A Testimonial for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University

My wife and I recently finished Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  I couldn’t possible write everything down that I learned, but here are a few points that I believe will help “change my family tree” as Dave says.
  • People respect what is inspected.
One of the main parts of FPU is having a monthly budget meeting.  It is really easy to lose track of all the places your money goes.  I personally found it very easy to bury my head in the sand when it came to money.  As long as I was not behind on the bills, I didn’t think too much about where our money was going.  However, through the class I have learned that when you take the time to look at the checkbook and itemized list of places where you spend your money over the course of a month, it can be very revealing.  Other than the fact that we LOVE Chipotle, I realized that a few less trips to the grocery, and not going into the gas station (where I end up buying a pop and candy bar), a lot of money can be saved.  I also know now that if I waste money, I will have to answer to my wife at the budget meeting we have every month.
  • The importance of writing things down.
Once you realize the amount of money that can be saved, the next step is writing the detailed plan out.  This allows you to tell your money where it is going rather than someone else telling you where your money goes.  Dave teaches that you should write out a zero budget plan each month.  This basically ensures that all of the money you have each month has a name on it.  If you decide to put a name on it that says: “BLOW MONEY,” that is fine.  The point is that you made a conscious decision to do so.
When you write things down a couple of things happens.
  1. It makes you accountable to yourself and your family.   As in my above example, if I spend money that is not written in the budget, I must explain that decision to my wife at the end of each month.
  2. It makes it official.  Before you write something down, it is just an idea.  It has no backbone.  Once you put it on a piece of paper, it is a written goal.  This makes it much easier to adhere to the plan.
  • The importance of tithes and offerings.

This class, using Biblically based principals reinforced the importance to listen to God’s Word, and to give your tithes and offerings FIRST.  It is all God’s money, and we are called to be good stewards of the money He has given us.  God does not want our ‘leftovers’.  He wants us to give happily our first fruits.

  • Communication is a key ingredient in a successful marriage.

I have heard this one my whole life.  This is common sense.  However, SUCCESS is defined as the uncommon application of common sense.  This class allowed the lines of communication to be opened on a new level first financially.  My wife and I have always “talked” about money, married couples really have no choice but to “talk” about money.  Too often in marriage the talking ends up being louder than “talking” should be.  FPU allowed us to talk about money in a new way, which we hadn’t done in the past.  We talked much more about how we wanted to spend our money in the future.  This included college money for our kids, vacations, retirement, amongst other things.

The open lines of communication only started with finances.  Once you open lines of communication, a whole flood gate of other things open up as well.
  • The importance of staying gazelle intense.

This phrase comes from when a predator is chasing a gazelle in an effort to bring home some dinner. It is important for the gazelle to focus on getting away from that predator. Just like that gazelle it is important for us to stay focused on getting away from debt. If you let your guard down for just an instant it could cost you your financial life.

I am proud to say that we were able to pay off over $5,000 in debt while we were in the class, and continue to work toward our goals. I would recommend this class for everyone, even if you don’t think you have money issues. Having the knowledge that could help you, your family, or your friends will be invaluable in changing your family tree.
Do you have debt that is killing your financial freedom?  Do you have a plan to combat that?
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