Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University™ – A Full Review

Joseph Meyer
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The 13 Weeks Of Financial Peace University TM

Financial Peace University (more commonly referred to as “FPU”) is a 13-week class designed to teach you the basics of sound money management while motivating you to build a solid financial foundation. It was developed by Dave Ramsey, a popular radio host, businessman, and speaker who has devoted his life to helping people manage their finances in a responsible manner. That’s why Dave Ramsey’s FPU class has a well-earned reputation for being an effective personal finance course. The reason that it’s so effective is because it’s easy to understand, more importantly it’s easy to apply the lessons it teaches.

FPU is a comprehensive and high quality class that will not only teach you about budgeting and saving, but also how to create a plan that works for you. In all, it takes 13 weeks to cover every concept, but you can decide which weeks you want to focus on – and the class moves at your own pace.

At the beginning of the course, the first thing you’ll do is create your own financial statement. This form will outline your current expenses, income, and priorities. You’ll learn exactly where you stand financially, and be able to begin making changes immediately.

Our Story: It Begins With A Single Step

This product really helped our family. We had gotten ourselves into a really deep financial hole. Like most families, cuts were needed, but on the heels of losing a job, and being a part of a dual income family, we were a bit at a lost as to where to start. This tool allowed us to take a giant step in the right direction.

This book offers a plan, and offers to do the work with you. The bible of this resource is Dave Ramsey’s book, “The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.” We read that book, and used it as a guide for this. You will also want to get your hands on this book, and the workbook.

The Man Has a Plan

In any space that I have come across, Dave Ramsey has written about, mentioned, or marketed his ideas. He has even been a guest on many talk shows and radio shows discussing his controversial take on personal finance.

I won’t go into detail explaining his system in this review. You can read his stuff if you like. In fact, I’ve read his books and listened to his podcasts.

For me, his messages are basic and relatively common sense. This is not to say I don’t like his ideas. I think there is a place for people who are in immediate danger of losing their home to debt. (I have been there.) Dave’s advice can work for those folks. He can even be very helpful after you get out of the hole and start building up good credit.

Decisions, Decisions: Making the Commitment

Raising three kids on a nice salary is hard. Raising your kids on a five-figure salary and living within your means is next to impossible. So if your financial situation is bleak, I highly recommend diving into Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. It is a life-changing course that will help you get your financial situation in order and on the path to financial peace … one church at a time.

To me, the most important reason for the course is to help regain your dignity. Anybody can shortchange their family, but the worst part is that you don’t get anything for it. You don’t get an “I love you for that!” or a “I respect you for that!” or “I appreciate you for that!”

The Kit

When you first sign up for the Financial Peace University, the kit that you receive is a piece of reality to keep you on your toes. Ramsey calls it the “money in the jar kit,” and it basically consists of a few items:

  • £1 written on a piece of paper in one glass jar
  • £50 in a second glass jar
  • £100 in a third glass jar
  • £250 in a fourth glass jar
  • £500 in a fifth glass jar

The idea is that you shouldn’t feel too comfortable with the money in these jars. Instead, these jars should represent the reality of your financial situation. They’re not intended to be delusions of grandeur. They’re meant to keep you on your toes.

Each of the five jars represents the amount of money that could be available in a month—or at a year—having started out with nothing saved up. Ramsey emphasizes that when beginning the program, students need to grasp the reality of the amount of money that can be available in a month, three months, and a year, namely:

  • £100 for one month
  • £300 for three months
  • £600 for six months
  • £1,200 for one year

FPU – Week 1 – Super Saving

Why save 10% of every paycheck? How about 15? 20%? The truth is that anything you can save will be better than nothing, but there are a lot of factors that can make saving more on a more compelling proposition.

Tune in to our first installment of the DFSU series to learn how to save and invest your money…right now.

I affectionately refer to Dave Ramsey as an enthusiasm engine. It’s one of the reasons why millions of people follow his money management advice. It’s also why I’m a huge fan of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University™ (DFSU).

I’ve had the privilege and responsibility of teaching Dave’s Financial Peace University weekly classes to more than 7,000 students all over the world. Both privately and independently, I’ve taught people how to gain control of their finances and live on purpose.

Save, Save, Save

We all understand the value of saving money ℤ individuals and families alike. Saving money is one of the most effective ways of avoiding headaches. After all, it’s pretty difficult to worry if you’re having financial problems when you’re enjoying your money.

But saving money can be a difficult habit to get into. Most people know that they should be saving money and putting a few dollars away for a rainy day every month. But they don’t. That’s why Dave Ramsey created the Financial Peace University to help you form and stick to the essential habits that will help you save money and protect your family from financial turmoil. The process for getting your family to a secure financial foundation is not just simple, but it’s also applicable to anyone.

Let Your Money Work For You

If you want financial peace for yourself and your family, then you absolutely must take a look at Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU).

With FPU, you’ll learn to turn the financial info in your head that always seems 2 steps behind your financial situation into money-making progress.

FPU takes a 360-degree view of your money, your expenses, and your debts. And it’s not easy. Dave does not hold your hand and tell you to “imagine” a better life. Nope. He shows you how to go from where you are right now to where you would like to be.

Dave will put you through some tough love as he teaches you how to sell some of your luxury items on Ebay. He’ll also push you to bust up your debt using the debt snowball. This is the kind of advice that will have you roll up your sleeves and get to work. But the good news is, it’s work that pays as it transforms your financial situation.

Quick Recommendation

Financial Peace University

Dave Ramsey is well known for his financial advice. His Financial Peace University (FPU) course is a non-profit and full overview of his financial advice.

