If you aren't familiar with these baby steps, you can check out Dave's website or read the brief summary I've included below:
The first step was to have an emergency fund of $1000
we were able to do this sometime shortly after we moved to SF (to our amazement)
The second step was to pay off all your debt (other than a mortgage)
we were able to do this in 2011 (much quicker than we ever dreamed)
The third step is to set up a savings of three to six months of your expenses
so far we have three months set aside which we will reevaluate as necessary; we managed to do this right before my husband lost his job in 2011
The fourth step is to start investing 15% of your income for your retirement
this is where we are now
The fifth step is to set up a college fund for you or your children
The sixth step is to pay off your mortgage early
And the last step is to build wealth and give like never before
The end goal is really what keeps us motivated. To give like never before. So many of our friends are in the mission field or working for organizations that need support and we want to help them all so badly. We do what we can now, but thinking about being able to do more one day is really exciting and inspiring!
Anyway, back to Baby Step #4. We started a retirement fund a few months ago, but haven't been investing as much as Dave recommends. Honestly, we'll have to see what that looks like in our budget. Fifteen percent seems like a lot. But it is so important to start investing now when we have years ahead to accrue compound interest.
I don't share this to brag about our financial situation (The Lord knows we have no right to boast!) I write this to share our goals, our plan, and our hopes for our financial freedom. And maybe to motivate you to take a look at your own situation. These baby steps take time, but it's worth the effort! I promise.