Dublin: A Nirvana For Folk Music Fans

Dublin is often referred to as the party capital of Europe; full of pubs, clubs and Irishmen extolling the virtues of ‘the craic’. One thing you will find in abundance in the Irish capital is traditional folk music and you certainly won’t have to travel very far around the streets of Dublin to find a place to have a jig and a swig!

Whelan’s in Camden Street, central Dublin is the place to visit for traditional and folk music. This exciting venue has had most of Ireland’s folk talent perform on its stage at some point. Just a stone’s throw away, also in Camden Street, is The Village another vibrant music venue, that’s well worth a visit.

Vicar Street – despite its confusing name – is not a street but a fabulous traditional music venue and can be found in Thomas Street in the heart of Dublin. This prestigious venue opened in 1998 promising to give Dublin a mid-size venue that would ‘punch above its weight’. It presents bands and solo artists that play all types and genres of music including traditional and folk, with big-name Irish bands such as the Dubliners appearing at this venue. Other artists that are slated to appear at Vicar Street include Dara O’Briain, Fionn Regan and Brendan Grace proving that it is living up to its promise to deliver quality acts.

Plus, you’ll find many more places where you can enjoy traditional folk music at most times of day or night. Bars, cafes and hotels in Dublin are all places where you can find Irish Folk Music being performed by eager and talented local musicians. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy just about any other genre of music in Dublin that takes your fancy, from rock to classical. So, if you are planning to visit Dublin, or just toying with the idea, make sure that you are prepared for ‘the craic’!

And if you are in any doubt as to how much the Irish love their music, take note of the following example. The Irish Post Office has recently started selling a series of stamps that pay tribute to four iconic bands whose roots are based in traditional Irish folk music; The Chieftans, The Dubliners, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, and Altan. The bands have been chosen because of the success they have had in taking traditional Irish folk music to the world. The inclusion of Tommy Makem is quite poignant as he recently passed away, and these stamps make a fitting tribute to his life-time contribution to making Irish music popular throughout the United States. They are sure to become collectors’ items, so be sure to pick some up when you visit Dublin.

Getting Over Someone

Basic question here: how can I tell when I’m over someone and ready to be with someone else?

- C.G., Boston, MA

That is a basic question, but not a simple one. I’m not sure I can even answer it.

Sometimes hearing someone else’s experiences put things in perspective. Here is a situation concerning a person I dated, how I personally view it, and how I make it work for me. Maybe this example will help clear things up a little bit for you too.

In my life, I’ve seen a lot of relationships and been envious of very few. I see a lot of phoniness, relationships of convenience, and people together for all the wrong reasons.

But I knew that my relationship with her was something incredibly, incredibly special. I’d never felt anything like that; it was something totally different than all the rest I’d ever been in. It was comparing apples to oranges, as the saying goes.

In every way, I found her to be the most beautiful thing that I’d ever seen. We showed each other our best and our worst and remained together because we believed in each other as individuals and believed in us as a couple.

It’s interesting to think of all the things we are taught and all we are not. People are taught a million things growing up: how to read, how to use a stove without burning their hands, how to fold a towel, how to drive, and so on.

But we’re never taught some of the things that are imperative in relationships; we’re somehow expected to learn them as we go and by trial and error. I, like many others, never learned how to trust someone to give them all of my feelings, so I’d always held something back, which isn’t fair.

I also never learned how to forgive someone that I loved when they hurt me. And I certainly never learned what to do when you find someone who is perfect for you. It sounds like such a great thing, but it can be one of the most overwhelming feelings you ever experience because you want it to work out more than you want anything else in your life.

And sometimes, by the time you start to realize these things, it’s too late to make everything right.

Making her cry was the worst thing I’ve ever done and just thinking about it hurts me more than anything I’ve ever lost, never achieved, failed at, or I could really explain here.

And now she’s gone. We had talked about “forever” but this isn’t the kind of “forever” I thought we meant.

Who we were at the time we made our memories, we’ll always be – that man will always love that woman and that woman will always love him just as much. I still miss so many things about her, namely counting on – and believing in – us.

