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Financial Planning Tools

Now that you are ready to get your financial house in order, how do you start? In what direction do you make that first step?

When I start something new, I always like to start with a list or a worksheet of some kind. A list gives you a tangible reference to what you need or what you need to remember. A worksheet gives you structure and makes the process much easier. Instead of starting from scratch, you just need to plug in the numbers (or other information) that you already have. You don’t even need to be that organized first!

As you start your financial makeover, luckily, there are a lot of resources out there for you: the library, the bookstore, schools, professionals, and the internet.

For this post, let’s focus on the internet. There are quite a few non-profit organizations online that can provide you with basic financial planning tools for free.

What kind of planning tools are available to you?

  • Household budgeting worksheets
  • Savings calculators
  • Loan calculators
  • Interest rates calculators
  • Retirement calculators
  • Auto purchase evaluators
  • Home purchase, mortgage, and rent evaluators
  • And much, much more!

What can you do?

  • Print out a worksheet, or use a worksheet online
  • Go through a lesson plan on a financial topic
  • Calculate a purchase
  • See how much your debt is really costing you and see the best way to pay it off
  • Evaluate your insurance coverage
  • Set up your household budget
  • Participate in a webinar, watch a video, listen to a podcast, read an article

However you want to learn, and whichever way is easiest for you, there’s a financial planning tool ready and waiting. No excuses!

Here are some good websites to start with:

In addition to worksheets, The Financial Planning Association also provides links to brochures, articles, webinars, and just about every helpful resource you can think of.

FINRA has links to investment research tools, financial calculators, a glossary of financial terms and even a couple of financial games for kids.

On Money Management International you can use different calculators to evaluate your car purchase (or sale), expense budgeting and calculating, loan decision making; plus they have many more resources such as financial lesson plans, podcasts, webinars, etc.

TIAA-CREF also has a wide variety of resources, from articles to worksheets to webinars to videos.

And don’t forget to keep reading the PayDayHawaii blog for helpful real-life financial tips, suggestions, and insights!

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