August 20, 2014

A Dave Ramsey Experience

Happy Hump Day! Today I wanted to change things up a little bit and talk about something that has honestly changed my life for the better and has given me a new perspective on things...this would be Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class that I took a few last year. First off, let me tell you a little about who Dave Ramsey is. Dave is an American financial author, radio host, television personality, and motivational speaker. His shows and writing strongly focus on helping individuals get out of debt.

I first learned of who he was while I was reading Nancy Ray's blog post here on becoming debt free. I've never personally been in extreme debt, but do know of  individuals who have been, and it's just something I never want to face myself. After reading Nancy's blog post, I got to thinking that you can never be too prepared when it comes to the future and how you handle your money. My family was always fine financially, and had just enough to make ends meet. But when it came to having extra money to give back to the church or enough money to make those home repairs that were needed or to go on that vacation that was very much deserved, the money just wasn't always right there when they would need it.

Now that I'm older and look back over all the years that I lived at home, I see all the sacrifices my parents made for our family and for us to be financially stable, and I just want a future in which I can give back, not only to them, but in more ways then I can think of at this very moment.

Okay, so now that you have some background information, let me tell you about FPU! Financial Peace University is a plan for our money. "It's teaches God's way of handling money. Through video teaching, class discussions and interactive small group activities, FPU presents biblical, practical steps to get from where you are to where you've dreamed you could be. This plan will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely, and much more". (I gathered all this information from Dave Ramsey's website.)

Right around the same time that I found out about Dave Ramsey, the church that I was attending had posted on their website about offering the FPU class. Was that a sign that I should sign up? I had no idea. I talked to Will about taking the class and he was in agreement that it would be worth my time and money. So I signed up for the nine week class that met on Tuesdays for about an hour each week and was ready to see all that I was going learn and be challenged by.

Now if I went into detail on everything I learned from the class, this post would turn into a short story, so I am not going to do that to you! :) I will share The Baby Steps and information on the chapters though and leave the rest up to you to discover!

Dave Ramsey has created a list of seven baby steps that he feels will help guide you towards getting out of debt and reaching financial peace one step at a time. There is no time frame for how quickly you must complete the baby steps, but he does recommend very strongly that you complete the baby steps IN ORDER. Below is the list of baby steps. At the time that I completed the class, I was at baby step number four but when I made the move to Charlotte, I was back down at number three but am strongly moving forward! And keep in mind, you don't have to be married, have kids or experiencing debt to do the baby steps! ANYONE and EVERYONE benefit at working through these steps and I personally feel it's never to early to prepare for your future. You can read more about each baby step here in more detail.

Seven Baby Steps
1.Take $1,000 and start an Emergency Fund
2. Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
3. Put 3-6 months of expenses into savings
4. Invest 15% of your household income into Roth IRAs and pretax retirement
5. College funding for children/future children
6. Pay off your home early
7. Build wealth and give!

Every week, our class would meet and go over one chapter from the video and book and then do a discussion towards the end. Some of the chapters were really easy to understand, while others seemed more difficult for me to grasp. I think the breakdown of each chapter was done really well and I have already revisited some of the topics from the book with Will since we've been in Charlotte.

 Chapters and Topics
1. Super Saving- Common Sense for Your Dollars and Cents
2. Relating with Money- Nerds and Free Spirits Unite!
3. Cash Flow Planning- The Nuts and Bolts of Budgeting
4. Dumping Debt- Breaking the Chains of Debt
5. Buyer Beware- The Power of Marketing on your Buying Decisions (This chapter was extremely helpful when preparing my move from Raleigh to Charlotte with Will and looking for a place for us to rent!)
6. The Role of Insurance- Protecting your Health, Family and Finances
7.Retirement and College Planning- Mastering the Alphabet Soup of Investing
8. Real Estate and Mortgages- Keeping the American Dream From Becoming a Nightmare
9. The Great Misunderstanding- Unleashing the Power of Generous Giving

I hope that this post wasn't a bore to you all! Preparing for the future is so important to me as I am a big planner and really think that Dave Ramsey is a wise man with a whole bunch of knowledge that he is willing to share. Visit his website to learn more and see if a church or organization near you is offering the FPU class. I couldn't give it more of a positive review then I already have!


  1. I'm really familiar with Dave and I think he has a ton of good points.

  2. My husband has been a Dave Ramsey fan for quite some time and in turn I've started to use some of his points - pretty simple but good stuff!

  3. I love Dave Ramsey! I haven't been through FPU, but we have several of his books and dvd's and are one the envelope system. I also like listening to his radio show. He has so many great points, and I wish we could do them all! It's just hard to put it ALL into practice on one income... Anyway, you've inspired me to try to listen to his radio show again! :)

  4. i haven't taken the FPU class but i did read total money makeover before matt and i got married and i absolutely loved it. i think he writes in very simple english and has really sage advice that is easy enough to implement as long as we aren't trying to keep up with the joneses. one of these days maybe matt and i will take the class!

    xo mk
    gold-hatted lover

  5. Thank-you so much for sharing this!! I've heard great things about Dave Ramsey and want to look into one of his programs once I graduate college! I want to be really responsible with my money once I am out of school, so I think this would be a great place to start with that!

    I have heard about his $1000 principle before though and I live by that at college, and it has proven to be VERY useful. I don't let my bank accounts ever drop below that amount, because you never know when an emergency will arise! Sometimes this means saying "no" to some fun expenses (or extra shopping... haha!!) but I know it will always pay off to be safe rather then sorry. :-)

    xoxo A


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I will usually respond back to you via email (not here on the blog)...It's easier for me that way and hopefully it sparks a conversation for us! It makes me giddy that you're here and took the time to leave me a comment :)

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