By the time you reach Baby Step 7, you’re officially in the top 2% of Americans. At this point, you’re totally debt-free! You don’t have any student loans. Your cars are paid for. Your mailbox might be full of junk mail—but no credit card bills! You don’t even have a mortgage payment. Your income is all yours.
Instead of paying for the past, you’re making your money work for the future. You’re saving up to live the retirement of your dreams. And if you have kids, you’re setting them up to be students without the student loans.
In short, you’re winning with money.
You’ve learned a lot throughout the Baby Steps. You know what it means to sacrifice. You’ve put in the hard work and clocked the hours. You’ve lived like no one else, and now you’re able to really live like no one else. But you’re not quite done learning yet! Here are three important truths to take away as you settle into the final Baby Step.
1. You learn money is good for fun.
Hopefully, you’ve always budgeted a little fun money as you’ve journeyed through the Baby Steps. Otherwise you might have gone crazy! But now that you’re in such a great financial position, you can really use your money for fun. You’ve worked hard, so enjoy the fruits of your labor! If you want to take your family on a seven-day cruise or buy some fancy jewelry, you can. It’s okay to increase your fun budget and enjoy some of the money you’ve earned!
2. You learn money is good to invest.
Since you’re already saving for retirement, you know it’s smart to invest your money. But investing takes on a whole new meaning when your money starts working for you. You’ve reached something called the “Pinnacle Point.” This is where focused gazelle intensity reaches critical mass and your money takes on a life of its own! If you continue to invest and let compound interest work its magic, your nest egg will grow exponentially over time. The goal is to ultimately be able to live off that growth alone! You’re also setting yourself up to leave a great legacy to your children (Proverbs 13:22).
3. You learn money is good to give.
Giving should start in Baby Step 1. But as you work your way through the Baby Steps, your generosity should increase. The Bible tells us that pure religion is actually helping the widows and the orphans—not just talking about helping them (James 1:27). And now that you’re building serious wealth, you can put some real momentum behind your good intentions. Margaret Thatcher said, “No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions.” He had a good heart, yes, but he also had money to pay the innkeeper to take care of the injured man (Luke 10:25–37).
Wealth comes with the tremendous responsibility to manage it well. Fortunately, it can be tremendously fun too—for you and for the people you bless with it.