THIS. Lots of THIS.
Folks like to toss around the idea that Cisco Certifications are just dead simple and after reading a book or two, you can waltz in take the test and bazinga! Thou art certified.
In their defense, once upon a time this was true. However, today's certifications are much tougher to obtain and you really need to know what you're doing before you attempt the test. ( Tests are about $300 a pop by the way )
I'm currently working on CCNP R&S and there is a TON of information you have to be able to recall on demand. To top it off, Cisco updated the CCNP level certification in January of this year so it includes quite a few things that were previously reserved for the CCIE curriculum. ( You'll find much of what used to be on the CCNP certifications have bled down into the CCNA. )
If memory serves me correctly, there are about ~2000 pages of material you need to know for the CCNA. Ditto for the CCNP and we're just talking the Core Routing and Switching Certs. Not the Voice, Security, Wireless, Data Center, etc. etc.
The stuff you get to learn isn't common sense material either. There is so much information it can be overwhelming and it all tends to bleed together after a while.
Cisco expects you to have detailed knowledge of the tech down to the point where you know the minute details as well as the ability to configure and troubleshoot them when things don't work as they should.
Most Cisco certifications are good for three years. The exception being the CCIE which are good for two.
It's unlikely you're going to find CCIE financial compensation to be anywhere near what you're currently making. I've certainly never met one making $200k+ There is a newer certification known as CCAR ( Cisco Certified Architect ) but I've yet to meet one. Pretty much going to be the God of Networking to reach this level.
Don't get me wrong here. I'm not trying to be the rain cloud but rather pointing out some of the realities of what you're facing. I have to go with some of the other posters here in that while it's good you're trying to plan ahead, you really should be able to set aside massive amounts of cash at your current pay level. If you can't, you are spending far more than you should be.
You really need to sit down, figure out where your money is going and get that squared away before you do anything else.
Go ahead and start working on the certifications, but be prepared for the mountain of information you're about to face off against.
If you can dedicate a lot of time to studying and lab practice ( yup, go buy some Cisco gear and build yourself a lab. . . you'll need it ) you might can pull a CCIE certification in 2-3 years unless you're some sort of Network Savant who dreams about routing protocols and Wan technologies. . .