Over the last few years, here at St. Paul’s we have hosted “Financial Peace University.” This is a course designed by Dave Ramsey to help people “start winning with money.” In the fall, Pastor Dave and I alternated attending the sessions in the course.
Prior to attending I had a working knowledge of what was included. I was aware of and we were already implementing the debt pay down method that is taught. But, we found that it was helpful to have the lessons and the resources offered in helping us as we move forward.
We live in a world where our finances can feel overwhelming. No matter the stage of life people are in, there seems to be some sort of financial worry or struggle. What this course offers is a way to break down the worry and struggle by offering baby steps to work through in order to have lower stress in managing finances. Now, these steps are called “baby steps,” but they may take some time to work through them depending on your own situation. But, with that time invested, there is progress made!
Taking this course can be helpful at any life stage. Teens can take the course to gain tips and tricks to limit the amount of debt accumulated from the very start. Young couples can learn a lot and use the tools learned in setting up their financial situation. Those in the midst of their working years can learn how to make a current situation better as well as setting up for the future and eventual retirement. Even later in life these tools are helpful in ensuring things are tended to and a lasting legacy can be left.
Some things that are covered include learning how to set a budget; paying down debts; saving money; getting ready for retirement; preparing to assist children in paying for college; insurance- including the types and amount needed; and charitable giving. There is also information on how to live without a credit card, and how to make large purchases in responsible ways.
During each of the 9 classes there is a time to check in, review the homework from the previous class and ask questions. There is a video to watch and during the video you go through the workbook and therefore a note taking method is built in! There are explanations for why Dave Ramsey suggests these methods. There are stories from his life and from his experience in assisting others with their financial journey. And what I found most helpful are the practical resources offered. There are budget sheets to help with the day to day information as well as to help with looking at the bigger financial picture. There are online resources which can also be used, and of course, there are apps that can be downloaded on your phone!
Throughout the course, some of the financial myths our society tells us are dispelled. For many of us, we can’t imagine living life without a credit card. But, Dave Ramsey explains how it can be done! And for anyone who wishes to get rid of their credit card during the class, Ken will have big scissors ready to cut it up!
When things feel daunting, I find that something exciting is having tools which are helpful, and a method that really works. That is offered in this course!
I highly recommend this course, regardless of your life stage and situation because there are tips, tricks and good lessons to be learned in order to find yourself in a better financial situation in the future! A new class is forming and will begin on April 24th. Please feel free to ask Pastor Dave, Ken Keefer or myself any questions you have!