The 7 Steps Of Do-it-yourself Financial Planning

You are in control

You are already your own financial planner. Regardless of the extent of help you receive from professionals, you ultimately are the decision maker and you are responsible for your own finances. Although the financial world has become increasingly complex, it is becoming easier today to do a lot of your own planning. The variety of resources has expanded such as software for money management and planning; online tools for banking, financial planning and investing, and resources, and books and blogs that are easy to understand. These resources may be good news for you if the cost of professional fee only financial planners is out-of-reach to you. Besides the cost of fees, others may avoid planners because they have heard stories of advisors trying to sell a product that didn’t fit their situation. Cost savings and avoiding product pitches are excellent benefits of being your own planner.

Everyone should take a more active role in their financial affairs. Not only does it help with educated decision making and fraud avoidance it also helps you better communicate with your other professional advisors such as your accountant and attorney. You will also find yourself spotting opportunities when they cross your path.

Becoming a better manager of your family’s finances will also help you ‘dig out’ if you are struggling financially. When you consider the low savings rates and the high household debt, many more people find themselves in this category today.

The following are 7 steps to do-it-yourself financial planning:

Step 1: Commit

The first step to financial planning always begins with commitment. Whether you are having financial difficulty, or have just avoided setting goals and mapping out a plan – commitment is the first step. Commitment provides the discipline and focus needed to help sustain you on the path towards your goals.

Step 2: Set Goals

Without specific goals and a plan to achieve them financial success stays a foggy dream. Therefore the second step is to list the dreams that will motivate you. Write down all of the goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will serve as the driver, or the fire in the engine giving you the motivation to move forward. Everyone has dreams, but without constant watering and attention dreams will go dormant. Leave your past mistakes and inaction behind you, light a new fire and chart a course forward. You have an enormous amount of potential and talent, and if you have made mistakes you now have more experience and wisdom. Dare to imagine what you could achieve because your best years are ahead of you.

Step 3: Assemble and Organize Information

Get your stuff together. Planning is easier if you assemble everything in one central location. Make an organized filing system either in a cabinet, accordion file, a box, any way that works for you. Now locate and file all of your tax returns, receipts, insurance policies, contracts, wills, mortgages, deeds, titles, pay stubs, employee benefit statements, banking (loan, savings and checking), bills, investment and retirement plan statements and any other important papers.

Step 4: Manage Cash Flow

Your household is a business. You need to know how much you are earning and spending each month. Balance your checkbook and establish a budget. There are dozens of books and software to help with this, and your bank’s website may provide this as well. This will help you know when and where you are overspending.

Step 5: Self Educate

Establish a sound foundational knowledge base about financial matters. Start with books about budgeting and money savings tips, debt, basic insurance and investing. Be sure to include reading about mutual funds and financial planning. Avoid get-rich-quick, real estate, gold or innovative ‘secrets’ books. Stick to the fundamentals. I find the “For Dummies, ‘For Idiots’ and ‘D-Mystified’ book series to be very helpful for many people. Lastly, stay informed about current financial topics by reading financial magazines, newspapers, the business section of papers, and blogs.

Step 6: Create a Written Plan

A written plan serves as a road map towards your financial destination. It helps you understand where you are presently and the steps that you need to take to move forward. A financial plan is a process. Your life will change, therefore you should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. You should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. If you write your own financial plan, you will have to obtain financial planning software. Your other options are to pay to have a written financial plan completed by a fee financial planner or by an institution or professional that provides products. Be sure to find out about how the planner is compensated and what your fees will be.

Step 7: Engage Professionals

Most people can’t entirely do all of their financial planning by themselves. Assemble a team of trusted professional advisors that you can rely on to help you implement different aspects of your plan, answer your questions and be on the lookout for you. The professionals that can be the most advantageous are a proactive tax accountant and financial advisor with extensive planning, investment and insurance knowledge, an attorney qualified in estate planning, and a banker that can help with credit ratings and debt management. Before committing to anyone, get referrals for trusted professionals from people whose opinion you respect and don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions.