It’s the foundation for his program and is taught to a large number of people each year.

The course is free to anyone – you don’t have to be a member of Dave’s church to attend. Even though it is taught in the Christian faith, the principles taught in the course apply to people of all walks of life. You don’t even have to subscribe to the same beliefs.

It’s usually done over a weekend. The participants are broken into groups and are led through the course by an FPU leader. The FPU leader is someone who has previously gone through the course and is trained by Dave.

It has an extremely high success rate and is one of the most successful programs of its kind. Estimates range between 75% and 95%, depending on who you believe. The program is completely free to everyone – Dave’s real goal with the course is to save people from debt and help them become financially independent.

Wait, There’s Homework?

Financial Peace University, or FPU for short, is basically a financial fitness program created by Dave Ramsey, America’s favorite finance guru. It can be used as a 10-week course, in which each week is dedicated to one of the 10 lessons. Or, you can use it as a stand-alone program, in which you just listen to the two audio CDs. The idea is that after you’re done with the program, you’ll be financially fit and well on your way to financial peace.

I first started listening to Dave Ramsey’s program during my freshman year of college. It was part of a mandatory orientation for incoming freshman and was assigned by my academic adviser. I was so awestruck by Dave Ramsey’s lecture and his story that I went around telling my friends that I wanted to become a millionaire.

FPU – Week 2 – Relating With Money

I realize that most people feel super intimidated by personal finance and money management because it feels complex. Dave Ramsey breaks a lot of it down with a simple approach … because it really is simple. You can easily learn how to manage your finances by following his FPU course.

People may think that it’s a lot of money to invest for a personal finance class, and they might be hesitant to invest in a class that might not be worth it. This is why I’m going to review Dave Ramsey’s FPU course and tell you how I found it was worth it and whether I think you should invest in it as well.

Having been in 2.5 years of Dave Ramsey’s class, I’m pretty sure that he’s done his part. The FPU course is well-structured with easy to understand templates and course material that will help you make sound financial decisions for your future. It’s flexible and fits your schedule.

Let’s talk about the resources.

Battle of the Sexes

Who Wins?

Dave Ramsey’s course takes you through the 13 lessons, one chapter per lesson, that will help you and your family to become debt-free and prosper with money for the rest of your life.

War is the bottom line for this course. Ramsey believes that we are at war, and his lessons are your basic training. You will do battle with debt, and you’re getting training before you go. The course topics make you participate in battle by giving your finances a kind of a reboot.

The 13 lessons of the FPU course are:

Lesson 1: Introducing the Battle Debt and Money How to Think about Finances

Lesson 2: Paying for College Realities of College Life

Lesson 3: The Crazy Cycle How Financial Success Begins

Lesson 4: Your Money Jar Mindsets About Money

Lesson 5: The Prize Money-Making Opportunity

Lesson 6: Crunch Time Curbing Bad Spending Habits

Lesson 7: Hard Times Dealing with Debt

Lesson 8: Discover Hope Creating a Vision for the Future

Lesson 9: Credit Curse Controlling the Number of Cards

Lesson 10: The Ultimate War The Role of Insurance

Lesson 11: Restoring America Saving the United States of America

Nerd? Free Spirit? Spender? Saver?

Most of us fall into one of those four categories.

By Nerd

There are about a dozen surveys out there that help you determine where you fall: the Enneagram, the Four Needs, the Four Eyes process, etc.

These are great tests and though I’ve done all of them, there’s nothing like the process of living your life and learning what works for you and what doesn’t from your experiences.

Still, I recommend everyone try one of these tests or even take all twelve of them to see what fits you best. You may also want to check out the development of your spending habits as you’ve grown up as well. Do you recall the time when you were in high school and you wanted to look like the popular kids? You got an atm card and bought whatever? Or, how sometimes we are driven by society’s standards and we buy the same clothes as our best friend, or the same number of gadgets as the people we work with?

It’s kind of like taking a personality test to determine if you prefer playing Dungeons and Dragons or Risk. Some of us skip out on college altogether to start our own business.

Singles and Money

Relating to Others

FPU – Week 3 – Cash Flow Planning

I was bored tonight, so I watched a Dave Ramsey video documenting the first three sessions of Financial Peace University (FPU), a course for personal finances, based on Dave Ramsey’s book “Total Money Makeover. The three sessions cover a regular person that has never taken initiative with their finances.

I watched the video because I love to learn. I spend several hours each week learning something new. I don’t know anyone that wants to sit in a class and learn how to manage their own financials, but I find the whole concept interesting. What Dave Ramsey is doing is what the government and education system should be doing, selling practical knowledge that people need to be successful in their daily lives.

Most people are truly clueless as to how to manage their own finances. They spend all their money, then they borrow more. They spend like there is no tomorrow, then they borrow more. Financial Peace University points out the way to change the way you think about money, and then shows you how to achieve success by managing your money wisely. Dave Ramsey clearly knows what he is talking about. I’m not sure about his opinions on religion, but if you can ignore the hype and trash-talking, his teachings are invaluable.

Budgeting Basics

Most people have an idea of what a budget is, but few people really understand the details of making a budget. It has become the most common resolution that people make, but then never follow-through.

I was one of those people. I made it a resolution one year and then never followed through.

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) course teaches budgeting in a way that is easy to understand and simple enough to make it work. The course is not a get-rich-quick scheme, but a way to get out of debt. Dave’s philosophy is that the process of fixing your financial mess is a similar process to getting out of an addiction. It takes time and hard work, but in the end, you’ll be better off because of it.

