7 Baby Steps to Get Your Financial House in Order

Some of you may already be very familiar with Dave Ramsey and his advice and programs for getting out of debt and getting on solid financial ground. But even if you are — and particularly for those who aren’t — we suggest reading through a few blog posts by SimpleMom.net. While you can check out Dave Ramsey directly, we liked the simple approach that the Simple Mom took spelling out the seven baby steps to get your financial house in order and thought that you might, as well.

Here’s a look at Step 1:

The most important thing in the total money makeover is to be debt-free, but you can’t do that without a safety net. So the first step is to quickly save $1,000 as the beginning of your Emergency Fund.

If you’ve already got more than $1,000 saved up, you’ve done this step. Proceed to step 2.

If you don’t have $1,000 yet, do whatever you can to get it as fast as you can. Sell stuff on eBay. Have a yard sale. Don’t eat out for a month or two. Spend no extra money anywhere — put it all towards the Emergency Fund and live on beans and rice.

The safety net is purposely small. It’s just large enough to cover minor setbacks, such as heating repairs, car maintenance, or sudden medical issues. If it’s too large, you won’t be as “gazelle intense” during step 2 — a healthy fear is a good motivator, in other words.

The seven steps are listed below, and you’ll find three links at the bottom o this post that takes you to the Simple Mom’s seven steps.

1. Quickly save $1,000 as your beginning Emergency Fund.
2. Pay off all your non-mortgage debt using the Debt Snowball method.
3. Save 3 to 6 months of expenses, completing the Emergency Fund from step 1.
4. Invest 15% of your regular household income for retirement.
5. Create a college fund for your children.
6. Pay off your house.
7. Build wealth and give.

Steps 1 & 2: Financial Baby Steps: Save up $1,000 and Become Debt-Free

Steps 3, 4 & 5: Financial Baby Steps: Save and Invest

Steps 6 & 7: Financial Baby Steps: Pay off Your House and Give Like Crazy

All three posts came via the parent hacks blog.