Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gaining Financial Peace

The past four weeks I have been co-leading Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at my church.  It has been great to dig deeper into the curriculum and try to help others understand God’s instructions for handling our money.

The first week we had way more people show up than we were expecting and we had to order more kits and move into our sanctuary because the room we had reserved wasn’t big enough.  Luckily, a couple of the people who joined run the sound system at church and were able to help everything workout out smoothly.  The first lesson was on Super Saving.  We learned from Dave Ramsey why savings must become a priority and why baby step 1 is to have $1,000 in the bank as beginning emergency fund and baby step 3 is to have 3-6 months of expenses saved to finish the emergency fund.

Everyone came back for the second week’s lesson on Relating With Money.  Everyone did the homework of creating a quickie budget, which was really exciting.  It was fun listening to Dave Ramsey teach the difference between the Nerds and Free Spirits.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am the Nerd! In addition to a discussion on how money should be dealt with in a marriage, a good amount of the time focused on how to teach kids about money.  Anna and I are looking forward to continuing to put the principles we learned into practice.

The third week’s lesson was on Cash Flow Planning.  Dave Ramsey talked about the importance of creating and sticking to a zero-based budget.  The great thing about the zero-based budget is that every dollar has a name before the month begins and it prevents conflicts from popping up during the month about money.

Week 4 started strong with several success stories.  The lesson was one of the longest of the series, but it was a great one on Dumping Debt.  We learned a lot about different debt myths.  The Bible says, “Owe no one anything except to love one another” (Romans 13:8).  We must follow God’s word on money if we want to be his disciples.  God calls us to live debt-free because there is no good debt.   We are working to get out of debt with gazelle intensity.  Baby step 2 is to pay off all debt using the debt snowball.  Here are the steps that Dave Ramsey ended the dumping debt lesson with for getting out of debt:
  1. Quit borrowing more money!
  2. You must save money.
  3. Prayer really works.
  4. Sell something.
  5. Take a part-time job or overtime (temporarily). 

Our class meetings are each Sunday evening at the church. From this point forward, I will provide a short summary of each class one at a time until we finish on August 5th.  Our lesson for next week is: Credit Sharks in Suits.  

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