Investment And Financial Planning

On a general man to man basis Financial Planning is of more importance when compared to investment planning. If a man fails to save money, then where is he going to make the investment from? It is here that the need to emphasize on a strong financial plan comes to play. Financial planning is on a larger scale compared to Investment planning. Where investment planning is individual oriented, financial planning takes into account the needs of the individual and family. Financial planning is the process of assessing the financial goals of an individual at different junctures of his life. It takes into account all assets and investments that he already has and what others he may require to achieve his financial goals in the near future. The prime objective here is to ensure that the required amount of money is there with him at the time of an investment, thereby enabling him to meet his personal goals. This is how financial planning and investment planning relate to each other. Coming to the investment part, security along with profit is a big question?
Any investment depicts a clear picture of your current financial situation. Bifurcate your investments amongst various assets to reduce the risk factor. Asset Allocation is the best way to ensure that a particular investment made is a success. Monitoring your investment to maintain the allocation with your financial goals makes the investment tax efficient.

Following are certain points as to how one can better their investment and financial planning:

Investment Planning:

1) Create a Budget for Monthly Expenses: This enables you to get a clear picture as to where your expenses lie and how much unnecessary expenditure you could curtail to save a decent percentage of your income.

2) Paying of Debts: Once you clear of your debts, a certain amount of your expenditure is saved. This can be used for investment purposes.

3) Emergency Savings: Emergencies do arrive unannounced. One has to ensure that a certain amount is kept aside to meet these situations. These funds should be invested or kept aside to meet these situations. These funds should be invested or kept aside in investments that can be accessed anytime you need cash.

4) Investing in Long term Assets: Investing in long term Assets is a good decision. Purchasing a house is considered to be a good investment as payments towards interest and real estate taxes are tax deductible. Secondly the value of property increases with time. Other then this investing wisely in Mutual Funds, stocks and insurance will provide you with a good return on your investment.

Financial Planning:

1)Using a monthly spending plan or budget to keep finances on track
2)Making decisions about the job and its benefits
3)Getting the most out of other financial resources, including insurance and employer provided benefits.
4)Saving and investing money
5)Controlling expenses and staying out of debt.
6)Planning for estate transfer.

Generally people enlist the services of a financial planner prior to making any major investments. A financial planner is a professional who helps people deal with various personal financial issues through proper planning, which includes cash flow management, education planning, retirement planning, investment planning, risk management and insurance planning, tax planning, estate planning and business succession planning. While dealing with Mutual Fund Investments they are called �Fund

How To Find The Best Free Online Games

Online games are very interesting to play. When they are available for free, no one can resist playing them. Many people encounter the problem of finding sources for the best free online games. Even so, it is not very tough. Those who regularly play online games don’t have a problem finding interesting and suitable games.

There are free online games available on almost every game website. Certain websites are especially geared towards the game maniacs, and on these websites, many can easily log in and search for their favorite games. If you are looking for a specific game, you can type the name of the game in the search box, and then you will have it right in front of you. For example, if you are interested in a special kind of game, like war games, simply click on that option, or type “war games” in the search box. All of these sources for the best free online games are loaded with games for all kinds of players from kids to adults.

There are even certain websites particularly designed that specially serve specific groups of players. For kids of a very young age, the games have a very colorful design, and they rules are not difficult to follow. There is usually less competition and stress involved with these games.

The sources for the best free online games for teenagers and adults will tend to have games that are more complex, romantic in nature, fast, and tricky. There is more alertness required of the players of these games. Some of these online games charge for playing, while some of them are completely free. Therefore, one should keep in mind that it is a benefit to be able to play these games without spending a penny. The sources for free online games are visited and used the most.

You can find a variety of websites that are regarded the best websites for buying and selling video and computer games. On some of these websites, you can find things that are generally related to video games. They offer video game based greeting cards, video games wallpaper, and other things. There are many free online games that are available, and they can be shooting games, adventure games, sports, animated games, 3D games, cool games, hot games, fast games, flashing games, dragon games, war games, street racer, make up games, fear factor games, heart breaker games and more. Accessing these games is simple. All it takes is one click of a mouse.

