A new version of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University has just been released. While the fundamentals are the same, the tools and materials have been updated and expanded. My husband and I are big fans of this system, so when FPU contacted me to review this new program, I was thrilled to participate.
Several years ago, my family was enjoying a prosperous life. We lived in a new home in a beautiful community, with our five children attending Christian school. We had a plan for the future, paid our bills ahead of time, and had a cushion of savings in the bank. We were on the right track and doing well. Or so we thought.
Then the economy tanked. Work dried up, and it became difficult to meet our monthly obligations. We lived for so many years thinking we had our finances in order, but in reality we were always relying on our income remaining the same. We were living on the assumption that huge financial downfalls would never happen. The economic crash served to highlight our financial fallacies and show us how unprepared we really were for the future.
Our marriage began to suffer, with financial struggles and regrets dominating our conversations. It was hard, and we almost didn’t make it as a family. At our lowest point, I can remember the feeling of shame and humility as I loaded up my van with necessities from a local food bank. We were at the bottom of the bottom. It was on that day that our last shreds of pride were stripped from us, and we were forced to face facts about our financial failures. Together, we decided to take a friends advice and find a Financial Peace University class. This was the first step in relearning and restructuring our views on money.
Entering the class for the first time, we were broken people. We were certain that our story was the worst in the room and were afraid we would be asked to bare our financial souls in front of strangers, who would certainly “boo” us out of class. Luckily we found that there were all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds sharing this experience with us. And while we weren’t comfortable sharing our whole story, we found it easy to share a small bit of our experience when we saw others doing the same. It was clear that we were all in this together.
Today our lives are 100% different. So many amazing things have come out of the ashes of this financial mess, and while it was hard, I can tell you in all honesty that I wouldn’t trade it. I found through this experience the courage to share our story with others so they know they are not alone. I gained the knowledge I needed to share sound financial principles with our children. I even started this blog as a result of our struggles so that other families might learn ways to save money on essentials and see some lightening of their financial stress. I know in my heart that our transformation would’ve never happened without this trial. And I know in my heart that we would not be where we are today if we did not take that fearful first step inside an FPU class.
The concepts in this course are simple. Dave likes to say it’s what grandma would tell you to do. It starts with baby steps:
- Put $1,000 away for emergencies
- Pay off debt using the debt snowball
- Put 3-6 months expenses away for emergencies
- Invest 15% for retirement
- Begin college fund for your kids
- Pay off your home early
- Build wealth and give
According to Dave:
The concepts are simple, but that doesn’t mean the process is easy. It’s not. That’s because money is not just about math, it’s about behavior. Personal finance is only 20 percent head knowledge. The other 80 percent – the bulk of the issue – is behavior. And it’s our behaviors with money that can get us into the biggest trouble or lead us into the biggest successes. (Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money)
The folks at Financial Peace University are giving one lucky Moms by Heart reader a free FPU kit. Here are the highlights of what you will receive:
- Member Workbook – New version filled with worksheets, discussion questions and lesson highlights,. It’ll be your life raft through this financial journey.
- Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money – New hardcover book that’ll serve as your class handbook.
- Envelope System – To get you going with a cash-only goal.
- Audio CD’s – Audio versions of every one of Dave’s class lessons. Listen in the car to keep it fresh in your mind.
- Progress Poster – A large dry-erase visual to track your progress and keep your goals front and center.
- Budget Forms Folder – Keep your budget forms organized in one tidy place.
- Free Lesson Tickets – Give them to your friends so they can see what the buzz is about.
- Access to FPU Central – This is a biggie. You’ll find video lessons, budgeting worksheets, forms, calculators, tips, articles and lots more available here. You’ll even get access to Dave’s Gazelle Budget Tool, usually only available by subscription.
Would you like a chance to win? Just leave a comment in the form below and let us know if you’ve ever tried the Dave Ramsey system. Winners will be selected from eligible entries at 11:59pm on Tuesday September 11th, 2012. using random.org and notified by email. They will have 48 hours to respond or an alternate will be chosen. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 or older, void where prohibited. One entry per household, please.
DISCLOSURE: DaveRamsey.com provided one Financial Peace University set for review purposes and one as a giveaway item in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% my own.
Posted in: Giveaways