This chapter de-mystifies the financial planning process and focuses efforts on the most important aspects of the plan. The core focus of financial planning is to express and then realize our goals. Goals are desired results or specific intentions the peoples hope to achieve. Goals should be concrete and as specific as possible. Many people avoid financial advisors because they believe the process involved for financial planning is overwhelming or anxiety producing. It also requires the people to share a lot of confidential information, which makes some people nervous. A budget is a written estimate of our planned expenses (cash going out) and revenue (cash coming in) over a specific period of time (usually monthly or quarterly). The only way to create a budget, though, is to completely understand our past patterns of spending and receiving money. A budget and corresponding itemized inventory of transactions is the foundation of all financial plans.