Recently, Stephen and I participated in a Financial Peace University Class that was offered by our church. I was so excited to take this class, because I had heard such great things about it! We were also excited to take it because many of the young families in our church were also taking it, and we were hoping we’d make some more friends (and we did!!) FPU ran once a week for nine weeks, and last Thursday our last class.
FPU is taught and created by Dave Ramsey. Before the class, I did not know much about Dave Ramsey, but apparently he is pretty controversial! Dave Ramsey has a famous radio show, and he’s often quite harsh on the air. However, he has a far different personality during FPU. While we maybe didn’t agree with every single thing we learned in FPU, Stephen and I both came to really enjoy Dave Ramsey and FPU, and I guess you could call us Dave Ramsey fans!!
Stephen and I have always been savers, and have never really struggled with money management. We really wanted to take this class to learn more about investing, saving for our future children’s education, retirement, budgeting, buying a home, etc. We also were interested because it is a Biblically based class. We’re still learning how everything works in the financial world, but after taking this class I know so much more! I feel like I finally understand financial lingo and how things work.
As I mentioned previously, our class met once a week for nine weeks. We looked forward to class every week–we thought it was so fun (we’re both nerds when it comes to this stuff)! At the start of the class you watch a video. During the videos (which are hilarious and very entertaining), you fill out your FPU workbook. After the video you are split into small groups, where your small group leader asks questions and leads discussion. Once you pick a small group you are encouraged to stay there, so that you can build community. We really enjoyed the people in our small group and have become good friends with them. During the small group time we would discuss the small group questions provided in the workbook, and also discuss issues/concerns/achievements we made as the class went on. We would also have homework most weeks which would mainly include reading a chapter in Dave Ramsey’s book, creating your zero-based budget, having a budget meeting with your spouse, etc.
To give a quick synopsis of what we learned in the class, I will list the “baby steps”. Dave Ramsey has created six baby steps to financial peace, and the class is based around these.
The Six Baby Steps:
Step 1: $1,000 in an emergency fund
Step 2: Pay off all debt with the debt snowball
Step 3: 3-6 months expenses in a full emergency fund
Step 4: Invest 15% of income into Roth IRA’s and Pre-tax Retirement Plans
Step 5: College funding and pay off the home early!
Step 6: Build wealth and give
After taking the course, I would say Stephen and I learned the most about retirement, investing, and how to create a budget that works. However, we also learned a lot about insurance (what to have and what not to have), how to raise children who understand money management, and the danger of debt and credit. We thoroughly enjoyed the class and will be keeping all of our workbooks/materials for future reference. If you ever have the opportunity to take FPU, I highly recommend it! 🙂