The course only lasts for nine weeks. However, a lifetime of financial planning will take place along the way. The course is broken into 18 lectures. Each lesson has video clips and text readings. Many also have additional content in the form of supplemental videos and articles.

The lessons are not solely taught by Dave Ramsey, but there are a few guest speakers as well. Each lesson ends with quizzes that you can take multiple times to gauge your progress.

Envelopes And The Envelope System

Dave Ramsey is a very successful personal financial advisor and host of the Dave Ramsey Show, a nationally syndicated radio show. Through his show and website, he offers information on a wide variety of subjects related to personal finance. He even offers Financial Peace University (FPU), a course that teaches his financial philosophy.

FPU is a step-by-step course designed to help individuals attain financial freedom. But Dave Ramsey doesn’t want FPU to remain an online course – he wants it to be taught all across the country.

He established the course and has made it very accessible, employing a teaching approach that appeals to our flightiness. The course is very interactive. Almost all of the activities are hands on. One of the main tools that FPU uses to teach is the envelope system.

The envelope system is a money management tool. It can be used in standalone or in conjunction with other personal finance strategies. The envelope system essentially helps you limit your spending and control your spending. It is a simple, flexible, and convenient money management tool that doesn’t require too much time or effort to learn and implement. If you are on a tight budget, are experiencing financial difficulty, or just want to get a better handle on your finances, the envelope system may be just what you need.

Forms (and More Forms)

The first thing you notice about the Financial Peace University app (the curriculum is also available as a PDF) is the large number of forms you have to fill out.

FPU includes money forms about person, family, and home. These forms include all of your financial information and the information of five significant people (yourself, your spouse, your parents, your in-laws, and your children).

While this sounds unwieldy, many of the forms on FPU are relevant to other circumstances and relationships, so it’s well worth it, even though it takes FPU students a long time to complete them all.

But wait, there’s more! Once you’ve filled out these forms, the physical CDs or the app guide you through the next process: defining your goals.

This process involves multiple sub-steps. First, you have to create a family mission statement and then a personal mission statement. You also have to create goals related to family, home, and the rest of your life. These steps are backed up by a step-by-step process to make sure you’re following your goals.

The Big Challenge

I’ve written several reviews on more personal finance books in the past, but I’ve always had trouble writing a similar review on Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. The reason is simple – there are just too many variables.

As Dave Ramsey is a financial advisor, your own financial situation will greatly affect the value you take out of the program. I know it works for me and probably for many of my readers, but you first need to look in the mirror to see if it will work for you.

In order to help you decide if Financial Peace University is right for you, I’ve created a simple checklist to help you figure out if this program will accellerate your journey into debt freedom.

Small Groups

Financial Peace University will begin January 26, 2018. Sign up today!

The 2018 schedule will be released Monday, January 15th.

Small groups are one of the keys to success. In fact, you will likely find it challenging to complete your course unless you join a small group. Part of this is because a FPB (Financial Peace Bully) will be assigned to your small group to hold you accountable for your commitments. But a more significant part of this is because there are small group discussions.

The purpose of the small group discussions is two-fold: (1) To provide accountability. These discussions are typically led by a FPB and will take place on Thursday nights. They’re intended to provide a forum in which people can share their struggles, support each other, and provide encouragement. This group dynamic is essential for staying on course. For many people, the sense of community provided by their small group can be the difference between success and failure. (2) To demonstrate the principles taught in class. The small group discussions are a good opportunity to practice applying the principles taught in class. While the principles are essential, where they really shine is when they’re applied to everyday situations … this is where the rubber meets the road. The more you can discuss different areas of your life and how the principles apply, the more you’ll learn.

FPU – Week 4 – Dumping Debt

Every program that Dave Ramsey offers – Financial Peace University, More Than Enough, Entreleadership, his radio show, books, financial calculators and all the rest – share the same set of core values. “If you will live by this code, you will never worry about money again; you will become wealthy, your family will become healthy, and you will have great relationships and grow beyond your wildest dreams,” he tells us.

Here is Dave’s 10-point plan for financial peace:

{1}. Write your plan down.
{2}. Pay yourself first.
{3}. Give 15% of your income to the Lord, and give another 10% to your church.
{4}. Save at least 10% of every paycheck.
{5}. Use your credit cards like debit cards; don’t pay interest.
{6}. Never buy anything that you can’t afford.
{7}. Build an emergency fund.
{8}. Get out of debt!
{9}. Maximum possible life insurance.


When I nearly died from a bad car accident in 2009, I began listening to Dave Ramsey. I was super impressed with his advice. Ramsey regaled me with terms like “Debt Snowball” and “The Money Fight,” a term he coined within his context but he did not invent. Ramsey also dedicated an entire chapter in one of his best-selling books, entitled “The Money Fight.”

I bought The Financial Peace University “ Dave Ramsey’s Modular Course on Finances.

I was rather disappointed. Not with the information, but with the money I spent for the CD and the DVD that came with it. I thought I might need to keep my car and maybe get some new tires, but no way could I get excited about folding laundry and paying my bills on time. This made me wonder: Will I ever be excited about managing my own money?

About Me

Before I ramble on further, let me tell you a bit about myself, my income and my expenses.

— I have a computer science degree but while in school I worked in the music industry and did not know the difference between a root note and a knuckle until I was made redundant in 2001.

