7 free ways to improve your personal finance planning

Personal Finance

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By Steve Milano
How how much should you have saved for retirement today, based on your age? How much should you be saving for retirement each month? Do you have the best credit cards in your wallet, in terms of APR, transfer fees and rewards? Can you or should you pay off your student loan faster? What do you need to get the best mortgage, or how much can you save if you refinance? So many finance planning questions, so little time! However, you need to get credible, professional help answering these questions. But not everyone can afford to pay for financial planning advice on a regular basis. So, here are eight ways to get much of the budgeting, investing, saving and retirement planning advice you need without paying a dime for it.
1. Meet with a credit counselor
Nonprofit credit counseling services help you examine your income, debt and expenses and then create a plan for stabilizing and improving your situation. The Federal Trade Commission has a helpful article to help you choose the right counselor for you. If you belong to a credit union, look for free personal finance workshops it offers. Your city, library, community college or other local group might offer free personal finance classes, workshops or lectures. Market Watch, a personal finance website, shares some sources of free community advice. Look to see if a Financial Planning Day event has scheduled a free workshop in your area.

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