cart before the horse, don't put/set the

don't put the cart before the horse

Don't do things out of the proper order. Don't put the cart before the horse and pick out your dream car before you have any money saved up for a down payment.
See also: before, cart, horse, put

Don't put the cart before the horse.

Prov. Do not do things in the wrong order. (This can imply that the person you are addressing is impatient.) Tune the guitar first, then play it. Don't put the cart before the horse.
See also: before, cart, horse, put

cart before the horse, don't put/set the

Don’t reverse the natural order of things. This expression no doubt dates from the time when horses first were used to draw wheeled vehicles, and began to be transferred to other affairs almost immediately. Cicero accused Homer of doing so, complaining that the Greek poet stated the moral of a story before telling the story. From the 1500s on, numerous English writers—Sir Thomas More, William Shakespeare, Charles Kingsley, to mention just a few—used this turn of phrase, which also appears in Greek, Latin, French, German, and Italian. In English it was a cliché by the 1700s.
See also: before, cart, put, set