On Auto Pilot

How Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Can Help You Achieve Your Financial Goals

Sometimes you hear someone for many years, but you don’t realize how much they affect you until today. Dave Ramsey has been helping people around the country to get out of debt and become financially independent for over ten years.

I have been listening to Dave’s radio show for almost four years now, but last month I took the plunge and signed up for his Financial Peace University class.

Financing a Home

Scissors Time

I’ve been a fan of Dave Ramsey for over 15 years. I’ve listened to his radio show, adopted many of his views on everything from money to marriage to parenting, and even read some of his books. Now, I am able to further my Dave Ramsey education with Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University – two words that never crossed my lips until recently.

Financial Peace University (FPU) is Dave’s free 9-lesson course. FPU is the most recent addition to Dave’s arsenal of financial advice, helping families learn how to handle the hard reasoning behind their budgeting decisions.

Dave created FPU in response to his listeners’ requests. They wanted more guidance and classes that help them get out of debt. Dave was happy to oblige, and Financial Peace University was born.

Created in 2009, FPU has grown quickly to be offered as a free class, ranging from once or twice a week lessons to instructor-led groups through more than 13,000 churches in the US. On top of its rapid expansion, FPU has also won three Emmy Awards, including “Outstanding Informational Television”.

On Fire

In 2014, I suffered a personal-financial meltdown due to poor money-management practices, credit-card bills, debt, and an inability to say no to the next shiny object. I was a Dave Ramsey fan and an avid listener of his radio show for many years, so I had numerous opportunities to implement many of his principles, but I was stuck in old patterns.

That year, I decided to use my tax return to get my money situation under control. I signed up for Financial Peace University (FPU) and got a great deal because I could pay it in installments. This was a great help financially, but I was still very intimidated at my lack of organization. Rumor has it that there are people who sleep when they take FPU, as the classes are so packed with information.

Like most people, I was afraid to keep my money. That changed in the first class. Ramsey explains that when you keep your money, you have a job. When you have debt, you are working for your debt! This really hit home for me, and I was committed to the program. We had to pay additional money for a FPU toolkit, but I got the most out of this toolkit!

FPU – Week 5 – Credit Sharks in Suits

Or Sharks in Your Car?

Today I want to talk about something that permeates finance, relationships, and communication. Something that is cancerous and can kill emotional and financial health. Name callers. Name callers are the people who always have to make a point, but can only do so when they have brought someone else down.

I’ve seen and heard this and others who use it…you name call to point out the faults in another person, and then feel better about yourself.

If you call someone else a name, or make a rude remark about someone, and then you probably gain some emotional reaction within you. You will feel instantly better about yourself for the moment, but the damage you have done to your own immaterial self is long lasting.

The damage you have done to the relationship is lasting.

The damage you have done to finances is long lasting, and not just with the people you have insulted. Think about it. When someone is insulted in a relationship, whether financially or emotionally, rarely can it be fixed. When someone’s finances are insulted, that too will fester, perhaps not overnight, but over the long haul.

Credit Bureaus

Now that you know what a FICO score is, the next thing you need to do is find your credit score. If you want to purchase a car, a house or a credit card, you need to have a solid score that’s at least 700 out of maximum score of 850. You want to be on the safe side in the credit department, because you could get denied a mortgage or car loan application if your credit score is too low. If your score is too low, chances are that you’ll be charged an absurdly high interest rate. It’s important to work on building a strong credit profile so the next time you apply for a loan or a credit card, you’re approved without much fuss and you can enjoy lower interest rates on your mortgage or car loan. Improve your scores and get lower interest rates when you buy a house or a car by taking the following steps: Get in the habit of borrowing and paying back money.

Pay your bills on time.

Keep your credit card balances low.

Don’t let your credit card balances exceed 30% or so of your limit.

Pay off your debt aggressively.

Don’t apply for multiple credit cards at once. Let your credit scores breathe a little after each app.

Make loan payments on time.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is one of the most common types of fraud in the United States. Theft of personal data is much easier than stealing a physical object, because all that’s required is a computer and a way to access the Internet. So, if you have online services or even a credit card with a revolving number, you’re a potential victim.

Criminals can use stolen information to charge a credit card, apply for a loan, and even file a tax return, essentially stealing the identity and life of their victim. And once the victim notices what’s happened, it’s too late to fix the problem. It’s usually a miserable mess to untangle and can take weeks, months, or even years to resolve. The financial repercussions are huge, and the emotional toll can be excruciating.

The best defense is to protect your personal information. You can start by using secure passwords, such as the password-protection program LastPass, which requires you to remember just one strong password to lock up all your secure passwords for you.

Avoiding phishing schemes is another essential step in ensuring the safety of your personal identity. Phishing is an attempt to dupe you into surrendering your personal information, such as your e-mail address and password.


Because the Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University covers a range of financial topics, it can be hard to explain what the program is in one breath.

The program is a ten-week class that normally runs on Wednesday evenings.

And although it took me a while to complete the class, it was the best investment I’ve ever made.

Since the program focuses on financial training, you will have homework to do each week.

But don’t let that scare you away.

The homework is not hard to complete at all, and everything you need, from materials to presentations, is provided.

You will receive workbooks and a Teaching CD-ROMs that contain everything you will need to begin and complete the weekly lessons.

Since the program doesn’t just focus on finances, it also has a lot to offer to those who struggle with money and relationships. For me, the class made understanding how to manage my finances easier and has taught me how to be a better steward of the finances God has blessed me with.

The Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University collection has a lot to offer those who are all ages, whether they are just starting out in their lines of work or they are veterans that have been going at it for several years.