Online Games Is Coming In Like A Tidal Wave!

Online games are growing in popularity at an alarming rate. Many online games imitate real life with virtual scenarios. Online games are now accessable to most of the world’s population. As many as hundreds of online games players can often be found exploring and interacting in virtual environments.

Many free online games are becoming hugely popular due to the ease of access. Furthermore, online games are growing on a global scale and attracting a broader range of demographics than the traditional video game industry. In fact, online games are being perceived as the future of the interactive entertainment industry.

Many free online games are flash or java games that require plugins and other downloads in order to play. On the upside, all these free online games are available for your immediate game-play, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although many online games are free some sites require that you pay to play better quality games.

For many people these free online games are addictive. What makes these online games so addictive? There are 2 top reasons why free online games are addictive: 1) they are fun 2) the thrill of winning. Most free online games allow instant play access to any player who is online. Instant play adds to the addictiveness of playing online games because of it’s instant gratification.

Some people may not understand why online games are so addictive. For those of you that don’t know, online games are not like your old school Nintendo or Play Station games. Profits to big games companies are soaring from online games that are very popular and addictive. The most profitable online games are the pay for play games which have also been steadily growing in popularity. What makes online games most addictive besides the fun of winning is their interactive nature. People are drawn towards fun and entertaining ways of connecting with other people.

2 main categories of online games which are available to the public are: 1) Interactive games where people play with and communicate to other people; 2) Single player games such as solitaire. A growing trend in online games is skill based games for money where players are able to win prizes and cash. A chess tournament is one online game where every entrant buys their chance to win whatever the cash prize happens to be.

Which online games are attracting the largest gathering of people these days? There are online games resources on the Internet which offer the largest selection of online games. Some online games are “massively multiplayer” games, which means that a large number of players participate simultaneously. These online games are high-quality and challenging. As many as 100,000 people can be found at any given time in some of the more popular ‘virtual worlds’ type of games.

Also known as browser games, online games are often social, with online chat rooms or forums to help connect players. On our site online games are divided into different categories, online racing games, online shooting games, online sports games and other games. Our free online games are in the most popular categories: online action games, online arcade games, online card games, online puzzle games and online sports games.

The Best Designer Board Games

Designer board games are something that is generally considered to have been started in Germany, and while sometimes referred to as German style board games, this title can be misleading. Designer board games have come from nearly every country and all have great success stories in the popularity they enjoy with fans. Many different Americans, for example, have produced vastly popular designer board games. A number of designer board games do come from Germany, however, but despite the intimidating nature of the titles, players should feel comfortable with any of these games. They often are similar to many games that players already know and love, but often present some form of twist or enhancement that can make them even more enjoyable!
Good designer board games all feature some sort of theme which unites the strategy and methods used within the game. Sometimes these themes can seem somewhat bizarre and unsuitable for a game, but that is also part of the charm of the designer game. Once such game, Bohnanza, is technically about bean farming, which causes many a player to raise an eyebrow. However, the real game deals with heavy negotiation and trading between players. By using different cards dealt from the deck, players must plant different bean crops, trade for certain bean crops, and eventually harvest the crops to gain money in return. The player who, at the end of the game, has the largest amount of money wins. While initially sounding a bit ridiculous, Bohnanza provides players with much enjoyment as the strategy needed in the game always changes based on the other players.
Tigris and Euphrates is another designer board game which enjoys much popularity with fans. Based on ancient civilizations, this game gives players the chance to act as neighboring dynasties which are clashing over this region. Players randomly select tiles from a bag and during the game, place these tiles in strategic positions around the board, gaining control of areas to expand their kingdoms. Different tiles stand for different aspects of the game and through careful placement, players can build and strengthen their domains in ways that will reap vast benefits. At the end of the game, players collect points based on the numbers and types of tiles that they have placed, and the player with the largest number of tiles is declared the winner of the game.
Scotland Yard is a designer game that pits one player against the others in a team. One player is designated as “Mr. X,” a fugitive from the law who is running around London, trying to avoid capture. The other players all form the law enforcement team trying to arrest him before a certain time limit has passed and Mr. X can roam free. The board is a map of London, marked with certain transportation routes and all of the stops along those routes. All players are forced to travel along these routes, with Mr. X trying to evade capture while the other players pursue. The twist is that only 3 forms of transportation are available and each one can only be used a certain number of times by the police team.
Much strategy and careful teamwork is required with these games, as with most designer board games. However, with the many different varieties and themes available, it is no wonder that they have become as popular as they are. Everyone should be able to find a game that suits their interests!