I still think about her every day and wonder, wonder, and wonder. I made her an enormous part of my life and now that she’s gone, that life as I knew it is too.

The pain is normal. But don’t think that because you feel pain you can’t move on. What happened between the two of you obviously affected you, so the hurting is expected. Truthfully, and unfortunately, it may be felt for a long, long time.

If you think about it, you probably still don’t feel great about the moment you found out you didn’t get that job you really wanted or a pet that died when you were a kid. You may never feel perfectly fine about this situation either.

What I realized, and what you must too, is that you have to move on. They have. They have their own life going, and whether it’s them being alone or them being with someone else – it’s still them being without you.

There is no other option; you can’t stay closed off and emotionally unavailable forever in hopes they will change their mind about you or that it will work out somehow. Knowing when to let go and move forward it is the hard part.

You don’t want to do it when you’re emotionally unavailable, angry at life, or will be anything but the best person you can be to whomever it is you end up with next. I don’t know if you’re there. Maybe you don’t even know if you’re there.

The Best Designer Board Games

Designer board games are something that is generally considered to have been started in Germany, and while sometimes referred to as German style board games, this title can be misleading. Designer board games have come from nearly every country and all have great success stories in the popularity they enjoy with fans. Many different Americans, for example, have produced vastly popular designer board games. A number of designer board games do come from Germany, however, but despite the intimidating nature of the titles, players should feel comfortable with any of these games. They often are similar to many games that players already know and love, but often present some form of twist or enhancement that can make them even more enjoyable!
Good designer board games all feature some sort of theme which unites the strategy and methods used within the game. Sometimes these themes can seem somewhat bizarre and unsuitable for a game, but that is also part of the charm of the designer game. Once such game, Bohnanza, is technically about bean farming, which causes many a player to raise an eyebrow. However, the real game deals with heavy negotiation and trading between players. By using different cards dealt from the deck, players must plant different bean crops, trade for certain bean crops, and eventually harvest the crops to gain money in return. The player who, at the end of the game, has the largest amount of money wins. While initially sounding a bit ridiculous, Bohnanza provides players with much enjoyment as the strategy needed in the game always changes based on the other players.
Tigris and Euphrates is another designer board game which enjoys much popularity with fans. Based on ancient civilizations, this game gives players the chance to act as neighboring dynasties which are clashing over this region. Players randomly select tiles from a bag and during the game, place these tiles in strategic positions around the board, gaining control of areas to expand their kingdoms. Different tiles stand for different aspects of the game and through careful placement, players can build and strengthen their domains in ways that will reap vast benefits. At the end of the game, players collect points based on the numbers and types of tiles that they have placed, and the player with the largest number of tiles is declared the winner of the game.
Scotland Yard is a designer game that pits one player against the others in a team. One player is designated as “Mr. X,” a fugitive from the law who is running around London, trying to avoid capture. The other players all form the law enforcement team trying to arrest him before a certain time limit has passed and Mr. X can roam free. The board is a map of London, marked with certain transportation routes and all of the stops along those routes. All players are forced to travel along these routes, with Mr. X trying to evade capture while the other players pursue. The twist is that only 3 forms of transportation are available and each one can only be used a certain number of times by the police team.
Much strategy and careful teamwork is required with these games, as with most designer board games. However, with the many different varieties and themes available, it is no wonder that they have become as popular as they are. Everyone should be able to find a game that suits their interests!

Sex Talks: Help! My Kid’s The Town Crier!

Talking to our kids about sex is challenging – for everyone, even me! You feel anxious about all kinds of things like their loss of innocence, or telling everyone and their cousin. You worry they’ll go out and try it or will think that by talking to them you’re giving them permission to do it. You worry about what other parents (and your parents!) will think if you talk to your kid at a young age.

But, you’re feeling great! You whacked up the ginger and read ALL of Robie Harris and Michael Emberley’s “It’s SO Amazing!” book about how babies are made to your 8 year old. She was a little grossed out, had some questions and seemed to understand how sex works. Whew! You are on your way to some great conversations.

