A good place to start for most clients is to draw up a budget and a personal balance sheet. This will give you a good idea of what’s coming in and what’s going out each month, and what your overall net worth is i.e. when you add all your assets together and minus your total debt what is your net position.

Once you understand both these positions you can start working on them to ensure they tie in with your end goals or objectives whatever they may be. For a lot of people, there is a massive disconnect between what they want to achieve and what they are actually doing on a daily basis which leads to them veering far away from where they initially intended ongoing.

There are various scenario planning tools that you can use to map out exactly what is required from you financially to meet your goals, both in the short and long term, which are vitally important to know where you are currently and what needs to be done to make sure you end up where you need to be.

In summary, if you want to improve your personal finances, allocate more time to better understand your financial position together with your advisor and regularly monitor your progress to ensure you are on track to achieve your goals. After all, “a goal without a plan is just a wish”