How should I prioritize my savings between enlarging my emergency fund, saving for retirement, and saving up for a down payment on a house (financial aspects of buying vs renting aside, I would prefer to own my home)?
- I have no debt besides my credit cards (which I pay in full every month) and a car lease.
- I already have an small emergency fund of approximately 2 months of expenses.
- I am married with 2 small children
- Neither my spouse nor I have access to a 401K plan right now, but this may change in the future
It has been suggested that this question is either a duplicate of Best way to start investing, for a young person just starting their career? or Oversimplify it for me: the correct order of investing. I looked at the answers to these questions, but they don't really help:
- Most of the answers to the first question deal with investing strategies in and not prioritization of savings goals.
- Even the answers to the second question don't seem to mention saving for a down payment at all (unless you assume that saving for a down payment is a perfect equivalent of paying of a mortgage early.
- Most answers I find about saving priorities on this site, or on the web in general place one of the highest priorities on "401K contributions up to your match", but don't explicitly give alternative priorities for when a 401K isn't available.