As a personal finance expert, Lauren Lyons Cole, CFP® has helped thousands of people change the way they think about money.

Being smart and successful doesn't always translate into having good money management skills. Whether you are looking to start your own business, pay for your child's education, or finally take that dream vacation, you've got to start somewhere.

Getting organized is often the hardest part. Once you clear out the financial clutter, you'll have more time and energy to focus on the things that really matter. Because ultimately, financial planning is about setting goals and achieving them by making smart decisions with your money.

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Lauren Lyons Cole, CFP® is a nationally recognized financial expert and a certified financial planner based in New York City.

She is a frequent guest on television and radio networks, and has appeared on the NBC Today Show, ABC World News Tonight, CBS This Morning, Fox News, Fox Business, Marketplace Money, and more.