Thursday, October 29, 2009

Financial Peace University

If you had asked me two months ago, I would have told you that there's very little that I dislike talking about more than money/paying bills/my credit card usage/etc. In fact, I believe I said something very similar to my previous statement in response to my husband's invitation to join him for a class called Financial Peace University being offered through our church. He said it would be a beneficial thing for both of us to go through, plus it would be some time for us each week to do something baby-free together. As always (no sarcasm intended!), he was right.

Financial Peace University is a program designed by financial guru Dave Ramsey ( who, after making millions in real estate, lost everything and had to rebuild his life from scratch. And rebuild he has! He lives debt free and has made millions by educating people around the country on how to regain (or simply GAIN) control of their finances.

"Bah! We don't have financial problems," I thought as I started the class. "Who wants to spend two hours listening to some guy talk about money?" Turns out that we DID and I DO! Dave lays out a very simple plan to follow in order to eliminate debt, live only on the money you have coming in each month and, even better, he does this in such a way that you're laughing for a good majority of the class. I (gasp!) look forward to budget meetings with the hubby each month because budget has now become "structure" rather than "restriction" for us. And it's almost become a game for me to see where I can make cutbacks in order to pay off some of our debts more quickly. $300 per month for groceries? Ha! You're eating nothing but beans and rice. I can do groceries this month for $100. How do you feel about training Anna to pee on newspapers? What? It's OK for puppies but not our kid? That's discrimination.

We've done the math and by sticking to the principles we've learned so far from FPU, we will be debt free, with the exception of our house, within 2 1/2 years. And better than that, we've learned exactly what to do in order to build sustainable retirement and college funds. We haven't used our credit cards in 2 months now and have no plans to ever go back to using them. We spend 30-45 minutes a few times a month to tell our money where to go rather than looking back at the end of the month wondering where it all went. And best of all, we've done all of this with open and kind communication - no fights!

I just wanted to share this with any readers who might benefit. Doesn't matter your age - we have everyone from newlyweds to retired couples and singles in our class, all of whom are equally benefited by the class. If you live in the Milwaukee area, our church has another session starting after the holidays (and it's a non-denominational class, so you don't have to be Lutheran to attend). If you don't, ask around! FPU is big and I bet you can find a class meeting near you.


  1. We've been following the program for a while and got off to a GREAT start. He is awesome. My husband watches him of Fox Business channel and I tell him he loves Dave more then We would LOVE to attend. Please tell me more info on how to register.

  2. I'm glad you both had such a good experience with that. I've read the book and have the financial peace planner which my friend made an excel spreadsheet. I wish we were in the area to go to it personally rather than read it so we could learn about the "talking" portion part of it! (Brian doesn't read at the moment due to one eye having had cataract surgery and the other eye still having a cataract. He's far sighted in one and and near in the other!)