doesn’t optimize absolutely everything, but one that does actually get things done.

    21. Syed

      March 12th, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      It’s really easy to get overwhelmed about personal finances when you haven’t put much work into it. Like you say, some action is much better than inaction, and I’ll add that consistent action is even better. It’s easy to get super hyped and make an awesome plan only to have it fizzle out in a week. Making small consistent changes everyday is the way to go. Read a blog post one day (this seems like a good one to start with). Check your credit score the next. Get a finance book from the library. These little things will add up to a treasure trove of knowledge before you know it.

    22. Abigail @ipickuppennies

      March 12th, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      I’m a depressive and therefore easily slide from nervous into non-functional. So I would suggest that people who feel overwhelmed focus on a single (small) step. Find out how to open an IRA. You don’t even have to do it right then. Just learn it.

      Or focus on tracking one portion of your budget each day or two: grocery spending, eating at restaurants, etc. Small steps can save sanity. More importantly, it means people don’t feel overwhelmed and give up.

    23. Leslie

      March 12th, 2015 at 7:53 pm

      This is a great description of how to get started! All of this is good, but I especially like your point about taking some action being better than taking no action. When it comes to getting started with a saving program, it can seem very daunting if you look at the huge numbers first. Instead, just start with a small amount like $20 bucks a month, which will be easy to absorb into your existing habits. By setting it on autodraft you’ll find that it starts to build quickly.

    24. Stefanie

      March 13th, 2015 at 7:41 am

      Absolutely. Never underestimate the power of $20 🙂

    25. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank

      March 13th, 2015 at 3:52 am

      With your advice, getting started with our finance journey will be easier as 1, 2 , and 3, Stef. Leap of faith is what it takes to be successful.

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    27. Lovely @ Persona Financ Tips

      March 14th, 2015 at 11:54 am

      Yes, making decisions regarding your personal finance can be extremely intimidating but I always advise individuals to do as much research as possible before making any choices! Thanks for this post

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    31. John Olwero

      February 16th, 2017 at 7:38 am

      Wish I had read this years back but its never too late to start and I know God is in control. Now am beginning to manage my finances well with these laid out strategies thanks.

    32. Stefanie

      February 16th, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      You know what they say, the best time to start is 20 years ago, the next best time to start is now 🙂

    33. Max Sayer

      June 13th, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      I have been thinking recently about getting a financial planner and wanted to look up some information. I really appreciated the tip about defining where you want to go. I agree that it’s important to identify the “you are here” mark.

    34. Stefanie

      June 14th, 2018 at 10:35 am

      For sure! You need both the starting point and the ending point to navigate. And yes, a financial planner can always be a good guide!

    35. Millie Hue

      July 30th, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      It really helped when you said that starting a financial plan could be done by looking first at your credit score, debt load, and etc. I will share this information with my best friend this coming weekend when we meet up for a catch-up. It’s because I heard that they plan on hiring an expert to create a financial plan for their retiring mom. This will help them a lot to have an idea about where to start. Thanks!

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    38. Rosie Beckett

      May 31st, 2019 at 2:05 pm

      My parents are planning to retire soon and they want to make sure they are financially prepared. You make a great point that my parents should set goals and then categorize them. I think this is a great idea because this way they can focus on saving for retirement and then set secondary goals for things they want to buy or spend on.

    39. Jay Jorgenson

      July 16th, 2019 at 3:28 pm

      My wife and I want to start a financial plan. I like that you mention it’s better to go for it, even if you mess up on the way than worrying that you won’t make the best choice. You did a great job explaining how to start a financial plan.

    40. Laurel Larsen

      July 23rd, 2019 at 6:42 pm

      I liked the tip about taking financial inventory. It can really be intimidating to plan your life out financially and so knowing what you’ve got to work with is important. Instead of looking toward the future, I’m going to start my financial planning off properly.

    41. Stefanie

      July 24th, 2019 at 9:29 pm

      Exactly! It’s about keeping yourself from overwhelming your outlook on your financial future.

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