Just wanted to sum up Jane Bryant Quinn's money tips. This is the order she says to do things in:
1. Retirement: must put away 10 or 15% of your income
2. Reduce, then eliminate CC debt
3. Create a Cushion Fund (Emergency Fund). If still in CC debt start with a cushion to cover expenses for 1 month.
4. College savings for kids. This is optional and should not come before saving for your own retirement. She says the kids can always get student loans but you can't get retirement loans.
5. Prepay your mortgage. This should come last on your priority list.
She says that you should count any contribution that your employer makes toward your retirement fund in the 10-15% that you should be saving off the top.
I guess we're doing well with that because both of us have 5% withheld from our paychecks and both of our employers match that.
We're working on #2, but at the same time that we're also working on #3. I'll be happy just to get to $1,000 let alone one month's worth of expenses.