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My Personal Experience with Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University

Updated on August 12, 2013
Pore over personal finance books to grow your financial literacy.
Pore over personal finance books to grow your financial literacy. | Source

For most things in life, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. Financial Peace University, or FPU, is no exception.

As a recent FPU graduate, I wanted to share with you my personal journey towards financial peace.

Why I took FPU

I've been a fan of Dave Ramsey's radio show for several years now. Consider me odd, but I always liked finances and budgeting, and I enjoyed listening to the callers share their stories. But, to be totally honest, I thought Financial Peace seemed a little too basic for me. I assumed it was for folks swimming under a mountain of debt or struggling to make ends meet. I'm not saying I was swimming in cash, but I wasn't struggling either. I knew the basics about budgeting, in fact, I had used a budget for years, and had been saving for retirement since I was 16.

I wasn't really sure what I would get out of FPU. But, I have a deep love of learning and I knew I had room for growth financially. I have clearly defined long term goals and two young children that I want to teach about finances. My husband and I also thought it would be a good opportunity to go through together, so we decided to take the leap and enroll.

What I Learned From FPU

Here are some of the highlights that I learned from, or were strengthened through, FPU.

  • The importance of budgeting. I've used a budget for several years, but had gotten away from it as my family grew (which meant more demands on my time). Going through the budgeting process in FPU really helped me get back on track with budgeting; it's amazing how much money you "find" when you start telling each dollar where to go.
  • The freedom of debt-free life. After going through FPU, I've given a lot more thought to truly being debt-free, specifically paying off the home mortgage. In the past, I've always believed that it was "smart" to borrow money for a house and put my money to other investments. After going through FPU, I am laying out a plan for paying off the home mortgage early. It will still take many years, but I do think it's the right decision.
  • That it really is harder to spend cash than it is to pull out a credit card. I will again admit to something that runs contradictory to FPU - I like using my credit card to earn airline miles. Ditching credit cards is a hard habit to break, but something FPU strongly encourages. Of course, I paid them off each month, but I have to admit it is much harder to part with your money when you are laying out cold hard cash rather than a credit card.

Where I Am On My Financial Journey

I started FPU with about $800 owed on my car plus my mortgage debt. Since FPU, I have paid off the car loan and paid cash for a "new-to-me" vehicle. I've refinanced my home mortgage to an incredibly low 2.75% interest rate on a 15-year fixed term. I'm also putting extra money to the mortgage principle each month. We are opening college savings plans for our kids.

My husband and I continue an open line of communication about money. We talk about our finances and our goals. We have clearly defined long-term and short terms written goals about finances and other areas of life. When we make purchases, it's a lot easier to understand if and how it helps us accomplish our goals. If a purchase doesn't line up with our priorities, it makes it a lot easier to "just say no." It's amazing how much money you can save when you are more thoughtful about your day-to-day purchases. And, I thought I was pretty a purposeful spender prior to this program!

I hope that in a few short years, my family and I can call in to Dave Ramsey's radio show and give our "debt free" scream.

Where Will FPU Take You

If you are considering FPU, I encourage you to enroll. If a classroom learning environment isn't your thing, consider reading Dave Ramsey's books and listening to his radio show. I'm particularly fond of Entreleadership, it's a very inspiring read. No matter where you are on your journey, whether you are just starting out or already living your dreams, there is always more to learn. I'd love to hear your stories about your journey towards a debt-free life and financial peace.


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    • Written Up profile image

      Written Up 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Victoria, that's a huge chunk if your mortgage payment! Congratulations.

      Kasman, glad you enjoyed and thanks for sharing. Hope your "getting out of debt mission" is going well.

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Great write up Written Up. I'm blessed to have read this. It's so funny, I haven't ever taken one of his classes but I've mentioned him in one of my hubs. I've used a few of his tactics in my own getting out of debt mission. Great job on getting your car paid down and then going further with it. Everybody needs to see this hub. Great job on this and I'm sharing and voting!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I have always been a good saver and hate debt. I saved to practically pay for a new car. Then one of my best friends gave me the kit as a gift. I was even more determined to live debt free. Imagine having no mortgage. I had a great salary at the time, and instead of pouring it all into savings (I already had an emergency fun and a great cushion in case I lost my job), I began to put tons on my mortgage, paying off about 80 or 90,000 in 3 years off my principal! If I still had that job, my house would be paid off next summer, and I just bought it 6 years ago. I'm still trying with my freelance career, and hope to one day get a break to where I can pay off my mortgage before I'm 50. What freedom!

      I listed to Ramsey's CDs now and then to get myself fired up. I hope he's still around when I can call in and scream Debt Free!!!!

      All the votes except funny!

    • Written Up profile image

      Written Up 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Thank you Stephanieb27! That's awesome that you are working on paying off your mortgage - what an amazing milestone.

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      I have never taken the course but found the steps on the internet. I follow Dave Ramsey on Facebook and have read several of his books! As of December 2012, hubby and I are working on our final and largest debt-our home mortgage! Good luck in your pay-off! Great hub, voting up and useful! :)