You even remembered to tell her “This is a private conversation we have in our family and not with other kids or adults. Other moms and dads want to be the ones to tell their kids about this important part of life. You can always talk to me about it if you have questions or concerns.” Super! You rock!

And then…your lovely child heads straight to her best friend at school and fills her in on all the details! And then you get a call from the friends’ outraged parents and maybe even the school. Not a great moment in sex education history, but not to worry, all is not lost.

Consider this – You’ll probably spend 10 or 15 minutes on the phone with the upset parent explaining your beliefs about sex and kids and that you asked your daughter not to talk to other kids about this. You will apologize, tell them that you’ll remind her of this and then offer the parent a resource for getting more info about talking to kids.

Now consider this – You want to have open and consistent conversations with your child about sexuality, love and relationships throughout her youth, right? This is the most important part of this scenario – your relationship with your child.

When you compare the two, which is more important? The freaked out adult who now is forced into having a conversation they should be having anyway? Or your child who knows you are a trustworthy resource and will look to you for help and support for years to come?

When you start these conversations with your children I strongly recommend you tell the parents of her closest buddies, your parents and any other adult she has regular contact with. They need to know so they can step in if she starts blabbing, asks them questions or the like. It’s easier on everyone if they are prepared in advance for any little surprises.

When my son was about 3 or 4 we had read parts of “It’s SO Amazing.” He loved looking at the pictures of bodies and was very into reading this book. One day he was at my in-law’s house and he looked at my lovely mother-in-law and announced “You have a vagina!” She knew we’d been reading this book and took it in stride. We had prepared her for moments like this.

When it comes to talking to your kids about sex, you cannot worry about what the neighbors might think. The most important relationship is the one with your child. So take a deep breath, exhale, and get ready for the next conversation.

Online Games Is Coming In Like A Tidal Wave!

Online games are growing in popularity at an alarming rate. Many online games imitate real life with virtual scenarios. Online games are now accessable to most of the world’s population. As many as hundreds of online games players can often be found exploring and interacting in virtual environments.

Many free online games are becoming hugely popular due to the ease of access. Furthermore, online games are growing on a global scale and attracting a broader range of demographics than the traditional video game industry. In fact, online games are being perceived as the future of the interactive entertainment industry.

Many free online games are flash or java games that require plugins and other downloads in order to play. On the upside, all these free online games are available for your immediate game-play, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although many online games are free some sites require that you pay to play better quality games.

For many people these free online games are addictive. What makes these online games so addictive? There are 2 top reasons why free online games are addictive: 1) they are fun 2) the thrill of winning. Most free online games allow instant play access to any player who is online. Instant play adds to the addictiveness of playing online games because of it’s instant gratification.

Some people may not understand why online games are so addictive. For those of you that don’t know, online games are not like your old school Nintendo or Play Station games. Profits to big games companies are soaring from online games that are very popular and addictive. The most profitable online games are the pay for play games which have also been steadily growing in popularity. What makes online games most addictive besides the fun of winning is their interactive nature. People are drawn towards fun and entertaining ways of connecting with other people.

2 main categories of online games which are available to the public are: 1) Interactive games where people play with and communicate to other people; 2) Single player games such as solitaire. A growing trend in online games is skill based games for money where players are able to win prizes and cash. A chess tournament is one online game where every entrant buys their chance to win whatever the cash prize happens to be.

Which online games are attracting the largest gathering of people these days? There are online games resources on the Internet which offer the largest selection of online games. Some online games are “massively multiplayer” games, which means that a large number of players participate simultaneously. These online games are high-quality and challenging. As many as 100,000 people can be found at any given time in some of the more popular ‘virtual worlds’ type of games.

Also known as browser games, online games are often social, with online chat rooms or forums to help connect players. On our site online games are divided into different categories, online racing games, online shooting games, online sports games and other games. Our free online games are in the most popular categories: online action games, online arcade games, online card games, online puzzle games and online sports games.