Break Out Session

This is the section of the session where Dave Ramsey gives you tips and lessons of his own personal experiences. They way it works is that he and his team in the FPU team’s tell personal stories about their own debt struggles (their debt totals and what they did to get out of debt) and then dive into a specific topic that deals with the debt topic (ex. “Debt Types”).

After hearing Dave tell a story, he gets feedback from the crowd. What does this section look like? Well it’s almost like a stand up routine at a comedy club.

Dave Ramsey’s course is interesting because it really is a mix of education and entertainment, something that you can’t really find in college classes. It’s never boring and it’s always engaging.

Dave Ramsey’s FPU course gave me ideas about my budget that I never even thought of. It designed my budget using the envelop method so that I have extra money set aside for healthcare, savings, and vacation. There are lessons designed to teach you how to deal with credit card companies and creditors. There are lessons that will teach you how to properly plan a budget based on family income and size.

The Resistance

The six simple steps that Dave teaches are the result of 30 years of working with people. He had to learn what worked and what didn’t, and then he had to sift that information so he could give people what they needed. While he is a prolific writer, he knows that most people learn by doing, not by reading. Financial Peace University is a well-organized collection of practical, hands-on courses that will guide you through the process of gaining control over your money.

You will learn about Dave’s seven baby steps to financial freedom in the first session:

  • The discipline to save
  • Paying off debt
  • Spending and giving habits
  • Protecting your family with life insurance
  • The power of beginning now
  • Setting achievable long-term goals
  • Understanding “The Four Pillars of financial health

FPU – Week 6: Buyer Beware!

When buying expensive or used merchandise, you should always read the sales contract carefully. If you are buying expensive merchandise, you can also get an attorney to read it. Here are the areas in your contract where you need to pay very close attention.

Five Steps For Purchasing Power

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is a comprehensive financial curriculum available as a podcast, a book, and a education software program. The program is designed to be a self-paced course with a take-action format. By following the FPU course, students are required to participate in their own success as they learn and practice the essential steps needed to create a life of financial peace. The course is designed to last 12 weeks.

While there are many assessment tools that can help you understand the current state of your financial health, I believe using Ramsey’s five steps for purchasing power is the easiest way to get started ASAP.

Here’s a breakdown of this five-step process:

Step 1: Emergency Fund

Your emergency fund is your safety net, your protection against financial catastrophe. Just as a first responder responds to an emergency, your emergency fund is your cash reserve that ensures you are prepared for financial emergencies.

How much should you have in your Emergency Fund?

The goal is to have enough in your emergency fund to cover 3-9 months of expenses in case of a job loss or other similar financial emergency.

Step 2: Debt Snowballs


While Dave Ramsey’s advice may seem overly simplistic, his advice also boils down to a single basic rule that must be instilled:

Don’t spend anything you don’t have.

His method includes a great lecture by John Wooden, one of the most successful coaches in both college and professional basketball history. Wooden explained that when you go out looking for a girl to kiss, your goal is not to find one who will kiss you back.

Likewise, Mr. Ramsey explains, you should not spend money unless you have it on hand. His method involves lots of information about personal finance but really boils down to a simple principle: plan to be successful.

When you start with the end in mind (along with the simple principle above) and you follow it, you are well on your way. The course includes 15 DVDs with several lectures about banking, establishing a new budget, paying off debt, and more.

Other information includes:

A confidential assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, you are required to write an honest response that you hold in confidence and will not share with anyone else, including anyone in Debtors’ Anonymous. This is a critical part of the program.

FPU – Week 7 – Insurance

This week we learned about insurances. Dave emphasized how important it is to be properly insured, and the importance of your net worth exceeding your insurance limits. He talked about policies you can purchase on your house, your car, and life insurance. He also discussed personal umbrella policies that you can purchase, along with life insurance for your family in the event that something tragic would happen to you.

What is Insurance?

Insurance is a device to transfer the financial risk of an uncertain event to a group of individuals who are willing to pay a price (the insurance premium) for protection against such an event. Thus, the cost of insurance is the premium, plus an administrative cost representing a portion of the underwriter's expenses. Insurance is not a way to make money. Insurance is a way to protect you against the risks of life.

Insurance at Home

If you want to protect your family at home and on the road, you’re going to need to have policies that allow you to do this. So where do you even begin?

First, you’ll want to make sure that you have a good auto and home insurance provider. The right company will assess your situation and will come up with options that are suitable for your situation.

This is a great place to start, but it’s not enough. As with any insurance, there’s a learning curve to get the best coverage for your situation. You’ll want to handle things appropriately to make sure you don’t end up paying for something you don’t really need or that you don’t understand the implications of.

The Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University will definitely help you here. It’s more than just a course on insurance, but having a good insurance provider and understanding some of the basics will definitely help you get the most out of your insurance money.

Auto Coverage

The average age of a car today is over 11 years old. “New car smell” is not what it used to be and with gasoline prices climbing, dealers are banking on consumers feeling nostalgic, feeling like they need to purchase a new car. If you are a new or potential car buyer, it is important to know your options before you buy. The No. 1 way to determine if you are purchasing the right amount of auto coverage is to get multiple quotes. In certain states, auto quotes are mandated by law. Different providers have different offers, which can mean a big difference in how much you pay for coverage when you get an auto quote. Compare quotes online before you purchase and save roughly 10-15% on your current insurance.

Health Insurance

Most people don’t realize that there are very affordable health insurance options out there for kids. And I know you would never want your child to suffer a medical crisis because you couldn’t afford health coverage.

