Bogleheads® personal finance planning start-up kit

From Bogleheads

Welcome to the Bogleheads® personal finance planning start-up kit.

This kit includes financial topics that are not specifically related to investing or retirement planning. The personal finance articles cover topics such as budgeting, loan management, insurance, charitable contributions, and tax basics. The kit ends with articles that cover important planning issues to protect your assets. It also offers articles that address college savings plans.

Tip: Open links in a new browser tab. It will help you keep track of where you started from as you read through these pages. Adding bookmarks will also work.

Basic steps

This kit includes many topics on personal finance. The sections below list them. There are a few basic financial steps that are important to get correct early:

  • Finance planning starts with a sound financial lifestyle (Video).
  • Track your expenses and stay within your budget. (Household budgeting).
  • Is your needed insurance coverage up to date?
  • Pay down bad debt (credit cards, other high interest debt). Paying off a 20% interest rate credit card debt will free up your money far faster than purchasing a stock fund.
  • Start saving for the emergency fund. Once you have debt under control, create an emergency fund. An emergency fund means that you have money accessible for unforeseen events, and so do not need to use investments you hold for long term goals.
  • Take advantage of any employer match on a retirement savings plan, even as you work towards the goals listed above.

With the basics above under control, you are ready for the next steps. Look at the other personal financial planning topics below, or at the Bogleheads® investing start-up kit related to investing.

Personal finance


College savings

Charitable donations