Deciding On The Suitable Overseas Park Home Insurance Plan

Park Home insurance coverage are dissimilar to both normal house insurance and buy-to-let insurance, so don’t make the fault and visualize that it is easy to invest less and corners using the improper range. This is a plan which usually Park Home Insurance Comparison your personal effects whether you go to home or not. House insurance often includes protection from theft, fire, lightning and various key risks confronting a home-owner. Residential property is consistently considered an excellent investment and naturally, when we place money into something, we should achieve the most effective turnaround feasible, being affordable where we could effortlessly and getting rid of on needless expenditure so that the return we obtain should are much better in good time to leave, yet you can uncover edges that ought to not be cut.We have found some material on what holiday residential property protection is exactly approximately and why must we need them. You must initially find an expert Park Home insurance service provider, or maybe a professional dealer. Your plan could well be split into building cover and contents cover. Equally with your major residence, abroad residential property insurance cover should provide a comparable protection over its structure and materials. Numerous UK Park Home insurance plans demand that plumbing and container equipment are cleared in the event the property is untenanted and temperature levels drop listed below 8 degrees.Regular resident’s and tenant’s insurance coverage include insurance coverage of house products, that includes electronic products along with various other pricey goods, yet around a particular limit. A bunch of professional insurers will offer both Park Home and Park Home insurance plan, therefore it’s important that if you’re trying to find insurance you pick the security that many very closely fits your system and the means where you utilize it. Some insurance coverage can dismiss fraud claims other than in cases where door/window locks satisfy a given requirement and shutters/grilles are okayed and utilized. Likewise, lots of insurers can not work out a claim unless there is proof of a burglary, so make sure ought to you leave your property Compare Residential Park Home Insurance.
Variables influencing on Spanish Plans – Spain has actually not got similar subsidence issues as Britain and to a smaller extent France as its aquifer is a lot lower, the ranch is usually normally completely dry. It is really simple sufficient to locate insurance for Park Homes in Spain and you will discover lots of companies that have got English-speaking team however look out as a variety of times the actual policies are created just in Spanish consequently it is necessary one does understand the things you are being covered for. Your Spanish residential property insurance will have to cover you from damage a result of quake, storms and floods. Whilst in the event you require overseas vacation residential property insurance any sort of additional costs ought to be to cover the elevated threat of cave in.
Park Home Insurance Comparison

Other than discovering complete insurance protection after your structure and its components, it’s also smart to have an insurance protection versus liabilities. House proprietors Liability: Without doubt the vacation home owner really ought to be concerned regarding the considerable downfalls arising from different party responsibilities. Assessment the insurance protection against the valuation by yourself individual property. Inevitably, inspect that the Park Home insurance provides completely prolonged materials cover and liability cover. For homes which could possibly be let on short-term agreements you should make certain you have the appropriate policy. Holiday homes are specifically vulnerable to storm and frost deterioration in winter, considering that they often run dangerous presently.So an excellent overseas Park Home insurance is essential to manage your very own investment. Make certain your Vacation Home Insurance coverage consists of Householders Liability of at least ? 2,000,000 of cover. For example, a few Park Home insurance plan really do not guard non residents. To start with describe your Park Home insurance broker that the usage of Key Safes is adequate www.themoneylion.co.uk/insurancequotes/property/parkhomeinsurance
. Numerous other Park Home insurance strategies may state that they could cover precisely the items not in our home. Other Park Home insurance coverage run in an in contrast style wherein they cover the outside but not the inside. You should not pick the confidenced Park Home insurance companies who have a lot of obligations to please.Lots of people believe that purchasing Park Home Insurance is no different from acquiring an insurance coverage for a standard home. However, as a result of the special nature of mobile homes there are necessary points that a home owner must understand just before acquiring a policy. These distinctions are commonly overlooked by homeowner yet understanding them will considerably increase the possibilities of getting the best offer when purchasing an insurance policy.Just what Makes a Park Home Different Considering that mobile homes are built in manufacturing plants, they comply with US government’s Park Home Building and Security Requirements along with state and neighborhood real estate codes. They are likewise baseded on a steel framework and hauled on wheels to their site. Since June 1976, factories making Park Homes follow meticulous federal government guidelines kept track of by the United States Department of Real estate and Urban Development (HUD). This guarantees that your house is developed to last and the products utilized pass a top quality requirement.

