We all want financial security. We all want to make enough money to support our lifestyles, raise and educate our children, save for a wonderful retirement, and have fun along the way. So to achieve it all, what will help you more, having a financial plan or a budget? The answer is both!
Budgeting? Financial planning? I don’t get it! Aren’t they the same thing?
Financial planning is a relatively new industry. (It’s a fancy name for a version of what our parents used to call budgeting.) In Canada, there are well over 18,000 individuals qualified to call themselves Financial Planners and tens of thousands more can call themselves Financial Advisors, Financial Consultants and Investment Advisors some of whom may or may not have any set qualifications.
Over the past few years investors have been told by these advisors how they need to make financial planning one of their top priorities (where budgeting barely gets mentioned). And this is true, but unfortunately you cannot have one without the other. You first need to establish where your finances are today (your budget) before you can dream and set goals for your future (your financial plan).
One good way to approach the quest for financial security is to view your personal finances the same way as businesses and organizations do. When it comes to running a successful business two of the most important elements are the budget and financial plan. You see, a business doesn’t view financial planning and budgeting as an either/or proposition. They use both – their annual budget is used to guide their day-to-day revenue and expense decisions, while their financial plan spells out their future goals and gives guidance on their long-term decisions. So, just like successful businesses, you should have both – a financial plan and budget.
So, to help you gain better financial understanding and security the Financial Planning and Budget section of our website provides you with the various concrete tools and information you need to build, organize, and manage an effective budget/financial plan. The most important aspects that you need to understand are outlined as follows: