financial peace university

calculating kids

[sorry this post is a week late!]

as i mentioned in my last post, at the beginning of 2009, we had about $13,000.00 in debt. also at this time, we enrolled financial peace university with our connection group.

a few things about financial peace university:

  • dave ramsey is the creator/author
  • it can be a semester long course, around 13 weeks, there are “quickie courses”
  • it usually costs around $100
  • it centers around dave ramsey’s “7 baby steps”

i’m going to give a quick summary of our thoughts on those above bullet points.

dave ramsey
first impression: he’s a little nuts. giant scissors and a deer on stage? is this guy for real? bryan doesn’t take well to overly excited people, and dave ramsey’s one of those people. i’m a little more unaffected by the hype but i can understand why some people (my husband included) are a little overwhelmed by him.
my advice: listen to what he has to say and ignore the hype if you must. don’t tune him out completely, even if you’re a little overwhelmed! he has a pretty incredible personal story, and he has a lot of wisdom but hey, he’s an excited guy.

long or short course?
we went through almost every week in the series with our connection group and we were also required to complete a quick version of it for our engagement class. we did have some debt, but we had pretty good foundations for personal finance already, so i think we could have just taken a day-course and called it good.
but, there are many benefits to taking a semester long course, and it’s what i would recommend to any one who needs help with their personal finances. one huge benefit of the longer course is that you have incredible motivation and accountability with your class or small group. every one shares stories each week and it’s so encouraging to be walking through the learning experience together. plus, you can all make inside jokes together about dave.

the cost
to someone struggling with finances, $100 can seem like a small fortune. but i strongly feel that it’s totally worth it. spend the money, it will save you a lot more later. i promise.

the 7 baby steps

  1. quickly save $1,000 in a baby emergency fund
  2. become debt-free using the “snow-ball method”
  3. fully fund your emergency fund (from step 1) with 3-6 months of living expenses
  4. contribute 15% of your income to retirement
  5. fund your kid’s college educations
  6. pay off your mortgage
  7. invest money and give a bunch of it away-live like no one else
one of my favorite blogs did a short, simple series on the seven baby steps, check it out if you want more detail on any of these. 
another plug for taking the long course is that everyone will likely save that $1,000 and pay off a few debts while you’re still in class together. it’s so fun to see progress in other’s lives!
while bryan and i don’t consider ourselves to be held tightly to this plan for the rest of our lives, we both agree that it is a really great foundation for financial freedom. we will loosely follow this plan as we continue on in life. we are still young, so we’re staying “stuck” at step 2 until bryan is done with school.

coming up:
the alsbury debt snowball
sinking funds=genius  

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