There are 2 significant differences in between a traditional home and a mobile home. Initially, Park Homes are integrateded factories and are far more cost-effective compared to standard ones. Because they are mass-produced, material and effort expense is greatly decreased. The second major distinction is typical homes are improved website giving a tougher base. This doesn’t indicate that a mobile home is unsteady. Part of the HUD policies and rules about Park Homes is that it should be attached to an irreversible structure Park Home Insurance Quotes. This is obtained by preparing an on-site base for your Park Home, called tie-downs, ground anchors and block structures that considerably aid in the security of your home.Readying your Home In spite of the recent advancement and laws in making mobile homes, insurance business still consider them riskier to cover compared to conventional homes. Don’t be surprised when you observe that insuring your home is more costly. Exactly what you can do in order to counter this is to see to it that your home has all the required devices and upgrades to get rebates. If you possess a doublewide or a multiple-section Park Home, you could likewise obtain a cheaper insurance coverage since it’s considered to be much more stable compared to a singlewide home. And similar to a traditional home, furnish your house with thief and emergency alarm for better security and security. Winterizing and protecting your mobile home is likewise an excellent step considering that it limits happenings of icy water pipes and will certainly likewise save you cash in heating and cooling your home. Although such actions present added prices, making these renovations will certainly not only acquire you insurance rebates but will additionally make your family members safe and safe.Scouting advantageous Mobile Home Insurance Make certain to get quotes from a number of insurance firms just before purchasing any plan. Since mobile homes are ending up being a lot more popular, some companies have created customized policies that provide better Park Home Insurance. If you have car insurance, ask your insurance firm to evaluate your home since business provide discount rates for multiple policies. If you have no idea where to start, you can constantly browse the internet and try to find companies that offer cost-free quotes and professional assistance on how you can get the best Park Home Insurance in your area.

How Airport Parking And Airport Hotels Make Travelling Easier In Gatwick?

Besides the businesses are growing and they can no longer survive being localized. Thus for various conferences, events, trade fairs etc even corporate engage in air travel etc. The massive increase in air travel has also led to the increase in the utilization of the services offered by Gatwick Airport Parking and Gatwick Airport Hotels. The use of same offers great savings in the budget and makes available to you superior services.

Gatwick airport parking is a smart decision if you are driving yourself to the airport. Besides international flights may have very inconvenient timings. If in case you have an early morning flight, why not start your vacations a night earlier? Instead of driving yourself to the airport at odd hours, drive in by the night, park your car in the safe Gatwick Airport Parking and then possibly go and relax in the Gatwick Airport Hotels. This way there will be no pressure to get up early else you’ll miss the flight. Wake up at your convenience and then simple board the flight.

You should also consider this if you are travelling from a far off location. Gatwick, in case you are not aware of, is the second busiest airport in London. Thus you can’t predict the traffic conditions and etc. Thus instead of being in rush, drive in early, park your vehicle in the Gatwick Airport Parking, relax in the Gatwick Airport Hotels and calmly board your flight on its scheduled time.

Gatwick airport parking services are very beneficial for you. You not only have the freedom to book in advance and online, but Gatwick Airport services provides you with chauffeur services, a meet and greet service, short-term parking, long-term parking and now even a hotel and parking option.

Besides as against to the widespread misconception that Gatwick Airport Parking is expensive and he indulgence of riches, it is in fact very affordable. Further you may also book the same sitting online and enjoy heavy discounts on the total costs, sometimes up to 60% and beyond.

And you receive responsible services at Gatwick Airport Parking. You may use the service for a short period of time or long, depending upon your need, but be assured that your vehicle will be kept safe and secure. So you may go on and enjoy the vacation or the business trip, while your vehicle will be continuously monitored, reassuring safety of it.

In case you are a little clumsy with car parking and can’t remember where you parked it and it causes a wee bit of a mess, you may also access the meet and greet services provided by Gatwick Airport parking. With the meet and greet service, you have the liberty to drive up till the terminal of the airport. There you’ll meet the driver who will carefully take the car from your and will park it in the parking area. Once when you arrive back, the driver will bring your car back to you. And don’t worry; they are all trained to do this.

