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My Financial Peace Experience – The First Class

Achieving Financial Independence

The Dave Ramsey Way

Crossing the Bridge to Financial Freedom

Crossing the Bridge to Financial Freedom

Getting to the point where we are financially independent isn’t only about having a high paying job or bringing in tons of money. That certainly helps achieve that goal, however there are other actions that we can take that will also help us on the way; complimentary actions. Specifically, we can help ourselves along the way by learning to get out of debt and stay out of debt. One of the most known proponents of the get out of debt and stay out of debt approach is Dave Ramsey, well-known author and founder of “Financial Peace University”.

I’ve picked up Dave Ramsey’s books a few times and glossed over parts of them. I’ve heard about him from friends and family, and I’ve even been on his mailing list so I receive blog updates. But I’ve never gone deeper than that into my “Financial Peace” education.

Not until last week…

My wife is a member of a church that runs Dave Ramsey Financial Peace seminars and decided it would be a great idea if we signed up for the next one. Although, I was a little familiar with Dave Ramsey’s program and never took the jump to go all the way through one of his books or one of his seminars I decided it wouldn’t hurt to commit to the 12 week program. I once heard something in one of my personal and professional development programs along the lines of “it’s hard to read a book, listen to an audio program, or take a seminar and not have something from it stick.” Although I wasn’t super excited about the idea of attending this program, I was thinking there might just be something in it that I’ll gain; that will stick, and will help me along my way to financial independence.

Since I need something new to blog about I’m taking this as an excellent opportunity to share with you my experience with Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Program. If you’ve read along this far I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat as you read on to learn more.

 

My First Financial Peace University Class!!

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the first class of the Financial Peace University. My wife and I arrived and met the other people in the program. There were a total of 9 of us in the class. The cost to us was $100 and that included the materials consisting of a cd program that complimented what we would watch each week in the way of a video, a hard cover workbook, a hard cover copy of Dave Ramsey’s best seller, Financial Peace Revisited, and a handful of other odds and ends.  All of the materials we received for the class, by themselves, were well worth the $100 we paid.

As I mentioned above, the meeting each week would consist of all of us sitting down to watch a video. After the video we’d go over some discussion questions, and we’d be assigned some homework. The first week’s video gave us a break down of what to expect over the 12 week program, specifically that it’s based on taking baby steps. It turns out to be a total of 7 baby steps, some of which don’t seem like baby steps to me. They are:

Baby Step 1:  $1000 in an emergency fund.

Baby Step 2:  Pay off all debt except the house utilizing the debt snowball.

Baby Step 3: Three to six months expenses in savings.

Baby Step 4: Invest 15% of your household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement plans.

Baby Step 5: College Funding

Baby Step 6: Pay off your home early

Baby Step 7: Build wealth and give!

After giving us a breakdown of the “baby steps” we’ll be using, the class focused a great deal on that first baby step of saving up $1000 for an emergency fund. Mr. Ramsey really drove home the idea of what an emergency is and why we need to be ready for one. We’re all going to have things come up like car repairs, Christmas presents, etc. and that we should not rely on a credit card to deal with these “emergencies”. It’s important to save up this emergency fund and have it ready for the expected emergencies. If you plan for them you won’t ever get caught reaching for a credit card to deal with them.

The other thing that Mr. Ramsey discusses in this first week is that everyone should learn as early on in their financial education as possible is the concept of compound interest. It’s amazing how time makes such a difference on the amount of interest that we can accrue on savings if we let the interest build and compound.

As we finished up this first class we went over our homework which consisted of going home and developing a basic budget and starting on that first Baby Step of getting $1000 saved up in an emergency fund.

I still don’t know what all I’m going to get out of the next 12 weeks, however I’m sure I’ll get something of value; something will stick. I’m confident the first Baby Step will be achievable fairly fast. My wife and I are in a place financially for the first time since we’ve been together where we have more money coming in than we have going out. We’re still playing catch up for the years where this wasn’t the case, but the time for that catch up shouldn’t be more than a a few months. I’m excited and looking forward to the journey.

If you want to see all of the other cool stuff Dave Ramsey has in his Financial Peace University go check out his website at www.daveramsey.com.

Now Go Be Successful In All Areas of Your Life!!

 


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