Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Financial Peace University

So....here in the Early household....we're dealing with a bit of a pride issue.  Jake and I are extremely PROUD of ourselves right now.  I'm glowing and hyper.  Jake sends me happy little emails about our finances.  Yep....you read that right, HAPPY little emails about our FINANCES.

You see....we're feeling a bit like rock stars right now.  At the end of last year my parents attended Financial Peace University (FPU) through their church.  They kept telling us all these great things about it and all the things you can accomplish with it.  After our second or third conversation with them about it I asked Jake what he thought about us taking it.  We both thought it was a great idea and I started to look up places we could take it.  With my schedule for school and having 3 kids, we had one option that worked.  SO starting on Super Bowl Sunday (yes, Jake voluntarily missed watching the Super Bowl) we started our classes.

We just had our 5th week of class on Sunday.  The class is getting to the point where we're starting to share our successes, the steps we've taken, the things we've done and the changes we've made in our lives to reach financial peace.  It ROCKS!  Seriously, it is not only empowering to yourself and your family to see the changes happening, but when you hear about the steps others are taking and the positive changes in their lives, it motivates you even more.

The change in our life, in our relationship, in our moods and in our finances is awesome.  Dave talks about making your "money work for you" and being in "control of your money" rather then your money controlling you.  For us the changes we have made so far and the things we have learned have resulted in exactly this.  We're in control.  We're planning.  Those "unexpected" expenses are now planned for and the amount of stress that is gone because of that is amazing.  I'm even looking into another part-time job to help pay for expenses that we see coming up in 6 months and want to have them more then saved up for.

We would highly recommend this class to anyone at any phase of your life and in any financial situation, it can help you no matter what.  Jake and I have talked about being coordinators or leaders of the class sometime in the future (probably after I'm done with school).  The amount of peace and control it has brought into our lives has been great for us and we want to help others get there too.

So anyway, that's my happy ramble about FPU.  You'll probably be reading more of them as time passes.  We just made a couple of major steps in our process and whenever that happens I'll get excited and want to share that excitement with all of you!

For those wondering, here are Dave's Baby Steps towards Financial Peace.    You do them in the following order:

Baby Step 1 - Establish an Emergency Fund (Get $1000.00 in savings)
Baby Step 2 - Debt Snowball (Pay off your debt starting with smallest debt first, once paid off roll your payment over to the next smallest debt.  Continue until all debt is paid off.)
Baby Step 3 - 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings  (This is your new Emergency Fund.  You do not touch it.  This is in case there is an unexpected emergency,  i.e. loss of job, severe medical issue)
Baby Step 4 - Save for Retirement (Put 15% of your income into pretax retirement funds)
Baby Step 5 - Save for college for your children
Baby Step 6 - Pay off your house early
Baby Step 7 - Build wealth and give

(P.S.  If you have questions, leave a comment and I can email you privately if you'd prefer.  I'm not an expert, but I can give you the general idea behind the class and what Dave recommends.)


Becky said...

Hey Melissa! Ryan and I took this the fall I was pregnant with Clara and it was an AWESOME experience (still continues to be).

It's so fun to hear about others doing the class and their success stories! Congrats on making this important step!


Carol E. said...

Sounds great. I took a similar but smaller scale class for women and it helped me a LOT.