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Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Year of FPU

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Well, it's been a good, long year financially.  We started our first 13 week course of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University back in March and went until June.  During that time we went through baby steps 1 and 2.  There were a lot of naysayers (especially since we were so intense about it), but, let me tell you, being out of debt feels REALLY good!

Then we decided to bring the FPU course to our church in the Fall (we took it for ourselves at a different church in the Spring), and tonight was our very last lesson.  It was cool, because a lot of our friends took the course at our church, too, so while it was a bit repetitive doing it again, there was lots of encouragement to keep going in the steps since we were surrounded by it.  So by October we had completed our 6 months of savings (step 3).  And that one felt REALLY good.  We have never been good savers, so to finally get a cushion felt really good.

Now we've decided to go a bit out of order and pay off our house before we start our investments (steps 4 and 5 - retirement and college savings).  We only have until July or August before we're done with the house, so we don't want to lose our momentum by slowing down our debt payoff.  I am SO excited about that, too.  We are going to be 31 and 32 years old with a PAID OFF house.  Sure it's not 3,500 square feet or anything, but it's going to have that paid off feel to it, which makes it extra cozy.

On Dave Ramsey's radio show he'll often ask people who just got out of debt what the turning point was when they decided to start getting serious about paying off their debt.  So we were thinking about that the other day, and I remembered what a major part of my Aha! moment was.  Michael and I were laying in bed one night back in probably January of this year talking about how I wanted to take a girls' trip to Napa Valley with my friends.  Well, he was already of the Financial Peace mindset, waiting for me to get on board, so he started asking me questions to get me to think about our future.  When we were in our forties, did I want to be still chipping away at debt, saving a little here and there, and barely investing?  Or did I want to be out of debt, able to save a lot, able to give a lot, and do a lot more than I can imagine possible right now?  (Did I want to live like no one else now so that later we could live like no one else?)

The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to start sooner than later on this journey of financial freedom.  Our kids are young, and that doesn't really lend itself well to world travel and fancy living.  :-P  We have a small house and simple lifestyle, not having attained the felt need for lots of stuff.  So why not now?  It was great timing.  In all honesty, we should have started when we first got married, but there's no sense in shoulding all over ourselves now.  ;)

And I'm really glad we got on the same page and decided to give this program a shot.  Not to sound too overly zealous, but it has seriously changed our lives in a significant way that will having lasting implications for the rest of our lives and will have changed my kids' lives, too.  Our kids will grow up with a completely different philosophy toward money than we had, and they'll most likely be very successful people in life.

So anyway, if you couldn't tell already, I recommend FPU.  ;)  The principles will change your life if you let it.

5 comments :

  1. I love your blog! I’ve included it on a site I’ve created, which is a compilation of some of the best blogs in the city.

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  2. We've been Dave fans for a few years but are just now getting on board with FPU. We start in Feb. I got The Total Money Makeover for Christmas and am reading it now. I'm sooo ready and excited, but super nervous. I just hope we can pull it off. Any advice you have will be greatly appreciated!

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  3. Jessica, good for you for deciding to do FPU! It was truly life-changing for us. My biggest pieces of advice are just to stay committed no matter the cost and re-evaluate every way that you spend money to look for ways of cutting back. The more intense you get about it the shorter a time it takes to get it done; that was my incentive. Good luck!!

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