Bogleheads® personal finance planning start-up kit

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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 pages include topics such as budgeting, loan management, insurance, charitable contributions, and tax basics. This kit concludes with pages dealing with important planning issues regarding protecting ones assets. Pages dealing with college savings plans are also included here.

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

Basic steps

This kit includes many topics on personal finance, they are listed in the sections below.

There are a few basic financial steps that are important to get correct early:

  1. Finance planning starts with a sound financial lifestyle (Video).
  2. Track your expenses and stay within your budget. (Household budgeting).
  3. Is your needed insurance coverage up to date?
  4. 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.
  5. Start saving for the emergency fund. Once you have debt under control, create an emergency fund. An established emergency fund can provide an individual with needed funds whenever an unforeseen event occurs so that one does not need to tap investments held for long term goals.
  6. Take advantage of any employer match on a retirement savings plan even as you work towards the above goals.

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

Personal finance


College savings

Charitable donations