As I said I would after the holidays, I’ve started the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University home edition (it comes with all the materials, DVDs and CDs.) Marc and I make a decent income but as anyone who has children knows (and especially anyone who has 6 children) even when you watch pennies, there never seems to be enough money.
I started by watching DVD Lesson 1, which, as it turns out is an overview of the course (there are 7 specific steps he outlines) and an attempt to “sell” the course to the audience (whom I assume has the option of signing up or not.) The lesson is about an hour long, he makes his case and basically, like a book’s overview, he tells you where he will be leading you through the program.
I had already read one of his books earlier and was fairly familiar with his financial approach, but it’s tough not to learn new things from Dave especially when he is a master at using personal stories and props. He starts off with the first dining table he and his wife bought when they were first married and brought us through the experience of being married, having kids and then having the table turn from a place of contentment for the family to a place of discord once the bills started to (literally) take over the table. I’m not sure I know of anyone who can’t relate to that story. And then using oversized scissors he tells the story of getting into trouble by using a credit card “only for emergencies” and then cuts the card in half.
He is very good at being relatable.
Dave pulls no punches when he talks about his first step which is the $1000 emergency fund. He calls it one of the easiest yet one of the hardest steps to take – easiest because in the scheme of things, it’s not really that difficult to raise $1000. (Which is also why I’ll be going over eBay basics on Thursdays. eBay is a great way to declutter and raise cash.), but it’s also the most difficult because it means that that money is for emergencies only. For some people that seem to have holes in their pockets when it comes to money this may be a new concept.. You can’t use the emergency fund for a sale, you can’t use it to buy the kids’ new clothes (you should have budgeted for that already – kids grow), it’s only for a true emergency It’s also a very strong statement that you are committed to giving this 7 step method a try. All in or out.
DVD Lesson 1 is there to convince you with an overview and to get you to begin thinking about your relationship with money by asking some key questions. For those of you who are playing at home, it’s what’s in the Introduction and Chapter 1:Super Saving of the book Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money (it came with the kit.)
He’s convinced me. Count me in.This week, it’s onward to Lesson 2.- Relating with Money.
Note: Dave is a Christian and he sprinkles several references from the Bible in his lecture and books. He does it with respect, it’s not overpowering, and it does not detract from his message (in fact I think it adds to it.) Just wanted people who are not familiar with this program to be aware of that.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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