Financial Planning is a somewhat misunderstood subject. Many people feel that financial planning is a large complex process that costs a lot of money.

The truth is that financial planning is any planning you do to grow or conserve your wealth. This can be anything from a decision to save, to a complex formal document that analyzes every aspect of your finances.

A simple way to develop a financial plan is to start by writing down your goals. From there you can start to map out a plan for how to achieve those goals. Evaluate your current situation and start researching ways to get you from where you are now to where you want to be.

But remember, a financial plan will not achieve your goals for you. Rather, the act of developing a plan forces you to think about what you want to achieve and how you will go about achieving it.

While it is true that some form of financial planning is critical to growing wealth, too much planning and not enough doing can actually destroy your wealth.

If you are a corporate executive with a six figure income, large net worth and a family who depends on you, you may want to consider paying a professional to do a comprehensive review of your financial situation. You may be amazed at the money her or she can save you in taxes and asset protection.

However, too often, young people with little net worth and little income are talked into paying thousands of dollars to put together a financial plan. The truth is, for most of these people, the best financial plan they could ask for is to save more money. And paying someone $1,000 to tell you that is not a good way to start.

Remember, there are plenty of financial advisers who will write a very basic financial plan for free. Of course they often hope that you will purchase other services through them in exchange but you usually have no obligation. If you have a bank account, you can speak to someone at the bank who may be able to put something simple together for you. If you have a small investment account with a broker, there’s a good chance the broker has the ability to help you develop a financial plan.

In addition, there are plenty of places on the internet with tools you can use for financial planning.

Someone who specializes in financial plans will often charge a sizeable fee for this service. If a complex plan is what you need, this will probably be your best option because the service they provide is extremely comprehensive.

But for most people, sending a large portion of your monthly income to a financial planner to draw up a large document that you will never read is a waste of time and a waste of money.

So while it’s important to have a plan, don’t spend all your time and money planning.

Instead, work on growing your income and cutting your costs so that you are able to save money and build your net worth. Once your assets are substantial and your financial plan becomes more complex, then you can consult a financial planner that can evaluate your situation and look for wholes in your financial plan.

Author's Bio: 

Valarie Doria is an author and financial professional. With more than 15 years experience in the financial services industry, Valarie is an expert in wealth building strategies. In addition to being a mother of three and married to a financial professional, Valarie maintains a website at that specializes in giving free professional advice on how to grow wealth.