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30 Key Steps to Creating a Great Financial Planning

Financial planning is one of the most important tools for accomplishing your short-term and long-term financial goals in 2023. Here are some tops tips that help you to keep your finances aligned:

Know what is behind your financial decisions

Ahead of creating a budget, you need to determine what you value the most when it comes to finance.

Get organized

Keeping your important documents related to finances organized plays a key role in keeping your finances aligned and manageable.

Track your expenses

To keep your finances aligned, know where your money goes. For that, you need to track your expenses and find your spending loopholes.

Shop smartly

Shop for what you need and not for what you want. Make a spending plan and go to a grocery store with a list in hand.

Review your debt

If you want to reduce your debt then you need to review the amount you owe. Take out steps to pay it off.

Try building a strong credit report

If you want to accomplish your financial goals you need to work on building a strong credit report. Review your credit report once a year for free through three credit agencies and look for any errors.

Save money for the future

Set up an automatic payment and save money for the future. Just make sure to pay yourself first as much as you can from your payday and build a retirement saving plan for your future.

Make financial goals

Set up financial goals that you want to accomplish and celebrate milestones to reach your financial dreams faster and easier.

Create a spending plan

If you want to reach your financial goals faster and easier, just use the best spending plan to ensure your daily habits won’t hamper your struggle to accomplish your financial dreams.

Invest your money wisely

If you want your money to grow then you need to diversify your investment. Check out various investment programs that work best for you.

Know your money priorities

Before you begin creating a budget and sticking to it, determine your financial priorities. If you don’t give importance to this step, you won’t be able to succeed in your financial plan. Focus on aligning your money goals with your money habits.

Know your total income

To manage your finances, you first need to measure what you get. You should be having a concrete number of your income after taxes. Once you have a number of your monthly income, calculate how much you earn with your part-time job or side gig.

Build an emergency fund

Building a hefty emergency fund and putting a fixed amount of sum every month in that account is a must if you want to keep your finances aligned. An emergency is unpredictable. It is likely possible that you may lose your job or have a medical emergency or any other circumstances. For all these unexpected life problems, having an emergency fund can help.

Start saving money as early as possible

Regardless of your current financial situation, it is important to save money as soon as you start earning. There is no right age for saving and investing money. The earlier you start saving the more you can save for your retirement and other financial goals.

Take advantage of free money

One of the most successful ways to save money is by taking advantage of the free money that you will get from 401(k). Your money stands to grow the most if you start contributing towards your retirement savings plan as soon as possible.

Consider debt management if you have

If you want to keep your finances aligned you need to take a look at your debt. Just check if there is anything you can refinance at a lower interest rate. You can even consider transferring a balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate. Debt consolidation is another option to get rid of debt.

Keep moving

The best way to keep your finances in good shape is to get a grip on how and where you spend your money and then create a budget and stick to it. The unexpected turns and events in turn may throw you off track sometimes but that is completely ok as long as you get back to your budget. A financial hiccup here and there won’t destroy your financial success if you stay within your limit.

Understand your needs and wants

Make a list of your needs and wants and estimate the costs of each need and want. Start by fulfilling your needs and see how much you have left in your hands to meet your wants. It is important to prioritize your needs over wants.

Take help from a financial professional

Consider working with a financial professional to help create a plan to reach your financial goals faster. With a well-defined plan in hand, you can feel good about your financial choices and can also keep your finances in order.

Make room for periodic expenses

Birthdays, anniversaries and other important celebrations are important as it involves the love of your family and friends. So, you must organize a list of your periodic expenses that include vacations, birthdays and anniversaries. Proactively plan your finances for these expenses in advance with a periodic savings account.

Lower the use of credit cards

If you are into the habit of using your credit cards for all your purchases then you need to lower the use of multiple cards if you want to keep your finances aligned. Try using cash for your small day-to-day purchases and also for grocery shopping. You can see the difference and can have good control over your spending.

Work with your partner

If you are married and live with someone, discuss the importance of managing your money with them and work in a team and support each other in taking off your household expenses and needs. To money, you and your partner need to be on board with your desires, plans, and resources.

Automate your savings

The most effective way to save money is by choosing the option of automating your savings. If you wait until the end of the month to save the leftover money after paying your bills and expenses, the likelihood will be that there is not much left to save. Make it automatic and the money will be automatically deposited to your savings account when you get your paycheck.

Examine what you pay for

Review everything you pay. This would help you to determine whether what you are buying is actually what you need or not. If you don’t need it, you will surely avoid buying it.

Cut your expenses

To enhance your savings goals you need to cut down on unnecessary expenses. Find the key areas where you can cut on expenses like utilities, electricity, food and groceries, credit card fees and entertainment.

Keep a check on your spending habit

It is essential to review your income and expenses and see where your spending habits lay. For that you need to understand the concept of cash flow, what it is, how it works and what your household expenses will be like.

Be sure about paying the right prices

Ahead of making purchases making price comparisons are important to ensure that you are paying the lowest possible prices for the products and services. You can consider online websites to look for discounts, coupons and cheaper alternatives whenever you can.

Invest your money

Depositing money into your saving account each month is a good practice to save money but if you want your money to grow, invest your money into the right plans that work the best for you. Also, you must diversify your investment to save more for the future.

Be flexible

Reviewing your budget and your spending plan is essential and if there is any change just try to be more flexible towards savings. Whenever you get a hike in your salary, try putting that extra amount into savings and try not to increase your household expenses.

Pay off loans and credit cards on time

If you want your credit score to stay positive and build strong, make sure to pay off your loan installment and credit card bills in full on time.


Melokuhle is a publisher at Focus Money with over one years of experience in the financial services industry as a marketer. Leanne has successfully completed the South Africa Securities Course (CSC®) along with the Personal Lending and Mortgages Course offered by the South Africa Securities Institute. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Western University.

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