Update: I’m no longer a fan of Dave Ramsey’s shame-based approach to personal finance, especially since becoming knowledgeable about financial trauma. As I’ve learned more about money and read more personal finance books from other experts, I’ve formed other, more well-informed opinions. One of my biggest money mistakes has been the “follow a guru” mentality. I do think Financial Peace University had a lot of benefit for my now ex-husband and I at a time when we needed a plan, especially considering the stress we were in at the time. But personal finance is personal, and I dislike Dave’s formulaic advice that ignores nuance.
In 2010, my (now ex) husband and I attended Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
If you’re not familiar, FPU is a 13 week long course that teaches you how to “Live like noone else, so you can live like noone else“. It teaches you how to get and stay out of debt, save money, invest, retire with dignity, and give to others. Good stuff.
Top Ten Reasons I’m Glad I Did Financial Peace University
- I got a solid financial education. We didn’t learn personal finance in school. So many young people become adults not knowing how to “do money”, but money affects every single aspect of our lives, every single day.
- I am happy I helped my ex-hubby with this stuff. I was the “nerd” in the relationship, and he’s more of the “free spirit”. We were a good team because he was better at making the money and I was better at managing it. Because he was self-employed, struggled to figure out how to budget since his income is variable month to month. FPU gave him the tools to make that easier.
- I wanted our family to experience the freedom and joy of NO DEBT. There’s nothing like it. I came into the marriage debt free as a single mom, and I wanted that peace for my ex-husband. We became debt-free in 2015 and saved a down payment for a house.
- Discussing finances was good for our marriage. Working together and being on the same page with money eliminates one of the biggest sources of tension and anxiety in a marriage. Not to mention, going to the weekly classes together is a peculiar sort of “date night” that is fun and productive. We held regular budget meetings per FPU’s suggestion. (Now that I’m divorced, here’s how I do budget meeting as a single mom.)
- I want my kids to get their money right. I’ve been preaching the message of “don’t do debt” all their lives, but once again getting this education means I’ll be able to teach my kids proper principles around money. I don’t want them to make the same dumb money mistakes I did.
- Classes ended right before my due date. FPU was a nice way of keeping me distracted, helping to pass those last few weeks of pregnancy with my fifth baby.
- Dave Ramsey is a straight talking, no-nonsense kind of guy. He’s passionate, knows his topic, and his energy is infectious. I read his book The Total Money Makeover and was inspired to improve my finances like the people whose stories appear in the book.
- I wanted to be able to give more. I give to a non profit that is close to my heart, but I would like to be able to help individual people more.
- Divorce does a number on your finances. My ex-husband and I suffered financially as a result of our first marriages and divorces. It’s just a reality. It’s time for us to dig out of that crisis and create something better.
- We have 8 kids! When we married, hubby had custody of his daughter, and I had four children. We added three more over the next several years. We had to have our financial crap together. Enough said.
Even though I’m no longer a Ramsey fan, I don’t regret in the least our decision to take Financial Peace University. It was a great option for us at the time. How do you feel about Dave Ramsey? Has your opinion about him evolved like mine has, especially in light of the controversies and law suits surrounding him?
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