If you’re looking for health insurance for your kids, comparing different plans is the first thing you should do. Use a site like the one below that not only lets you compare plans but also gives you access to actual rates (so you can calculate how much the actual premium will be, as opposed to what the plan advertises).

On top of that, you can see what type of deductibles, coinsurance rates, etc. the plans have.

Guarding Against Disability

The loss of income can be devastating for most families, but the loss of income due to disability can be devastating for a couple. While you may have a long-term savings plan and/or a vehicle that you could sell for cash, a disability may still cause tremendous financial strain. With a long-term disability, you will miss work for an extended period of time, which could cause you to fall behind on your mortgage and/or rental payment. If you don’t have an adequate disability insurance plan, you could end up losing your home.

Due to the high cost of health insurance, it’s advised that you take out a long-term disability insurance plan when you’re young and when you’re still able to work. It’s important that you opt for a disability insurance plan with a payout period that is well into your golden years.

Long-Term Care Coverage

ID Protection

If your identity is stolen, chances are that you’ll be dealing with that your entire life. This can literally destroy lives and families. With that in mind, the best way to avoid the possibility of identity theft is to protect yourself before it happens to you.

The good news is that there are many precautions you can take to protect your identity. That’s why Dave Ramsey shows how easy it is to fight back against identity theft in his Financial Peace University program.

Ramsey claims that over the last two years, only 10 individuals that have taken his Financial Peace University program have experienced any kind of identity theft. Considering the hundreds of people that attend the classes every year, that’s a very impressive statistic.

Perhaps the most important step you can take to guard against identity theft is to make use of the free resources available to protect yourself. The Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit bureaus can help you reduce your risk by alerting you to possible identity theft and by ensuring that you have control over the personal information they hold. Dave Ramsey explains that the credit bureaus can help you “lock up your credit files” and prevent the thieves from getting a hold of your valuable information.

Life Insurance Explained

According to U.S. Census Bureau, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 76 years for men, compared to 81 years for women.

Life insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company, and it’s designed to create financial stability when your income-earning potential is lost due to death.

A life insurance policy can serve as a retirement plan, savings plan, and/or cash-value life insurance policy.

Life insurance is a financial life preserver, but you can’t make a swimming motion and put your life in it.

A Powerful Wrap-Up

Dave Ramsey certainly does a great job with his radio show and podcast. Both of these mediums are classical forms of media in their own right. A lot of people use them as ways to entertain themselves while driving or doing the dishes.

But they’re also powerful tools for change. In order to be successful with personal finance and debt elimination, one has to be open to hear a message and then apply it in life. That’s where Dave comes into play.

This 52 week course shows you step by step how to create a budget and live on a budget. It includes live video lectures and some challenging homework assignments.

This course is not about money or purchasing. It’s about improving your life.

FPU – Week 8 – That’s Not Good Enough!

What a concept in the do as I say not as I do world of finances.

Week Eight is all about debt renegotiation including reducing your card interest rates, paying off your highest balances first, and refinancing car loans.

Here’s the deal. We won’t get to the point where interest rates or car loans make a difference in your financial journey if you haven’t spent the six previous weeks addressing your Financial Liability Ratios.

In other words, you can’t get your money working for you if you don’t know how much money you are bringing in and you are spending.

This is why Week Eight is my least favorite week in the Financial Peace University course.

The rest is solid, but this week is the Biggest Loser.

It’s as if Dr. Dave Ramsey is trying to show you that you are good enough to begin considering payment options, but you aren’t good enough to see yourself through the whole program.

The Culture

Financial Peace University, or FPU, is a 13-week educational program run by Dave Ramsey. It is one component of his larger Ramsey Movement. Financial Peace University focuses on budgeting and getting out of debt. The “F” in FPU stands for “freedom.”

(Ramsey says that the “U” stands for “university,” but I’m not convinced we really get much of an education at all.)

One of the first things you’ll notice when you look at FPU is the number of different groups you can join. As a member of FPU, you can join any number of groups ranging from Alcoholics Anonymous to Weight Watchers to National Debt Relief to Dave Ramsey’s Ultimate Money Making Kit and everything in between.

Although there is clearly a cross-promotional component, this is not all bad. You would be surprised at how much additional value you can get out of your membership.


Consumerism, and Building Wealth.

Dave Ramsey is known for providing sound financial advice that encourages his listeners to take control of their finances, become debt free, save and invest their money, and live a life of financial peace. He developed his debt-free plan, aptly called The Dave Ramsey Show, to guide and motivate people as they work towards a debt-free lifestyle. One of the ways he does this is by giving his fans access to his Financial Peace University, a 9 course-series on CD and DVD led by Dave Ramsey himself.

JP Lann is a debt counselor that has worked with Dave Ramsey for years and helped develop his original plan. JP now works full time as a Financial Peace University Correspondent, helping hundreds of thousands of people that have listened to the Dave Ramsey show become debt-free and get out of debt.

Here’s how JP Lann describes Financial Peace University:

“I’m constantly inspired by the hundreds of thousands of families that have started their debt-free journey because of this course and how it can continue to transform their financial future centuries from now. Thanks to Dave and the guys at the Dave Ramsey Show for giving me the opportunity to share Financial Peace University with the world.”

Other Keys to Success

Are Self Discipline, Commitment, and Sacrifice.

Dave Ramsey and his team of financial gospel preachers have created a monster. The monster is a passion for Jesus Christ and the prosperity gospel. The monster also touts that you need not live under the crushing burden and lifestyle of debt.