Financial Planning – The Key To Your Lifelong Success

Financial planning is not limited to asset allocation, mutual funds, and fixed-income investments – planning should include every aspect of your life.

Should you apply for that credit card? What type of car insurance should you buy? Should we save for our child’s college or put money in our IRA’s instead? These and many more questions are all part of financial planning.

The Larry Rule – A Little Known Financial Planning Fact

Larry Lindsey is not a famous name, even in financial circles. Currently, Mr. Lindsey is the chief economic advisor to the Bush Administration. In 1996, he was a Federal Reserve Board Governor – and he was denied for a Toys ‘R Us credit card!

To apply or not to apply, that is the planning question. Larry Lindsey, who had excellent credit and a high-income level, set out to demonstrate a flaw in credit scoring algorithms.

He simply applied for every retail store credit card he was offered, and in no time he had “too many inquiries.” Never mind the fact that he had millions in assets and nary a late payment in his 30-year credit history.

Knowing the Larry Rule is key to your financial planning. If you apply for retail store credit cards every time you are asked to do so, it will have negative effects on your credit.

You may then be asked to pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage or home equity loan, which could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Sacrificing $10,000 for a 10 percent discount at Fashion Bug is not smart planning!

Auto Insurance and Financial Planning

Most people think of insurance as a legal necessity, but in reality, it is a financial product, and that’s important to keep in mind. Don’t ever buy insurance just because it’s legally required or in order to give yourself peace of mind. Insurance must serve a financial planning purpose!

You need to have a planning strategy in mind when you purchase auto insurance. The insurance company’s goal is to get you to pay more in premiums than you take out in claims – thus, they profit.

Your goal should to pay as little in premiums as possible in order to be adequately covered. You don’t want to have to use your auto insurance, but at the same time, you don’t want to be subsidizing the bad drivers who take out more in claims than they pay in.

In order to develop a financial planning strategy for auto insurance, it’s important that you become as educated as possible on the subject. Luckily, there are dozens of great sites on the internet that provide free information on the various types of auto insurance plans, and the particular laws of your state.

Everyone has to own some form of auto insurance, and thus it should be the cornerstone of any intelligent planning strategy.

The Financial Planning Dilemma – College vs. Retirement

American parents love their children and will do almost anything to ensure they have every possible advantage. As a result, many parents save for their children’s college instead of saving for their own retirement. This act of selflessness is usually not a good planning strategy.

In order to avoid this mistake, one must have a decent understanding of financial planning tax implications. Most college savings accounts are taxed on some level, whereas financial planning products for retirement purposes generally are not. What’s more, saving for your child’s college can prevent him or her from receiving the maximum financial aid available.

In other words, by foregoing your retirement in favor of your child’s college, you are actually subsidizing the children of less responsible parents – or smarter parents who chose to save for their own retirement, in light of these facts.

Play Free Online Games For Fun

Online gaming is so popular with people of all ages, whatever types of games you like you are bound to find something to suit you online. You might also be surprised to know that there are lots of websites that will allow you to play free online games for as long as you like without having to spend a single penny. If you are a fan of flash RPG games you will not be disappointed as there are free online adventure games that you can enjoy. This will come as a relief to many parents who might already be paying monthly fees for their children to play the fantasy games that are so huge right now. Don’t pay a monthly subscription to RPG games check out the free adventure games online and join in the fun.

