5 Things I Love About FPU
If you are familiar with the name Dave Ramsey, most likely it’s because of his 9 week course on finances titled Financial Peace University. FPU can seem intimidating for some, and on the other extreme a waste of time for others. I find the class refreshing and encouraging and here are a few reasons why.
- The Savings
While saving was not in my vocabulary in a very recent past life, the first baby step in FPU is to save $1,000. That in itself can seem like a mountain to climb for some, but it’s the cushion to stay out of panic mode when I blow a tire, or the washing machine breaks, or I hit (another) deer in my car. $1000 isn’t going to create a gap between you and any emergency, but having even a small amount of savings changes situations that used to be a total and complete crisis into a minor inconvenience.
“There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it.” Proverbs 21:20
2. The Discipline
I always had a plan for the next paycheck and that plan was not saving. Right before my husband and I were married we both changed jobs which left us in the middle of a much un-anticipated drought in the income department. I’m a teacher so that meant 2 months before I got a paycheck, which was the worst. Things like that don’t just come along for some people, they happen periodically through life for all people. FPU teaches disciplined budgeting strategies that make it much easier to coast through a hardship instead of fighting for your financial life.
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Provers 19:18
3. The Freedom
Dragging my new husband to FPU was basically as difficult as bathing a cat. He didn’t want some man his new bride was obsessed with telling him what to do with his money when he had never met him, (I heard that one a lot). Even after going to the class and finishing it he still griped. For 2 years he was dipping his toes in but just couldn’t get on bored. Then it happened, an unexpected expense. We had to have some minor repair work done to a vehicle, maybe around $500 or so and my husband called me in a total panic. “What are we going to do? I can’t drive my truck if we don’t get it fixed and how are we going to pay for it?” My response to him was to write a check. All I heard were crickets…
The outside view of a budget seems to be restricting and painful, but once it’s a part of your natural rhythm there’s really nothing more freeing. That’s not to say the first budget meeting will go 100% smoothly, but over time the tension just seems to dissipate, (Give it 3 months). We might disagree on cleaning the house but money fights, we just don’t have them.
“Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.” Proverbs 14:22
4. The Knowledge
If you’re anything like me I don’t have the time, nor the energy to spend researching types of insurance policies or retirement investments. I spend more time googling the vocabulary than actually comprehending what I’m reading. Dave has a way of “dumbing down” everything to make it easier for everyone to understand. He gives you the basic information and enough tips and tricks to be able to go into the marketplace and have a conversation about the products your interested in.
5. The Giving
It’s not mine, it’s God’s. God calls us to be good stewards of what we’ve been blessed with and we see this theme throughout the Bible of giving of your “first-fruits.” We are to be cheerful givers, and first fruits means the top, not the bottom. In our budget form every month the first line of the budget is the tithe and everything falls after. You see, I don’t believe that the only way to be blessed is to give, God loves us know matter what, but we do recognize that to ever let anything in we have to have an open, giving hand. A clinched fist is neither meant to give, nor receive.
“Whatever you give is acceptable if you give eagerly. And give according to what you have not what you don’t have.” 2 Corinthians 8:12
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7