*By Lauren Babbage* You don't need to be a millionaire to hire a financial planner. Even if you're in debt, an expert may be able to help you manage your money. "There are more and more [financial planners] sprouting up wanting to help build wealth, rather than just manage wealth," said Shannon McLay, the founder and CEO of The Financial Gym, a planning firm. McLay told Cheddar that a financial advisor can help in three essential areas: 1. **Goals.** Not boring, old-school goals like saving for a rainy day or a downpayment on a house. Maybe you want to freeze your eggs or buy a zoo. A planner can help establish short-term and long-term goals to help make your dream a reality. 2. **Accountability.** Do you spend too much ordering on Seamless? Are your impulse buys too frequent? A planner can review your budget and expenses, and help you curb unnecessary spending. 3. **Advice.** Your planner can be a sounding board when you need to make big financial decisions. Whether it's going back to school, buying a house, or taking a new job, an impartial expert can walk you through the financial pros and cons. It's never too late or too early to engage a financial planner, McLay said. "The biggest issue we see with clients is money behaviors, and bad money behaviors," she said Wednesday in an interview with Cheddar. "A financial planner will help you establish really good financial behaviors early on." According to a 2017 study by the Center for Financial Services Innovation, 48 percent of Americans said they spend as much or more than they make, causing them a significant amount of stress. And McLay said that many women ー eight out of 10 ー lack confidence in their financial decisions. Hiring a financial planner, she said, can ease the burden and allow you to spend more time living your life and less time worrying about how you'll pay for it. For the full interview, [click here](https://cheddar.com/videos/you-dont-have-to-be-rich-to-hire-a-financial-planner).

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