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Experts Rank Top Financial Priorities

What should be your top financial priority? Experts chimed in and created this complete list:

  1. Live within your means
  2. Protect yourself with adequate insurance
  3. Build an emergency savings account
  4. Establish life insurance for wage earner(s)
  5. Understand short and long-term goals
  6. Communicate with family
  7. Pull credit report
  8. Know amount of debt/have a payoff plan
  9. Ensure job security
  10. Perform a regular financial check-up
  11. Spend less than a third of income on housing
  12. Have a will/financial and health-care power of attorney
  13. Know your partners' financial personality
  14. Pay yourself first
  15. Take advantage of savings programs available at work
  16. Calculate what you will need for retirement
  17. Understand the time value of money
  18. Experience change before it happens
  19. Spend wisely
  20. Understand financial terminology
  21. Save at least 10 percent of what you earn
  22. Make tax time financial planning time
  23. Understand investing risks vs. returns
  24. Budget for anticipated holidays/celebrations
  25. Understand income
  26. Use credit responsibly
  27. Manage service providers
  28. Understand and take advantage of workplace benefits
  29. Prepare a financial emergency kit
  30. Protect financial documents
  31. Track spending
  32. Keep up on maintenance