Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Steps” Versus Crown Financial Ministries “Money Map”

How different can financial plans be when they both have the same goal in mind: financial freedom? Looking in, these two plans seem very much alike, but how similar are they? I am familiar with both plans and have put both into practice. I will be comparing the similarities and differences so that you too, can decide which plan will work for you.

Let’s face it, most of us are not where we would like to be financially, and the thought of us becoming debt free and ahead of the game can seem impossible. Both “Baby Steps” and the “Money Map” are divided into several separate, but very attainable goals. By having your plan broken down into several smaller goals and giving you tools to reach these goals, it makes the whole process of getting control of your finances much easier to obtain.

The Crown Financial Ministries “Money Map” is actually a large pamphlet that you can purchase on their website. On one side there is a little introduction and also a few boxes to complete asking you what your life purpose and goals are. It also has a box of foundational principles based on some Bible scripture. During your journey to financial peace, the “Money Map” makes sure that you keep your focus on God. On this sames side there is also a list of different books, workbooks, and other tools that you can buy, on the Crown website, to help you with each destination in the plan.

When you turn over the pamphlet, you will see a picture of a mountain containing little boxes with each destination in it. The bottom box being the first destination, or goal, and the top being the final destination. In each destination box there is a check list that needs to be completed before you move on to the next step. There can be more than one goal in each of the destinations. Most of the time it is encouraged that you build up your savings in an particular area while completing the goal. There are spaces in each box that you can fill in with how you will reward yourself when you complete each step and also a space to write in what date you completed the goal. Also, there is a small scripture memory verse in each box to help you keep your focus on God during each goal. The “Money Map” also encourages you to visit their website, while on your journey, so that you can share your progress with others on their own journey and to get some tips to help you on you achieve your goals.

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Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Steps” can actually be found in his book titled, “The Total Money Makeover. In each chapter he uses his own experiences and little success stories from people that have used his method to explain each “Baby Step” and also to encourage you on your way. Throughout the book, you will find little diagrams and charts to use as tools to make things a little easier. Ramsey urges you to use a method he calls “snowballing” and being “gazelle intense” in each of the baby steps. He encourages you to sell the things you don’t need and downsize to help you get on your way. He also limits how much you save making you throw your money at your debt and thereby reducing it at a quicker rate. By using this method, it speeds up the time it takes for you to complete each goal, giving you the momentum to continue on to the finish line.

Although most of the tools to get control of your finances are found in Ramsey’s book, he does plug his website and encourages you to visit it while completing the “Baby Steps”. His website also has the “Baby Steps” on it, but he promotes his other products as well, which all have the same goal of you getting control of your finances. While there, you will find a forum, with people completing the “Baby Steps” just like you, a multitude of success stories, and many tools much like the forms and charts that you would find in the back of his book. You are able to view some parts of the website, but in order view the bulk of it, you will need to pay a membership fee.

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As you can see, both the “Baby Steps” and the “Money Map”, both have the same goal in mind, but both go about it in different ways. “Baby Steps” is more structured, and gives you a detailed plan and tools on how to go about your goals in the quickest way possible. In the “Money Map”, it seems to be more up to you on how you want to go about it. If you need more structure, and would like to see results quickly, I would opt for the “Baby Steps”. I did enjoy the fact that the “Money Map” was more God centered, although Dave Ramsey also mentions God quite a bit. Also, you do have the safety net of a bigger savings than you do with the “Baby Steps. Either way, having financial peace as an end goals is very commendable, no matter what way you plan to go about it.