Dave Ramsey teaches his “7 Baby Steps”:
1. Save $1,000 for your starter emergency fund.
2. Pay off all debt (except the house) with the debt snowball.
3. Save 3-6 months of expenses in a fully funded emergency fund.
4. Invest 15% of your household income in retirement.
5. Save for your children’s college fund.
6. Pay off your home early.
7. Build wealth and give!
Some have criticized them for one reason or another. I could also nitpick, but I think it’s more constructive to say that I generally agree with the underlying concepts they represent. They are benchmarks for financial growth, but what about benchmarks for spiritual growth? What happens when you have financial growth without spiritual growth?
Jesus said, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” (Luke 9:25). He also said, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:12-13). Financial success without spiritual growth leaves us unfulfilled, self-reliant, and arrogant. If we aren’t careful, our love can grow cold and how we handle money significantly affects that.
Wealth can be spiritually dangerous, but also potentially beneficial. Can we grow both financially and spiritually? Absolutely. They often work together to help you build a balanced life where you can achieve your spiritual and life goals. I’ve created a roadmap called the “7 Stages of Faith and Finances,” which broadly outlines financial and faith stages in life.
Inspired by the well-known 7 Baby Steps, I’ve also created the 7 Spiritual Baby Steps. Rather than actions or accumulations, the 7 Spiritual Baby Steps are spiritual convictions. If you live by them, you’ll do well both financially and spiritually!
1) View your finances as a spiritual matter.
2) See your offerings as an act of worship.
3) Have a radical attitude toward dangerous debt.
4) Recognize that money and possessions will not make you happy.
5) Be convinced that your money is God’s money.
6) Understand that giving to the poor is a part of following Jesus.
7) Discern that wealth is grown through hard work, saving, and diversified investing.
Contents of this material have been republished with permission from Faith and Finances Ministry.