Financial Peace University
Who has gone through this course and what did you think? Did you implement the tools / methods taught and if so what baby step are you on?
My DW and I have gone through it and are using it. We are now DEBT FREE, should have our home paid off in the next 10 years and are actively saving for retirement. We are also able to cash flow our trip to Disney with the kids, and just paid cash for a new A/C in our home instead of having to finance it.
We listened to it on cd after our first child was born years ago. I couldn’t tell you by number what step we are on but we are debt free (aside from our house) and have about 3 (bare bones) months of living expenses saved. We have recently started saving for retirement and still use a cash budget. We don’t follow the plan exactly but it has been a huge help to us and many of the concepts we still use.
We went through it 10-11 years ago. We still use the envelope system for most things, except gas. The only debt we have is mortgage. We have purchased 4 used vehicles over these years, all cash. And our son purchased a car with cash. We did make it through a two month period with no paycheck, and every bill was paid, on time.
I don’t think we follow his savings steps exactly. We do save 10% of every check, and it gets split 3 ways on how available or long-term it goes. One-third goes in our local bank dubbed “emergency fund”, another is invested with a foundation that gives churches loans and we actually get decent interest that beats any bank and we have access to the money within 24 hours or less, and the last 1/3 is invested in mutual funds.
Congratulations on your financial freedom!
We went through it in 2013. We haven’t implemented it in its entirety. I understand why he recommends no credit cards, as they are a trap for so many people. He says you can’t have a credit card, because you won’t pay it off every month. In the 30 years I have had a credit card, I have never, ever carried a balance. We use it mostly for gas, groceries, utilities, and medical copays. We cannot negotiate a cash discount on these items, and we get a substantial amount of cash back on our rewards credit cards. We use the cash system for our personal discretionary monies. I just paid by check for our A/C and got a discount.
We do like to use the free version of the Every Dollar online budgeting tool. We started budgeting late, but were never in debt; steps 5 and 6 are not applicable to us, so we are sort of on step 7 with some remedial work on step 4.
I was concerned about the spending habits of our newlywed daughter and her husband, so last year for their birthdays in April, we gifted them their (step 1) $1,000 emergency fund, on the condition that they would go through the program. They don’t follow it to the letter either, but they really took the concepts to heart and they are doing so much better now.
@ShadowSpirit, if I recall correctly, there wasn’t only one reason not to use cards, whether credit or debit. One thing I remember is how there are studies that prove that we spend more money when all we have to do is swipe a card. When we hand over cash, there is more of an “ouch factor” that registers in our brain, and so we spend less. I don’t know if you have paid attention at all to that aspect, and if it’s true fo r you at all?
The DW and I have gone through it and I became a FPU Leader to teach the class to others. We are now down to just the car and the house. The car will be paid off by the end of this year. The house will be paid off in 4 years after that. You need to adapt the program that best fits you and your family. To be too strict with it, makes it far more difficult to stick with and be successful.
DW and I took FPU about a year ago. It allowed us to have financial discussions that we were always afraid of (like “where did that money go?”, ” You bought WHAT??”) . After a rough start, we started working on a budget together. We went from the monthly “card declined” at the gas station to knocking out $4,000 in credit card debt in about 10 months. We also deferred plans to remodel the house (requiring a home equity loan) and instead paid cash for the immediate needs. A word of advice, FPU is a TEAM sport. You need to work together with your spouse. Your success will be determined by the effort put in by the weaker spouse. It has nothing to do with how smart you are(nt), what mistakes you’ve made, or how badly in debt you’ve become. All you need is two willing people to make the plan work for you.
I don’t think they operate in the UK, so I’d never heard of them. I googled them and a couple of things set off alarm bells for me:
- The founder seems to be a multi-millionaire and yet he’s charging indebted people for what seems to be fairly generic financial advice. That doesn’t sit right with me
- This sounds like it runs on some kind of franchise system. That sounds like either unqualified people giving financial advice or something suspiciously similar to a pyramid scheme
- This seems to be advocating stock market investment and expecting a 12% annual return. That’s both high-risk and wildly optimistic. In the UK, it’s a legal requirement that anyone giving advice about investment warns the client that the value of investments can go down as well as up, that past performance is not a reliable guide to the future and that stock market investment is strictly for the medium to long term only, and that you should only invest money you can afford to lose.
My gut feeling is there’s something not quite right about it, although I admit that I don’t really know anything about it.
Yes, and I’ve facilitated 9 classes. It should be a requirement for engaged couples and all married couples
Love it and while DW & I haven’t gone through it together, we’ve both gone through it in previous marriages so we’re on the same page. She made sure of it before we got married. 😀 We both listen to his podcasts or radio programs. It has been a blessing since she came from a poor background and financially difficult previous marriage. I don’t consider myself rich or well off BUT having money in the bank when it’s supposed to be is very settling for her because she’s had to wait in food pantry lines and had a lot of pancakes and spam. I fully funded my ROTH last year for the first time and we opened DW’s first retirement account. She’s also driving the nicest car she’s ever OWNED after paying cash for it. (Her ex had leased a few expensive things but she’s happier than ever with a 4 yr old nice family car with NO payments.
The freedom and joy to live & give is awesome and we have a special budget line just for extemporaneous giving.