Maybe flash RPG games are not really your thing, if you are looking for different online games to play such as action or word games there are plenty of websites that offer this too. So why not go online and type �play free online games� into your search engine and see what results you get. Once you have found a website that offers free online games sign up and away you go. You can play free online games as often as you like � there is no limit to the amount of times you can log in and play for free. For a different way to find great websites to play free online games on you could check out some of the online gaming forums and ask users which are the best free gaming sites. That way you will find out which websites have the best games and which are the most popular without having to do the research yourself.

Often on websites that provide free gaming members have the option to buy the full, deluxe version of the games they enjoy playing. This can be good if you want to have a permanent copy of the game that you can play when you are not online. You are not under any obligation to do this however and if you just want to play free online games that is fine, you should never be charged to pay at all on these sites.

Some websites that let you play free online games have links in them to sites where you can play the same games but for money. These can be good fun for over 18s who are looking to add a little bit of excitement to their gaming. However it is important that anyone under the age of 18 does not play on these sites as it is illegal for them to do this. So if you have children who are using the internet to play free online games make sure that it is legal for them to be members of the websites that they join and monitor the website. So if you want to be able to play free online games when you feel like it go online now and get clicking!

Home Theater Furniture Buying Tips

No home theater would be truly complete without home theater furniture. It is usually the last element that homeowners consider in setting up a home theater but having the right pieces of furniture is essential to the entire viewing experience. Below are some pointers on what home theater furniture you will need and how to pick them.

An entertainment stand should be first on your list of home theater furniture. This is very useful for those who have limited space because it provides a single space where you can put your television, sound system and DVD player. If you do have the space, then you can opt for separate cabinets for the stereo or for the television, for instance. However, just make sure to pick out home theater furniture that go well together and that fits with the look of your home.

The next essential home theater furniture that you should consider has to do with seating.
There are so many options when it comes to couches and chairs so you should be able to find one that will suit your taste and that will fit certain requirements such as space, the number of people you want to accommodate and, of course, comfort. An important thing to consider when choosing the seats is whether the room is a dedicated home theater or not, in which case you would need to choose seats or home theater furniture, in general, that will fit the other purpose of the room.

If you are fortunate to have a separate room just for a home theater, then you are free to choose seats much like you would see in regular movie theaters with beverage holders even, only more comfortable. There are loungers with spacious armrests and gliding footrests, too. If your budget allows it, you can consider other home theater furniture aside from cabinets and seating to enhance your home movie watching experience further such as a popcorn machine or a snack bar. These add-ons will surely make your viewing more pleasurable.

Home theaters are growing in popularity and so manufacturers are coming out with so many options for the customer, which also means that prices of home theater furniture have become more affordable. Just remember to shop around compare before making a purchase. Try to survey as many furniture stores as possible, including online stores, so you can compare prices of different home theater furniture and get the best deal.

Video Games Becoming Addictive To Children

Parents, teachers, and adults are beginning to wonder with all the research being done on video games if children are not becoming obsessive even addictive to video games. Most of the research that has been complete have focused on video games that have more of a violent theme due to the behavior now appearing in children.

Researchers do feel that there is a connection between violent video games and violent behavior in children. It is felt that when these violent video games are played repeatedly then the children will have aggressive thoughts and become less helpful to others and less sociable as well. In video games where the goal is to kill as many characters as you possible can, then the objective turns into the violent the kills are the more points that they will collect. While a child is playing such a game ninety-nine percent of the time their heart rate will increase dramatically due to the affect the game is having on them.

A study was done by three teenagers and was put on observation at an International Science and Engineering Fair in Cleveland, Ohio that showed how video games affected children who played them. The study showed that people, not only children, or all ages had a rise in blood pressure and heart rate after they played a super violent video game. However, when the same person played a nonviolent video game did not have the the same effect as the violent video game.

Children all over the world play these violent video games every day and some play for more than three or four hours a day. There will always be a debate as to whether violent video games can actually make an individual have behavior that is of an aggressive and violent nature, but the fact is that these video games are addictive to children. It is true that playing video games can help children develop their visual skills while learning about computers, which may help them in school. In fact, studies are now showing that video games can be helpful for children.

