My husband and I took Financial Peace University (FPU) at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church several months ago, and what we took away was life changing for our family. Financial Peace University (FPU) is a nine-week class on money taught by renown financial guru, Dave Ramsey. The classes consist of video teachings and discussions walking through the basics of budgeting, dumping debt and planning for the future. FPU starts again at Shepherd of the Hills Church on February 4, 2016, and we wanted to share our Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Do Financial Peace University.
The average family pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 in the first 90 days!
- It is never too early or too late to learn financial peace
My husband and I were never taught how to budget by our parents. I was a math whiz, but I was never taught financial planning or budgeting in school. I often did a backwards approach to budgeting by setting savings goals, but I never took a hard look at what I was spending. What we learned from FPU is that saving and financial planning isn’t innate. It must be learned. And it is never too late to learn, and to pass that knowledge on to your kids.
- You will receive practical steps and advice that are very easy to implement
Dave Ramsey’s class is about fundamentals, and it is not rocket science. What makes it accessible is that everyone can take “The Baby Steps” approach towards achieving financial peace. We’ve tried other financial budgeting programs in the past, that were cumbersome and not user-friendly. FPU is laid out very simply and straightforward, so that you are motivated to take the next step. You can take it as high tech (from mobile apps to my husband’s crazy spreadsheet formulas) to low tech (envelope system) as you want.
- Get on the same page
I will not lie by telling you it was easy for my husband and I to analyze and set our monthly budget. There were several frustrating (what else did you buy on Amazon.com this month?) moments. What I loved about FPU is that it identifies how a couple can work together to achieve goals and get on the same page. If you are single, the importance of an accountability partner is also stressed.
- Pay attention to your behavior
First and foremost, Dave Ramsey forces you to look beyond the math, and focus on your behavior. You cannot change your finances if you do not change your behavior.
You will be supported and surrounded by other FPU participants with the same goals. Shepherd of the Hills facilitator, Julia, is wonderful at facilitating discussion and offering advice and budgeting tips.
Don’t let not having childcare get in the way of you taking this class. Shepherd of the Hills offers free childcare during class. We were so grateful to have our son be watched by fun and caring childcare providers next door. He looked forward to spending time with his new friends.
- “Peace” of Mindset
I loved that FPU also encompassed the fundamentals of mortgages, insurance, college planning, estate planning, etc. There were even more options for college savings plans than I was aware of.
- Being in Control
We definitely feel more in control of our finances and future after taking FPU. We get more excited about saving vs. spending money.
- You will save money!
If you follow the teachings and principles of FPU, you will no doubt knock down debt and save money. So far we have doubled our monthly savings since taking FPU. Here’s the breakdown: we paid down mortgage and refinanced to a lower rate, changed our son’s school to one that was better suited to his needs, cut back on entertainment/eating out, and cut a gym membership that wasn’t being used. We always are looking for opportunities to save more. And we get more enjoyment out of savings vs. spending!
- Look forward to the future
What would you do if you did not have to worry about debt? What would you like to do in 5 years? 10 years? How do you see yourself spending your retirement? The answers to these questions change daily for us, but it is something that we look forward to,and have fun discussing.
Have you taken Financial Peace University? How has it impacted your life?