For those of you who don't know, Ben and I are participating in the Financial Peace University bible study by Dave Ramsey. This course is 13 weeks long and cost us $93 as a couple. Each week week we watch one of his dvds and then spend about 45 minutes doing small group. The kit also comes with a book, workbook and several other things to start moving in the right direction.
Now Dave starts off with talking about budgets and saving an emergency fund, paying off debts and saving 3-6 months of your monthly expenses. Since I took over as financial manager of our household, we have been on a pretty tight budget... I love budgets... and we have our emergency fund in place.
We still have a long way to go to be debt-free though. We need to pay off my student loans and our mortgage (I added this up for our 'quickie budget' and to be 100% debt free we have to pay off about $150,000). Our teacher encouraged us to know where we are starting so in a couple years we can look back and see how far we've come. My short-term goals are to pay off our 2nd mortgage first because it carries the highest interest rate and is on a 15-year balloon, and then the student loans (both are about the same amount), and THEN the 1st mortgage.
Even though we have a few things financially 'in order' (budgeting), I really wanted Ben and I to take this class because he is the spender in our family and I needed us to really get on the same page regarding money and why we can't just go out and buy something just because we have the money.... b/c the money may be better served to put tires on the car in a few months than it would be to buy a bigger tv for our bedroom. (Dave even mentions that after you save for your big purchases up front instead of financing them, you often realize that you may not want the item just as bad as you thought.... ie - my bedroom furniture and our cruise)
Well, anyways, my friend Emily has gotten about 13 calls and emails from me about why she should take this class.... seriously, if you have ever been stressed about money in your life, go here and sign up right now. I see the goal of Dave Ramsey's study as getting a hold on our finances so we can be stress free, and intentional with our purchases to prepare for our future. **If you have already taken this course, please share your thoughts on it and click above to Emily's page and send her more encouragement ;)
Ben and I are in our 2nd week and I truly feel that we've already gotten our $93 worth.
This past week was about couples & money... singles & money.... and kids & money. The kids and money was the part I enjoyed the most because he went over a lot of strategies to get kids in the right direction and teach them saving, giving & spending.
So I encourage you to go to Dave Ramsey's site immediately and see if there is a class in your area. Even if you have 1, 2, 3 in order, he also teaches: bargaining large purchases, retirement, credit, insurance, college, mortgages, etc! I think everyone from the rich to the poor can benefit from his course.