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Financial Lessons From My 13-Month-Old

Silas, my 13-month-old, is in the process of learning to walk. If you’ve ever been around any young toddler, you likely know what this entails. For a few months, he just pulled up on furniture and stood there. Then he slowly started scooting around furniture.

After that, he got brave and started letting go and standing without holding onto anything. Soon, he would let go and take a few tentative steps. Now, he’s trusting his footing enough to take up to seven steps at a time.

Along the way, there have been lots of tumbles and spills. Sometimes, he will altogether give up and refuse to even try. Other days, he wants to keep trying again and again and is very excited about his accomplishments.

As I’ve been watching him, I’ve thought a lot of how a toddler learning to walk correlates with financial success. If you’re deep in debt, you usually don’t just wake up one day to a completely transformed financial situation. Instead, it’s usually very much a slow process. And it often involves babysteps.

You have to believe that you can stand on your own two feet and live in financial freedom. You have to stop sitting in your financial mess or crawling around in circles and borrowing money.

You have to make positive changes that help propel forward. You have to make sacrifices, cut your expenses, get on a budget and maybe even find creative ways to earn extra money on the side.

It takes work, practice, sweat and effort. There are often bumps and bruises along the way. Just as a baby will never learn how to walk if he gives up halfway through the process, so you will never realize financial success if you are a quitter.

But if you keep at it, keep going, keep on taking those babysteps, and keep getting back up when you fall, over time, you’ll start to see some significant progress. And soon, you might find that you’re freely running and dancing instead of just barely taking babysteps!

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20 Comments

  • kathy2579 says:

    great comparison

  • Oh Silas. Is it possible that child could *be* any cuter?!?! Oh my goodness…he is good enough to eat I tell you. 🙂 Well, they all are, but look at that face!

  • beth says:

    nicely said

  • Karen says:

    There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that he is already 13 months old. No way, no how.

    Karen in TN

  • Dee says:

    Financial freedom is sometimes not that easy for some of us, especially when your single and have a sick child but I like your inspiration.

  • Jane says:

    Seems like you just had him last week. My how time has flown. I look back and am thankful for your blog and encouragement in our quest for financial peace and Best yet 16 mths from now we will have our house paid off. Your trials and advice have helped me save our family huge amounts of money and get back to what is important. GOD, Family, and Self sufficient living.

  • Rose says:

    Crystal,
    Thanks so much for this post. Yesterday when I went to the grocery store I had my cash in hand with how much I was allowed to spend. Well to my dismay when I came to pay I was 23 dollars over my budget. That is with items I held off on and had to have the checker put them back. Boy was I ever bummed. I had enough cash to pay for it all, but I was disapointed in myself that I went over. I decided that I had a slip up and that I had to pick myself up and stay on course. We all tumble, but it’s how we choose to pick ourselves up that matters.

  • Your son is so cute! I too can’t believe he’s already walking. It seems like just yesterday that you had announced the arrival of your first son.

    I was thinking about your analogy, and thought I’d add an observation – most people encourage walking in children, because everyone else walks and doesn’t consider crawling an option for too long. But in the murky world of financial choices, many prefer to crawl, and would even question, pity, or even ridicule someone who tried to get up and start walking on their own. Crazy, but sadly true these days.

  • Jennifer Consitt says:

    OMG I love how you worded that……. I mean its like so true I never thought of it like that…… I have a 13 month old and he is trying to learn to walk…….. But that is a perfect way to think about how to overcome debt……. just like a baby it takes time……….. Wow thats great!!!!!!!

  • Jennifer says:

    This totally encouraged me today! Thank you…

  • Jen T says:

    Aww I like that picture of your girls so much. It looks very professional too. =)

  • Suzanne says:

    Great reminder!

  • Stacie says:

    Chrystal,
    I love your analogy! And to all those who struggle and don’t think financial peace is possible, please pray!! It works and is very powerful.

    My husband has been out of work for two months now but with the guidance of Dave Ramsey, we have been able to keep up with our financial obligations. I give all the glory to God as he has helped me to find more work than I ever thought I would be able to handle. He has given me the strength and endurance to make sure my family is well cared for. Debt freedom is within our grasp even with our current “glitch”.

    God is good.

    And, Crystal, your children are adorable!

  • Cute kids! Great post too! It’s taken us 3 years, but we will be debt free (except the house) in August! It’s been a long 3 years at times, with many set backs, but getting this close really feels like it’s going to happen!

  • Ryan Hafey says:

    Baby steps is right! Might I add to this metaphor that it’s ok to ask for help when you feel like you’re ready to fall. Don’t think you have to accomplish your financial goals on your own!

  • Caroline says:

    Where did the dresses come from that your girls have on? They are SO cute!!

  • That is so true! Great comparison I can’t believe your Silas is 13 months old-he’s such a cutie!

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