I’ve always been a financial nerd. I get excited about reconciling our bank statement each month, writing real checks, making various money related spreadsheets and developing monthly budgets. It’s part of my “Type A” personality I guess – being a perfectionist, wanting things organized and having a system for everything, so I thought I had a pretty good handle on the Ussery finances.
But when I heard about Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class being offered through church (Fall 2009), I was eager to sign up and take the course. I had listened to Dave Ramsey before and John had read through his "Total Money Makeover" book early in our marriage, so we knew a few things about his program. However, we never really put into practice his methods. It was time for that to change - we were ready to get on board with the Dave Ramsey plan. Knowing the little that I did about Dave, I was confident the classes would help us make improvements to our way of handling our money and be well worth our time.
Well, I am here to tell you that the 13-week Financial Peace University course did not disappoint. It far exceeded my expectations and completely transformed our finances. In short, we went through FPU in August-October 2009 and we are still going strong with his system. We stick to his plan as much as possible each month and couldn't be happier with the results.
Dave is a very dynamic speaker (you'll discover this through the weekly DVDs in the course) and you will find yourself hanging on his every word and ready to hear what he has to say week after week about ALL aspects of money. He will talk about things that seem so simple and make your ask the question, "Why haven't we been doing this all along?" It just makes sense. His ways of handling your money are very practical. If you truly follow his steps you can and will experience financial peace.
And although I have so many positive things to say about it, I know that it can and will be difficult too. It requires patience and endurance...and sacrifice. It will not be smooth and easy, especially in the beginning, but it's completely worth it and it does get easier with time. Seeing positive changes and successes from month to month will keep you motivated to stick to the plan. Initially, it will take time and dedication to get going on his plan - to transition from what you were going before to a whole new way of thinking. It will require you to dissect various aspects of your life and look at your income verses expenses. It will force you to do a budget at the beginning of each month and make every effort to stick to it. It will take time!! Even though we have made a lot of progress over the past year and a half, this will be our lifelong system of handling our money. His plan isn't just "7 steps to be debt free and have money in savings" - this is a lifestyle change.
We are all in various financial positions – young and old, making good money or making a little, several bills or just a few, money in savings or simply surviving, retirement building up or dreading retirement, kids, no kids or empty nesters – this system will work for you regardless of where you are in life. It’s the same system for everyone, you just make it fit your particular situation.
John and I’ve been married for eight years and have had our share of money “issues” just like everyone else - we've all been there. There's no need share specifics, but we've had ups and downs when it comes to our finances. But thanks be to God because since going through FPU, we've made good progress and are more at peace about the future. We are praising God everyday for these blessings.
Being the financial nerd that I am (which I mentioned at the beginning of this post), this is a passion for me anyway, but the Dave Ramsey system just makes it that much more exciting. I know - I am weird. Dave actually uses the phrases - "Free Spirit" and "Nerd" when he describes couples because there is usually one of each in a relationship. We know what I am and John's definitely the "Free Spirit".
There is no way, I can sum up how much I believe in Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University in a few words. This is an incredible system and I highly recommend it. If you are ever able to sign up for an FPU class (or buy it an do it at home) - please do!! Then put in the time and hard work it takes, faithfully follow the plan and apply it to your finances, you’ll experience awesome results!
Until we meet again...
2 years ago