About a decade ago, I got some information in the mail from Dave Ramsey’s company. And, my first reaction was, “NOPE! No way!” I was the very definition of a cynic: a person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honorable or unselfish reasons. There was no way I was going to send him money to tell me how to manage my money! That did not make any sense! Well…
About a month later I was sitting in the Denver airport, on my way to visit family for the holidays. I decided to balance the check-book (that had not been balanced for a couple months), and came to the startling revelation that we had $0 in the bank. Zero dollars! Just in time for Christmas.
Embarrassed, I called my wife. I had to explain the situation, and tell her, “Please do not spend ANY money… because we do not have any!” You see, at the time, we used a credit card and paid it off every month. I rationalized the use of the card – I was actually being wise to gain “points” (cash back, miles, etc.) as long as we paid the balance on time. But, I got caught. There was no money in the bank to pay for our purchases.
While there is a much longer explanation for my failure(s) to lead my family in this area, the point of the story is that I needed a plan! …and Dave Ramsey had one. I thought, “What the worst that can happen? If Dave’s advice doesn’t work, I can always try something else. But, my ineptitude isn’t working.”
At the time I was also one of the pastors at a medium-sized church in the western US. The senior pastor had asked me to look into Financial Peace University (FPU) and consider teaching it. It turned out great – not just personally, but for the church too!
I jumped in. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of guy – I borrowed the DVDs from a neighboring church. I watched all the FPU videos in a week. It was a sensible plan. I loved his teaching style! I ordered the teaching kit, and started leading the course at church (I ended up teaching the course about a dozen times).
It literally changed my life, so I highly recommend this course.
At the current time (April 2020), we are in the midst of a global pandemic. Most of the USA is “ordered to stay at home.” Social media is full of people asking what to watch on Netflix/Hulu. At the same time, the economic forecast is bleak. Meanwhile, all the FPU videos are available for free for 14-days …and other resources too!
If you are looking something to watch AND are concerned about your financial future, YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT FPU! Just go to daveramsey.com. All the instructions are right there.
Now, there are few more things that I would like to add about Dave Ramsey and his program:
— I am not paid by Dave Ramsey or trying to sell anything. Dave’s program has helped millions of people, and it helped me. I sincerely hope it will help you too. In a time like this (April 2020), I’m so glad I listened to Dave’s advice. I cannot imagine being broke right now.
— I would encourage you to read his book, The Total Money Makeover first – or at least be very familiar with the concepts in the book. It sets up FPU.
— Dave’s style is NOT for everyone. I grew up as an athlete; I needed a coach to motivate and yell at me. I needed a financial coach to motivate and yell at me. Dave’s FPU program is great, and he is kind and straightforward on video. However, he can get irritated with callers on his radio show. It does not bother me, but it can be uncomfortable for some people. * In fairness, it makes for good radio when he goes on a rant.
— Many people who have never met Dave Ramsey talk poorly and unkindly about him. I met him once. I was in the lobby of his office building with my wife and young kids. He had somewhere else to be and walked quickly through the lobby. And yet, he kindly stopped, introduced himself, and asked me to introduce my family. He could not have been more friendly at that moment.
— Finally, I am a Dave Ramsey fan because his plan works! I do not agree with every single thing that Dave Ramsey has ever said, but his 7 baby-steps work. As he describes it, “It’s just God’s and Grandma’s ways of handling money.” In a time of global crisis, when the forecast is bleak, I have peace. Thanks Dave.