Financial Peace University (FPU) has truly changed our lives. Before participating in FPU we were $107,000 in dept and constantly digging ourselves deeper. Our only financial emergency funds were contingent upon which credit card had funds available. We were unaware of the 30 years of bad habits ingrained in our lives and being passed along to our children. We had accepted a mentality completely convinced that having debt was simply a part of life and never considered that it was possible not to have debt as a middle income family.
In 2005 one of our children who recognized that we were constantly financially struggling suggested we “look into Financial Peace University”. September 2005 we enrolled in the 13 week course. Immediately we were introduced to truths completely contrary to our fiscal beliefs. When we were introduced in week three to planning our flow of cash by budgeting through spending our money on paper before the month began, something was triggered that set us on the path to a new way of life! I know, without question, that were it not for the truths, principles, and accountability we experienced through Financial Peace University our $107,000 would be considerably higher today and we would, in today’s economy, be in financial ruin!
Literally saving for emergencies, major purchases, and building wealth changed our lives in such a profound manner that in 2009 we became debt free! Today I am completely retired from working and my wife Cynthia walked away from her job of 15 years to enjoy a life of volunteerism serving others! We stand as examples of what any family or individual can accomplish who seriously adheres to this great program. I encourage you to come to this program’s Free Preview this Sunday as well as the first lesson entitled “Super Saving”, that we also offer absolutely free! Do you want to look back on 2011 as a year your family legacy changed? If so, this is your opportunity!
James and Cynthia Caine
My husband and I first took Financial Peace University in January 2009. We had taken Crown Financial 3 years prior, and while it helped lay a foundation for viewing our finances from a Godly perspective, for us it lacked the practical application that we needed to really see a difference in our finances. So when we heard that Dave Ramsey used “Baby Steps,” we figured it was a good place to start! One of the issue we were facing was that when we would look at our finances from month to month and compare our income to our expenses, we’d expect our account balance to increase. Instead, we were either maintaining or losing money each month without any idea where it was going. This certainly made us very uncomfortable in general, but especially with the idea of starting a family someday. If things were like this now with just the two of us, how could we afford the added expenses that come along with kids?
After only a few weeks into the program, we really began to get a handle on our finances. With having the new budget and debt snowball plan that we learned in the program, we were able to see that we could pay off our debt by the end of the year, and start putting money into savings! This was a breakthrough moment for us because we no longer felt like our finances would dictate when we could start a family. We also gained a new perspective on debt, knowing that we no longer had to rely on credit cards for emergencies and that we didn’t always have to have a car payment, house payment, etc.
We are excited to say that by August 2009, 7 months after starting the program, we had become debt-free besides our mortgage. And by October, we were expecting our first baby! She was born on June 24, 2010 and it was a blessing to start our little family out of debt! God has used this program to change our lives, and we are now helping to coordinate the program, as well as facilitate when possible to help others experience life-change.
Jordan and Jenny Harwood
**The previous testimony was submitted in 2012. Since that time, The Harwoods have had their 2nd child, and Jenny was able to resign from her position to be a stay-at-home mom. Both attribute the ability to do this to God using the principles they learned through Financial Peace University, and would not have been able to do this had they don’t gotten out of debt (except for their house mortgage).
My name is Crystal Nutt and I’ll share with you a little about my experience with money before and after FPU. Before I went through FPU, I was just irresponsible with money. When I graduated college in 2005, I had no debt, school was completely paid for; but I had no concept of how to make a budget and pay bills. I was living on my own, with my own money, for the first time. I just plain spent more than I made….isn’t that what most people in debt do? The way I did that was I took out a credit card, maxed it out. Took out another card, maxed it out. Took out another card, ran up that bill too. I had a total of 5 credit cards! Then, doctors bills came up…I had to go to the dentist and the chiropractor, right? Since I had no emergency fund, I had to put that on credit too. So in about 2 years time, I’d run up about $8,000 worth of debt! Isn’t that crazy? Especially for a young 20 something. In addition to the debt, I was bad at paying my bills on time, if at all. My credit was tore up!
So, I decided to work more and get these bills paid off. Then I met David and we wanted to get married. He is a saver. The whole time I’d been spending, he’d been saving. Did you know people did that?! We decided to get married and bought a house in 2009. To this point I’d paid off about 1/2 of my debt, but I really wanted to get it ALL paid off, because it wasn’t fair to my husband to have to pay for my bad choices. A few months after we were married I signed us up for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. And I’m so thankful for God’s timing. Do you remember the 1st time homebuyer’s tax credit? Well I qualified for it!! You know I really wanted to use that money to decorate our house and buy some furniture that was NOT hand-me-down. But, in Dave’s class, he’d been talking about paying off debt. I’m so glad, because with our tax credit and my husband’s gracious blessing, we paid off all the rest of my debt! (And still had some left to put in new floors!) So now, except for our house, we are DEBT FREE! We live on a cash basis, we continue to work on making our monthly budget better and better, and we have an emergency fund…we even have an emergency fund for our emergency fund! I have more peace of mind because I’m more in control of my money. We’re more free to give because I don’t have all this debt to worry about, and we can actually start saving for our future now. Praise the Lord!