A financial plan is a written description of a person’s current financial condition, long-term financial objectives, and plans for achieving those objectives. A financial plan can be made independently or with the assistance of a professional financial planner and begins with a detailed assessment of the person’s present financial situation and future expectations. The first step in building a financial plan, whether you’re doing it alone or with a financial advisor, is accumulating a lot of scraps of paper. These days, it’s more probable that you’ll cut and paste data from several web-based accounts into a document or spreadsheet.
We need to understand where and when your money is going in order to make a financial strategy. You may estimate how much money you need each month for essentials, how much might be left over for savings and investments, and even where you can make some small—or significant—cutbacks by keeping track of transactions, or the movement of money in and out.
Examining your checking account and credit card statements is one way to accomplish this. They ought to offer a fairly thorough history of your spending when taken as a whole.