Monday, October 20, 2008

What Is Personal Financial Planning?

personal financial planning
Personal financial planning is a huge topic on the internet and the concepts are not difficult to grasp, though implementation may be difficult as you have to kick some bad habits.

A lot of people prefer to leave their personal finance in a mess or in the hands of others. I do not know if it is out of laziness, indifference or a fear of managing their own money affairs. If it is the latter, then I assure you that being an accountant is not a prerequisite to successful personal financial planning.

I was never particularly bright in college math but thankfully, personal financial planning is mainly common sense and simple arithmetic. The finance professionals may have an edge over us because they have paper qualifications and are accredited with a professional board.

However, their advice on personal financial planning is not always gospel or beneficial since they are likely to take care of their own interests first in the form of commissions.

So what does personal financial planning entails? In a nutshell, it involves organizing and growing our money as well as creating and implementing long term financial goals.

Our assets include the money we take in, also known as cash inflows, and the money we spend known (expenses) are called cash outflows. To be debt-free, you simply plan your expenses on how how much you make.

Any money that is left over every month is your net cash flows and you can save or invest it to meet your financial goals.

To have spare cash left over each month, you need to learn budgeting, which is an important part of personal financial planning. And today, it is so easy by using budget software like Quicken. You can try out the FREE online version Quicken Online - Web-based Money Management.

Or, you can find many personal financial planning books to help you along the way. And of course, reading many personal finance blogs around the internet as as we share valuable and practical life experiences in managing our money.