The Basics of Creating a Spending Plan Worth Following

Enough is enough. You’re tired of wondering where your hard-earned dollars are going each month, or maybe you’re struggling to explain why it’s seemingly so difficult to save money yet so easy to increase your debt burden. Bottom line: You want a way to better control your financial destiny, to give yourself the best chance of getting where you want to go in life. But how?

For many people, the simplest, most effective way to gain insight into, and control over, their finances is with a spending plan. “This isn’t rocket science,” says certified financial planner Timothy A. Knotts, co-founder of the Hogan-Knotts Financial Group in Red Bank, NJ. What it is, he says, is a straightforward exercise that in many cases yields quick and significant results for people with the wherewithal to follow it.

Here’s a quick primer from the Financial Planning Association on how to develop and use a spending plan to gain a clearer — and likely brighter — financial picture:

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