I first heard of Dave Ramsey from my “work mom”. She has listened to him on the radio for years! When I would worry about money issues, she always said “you should listen to this guy Dave” I actually Googled Dave Ramsey and discovered Financial Peace University. I also discovered it cost almost $100 to take the course! As a single mom, I had no idea where I would find the money, so I brushed it off. Whenever she mentioned him again, I would say “Yeah, but who can afford to spend money to learn how to deal with money?”
Fast forward to 2012, I was married and we were really struggling to organize combined income and combined debt. . The debt was overwhelming me, and we were fighting all the time. Often times, we were going on outings we shouldn’t, and spending money we didn’t have because the financial communication was non-existent. It went like this… Everyone was having fun and enjoying themselves, then there was me: with a scowl on my face because I was so worried about how I was going to shift the money around to cover the “fun” we were having. I felt like the kill-joy of the bunch…
I prayed that God would show us the way! At church the very next Sunday, it was announced that Financial Peace University would be held at our church for the first time in 3 years! I was like whoa! Get this, there was financial aid available! And God said “I got your back Tami!” I tell JR “Hey honey! I want to take this get out of debt course on Sunday mornings, and you have to come with me or we won’t get the scholarship” Of course he came along and our journey began! I ran some basic calculations and got him excited about how fast we could get out of debt.
Before class started, I read a few chapters of the book and became proactive to make sure we could get the $1,000 BEF saved. I cancelled my contributions to the deferred comp plan, reduced my Federal withholdings to zero for the rest of the year, and we managed to save the $1,000 two months early! We were so excited to be in BS2 before the end of class! We cancelled our cable a few months before we heard of the class, but I shopped around our insurances and we cut our food budget to cut back on expenses. Christmas that year was an all cash experience which hadn’t happened in many, many moons… Credit cards were cut up and accounts closed. We were well on our way, and even shaved a few months off our Debt Free Date!
Since then, I decided I wanted to take the class again (it IS a lifetime membership after all) However, there were none available in my area… that’s how I became a facilitator! I now co-facilitate FPU at our church, and our next session will begin this October. I am very excited and I love sharing the program with others who are struggling. Their excitement feeds me, which in turn feeds my husband. Of course there are times though when he says “honey there are other things in life besides Dave Ramsey and you need to talk about them too!”
Our most drastic change to date has been cancelling our iPhones… That is a whole experience in and of itself! Our Total Money Makeover journey is continuously changing as our attitudes and self-discoveries evolve. Our DFD has changed again, but the opposite direction. Some past issues came up that need dealt with, but we are dealing with them together. My husband and I are both eternally thankful for the knowledge we gained through Financial Peace University. We are both certain that without taking FPU, our marriage would be in crisis. We will get through this mountain of debt, and we will do it together!
Like this post? Read more from Tami about getting out of debt and her sacrifices for financial freedom here