(The Loop) — For Sakina Spruell Cole, the decision to get serious came when her son turned 3 and she and her husband planned a birthday party. The budget: $1,000. At the time, their son “didn’t even have a college fund,” Cole said. With that realization, the family sought help from a financial adviser. Although most people want to improve their financial goals, many don’t understand the basics of budgeting, investing and saving for retirement, etc. Enter financial planners. Not to be confused with accountants, financial advisers create a customized blueprint for your personal financial growth, which extends well past balancing a checkbook.