You created an emergency fund, and built it up so it covers three months of living expenses. You paid off your high-interest debt. You funnel 15 percent of your income to retirement.
Now, push yourself beyond basic savings goals by taking on these steps:
1. Check your budget. If you used a strict budget to pay down toxic debt, you may want to switch to something like the 50/30/20 budget. (50 percent to necessities; 30 percent to wants; 20 percent to savings.) Those already using that budget may want to re-evaluate what counts as wants.
2. Tackle lower-priority debt. High-interest credit card debt likely took priority when you started tackling your balances. Now, turn your attention to lower-interest, longer-term debt like student or auto loans.
3. Get more from your savings. Look into moving your savings or emergency fund into an alternative type of account. Certificates of deposit can lock money up for a specified period of time while earning a higher rate of interest than the average savings account. CDs make a great parking spot for extra savings, but not so much for your emergency fund, which should be accessible. High-yield savings accounts are a better option.
4. Invest. Re-evaluate how much you need to save for retirement. It may make sense to kick more toward your 401(k) or to set up an individual retirement account. Giving more to your child's 529 plan is also a worthwhile investment. If you want to build a portfolio, look into a broker who can start you off with exchange-traded funds and mutual funds.
5. Insure yourself. Start by revisiting the basics, like car insurance and homeowner's insurance. Depending on where you are in life, consider preparing for more. Marianela Collado, a certified financial planner with Tobias Financial Advisors in Florida, advises you have a plan in place in case disaster strikes. "You need to worry about a catastrophe," she says. Look to life insurance and estate planning for these needs.
6. Think bigger. With the basics covered, devote your attention to projects or savings goals that you may have put off. Whether it's a family vacation, pursuing a hobby or a down payment on a home, now is the time to focus your cash on the big picture. Like any savings goal, make sure you have a number in mind before you get going. Whatever your next step may be, don't forget to be proud of what you've achieved so far. Whether you take yourself to nice dinner or indulge in a fun purchase, reap the rewards of your efforts before getting back to work.
Veronica Ramirez is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website.