I believe the right tools help you do the job right! In this post, I'm sharing the tools for financial planning that I use-- both to create my financial planning system and keep me motivated to keep my finances together.
All the high-end tools in the world won't help if you don't have a great system.
Systems for personal financial planning
I have a system that helps you set up your personal financial system. It's a bomb system. If you're ready for it, you'll love it.
It helps you make a plan to afford your life and plan for your future.
You get to make smart financial decisions, then automate those decisions so they're working in the background each month without ever lifting a finger.
Without all that financial worry you become truly free.
But you don't have to get the spreadsheets to start.
You can start with ready some of the blog posts (at the end of this post) to use as resources to help you get started with financial planning, and you can download the free templates I have here on this page.
RELATED: Make a Down to Zero Budget
Get these resources, and then check out what I use for tools for financial planning and you're on your way!
Tools for financial planning
The only thing you REALLY need is your resolve, your enthusiasm, and a few hours.
I swear-- three hours and you're going to have a plan that you can use to meet your financial goals.
But the right tools can truly help you make and keep your financial plans.
Now, these are low-tech tools. If you want high-tech financial calculators for debt repayment and college savings, have at it.
These are the tools that I use for my planning and upkeep of the financial plan. If you don't have your favorite planners, pens, and supplies, read on!
The right planner: TUL
The most important financial planning tool I have is called TUL. It's a notebook system that I use as a personal planner.
A place for your round up sheets
I really think the most important financial planning component is that you have a place to put your financial tracking documents that you can review monthly.
You're not going to be making new decisions or changing your decisions, you just need a place where you can SEE the decisions you've made and store the basic documents that show how those decisions were made.
TUL gives you the ability to add and remove pages, which means you can move pages around however you like.
No clicking binders or losing pages to ripping.
I LOVE that you can punch any page you like and fill up your planner with custom sheets anytime you want.
You need calendars to help you make your financial plans.
I use both a digital calendar and paper calendars, but there's nothing like the visual impact of seeing your whole calendar in front of you on paper.
Use whatever system works well for you, but I suggest that a monthly view with at least six months and a year's worth of weekly views will be the best tools for financial planning.
Stickies-- you need 'em
I am addicted to stickies.
I use them to make "right now" goals for the day, placed on top of my planner so I can't help but get those three things done right away.
I use them to mark my place in books or in my planner, and I use them for reminders when I'm in the middle of a plan and I want to mark where I left off.
Get these that fit inside your TUL planner!
The right pens for the job
I have favorite pens. This is a ridiculous explanation of my favorite pens but you will love them too!
You don't need THESE pens as tools for financial planning, but you need SOME pens, and I recommend these highly! Let me know what YOUR favorite pens are to keep yourself motivated and organized!
These Stabilo fine line pens are the bomb. I use them for writing my to-do lists, creating smaller outlines or project plans, writing notes, journalling, and anything else really.
I write in colors because it helps me remember things and occasionally color code my thoughts. Often I'm trying to remember where I wrote something, and I know I wrote it in green so it's easier to find it in my notebook.
The thicker Stabilo pens I use for writing headings, bigger text on my endless lists, or larger notes. The lighter colors I use as a highlighter because this pen has the perfect thickness.
I have a very specific method of creating a to-do list and crossing things off. I love these Double Ended Brush Markers just for this! They have a brush tip on one end and make lovely pastel-colored highlighting that isn't so glaring like the conventional neon colors you have to choose from.
Get yourself the right pens and you'll feel full of power and possibility!
All the templates you need!
Audit Your Spending Account Template
I've created dozens of templates to help you clean up your finances, make decisions for your personal money management, and keep yourself organized!
Use this Audit Your Account template to organize your audit process.
When I'm done taking notes in my bank account, finding all the different charges I need to investigate, I use this sheet as a to-do list for the next period of time.
To clean up your finances you'll need to contest charges, cancel subscriptions, and move bills around. Use this template to keep you motivated and on track!
financial planning templates
These financial planning templates include pages to get your personal financial planning jump started! Get them for free by entering your email in the field below and I'll send them to you right away!
Included are sheets for tracking goals, debt and savings, spending, annual expenses, and bill pay. There's a round up sheet to put it all together and make decisions about how to use your money every month.
Make these decisions ONE TIME and then learn how to automate the whole thing so you don't have to think about your money management at all!