The fact is that video games are proving to help children that labeled ADD or ADHD learn how to focus their attention. Video games are often innocent bystanders to the problems in society. Video games have the potential to inspire children to learn if it is presented in the right manner to children. Video games have already proven to have the capability of improving the coordination and visual skills of children that play them.

Children tend to choose video games that have the combination of being challenging, entertaining, and complicated. Many of these video games can take up to one hundred hours of play to complete and most children will have their concentration focused on the video game the entire time. Children that are labeled with ADD and ADHD by teachers are those children that can not sit still in school, but this might just be because they find the school work boring, because the majority of these children can spend hours trying to make it to the next level of a video game.

These same children, who professionals feel can not pay attention, can play a video game for ten straight hours if given the opportunity simply because the game focuses their attention in a way school is unable to try, which is interactive. These children are not simply sitting and watching, but are participating in what is going on and solving problems.

How To Find Cheap Air Tickets While Travelling In India

The natural beauty, the myriad colours, the exotic food and the wonderful hospitality of the people are just some of the things that make India an incredible experience for tourists from all over the world. India has so much to offer that it can truly be called a complete package for travel, and this has made it one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet. There is no shortage of places to visit and things to do in India. You can get a glimpse into the rich history and heritage of the land by visiting ancient monuments and buildings like the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. If you wish to be close to nature, the awesome beauty of the Himalayan mountain range and the lush greenery of “God’s Own Country”, Kerala will leave you mesmerised. For those seeking pure unadulterated fun, the beaches of Goa is the place to party; while the palaces and forts of Rajasthan, the land of Kings, offer a truly regal experience.
India is a vast country – the seventh largest in terms of geographical area and the second largest in terms of population. It is a nation of variety, diversity and contrasts, all of which add to the uniqueness of the experience. It is a place where multiple cultures, languages, cuisines, customs and religions not only exist side by side but are inextricably held together, seemingly by some mystical force. India’s vastness also means that you cannot possibly cover all its destinations or even the most famous attractions in a few days. In order to really explore the country and discovers its many features, you will need to plan your trip for about two months. Touring India can be an intense and exciting experience, but does not need to be expensive. Travel, accommodation and food will all appear cheap for European and North American travellers and with a bit of planning you can get the maximum bang for your buck.
While planning your trip to India, do not forget to compare prices from different airlines and websites to get cheap air tickets to India. Most travel websites, including Airlines and Online Travel Agents offer discounted airfares on international and domestic flights. They provide you with a wide range of updated information not only on flight schedules and availability, but also destinations, cities, airports, the weather and many other things.
To make sure you get the best airfare deals, purchase your tickets well in advance, if you are sure of your travel dates. If possible, try and book your tickets 3-6 months in advance, to avail the most lucrative offers and discounts. The best deals are almost always available on the World Wide Web, so check the internet regularly and make sure your book online. Buying tickets on the internet is a completely hassle free experience which will save you a lot of money and time. With a bit of research you will also be able to find several attractive hotel deals that suit your budget and requirements.
Travel Tips for India Tours
Stick to these few basic tips and make your trip to India all the more enjoyable and hassle free.
Avoid travelling on weekends: Most Indian travellers choose to travel on a weekend, which makes it difficult to get tickets for those days.
Advance booking: If you can plan your trip to India three or more months in advance you will have a good chance of getting cheap tickets even during the peak months.
Weather in India: India is generally a hot tropical country but there are areas that get fairly cold during the winter. From March to August it is hot in most parts of the country and temperatures are known to exceed 40 degrees Celsius several places in Northern and Western India. A great way to beat the heat is to go to a hill station or resort in the Kashmir valley or Himachal Pradesh. September and November are ideal for trekking in the Himalayas. However, the best time to travel in India is between October and February, as the weather is cooler and much easier to bear. Visiting India at this time will be more comfortable and will probably allow you to cover more places. In general, the north of India is temperate, the centre is hot and dry, while the south has a sub-tropical climate.
Peak time in India: The most expensive air tickets to India are found during the peak holiday season in October as there are many Indian festivals that take place at this time. Ticket prices also rise in December and January on account of Christmas New Year.