The point where you have more money than you can manage effectively on your own will differ from person to person. However, if a person does reach that point, it means that a simple budget is no longer enough. They need a financial consultant, someone who can build a solid plan for them.

This is especially true if they have long-term goals that they want to build towards now. You need smart financial planning to turn the present income into future resources.

Here’s some advice. We hope that this will lay down the groundwork for when you start on the road to getting financial planning for the future.

First, you’ll want to set goals. What’s the point in financial planning – or any sort of plan – if you have no goals to work towards?

You might set it at paying off a huge debt in half the time. You might be saving up for a comfortable income once you retire. You could just be looking to buy your own house. Having a goal helps you do an important thing: define what you shouldn’t spend money on because it complicates your goals.

A strong, realistic goal gives you a point you can reach. When you do, it feels euphoric, like you’ve achieved something. It also helps define what short-term sacrifices you need to make.

Be aware of the ebb and flow of your cash.

What is your income and how much of that becomes an expense? This is your budget.

Now, how you budget will vary. Find a strategy that works for you and stick to it.

What’s important isn’t how you budget, but that you are hyper-aware of what you’re budgeting. If you are, you can check where the fat can be trimmed to give you more money for future goals.

Have a large fund for emergencies. This is essential.

Every financial planner will tell you that you need to save, to pay off debts, and to invest. A real expert in financial planning will help you figure out what order to do those things.

The order will vary. If you have high-interest debts, paying that off should come first. If you don’t have that kind of debt, you might consider investing or saving depending on what you don’t have. There’s no one answer that will fit everyone. A financial planner will adapt the strategy to your situation.

Finally, involve an element in the plan to increase your income.

For most people, expenses aren’t necessarily the problem. Unless they’re knee-deep in debt and using more debt to pay it off, the real issue is income. There’s not enough money coming in, and that needs to change for the financial plan to work.