Hotels Muscatine Iowa Is The Ultimate Choice While Traveling

Everyone wants to have a hotel that is well equipped with all the features needed for luxury repose. Travelling is done to give a rest to our stressed nerves and also for viewing the nice world around us. In such a situation staying in the right place creates a lot of impression in our mind. No one likes to stay in a shabby hotel and murder their vacation. As we all are in a nice mood we want to get pampered and have the finest dishes in our dining table every moment. Hotels Muscatine Iowa is one such name in this regard who has all that is needed for a perfect vacation out of the boring and monotonous life of ours.
A perfect hotel is the one which has every bunch of special offers and travel deals to suite your needs. There a lot of things that comes with a hotel. It’s not just its services, but what it offers in its location is also very much vital while considering a hotel for the vacation. For this reason, it is best to look for tourist spots near the hotel. Hotels Davenport IA offers you a chance to have a look at some of the most renowned tourist spots like Isle of Capri Casino, John Deere Museum, Jumar’s Casino, North Park Mall, Rhythm City Casino and Walcott Coliseum surrounding it. As a tourist you would love to have a look at all these.
Not just this there are a lot more to do with Iowa city hotels. They are not simply regarded as the ultimate destination without any reason. People flock over there to taste the real class and hospitality. Even if you are on a business trip you need not have to worry over here as they got the most affordable internet rate in the hotel. You can stay connected with your business all the time. Keep your health fit with the exercise room available for the guests. They are loaded with top-class fitness equipment for keeping your muscles in shape. Thinking about what would you get in breakfast? Well, it’s a pleasant surprise for you as they offer you with complete set of free breakfast as you order it. Overall, the interior of the hotel is simply breathtaking and makes you stay over there more than your planned schedule.
Hotels Muscatine Iowa looks into every aspect of fine hotel business and so for the guest they have an international standard indoor heated pool. Just get inside it to shed away all your stresses and get a fresh feel to your soul. Parking has never been a problem here with the facility of outdoor parking. If your have a lovely pet, he is welcome to in the hotel. There are proper facilities to look after the well-being of your beloved pet in the hotel.
You can just be sure of one thing while staying over there that you will carry with you lifetime memory of pleasant stay. A person who has once visited there comes for more. That is the charm of the place. If anybody wants to stay over there he/she can easily book their room online. There are various packages and rates for every pocket size. Choose your one and stay over the hotel once for having a dream vacation.

Healthy Relationships & Healthy Sexuality With Self

Not everyone can be a perfect 10, yet there are plenty of people who are
perfectly comfortable in their own skin whether they are skinny or fat. Not
only are they comfortable; they enjoy pleasure their bodies are capable of
sharing regardless of their physical appearance. So, why are you worrying
about being naked in front of your partner? Do you really think that they are
focused on your imperfections when they are interested in having sex with
you? Honestly, when someone is sexually turned on, their partners become more
attractive to them as they are focused on the forthcoming pleasure, good
parts, or the parts that attract them. As one friend of mine often jokes, old
breasts, young breasts, perky breasts, saggy breasts, uneven breasts, or
scarred breasts, he will never turn down the opportunity to enjoy the view!
So, let your towel down, your robe open, or your lights on! Quit worrying
about attracting attention to your negatives, stop apologizing for the way
you look, and enjoy your body and the pleasure it brings to you and your
partner! You really are sexy just the way you are! This article is provided
by Andrea Adams-Miller, The Sexuality Tutor, CEO and Founder of
www.sexualitytutor.com. Andrea helps people just like you capture the Healthy
Relationships and Healthy Sexuality they dream, desire, and deserve. To get
you started towards the relationship & sexuality that will leave you healthy,
happy, and satisfied, she has three free gifts for you at her website,
www.sexualitytutor.com. Andrea Adams-Miller is a three time author, award
winning host of Sex Talk LIVE! radio, and an avid speaker, consultant, and
relationship coach. She has been interviewed on the Hit TV Show 20/20, Time
Magazine, Contemporary Sexuality, Business News Daily, WebMD online, and
more.

