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How to create a budget that works for you

What if you need a money pro?
What if you need a money pro? © Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

The type of professional you work with will depend on the services you are seeking and your financial situation, financial coach Harps says. Some professionals serve in more than one capacity, which adds great value for the client.

Financial coaches will work with clients to fully understand their financial situation, help them get organized and create a customized financial strategy. They teach clients how to make progress toward their goals by using resources that will help clients follow the strategy.

"For example, I refer my clients to an (investment professional) after they are debt-free and have three to six months' (worth of living expenses) in an emergency fund. At this time, they are in a position to comfortably contribute 10 percent to 15 percent to their retirement funds," Harp says.

Daily money managers, or DMMs, will take on managing your household finances. Just as a house-cleaning professional keeps your home organized, a money manager will keep your finances organized. DMMs help clients retain control of what happens with their money by paying bills, making transfers, creating and executing budgets, keeping records, managing trusts, and preparing information for the clients' tax professionals.

Once your finances are in order and you can afford to invest 10 percent to 15 percent of your income, you can meet with investment professionals to save money for retirement, college funding and wealth building, Harp says.

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