By Mary Beth Storjohann via

Financial success starts with creating mindfulness around money. Only when you become aware of your finances can you start to plan — and only by planning can you get to where you want to go in your life.

This may sound serious or philosophical, but it’s just plain common sense.

You wouldn’t set out on a road trip to Vermont without a map to guide you and help you plot your course so you can see all the stuff that’s important to you along the way. It’s the same thing with your money.

Your financial plan is the course you chart to plan for a future destination while enjoying the journey it takes to get there.

That being said, your progress will only be as good as your plan — so you need to ask good questions to inform how you lay out the route you want to take with your money. Start with these:

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