Then step-by-step, destination-by-destination, you make progress. Your emergency savings grow and you become a cheerful generous giver. You pay off your credit cards then your car and student loans get paid off. You begin to save for big-ticket items like a replacement car, the purchase of a home, funding your children’s education or starting a business.
You buy a home and work to aggressively pay off the mortgage. You ramp up your retirement savings so you have enough to provide a comfortable lifestyle after you leave paid employment.
And finally you reach Destination Seven—True Financial Freedom:
- You are using a spending plan—so you are controlling your money, it’s not controlling you
- You are a generous giver to the church and other charities
- You have no more credit card debt
- You have no more consumer debt (car loans, student loans, home equity loans)
- You have saved three to six months income (or more) in an emergency fund
- You have a house that’s paid for
- Education is funded for your children
- You have saved enough for retirement
Destination Seven on the Money Map is the end of your journey. It is the point where Financial Freedom is here and now! Can you imagine the peace you’ll feel when you attain Destination Seven?
But it wasn’t easy. If your financial journey has been like most people, it’s been a long one, with lots of detours along the way. It required a lot of perseverance, patience and effort. There were times of great progress and times when you felt as if you were moving backwards. There were times of joy and times when it was pure drudgery. But for every step you took, God was right there with you.
That’s certainly how it was for us!
Financial freedom can mean different things to different people. Maybe it means no more worries about debt, because every last penny is paid off. Maybe it represents the chance to escape “the rat race” and retire. Perhaps you want to change occupations and work at something that is your passion instead of a job that pays well. Maybe financial freedom means you have the ability to travel around the world or play golf everyday.
We all know people who did well in their career, handled money wisely, retired and today they invest their life in social and leisure activities. But, unfortunately, they do not invest their lives in eternally significant things—the things of Christ
Do you really think the Lord is interested in you becoming financially free so you can live a life of leisure? We believe ”financial freedom” leads to an even greater purpose. The biggest benefit of financial freedom is the ability to serve God in the unique way he has called you.
Financial Freedom means having more time available and the flexibility to serve God and his people. Maybe you’ve always wanted to work with a specific ministry or outreach organization. Well, now you have the time to do it.
There’s a saying from the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People that applies to Destination Seven and it is “Begin with the end in mind.” In other words, when you know what you ultimately want to accomplish, it’s easier for you to decide what to do to get there.
And when it comes to handling money God’s way, to begin with the end in mind means there is a need to identify the end state. And the end, the final destination on your journey is True Financial Freedom. Simply put, when you have enough income from your savings, investments, and retirement accounts and you no longer need to work, then you can volunteer more time serving your church or in ministry, and you’ve reached True Financial Freedom.
So as you make progress or start your journey with the Compass Map, begin with the end in mind. What is your passion? What is God calling you to do? Where is there a need for your talents and skills? How can you work for the Lord?
Compass has the heart to encourage God’s people to reduce and finally eliminate their debt, increase their savings, be more generous and be free to have a greater impact for the cause of Christ.
When you reach Destination Seven, don’t waste your life by filling it with leisure. Make your life count for eternity so that you’ll be the faithful servant who hears these words from Matthew 25:21:
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’”