In the last post we talked about Baby Step 6, where Dave Ramsey suggests that you pay off your home early. We looked about both sides of the argument, talking about how a paid off house can give you freedom, and allow you to save, invest and give more. We also talked about how some suggest that it isn't the best way to go, but that you should try investing and making a better return on your money. In the end Ramsey suggests that the positives you get by paying off your house early far outweigh the alternative.
In today's post i'll look at the final step of the 7 baby steps – building wealth and giving to others! In my opinion this is one of the most exciting of the baby steps because it allows you to do something for others – using your wealth to help others.
Baby Step 7 – Build Wealth And Give
Steps 1-6 of the baby steps are focused on getting together your financial life, paying off your debt, planning ahead for the future by saving and investing. In step 7 Ramsey talks about how many people have a mistaken belief that the way to have more is to hold on tightly to what they have. In reality, it doesn't work that way he says. Instead he puts forth the idea that generous people tend to be more prosperous.
Why are generous people better off? Giving to others makes you less selfish – and people who are less selfish tend to do better in both relationships – and in wealth building.
Dave Ramsey gives the example of the open fist and the closed fist. If you have a closed fist your money is safe and it's not going anywhere. The problem is, you can't take in any new money either. With an open hand when you give – your hand is open already, and you're able to receive blessings – as you give!
The idea of holding money with an open hand might seem to violate common sense. We feel that if we don’t hold on tightly to our money and our relationships, they will slip away. I’m not saying literally hold your money with an open hand – it represents our attitude toward money. When you give, you open yourself up. You allow the dollars to leave and the freedom to enter.
Giving works because it is in your personal blueprint to be a giver, and you unleash good things in your life that you will never see until you learn the art of unselfish giving. Giving lifts us out of ourselves; we take our eyes off our rights, our problems, and our stuff. The new view gives us renewed vision and hope. Giving is powerful. – Dave Ramsey
So when you have paid off all of your debt, and you've been able to save and invest – it's time to start giving as well! Not only will you be giving blessings to others, but you’ll be receiving blessings in return (and not always in a monetary sense).
There are men who gain from their wealth only the fear of losing it. – Antoine Riverolli
Surplus wealth is a sacred trust to be managed for the good of others. – Andrew Carnegie
Why Do I Give?
There are a lot of great reasons to give. Here are a few of mine:
- I'm a Christian, and I believe that I'm only a steward of everything I have – it all belongs to God. Psalm 24:1 says “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof”. And since the money is all God's it sure makes it easier to give away doesn't it?
- Giving is good for you! It makes you less selfish, and helps to be more Christ-like.
- We are happiest when we are serving and giving.
- Giving helps me to live out my life purpose of helping others.
Get Creative When You Give!
Giving doesn't always have to be monetary – you can also give of your time and talents. In the end you're only limited by your creativity. Some ways you can help:
- Help a single mother buy groceries or pay a couple of bills.
- Volunteer time at your church serving others.
- Give an extra large tip to a waiter or waitress.
- Spend time with people at a local nursing home, talking and listening to them, playing music for them or just playing games with them.
- Pay for someone’s meal behind you in line at the fast food restaurant.
- Serve meals at a local food shelf, and eat with them when you’re done serving.
- Give to a local charity.
What are some ways that you give? Give us some suggestions in the comments!