Highlights from Financial Peace

We are 5 weeks into a 13-week finances course. Kaylyn and I are helping to lead a small group through the Financial Peace University class taught by Dave Ramsey. We completed this course last year and are enjoying it even more this time. We also have an amazing group who is highly motivated to lose debt and live financially responsible. It’s pretty inspiring. One couple in our group has already sold 1,500 worth of stuff. Another couple cut two credit cards. Another couple created an in-depth cash-flow budget for the first time. These people are on a roll. I’m learning so much from their stories and examples. Anyways, I thought I’d create a quick list of some of the most surprising statistics Dave Ramsey gives as well as my favorite quotes from him so far…

Crazy Stats:

  • Only 32% of Americans would be able to cover a $5,000 emergency with cash without going into debt for it.
  • 49% of people could not cover even one month’s expenses if they were to miss a paycheck.
  • When asked how they make their retirement planning decisions, 44% of working Americans say they “guess.”
  • It takes the average person 600 hours to clear up an identity theft issue.  
  • When you use plastic instead of cash, you spend 12-18% more.

Cool quotes:

  1.  “Building wealth is not evil or wrong. Money is amoral.”
  2.  “If you buy a gourmet coffee everyday for $5 that equals $150/month. If you invested that at 12% (which is possible) from age 16-76, you would have saved $19,371,943.
  3. “Money is active… managed money goes farther” SO TRUE!
  4. “New married couples take 5-7 years to attain what lifestyle their parents had, not realizing it took their parents 35 years to do it.”
  5.  “A new car loses 70% of its value in the first four years. This is the largest purchase most consumers make that goes down in value…many horrible accidents occur on the showroom floor”
  6. “You can’t borrow your way out of debt.”
  7. “If your broke friend makes fun of you, you are probably on the right track.”
  8. “Don’t lose hope. You can wander into debt but you can’t wander out… you gotta run!”
  9. “The FICO score is an ‘I love Debt’ score and is not a measure of winning financially.”
  10. “Look around you. Figure out what most people are doing, don’t do it, and you’ll be alright!”

Amidst all the monthly cash flow worksheets; allocated spending charts; irregular income planning; lump-sum payment methods; consumer equity columns and debt snowball preparations, hope begins to emerge! I highly recommend the class. It’s a kick in the pants, but that’s what I need.

M.P.

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5 thoughts on “Highlights from Financial Peace

  1. i really like dave ramsey but i do tend to disagree with him on your first “cool quote” – ” ”Building wealth is not evil or wrong. Money is amoral.” i don’t think the quote (and sometimes ramsey) recognizes the addictive nature of money and wealth. it becomes a god far too easily. much more easily than many other things. i view it as morphine. morphine can be used for good but it can also very easily become addictive and life destroying. i think wealth and money should be approached the same way. i believe this is part of why JESUS says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to enter heaven. it is a very seductive trap.

    still i really like most of what ramsey says.

  2. Robert, thanks for disagreeing! I kinda see what you are saying. Ramsey makes the classic distinction that money is not evil but the love of money is (is building wealth = loving money?). As you say, its hard not to love it when you have a lot of it, and many people that have a lot of it, do so because they love it. (I spose this convo is easier for me since I’ve never had wealth so I’ve never been able to love it, haha) Ramsey’s statement is easier to swallow in the context of his overall message, that being, “if you live like no one else, later you can GIVE like no one else.” So ideally, the motivation for building wealth isnt only motivated by selfishness.

    I realized through the class that subconsciously I disdain people who are “rich.” If I see someone driving a jag or I look at these multi-million dollar houses I’ll think to myself, “you’ve got too much money” or “THATS what you spent your money on?” or “Your life is way too easy.” I was surprised however that 8/10 millionares are first generation millionares, meaning most of them have, for the most part, earned it on their own. I’ve also met some really cool (God loving) millionares and this screws with my rich people theories. Can you love God and be rich at the same time? Kaylyn and I were in Dollar Tree the other day, and a guy behind us in line walked out to his porsche. I felt a lot better about him driving his porsche after knowing he shops at Dollar Tree. He’s saving money when he can so he can spend it where he wants!

    The interesting thing about morphine is that you shouldn’t take it unless you are in real pain, yet you shouldn’t take too much. Ramsey would say you shouldn’t desire more money then you need, but its ok to live in such a way so you aren’t throwing it all away. It isn’t evil to enjoy money is it? I’ve heard it said, “don’t judge a philosophy by its distortions.” Can the same principle be applied here?

    Is money also similar to food or sex? Our society specializes in taking them to the extremes, but does that make them evil in themselves? I’ll have to think about this more…

  3. Yeah! If you click on the link “Financial Peace University” in that post you will get to the main page. Click on the classes tab and type in your zip. Looks like one closest to you is starting May 9th at First Assembly of God in Kenosha. You should definetely do it, its really encouraging.

  4. I agree with the quote that money is amoral. It’s the same for all of creation – eating is not a sin – eating too much is. Drinking is not a sin – drinking too much is. Actually all of the addictions are the same sin – focusing – depending – feasting – on that THING for the inner satisfaction that only God can give. That’s why I believe so many are addicted on shopping, spending, eating the 4 white addictive food groups, etc. etc. A simple way to phrase the escape is PF – Pray First! – If I spend time feasting at the Lord’s Table first (see http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com) then I don’t obsess about food. I still enjoy it – thank Him for it – but it doesn’t control me. Same with shopping – same with money – same with – well you get the picture.

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