I want to preface my review here by saying that this course is by far the most material-heavy, front-loaded course I’ve ever experienced. This is not for the person who jumps into a new book/course and expects to be done after 2.5 weeks. It’s not for someone who can’t grab a highlighter and sit down for a few hours each day. You’re going to need at least a few hours on the weekends to complete this.

The reason for this, is that you will need a baseline of primary-source knowledge, a foundation for where the next steps can be set in place. If you’re like me, the systematic nature of the learning, the age-old examples, the new models, may take you some time to digest and implement into a long-lasting format.

FPU – Week 9 – Intro to Investing

The 10th week of Financial Peace University is possibly the most important. This is the week where students learn about investing – they hear from an expert how their money should be invested based on their current situation.

Once again, I had a tough time connecting with the guest lecturer for this week. It was very difficult to discern how she really related to the lesson. In fact, she actually had less of a connection than the previous week. When she spoke of her income, she spoke of real estate – pretty much the opposite of the majority of the class.

But one thing she mentioned that I hadn’t heard before was the fact that it’s normal to fear failure. That’s right – fear of failing. It’s normal to fear failure investing, and I feel like FPU missed the boat on that.

Only one or two people in the audience related to that clip, but I imagine that was just because they have had failures in the past. But having tremors of fear when first starting to invest? I have yet to meet a single person who hasn’t had that feeling. It’s so normal, it’s strange when someone says they don’t feel like that.

Saving simplified

One of the most difficult parts of the financial responsibility process is learning how to save money. Many people find it a constant struggle to save money on a regular basis. Some make the decision to adopt a lifestyle of frugality whereas others slave away at their jobs, making as much money as they can and never seeing any real savings in their bank accounts. Many start saving money too late and, as a result, never get the finances in order where they could really start living freely again.

This is where Financial Peace University (FPU) comes into play. The Dave Ramsey organization teaches a strategy to win with money in order to set families up to not only save money, but to avoid financial disaster. By following the classroom curriculum and specially planned activities, students learn how to save more, pay off debt, and live within a budget.

It is no secret that Dave Ramsey has long been a favorite figure among the personal finance crowd. And the average review of his products and services probably falls somewhere around the upper end of the spectrum. So it’s no wonder that families from around the globe are anxiously awaiting an opportunity to take FPU. And new students are continually invited to join others who are anxious to take the class.

Types of investments

Three investments are fundamental to following Dave Ramsey’s plan:

These are excellent places to put your money, and the following articles examine each one of them.

In-Class Discussion

There are many different ways to learn, but the most common way to learn information in a classroom setting is to focus on the information and how it can be applied to real life. Staying active and engaging with the instructor and your fellow students is the way to carry the information from the classroom into your life.

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University™ class leverages the power of repetition, real-time discussion, and engagement between student and instructor, and between students to keep them anchored in the material. Throughout the class, Dave frequently asks students to chip in and share if they would have done something differently or how they address the suggested topics differently in their personal financial lives. Many times, this leads students to new insights into how they can improve their own financial lives and the lives of their loved ones.

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University™ class leverages the adult learning process by leveraging the power of repetition, real-time discussion, and engagement between student and instructor, and between students to keep them anchored in the material. Throughout the class, Dave frequently asks students to chip in and share if they would have done something differently or how they address the suggested topics differently in their personal financial lives. Many times, this leads students to new insights into how they can improve their own financial lives and the lives of their loved ones.

FPU – Week 10 – All About Tuition

Hi, Dave here with a review of Dave Ramsey’s Financiall Peace University. If you are one of the millions that have signed up a Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, this review is a must read.

Just as I promised in the previous review, I will now share with you how the lessons taught in the “All About Tuition and Student Loans” lesson helped real, everyday Americans to pay off thousands of dollars in student loans.

One of the things I love about being a debt counseling business owner is the faces and the stories of the people that I get to help. Because of our leadership principles, I was able to help more than just my own customers, and in return, I learned a lot from them too.

I was able to meet people who had been stuck in the cycle of student loan debt for years and years, and through no fault of their own. It completely destroyed their morale and their mindsets, as much as it did their budget.

I was able to meet other people who have taken advantage of loopholes and had it make a significant dent in their student loan bills. I was able to meet parents who were broken because they weren’t able pay off their son or daughter’s student loans.

Saving for Retirement

Dave is about as hardcore of a money guru as they come. He takes a no BS attitude toward money and he will not hesitate to call you out on how good you really have it.

His Financial Peace University program is the only financial advice you will ever need. Within the program, you will learn about how to:

  • Eliminate debt in all forms
  • Save and invest
  • Manage your money
  • Spend less than you earn
  • How you can buy a house without a loan
  • Retire rich

Graduating to College Savings

The Impact on Us

Listen, friends. Financial Peace University is something we recommend and can recommend enough. I am not a hardcore Dave Ramsey fan, but his class is incredible. We loaded up our schedule with debt reduction classes and started digging in to get out of our debt.

I think a lot of people want to know if Dave Ramsey is legit. He gets bad press for some of his heavy-handed tactics and strict views, but I think his money course slays. Every person should consider taking at least one class. You don’t have to follow Dave to the Letter, but he really can teach some good principles about money.

The content in the text is what I find as helpful and amazing. Then I know that everything in detail is in the workbook. His information in each lesson helps you to make the best decisions for your family.

Dave’s class is a very thorough review, and he does his homework to make sure it is relevant. This class started us out on a budget and put us in the right mindset to continue our financial journey.

