Dave Ramsey’s FPU Week 3: Cash Flow Planning

Friend and freelance writer Les O’Dell shares this diary entry from the second session of Financial Peace University, a 13-week course from national talk-show host Dave Ramsey.

The B Word

Tonight’s lesson was about the hated B word: budget. I’m sure for some people, this was maybe their first exposure to planning where money is to go. My wife and I have budgeted with limited success over the years. Usually, it’s been the case of planning how to spend this week’s paycheck based upon what bills and needs were most pressing. We never had done a whole month’s budget at once before. This should be interesting!

Budget Basics

Dave started the night with some basics: checking accounts that are not in balance are messes waiting to happen; overdrafts are signs of sloppy and lazy money habits and ATM withdrawals and debit cards can bust budgets, and, perhaps the biggest ones of all, most people don’t budget because others have used budgets to abuse them, they fear finding out what’s really happening to their money and they feel locked in with a budget.
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Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Week 2: Relating With Money

Friend and freelance writer Les O’Dell shares this diary entry from the second session of Financial Peace University, a 13-week course from national talk-show host Dave Ramsey.

Welcome to reality

Our second session of Financial Peace University was humbling. The course coordinator asked each family to write on a nameless index card the best guess of our total level of indebtedness. He would add all of the figures together for a class total and then we could use that as a benchmark for measuring success when a total is calculated at the end of the course in May. Writing down that number was a sort of reality check. I wondered how our number (which I felt was way too large) would compare to everyone else’s figure.
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Financial Planning University Week 1: Super Saving

This is the 2nd installment from Les O’Dell as he discusses his journey through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

So, on a Monday night earlier this year we walked into our first Financial Peace University Class at a local church. There were about 20 people in the room: people of all colors and ages and, judging by the cars in the parking lot, of a wide range of financial status. Each session was to be led by a coordinator, himself an FPU “graduate” and consisted of watching a DVD of Dave Ramsey teach, followed by discussions among our fellow students. I learned this was to be the format of each week’s class. After a brief introduction, we dove into lesson one—Super Saving.

Save, save, save

In the lesson, Ramsey discusses the importance for, as grandma said, “for a rainy day” because, as he said, “it’s going to rain.” With the lesson on saving, Ramsey introduces the first and third of what he calls the baby steps toward financial peace. Step one is set aside $1,000 as a small emergency fund to provide a cushion for unexpected events as well as giving peace of mind. Step two (paying off debt) comes in a later lesson. Step three is to expand the emergency fund to equal three to months of household expenses.
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Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Introduction

I’ve asked friend and freelance writer Les O’Dell to share experiences as he and his wife Christine participate in Financial Peace University, a 13-week course from national money talk-show host Dave Ramsey. His guest posts will focus on FPU and his reaction to the lessons. He begins with a recap of the first session.

Let me start by saying that I’ve been a fan of Dave Ramsey’s financial teachings for many years. I first heard his radio show more than ten years ago when it was called The Money Game. Even then I enjoyed listening, but I was not financially mature enough to really grasp what he was teaching. I was able to grasp the “head knowledge” but never convert it to “heart knowledge”. So, despite knowing better, we continued to make stupid mistakes with our money.

The man has a plan

Dave Ramsey

Over recent years I’ve gotten smarter. I’ve listened to what is now called The Dave Ramsey Show whenever possible and have read most of his books. In fact, my wife and I have literally given away dozens of copies of his book The Total Money Makeover to friends and family members. We’ve even told our kids and their boyfriends and girlfriends that we’d pay them each $50 for a book report on The Total Money Makeover.
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