Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Seven Baby Steps

As some of you may know, I have been focused on getting my financial life in order so I can then achieve my other goals. My goals are:

1. To pay off all my credit cards
2. Buy a house
3. Start having babies (LOL)
4. Own a business
5. Retire in style

Yes, Goal # 3 sounds funny coming from me, but eventually I do want kids. I say "eventually" because I want to own a house first before I start popping them out. I want to be financially in control because having a baby is expensive. Imagine the expenses involved in buying/owning a house (utilities, mortgage, TAXES, repairs, to name a few), then you add a baby to the list.

Owning a house will always come with financial burden (for lack of a better word), but that's the thing... I don't want it to be a burden. Realistically, having a baby first then buying a house, or having a baby and buying a house at the same time, can be done... And I'm sure it has been done this way more times than not... But wouldn't it be better if my husband and I are financially stable before we have a baby?

I've heard different things from different people. One, told me that it was just another (about) $100 extra monthly expense. I don't believe her. LOL. Maybe for the diapers and food... but in the long run (*ahem* college), it'll be much more. Plus, I want to be able to provide comfortably for my future children. I want to be able to buy every single one of them the latest in toys, gadgets, etc... if I want to. Yes, if I want to. It doesn't mean I will. I don't want to super spoil them, but I want to know that I could.

With these (long term) goals in mind, I have been reading and researching a lot about budgeting, paying off debts, and eventually living debt-free. One financial "guru" really made an impact on me- Dave Ramsey from Granted, he's selling books and software to help you "change your life," but his website is still full of information on how to get to your financial goals, and how to secure your financial future. I have never read any of his books, nor have I tried his software, but what I love about his website is the fact that someone like me, who knows pretty much nothing about finances, is not overwhelmed by all the information. He (or his people) had listed things in steps, and had explained everything in layman's terms.

One of the things that really got my attention is The Seven Baby Steps.

Baby Step 1 - $1000 to start an Emergency Fund
From what I understand, this is different from a Savings Fund/Account. This is strictly for emergencies, such as unplanned car or house repairs, or hospital bills. I say "unplanned" because if you can somehow plan for it, factor it in your budget without having the need to dip in this fund, then I guess it's not really an emergency. The money in this fund cannot be touched unless it's an emergency. I believe a Savings Fund is for your future and, I guess, for super-emergencies only...

 Baby Step 2 - Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
I especially love and agree with this one! You pay off the smaller debts (balances) first, then work yourself up to the big stuff. In this method, the interest rate doesn't matter unless you come across a debt that it pretty much around the same amount. When you do, you pay off the one with the higher interest rate first, obviously. You pretty much pay the monthly minimum for the other bills, concentrating/paying more towards the smallest bill. Once you pay off that debt, you then put whatever dollar amount you were using to pay for it monthly towards the next smaller debt. You keep doing this until all your debts are paid. I love it and its concept! Once you pay off a debt, no matter how small, it gives you this feeling of accomplishment and keeps you motivated. It's like losing weight... Once you see the numbers on the scale going down, it keeps you motivated to stick to your diet!

Baby Step 3 - Three to Six months of expenses in savings
The goal here is to have enough money in your savings to support you and your family for three to six months should you lose your job. First, you need to calculate how much you need/spend monthly, multiply it by three or six. The dollar amount you come up with is your minimum goal to have in your savings.

Baby Step 4 - Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
Once you've accomplished Steps 1 to 3, meaning you have no debt, then you can start investing. I am already doing this (although not 15%) through my 401K. I guess once I reach this step, I should really be investing 15%, and hopefully, I would be more stock market "savvy," that way I would be investing in areas where I can get the maximum rewards.

Baby Step 5 - College funding for children
I didn't really research this area that much, but apparently, you have to figure out how much you should be saving at 12% interest in order to have enough for college. I'm assuming this is per kid. Need I say more? If I choose not to have kids, can I skip this step? LOL.

Baby Step 6 - Pay off your house early
At this point, you should have extra money (even while doing Steps 4 and 5) that you should put towards paying off your mortgage. That way, you'll truly be debt-free earlier.

Baby Step 7 - Build wealth and give
Enjoy the fruit of your success and hard work, but try to leave an inheritance for future generations. Also, don't forget to give back and help the less fortunate ones!

I can't wait to start crossing things off this list. I have definitely met the requirement for Step 1, I am currently working on Step 2, and I am sort of doing Steps 3 and 4. I am getting there... LOL.



  1. Man...those are all my goals as well! Well, except maybe the baby thing. I need a husband before I can make that...actually I need a boyfriend before I can get a husband. Lol You get what I mean. I wish you the best of luck and no getting mad at me if I make you feel guilty for spending! =) Love ya!

  2. Thank you! You should do this anyway, just in case... Or you can just give me the money. :)


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