Skip to main content

If you’re looking at your finances and wondering what went wrong, you’re not alone. The recent recession has many people taking stock of their financial habits, determined to make a change. A financial planner seems to be the ticket. What can you get, in terms of financial planning, if you are on a budget? Here’s a look at what you can get, depending on how much you have to spend.

Free financial advice

Some firms and financial advisers will meet with you for up to an hour, providing a basic financial overview and answers to basic questions that include “How do I make a budget?” and “What percentage of my retirement portfolio should be in bonds?” Some financial planners write blogs, and you can get limited help for free from that source. But if you really want to get down to brass tacks, you will have to pay.

Up to $500

If you want to solve just one financial issue, such as creating a retirement road map, or creating a debt reduction action plan, you can meet with a financial planner that charges an hourly rate, usually between $100 and $200 an hour.

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

$500 - $3,000

You can also find financial planners and advisers that offer package plans, such as a college planning workup or asset allocation suggestions for your investment portfolio, for a flat rate. It is possible to have a full financial review in this price range. However, if you want continued advice and management, you will likely need to use a fee-based planner that takes a percentage of your assets as payment.

Where to look for financial planning help

You can find hourly and fee-based financial planners in your area by visiting, the Garrett Planning Network or NAPFA. No matter your budget, sometimes it helps to sit down and talk with a professional set of fresh eyes.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at