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Many people are likely familiar with Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps. Another helpful guide I use often comes from The Money Guy Show hosted by Brian Preston and Bo Hanson. The Financial Order of Operations provides another perspective on personal financial management that might offer some help as we steward God’s resources. The steps include the following:

  1. Save enough to cover your insurance deductibles for health care, auto, and home insurance.

  2. Take advantage of all 401K/403B matching funds from your employer (typically 3-6%).

  3. Payoff credit cards and any other high interest debt.

  4. Save up 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses while working and up 18 to 36 months once retired to preserve capital during market downturns. This cash should be in high interest savings and NOT invested in the stock market.

  5. Maximize Roth and Health Savings Account contributions.

  6. Maximize supplemental retirement options such as your 401K/403B.

  7. Prepay future expenses - This is saving up for a new car, your kid's 529 college plan, weddings, custodial accounts/trusts, etc.

  8. Additional principal payments on mortgage and other low interest debt.

As this year draws to a close, now is a good time to perform a financial check-up of your stewardship practices. Let us know how we might assist in helping you meet your financial goals and build a Future Funded Ministry!

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