The 7 Steps Of Do-it-yourself Financial Planning

You are in control

You are already your own financial planner. Regardless of the extent of help you receive from professionals, you ultimately are the decision maker and you are responsible for your own finances. Although the financial world has become increasingly complex, it is becoming easier today to do a lot of your own planning. The variety of resources has expanded such as software for money management and planning; online tools for banking, financial planning and investing, and resources, and books and blogs that are easy to understand. These resources may be good news for you if the cost of professional fee only financial planners is out-of-reach to you. Besides the cost of fees, others may avoid planners because they have heard stories of advisors trying to sell a product that didn’t fit their situation. Cost savings and avoiding product pitches are excellent benefits of being your own planner.

Everyone should take a more active role in their financial affairs. Not only does it help with educated decision making and fraud avoidance it also helps you better communicate with your other professional advisors such as your accountant and attorney. You will also find yourself spotting opportunities when they cross your path.

Becoming a better manager of your family’s finances will also help you ‘dig out’ if you are struggling financially. When you consider the low savings rates and the high household debt, many more people find themselves in this category today.

The following are 7 steps to do-it-yourself financial planning:

Step 1: Commit

The first step to financial planning always begins with commitment. Whether you are having financial difficulty, or have just avoided setting goals and mapping out a plan – commitment is the first step. Commitment provides the discipline and focus needed to help sustain you on the path towards your goals.

Step 2: Set Goals

Without specific goals and a plan to achieve them financial success stays a foggy dream. Therefore the second step is to list the dreams that will motivate you. Write down all of the goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will serve as the driver, or the fire in the engine giving you the motivation to move forward. Everyone has dreams, but without constant watering and attention dreams will go dormant. Leave your past mistakes and inaction behind you, light a new fire and chart a course forward. You have an enormous amount of potential and talent, and if you have made mistakes you now have more experience and wisdom. Dare to imagine what you could achieve because your best years are ahead of you.

Step 3: Assemble and Organize Information

Get your stuff together. Planning is easier if you assemble everything in one central location. Make an organized filing system either in a cabinet, accordion file, a box, any way that works for you. Now locate and file all of your tax returns, receipts, insurance policies, contracts, wills, mortgages, deeds, titles, pay stubs, employee benefit statements, banking (loan, savings and checking), bills, investment and retirement plan statements and any other important papers.

Step 4: Manage Cash Flow

Your household is a business. You need to know how much you are earning and spending each month. Balance your checkbook and establish a budget. There are dozens of books and software to help with this, and your bank’s website may provide this as well. This will help you know when and where you are overspending.

Step 5: Self Educate

Establish a sound foundational knowledge base about financial matters. Start with books about budgeting and money savings tips, debt, basic insurance and investing. Be sure to include reading about mutual funds and financial planning. Avoid get-rich-quick, real estate, gold or innovative ‘secrets’ books. Stick to the fundamentals. I find the “For Dummies, ‘For Idiots’ and ‘D-Mystified’ book series to be very helpful for many people. Lastly, stay informed about current financial topics by reading financial magazines, newspapers, the business section of papers, and blogs.

Step 6: Create a Written Plan

A written plan serves as a road map towards your financial destination. It helps you understand where you are presently and the steps that you need to take to move forward. A financial plan is a process. Your life will change, therefore you should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. You should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. If you write your own financial plan, you will have to obtain financial planning software. Your other options are to pay to have a written financial plan completed by a fee financial planner or by an institution or professional that provides products. Be sure to find out about how the planner is compensated and what your fees will be.

Step 7: Engage Professionals

Most people can’t entirely do all of their financial planning by themselves. Assemble a team of trusted professional advisors that you can rely on to help you implement different aspects of your plan, answer your questions and be on the lookout for you. The professionals that can be the most advantageous are a proactive tax accountant and financial advisor with extensive planning, investment and insurance knowledge, an attorney qualified in estate planning, and a banker that can help with credit ratings and debt management. Before committing to anyone, get referrals for trusted professionals from people whose opinion you respect and don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions.