Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Financial Peace University: Week One

I haven't blogged about Christmas yet, but I promise you it's coming. And it's going to be absolutely worth the wait. But I want to blog about this first because it ties into Christmas, but also because Matt and I started this and I want you to see our journey as we go through it.

Part of the gift we got at Christmas was the kit for Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. If we complete all nine weeks of the clas and do the assigned coursework, within the allotted time frame,  the organization that helped us will gift us $1,000 to go towards our debt.

Which is HUGE.

We decided that we were going to sign up for the first available class and it just happened that one started in January, it goes for nine weeks, and it's in Duluth, MN. We weren't familiar with the church it was at but honestly, who cares? We have nothing to lose and everything to gain at this point so we went to our first class on Sunday.

Each class is pegged to be about an hour and a half long and (so far) consists of us watching videos, group talk at our table, and working in our workbook. You know I'm not going to sugar coat things for you, so as we go through this you are going to get my honest, unbiased opinions and commentary.

The first thing you'll notice as you watch the video (which is the actual video we watched) is that it's very Christ-centered. Which maybe isn't a big deal for you but Matt and I aren't really church going folks so right away we felt kind of uncomfortable. Also considering that it seemed like everyone knew each other except for us because I'm assuming they all go to this church it's held at, which makes sense. But that's OK, I'm sure after nine weeks we'll all know each other well!

The class this week basically centered around learning what the 7 Baby Steps are, and getting to know our little group. Our class has 40 people or so in it so we're in tables of 8, and we have a nice table. It's mostly young, married couples but at our table alone we have two single guys. Well, I think one guy is married but his wife wasn't there. But we had five small group discussion questions to go through after the video, like what we think our challenges and struggles are going to be as we go through this process and what we hope to get out of it.

We also have weekly homework. This week we have to register for the online tools, complete the Quick Start budget form and the Financial Reality Check (where we add up all of our non-mortgage debt and try not to choke on the number), and some reading out of the book included with our box. But of course, our priority is to figure out ways and start saving our $1,000 emergency fund. We basically need to hoard every dollar that we can, pay minimums on every bills and stock pile money until we get to that $1,000. Once we get there, we will start working on Baby Step 2, which is pay down debt using the debt snowball.

I'm a little nervous to go through this because I know it's going to mean tough decisions and saying no to ourselves, especially when we really don't want to. So in the spirit of this, my job this week is to find things I can (hopefully) sell and put the money towards our emergency fund.

Wish us luck!


Ruth said...

I would do the debt snowball. We just paid off the truck and I want to pay everything else down. But, my husband is tired of only spending money on bills so that is never going to happen. Doing it we could be free of everything except mortgage in a couple years.

Julie H said...

Interested to watch you do this. I know a few people that have done it!