fire path to financial independence

Financial Independence Flow Chart

What should I do with my money and when?

I’ll admit it is kind of a misnomer to call this a Choose Your Own Adventure when we all hopefully end up at same destination in this journey: financial independence. Personal Finance might be more like a role playing game main plot in that sense but as a millennial, it made more sense to compare it to the iconic book style of my childhood. I present the financial independence flow chart.

How this is going to work

I plan to post an article each week as we work our way down the flowchart to the blog and archive them as I go along to this page on the site.

You should expect the following from each post:

  1. An explanation of the decision to be made at this step
  2. The choices on where to go next
  3. My advice on the step, where applicable
  4. A personal anecdote on how I handled this step, when possible

The Steps from start to financially independent

  1. Introduction & First Steps
    1. Financials 1: Get the balances & transactions, then organize
    2. Financials 2: Balance Sheet
    3. Financials 3: Income Statement
    4. Financials 4: Set up a system to track your expenses & debt
  2. Building a Safety Net
    1. Make sure you have a small emergency fund
    2. Pay all of your bills in full and on time
    3. Employer 401k Match
  3. Stop Paying Others
    1. High Interest Debt pay down
    2. Increase your emergency fund to 3 or 6 months at least
    3. Mid level debt (4-8%) pay down
  4. Saving For the Future
    1. Funding IRAs
    2. Large purchases coming soon?
    3. Save 15% for retirement
    4. Funding HSAs
    5. College Fund
  5. End game
    1. Retire early vs other goals
    2. What does retirement mean?