It isn't just the rich people who need expert advice on how to manage their money. People of modest means sometimes need the most help. The only problem is, they usually can't afford a financial planner, or even make the cut for one. Typically, financial planners have high minimum entry qualifications for how much you must make to need their services. Does it really cost much to hire a financial planner? They charge by the hour; and usually, only people with reasonably high net worths can get within range of those kinds of fees. Is there a way though that you can benefit from a financial planner's expertise without putting down big bucks for it? The answer to that one is that you can, if you subject yourself to regimented training and discipline. You could try becoming a financial planner for yourself.

You need to learn how to be your own disciplinarian. Schedule some time to sit down by yourself and go over your finances. Write down on a list, everything that you own. These will be your assets. On another list, think of and write down everything that you owe. What you're trying to do is, to create your own balance sheet. When you put those lists next to each other, you want to find out if you owe more than you own. If you do, you could be in trouble. What gives you hope at this point is, that you haven't really counted your paycheck yet. You can make another pair of lists now, one for all that you make (typically, that's a short list), and another one for everything that you spend each month (usually, this one's somewhat longer). Becoming a financial planner yourself, you are typically trying to make the second list smaller than the first list (in magnitude, not in physical length). Now here's what you need to do.

You need to set out goals for yourself for where you wish to be at a given time in the future. Would you believe that there are thousands of people out there who actually put down their winning the lottery as something they can concretely look forward to in the future? Becoming a financial planner for yourself means putting nothing down in your plans that an outside professional would not approve of. Your goals need to be very specific, they need to be realistic and they need to be measurable. If you don't set financial goals for yourself that are specific and measurable, how do you work towards them, and how do you know if you have achieved them or not?

You will need to find ways to actually achieve those financial goals you have decided you deserve. You'll need to make sacrifices on the way, perhaps work more and take fewer hours off to yourself. Laboring away at your goal like the hard-working ant is never all that fun. Enjoying the fruits of your labor though is nectar there are a few substitutes for.