The Financial Order of Operations
Step 1 - Starter Emergency Fund
Put $1,000 in a money market account that is separate from your regular checking and savings.
Step 2 - Fund work retirement plans
(401k, 403b, etc..)
Take full advantage of any company match.
Do not contribute more than the company match at this point.
Step 3 - Pay off all high interest debt
Make a list of all debt and use the debt snowball to pay off all debt other than your mortgage
Step 4 - Fully Fund Emergency Fund
Put 3 - 6 months worth of your basic spending in your emergency fund. This should be enough to get you through a job loss and/or unexpected expenses.
Step 5 - Save 15% - 25% of income for retirement
Fully fund Roth IRA's
HSA's up to plan deductibles or company match.
Max out work retirement plans (401k, 403b, etc..)
Step 6 - Health Savings Accounts (HSA's)
Max out HSA
Keep 1 years worth of deductibles in Cash inside of HSA
Invest anything over annual deductible in mutual funds inside HSA
Step 7 - Invest for future
non-retirement expenses using "Bridge" account
Develop your "Rich Life"
What would you never do again if you were rich?
What would you always do if you were rich?
Step 8 - Fund college
and children's expenses
Decide what costs you want to help your children with.
Fund 529 or UTMA accounts
Help children fund Roth IRA (Mommy or Daddy Match)
Step 9 - Pay off home mortgage
Does this need an explanation?
Step 10 - Give generously
What good is having wealth if you don't help others?
Support the people and causes that you care most about and believe in.
Help people who are truly in need.