A Roadmap to Financial Competence

After getting married, I discovered a newfound interest in financial planning and financial matters in general. Prior to getting married, I was content to put a little cash away each month in an automatic transfer to an IRA. As long as my income slightly exceeded my expenses, I was content.

Now I'm much more dedicated to the financial future of my family. I have a 10-year-old step-daughter now, a wife who is a full-time student, and plans for a baby in the next year or two. That's a lot of reasons to be more financially responsible. And now that I'm getting interested in finance and working to increase my financial competency, I find the subject fascinating!

I've done a lot of research and put together a six-point plan to secure the financial future of my family. I think its a plan that would be applicable (or at least educational) to most people, so I'm writing about it here. I'll write more in the future about each step below. You can click each step in the list below to see all posts I've written on the subject.

  1. Track Income and Expenses
  2. Increase Saving Rate
  3. Take Care of Essential Responsibilities
  4. Pay Off All Debt
  5. Max Out Retirement Account
  6. Manage Your Investments

Of course, I don't mean to imply that I've mastered all six steps. I certainly haven't. I'm happy with the progress I'm making on steps 1 through 4, but we're still paying off debt, and have not yet begun to invest significantly.

I believe that mastering these steps will lead me (and you) to a high level of financial competence. Financial competence combined with perseverance and focus, I believe will bring my family a high level of financial rewards. We'll be financially independent much sooner, able to retire earlier and with a much greater sense of comfort and security when we do.

I hope it helps you as well.