Dave Says

Rental Runaround (August 2016)

Do you think having cancer insurance is a good idea? (July 2015)

Setting up the kid's car insurance (February 2015)

Check cashing for the unbanked (September 2014)

Keep the lifestyle simple (May 2014)

Should she have skin in the game? (September 2013)

Time to pay it off! (September 2013)

Making It Through Medical Leave (July 2013)

Should We Ever Buy A House? (January 2013)

Be Tightfisted Until The Crisis Is Over (January 2013)

Paying the parents (December 2012)

Sallie Mae vs. selling the car (December 2012)

Whatís the worst that can happen? (December 2012)

Letting them in on the secret (December 2012)

Not ready to combine finances (November 2012)

What The Law Will Allow (August 2012)

Making The Right Choice (August 2012)

Baby comes first! (August 2012)

Get the brother-in-law out! (August 2012)

Trust Broken After Cosigning (April 2012)

Review The Research (April 2012)

The Investing Makes Her Nervous (April 2012)

Lifestyle Changes (April 2012)

Do I Tithe On An Inheritance (March 2012)

No Credit Score, No Mortgage? (March 2012)

Where Do Toys Fit In The Baby Steps? (March 2012)

Guilt and Cynicism (March 2012)

Where Does Debt Go When Filing Bankruptcy? (December 2011)

Where Does The Donation Go (December 2011)

Ready to Buy (December 2011)

Intensity Hurting The Marriage (December 2011)

Hobby Car? (November 2011)

Not Quite Dearly DepartedÖ (November 2011)

Enough For Retirement? (November 2011)

Itís Just Another Gimmick (November 2011)

Will Paying Early Help? (November 2011)

Bargain Master! (November 2011)

Sisters Should Have Asked! (August 2011)

Buy Now Or Wait? (August 2011)

So, He Knows How To Manage Money? (August 2011)

Girlfriendís Money Problems (August 2011)

Smaller Down Payment? (August 2011)

Why Canít She Get Another Job? (August 2011)

Landlord Wants Protection (June 2011)

Prepping Kids For Healthy Habits (June 2011)

Switching To Company Debit Cards (June 2011)

Should I Reduce My Tithe? (June 2011)

Closing The Account (February 2011)

Dishonesty Is Not The Best Policy (February 2011)

Piles of Cash? (February 2011)

New Car In A Bad Situation (February 2011)

Drop Coverage? (November 2010)

Can't Pay For Her Wedding (November 2010)

Does Pride Keep Us In Debt? (November 2010)

Not Time For A Reunion (November 2010)

You're Being Hoodwinked! (November 2010)

Buying Used or New? (November 2010)

Is There A Recommended Vacation Percentage? (July 2010)

Donít Do it for the Gas Mileage (July 2010)

Investing Strategy for Retirement (April 2010)

Insurance? (April 2010)

Triple Play Investing (February 2010)

How Do I Get Started in Real Estate (February 2010)

Published: March 2012
Where Do Toys Fit In The Baby Steps?  

Dear Dave,

When is it okay to have a little fun and get a boat or a motorcycle when youíre doing the Baby Steps?

Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,

I always recommend that folks complete the first three Baby Steps before running out to buy a bunch of toys. Baby Step 1 is to save up $1,000 in the bank for a starter emergency fund. Baby Step 2 is to pay off all your debts, except the house, using the debt snowball method. Then, on Baby Step 3, we go back and fully fund the emergency fund to contain three to six months of expenses.

After youíve gotten this far, itís okay to have a little fun and save up for a toy. But donít forget about Baby Step 4, which is putting 15 percent of your income into pre-tax retirement plans, like mutual funds and Roth IRAs. Donít neglect saving for college, either, if you have kids. Thatís Baby Step 5.

Baby Steps 6 and 7 are paying off the house early and building wealth and giving. Everyone likes having fun, and thereís nothing wrong with a few toys if you an afford them. Just make sure you donít sacrifice your financial health for the shiny things!

óDave

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