Friday, August 05, 2011

Drinking the Kool-Aid



Just short of two years ago I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University (FPU) Class. My friend Jeanette introduced me to Dave Ramsey and I'm so thankful she did. I wish it had been five years earlier. Financial Peace University is a 13 week class that shares Dave's philosophy on everything financial from budgeting to investing in the stock market. I took to his philosophy like a fish to water. After the first two weeks I realized my financial house was really screwed up. I was way too far in debt and was barely living from paycheck to paycheck even with a decent salary. My student loans didn't help the situation but I had amassed a significant credit card balance, a car loan and a rather large mortgage on my home. I didn't understand fully what having to pay creditors did to the strength of your money and the thought of financial self-control hadn't even crossed my mind. I realized I was stressed out about my finances and it made me feel like I was living in a house of cards that could come crashing down around me at any time.

All of that changed when I fully embraced Dave's principles. It hasn't been easy and I'm not perfect. In fact I totally screwed up just this last month. BUT I've also had HUGE successes. In the last not quite two years I've paid off all of my debt (about $60k) except my now two mortgages and one mortgage sized student loan debt. As of this month I'm moving on to Dave's baby step three which is to actually begin to save. This is probably the most exciting step in the process to me. I'm finally starting to pay myself instead of someone else. Dave would say I really should pay off that student loan debt first (and I'm not really "Dave Debt Free") but I feel like I'm to a point where the payment is enough of an insignificant amount of my paycheck that I can lump it into baby step six and treat it like a mortgage. When that last student loan is cleared it's going to be amazing but in the meantime I need to have a bit of a larger emergency fund in place to deal with being a reluctant landlord. It's been a challenging and rewarding journey. I probably need to lead a FPU class and share my enthusiasm with other people that way.

I want to encourage anyone who feels a bit lost in the financial world to find an FPU class or even just find Dave's radio show. I listen to him everyday and there is great peace in hearing that 1) you are heading in the right direction 2) you aren't the only one with financial concerns and 3) more than likely you aren't as bad off as some of the callers. I know - I'm horrible.

If you are interested and want more information click either the link above or below and I hope it will take you to Dave's website. I'd love to hear success stories from you guys as you go along. You won't be sorry for one minute that you started this journey. It's not easy but it is one of the most rewarding things I personally have ever done.

1 comment:

jenn said...

I am weird too! And a total financial mess! We are about to pay off our last student loan, then moving on to credit cards. SLOWLY but surely. I am a DR convert. $60K in two years - you go girl! That's amazing!!