The class gives you the knowledge you need to make the best decisions with your money, but you must work hard to stay green (his terms for debt-free). It is easy to just get up and go to a class and realize you look at your finances in a new way. But unless you take action, it will eventually be the same old story.

FPU – Week 11 – Working On Your Strengths

The Total Money Makeover , Week 11.

FPU is a time-tested course that you can trust in order to get a handle on your finances. The course will teach you the habits of people who have been financially secure for years.

Finding the Right Job

Your job is one of the biggest expenses in your life. Finding a career in a field that works for you is important. In my experience, the best way to determine whether you should pursue a particular career is to talk to people who are already in the industry.

Another option is to attend a trades school or get an internship.

If you have the freedom to choose a career that you love, you’ll be happier and more successful in that field than in one that you’re just settling into because you need the money. Having the freedom to choose a career can also come from having a side hustle, building up a side business, or getting an appointment based business so that you set your own hours.

Match Your Personality

The Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University courses are broken up into three basic categories. Even though the content of the courses is basically the same, the target audience for each course varies.

The first course, which you should take first, is known as the Financial Peace University.

This is the foundation for all the other courses and teaches important information about how to manage your budget, plan for the future, and invest. From Dave’s perspective, when you’re working toward financial peace, you need to take your first steps toward building a budget and find someone to help you. In other words, you’re not talking about becoming rich. He believes that becoming debt-free is the essential first step.

It’s also an opportunity to invite your spouse along for the ride. The course addresses some of the issues that can slow couples down, such as “You’re not spiritual enough” and “You spend too much money.”

The faculty who teach the Financial Peace University course are members of Ramsey’s team. The structure of the course is simple, and you’ll generally watch a short video followed by a few easy-to-understand discussion questions.

Discovering Your Personality

If you’re serious about changing your financial situation, you first have to set a goal. And to do that, you need to know what you are capable of achieving.

One of the tools that can help you to define what you are able to achieve is a short personality test. There are a lot of different and interesting personality tests you can take, but by far the most popular one is the Myers Briggs personality test.

This test is based on the results of a questionnaire that was designed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. It was first published in the 1960’s.

The test focuses on four sets of personality traits. You get a set number of points in each category. This leads to four different personality types;

{1}. Extravert (E)
{2}. Introvert (I)
{3}. Sensing (S)

Finding the Jobs

In this subject, Dave Ramsey is as good as it gets. He has a unique approach that generally bypasses the “how to” part of being employed and focuses on the big picture. Namely, how to ensure that you are in a position for the rest of your life where you can continue to enjoy a steady supply money that allows you to invest, buy property and live the life you want.

In the section on “Working a Day Job That Isn’t a Fits for You,” he sums up the wrong way most people approach the problem. Essentially, what do most of us do? We check out jobs and careers that appeal to us. s we search for a job? That’s a nice way of saying that we settle for the first job or career choice that seems to match our skills, abilities and dreams. Trouble is, we end up doing the wrong jobs, and for entirely predictable reasons.

FPU – Week 12 – Real Estate and Mortgages

(Part 2)

You've probably heard by now how 1 in 6 men is behind bars and facing a lifetime of financial ruin.

You've probably realized that your financial habits will determine whether you end up in the jailhouse or at the prestigious country club you have set your sights on.

So, you've taken the first step to avoiding that fate—you enrolled in Dave's Financial Peace University (FPU)!

There are only 4 weeks until the culmination of your hard work during the last 12 weeks of the class (Week 30). In order to get the most out of your FPU experience, it's best to walk in with a clear idea of what you hope to get out of your involvement. To help you in that process, below are some of the positive aspects of the class, some of the benefits you can gain by enrolling, and some of the points of interest that you'll learn about from Dave Ramsey and his financial coaches.

As you take your FPU journey, you'll be provided with various avenues to make the class work for you and your situation.

You'll be able to choose the chapters in the workbook that you read each week in preparation for the live calls you'll take part in with Dave over the phone.

You'll be able to choose the workbooks for the weeks ahead that Frank Dominguez, Dave's primary financial coach, has put together.

The Right Home Loan

“Home ownership is a very personal decision and should not be based on emotions or whims but should be based on your plans and strategies for the future,” Ramsey writes. “Is this your forever home? If not, this home may not be for you.”

There are, after all, other remedies if your financial situation causes you grief.

“If I were drowning, the last thing I’d want to do is think about how deep the water is,” he says. “I’d try to find something to help me get to the surface.”

Ramsey believes your house should be your shelter that you can afford…but also your castle. So there can be no compromises when it comes to the right home loan for you.

It starts with understanding your options.

Things to Avoid

The many Dave Ramsey resources have breathed new life into a lot of people and helped them manage debt and become financially independent. The resources provided by Dave are great for the majority of people. Some people, however, do make critical mistakes that delay or hinder their progress. In most cases, these mistakes have their roots in past bad habits and are brought on by a lack of awareness with the general direction they should be taking financially.

Although many of these mistakes are avoidable, they can still be tough to detect. If you fall victim, it could potentially be months or years before you realize you’ve made a mistake or could’ve done things differently.

The key is to be aware of these critical mistakes and avoid them.

Here are the mistakes to avoid when it comes to following the Dave Ramsey plan.

Buying a Home

Is Bad For Your Financial Peace?

When people think of Dave Ramsey, they usually think of his 9 money principles. He also has a number of publications, which he sells on his website. While most of these books and publications are geared towards helping you get your finances in order, one of his publications stands out.

It’s called Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University™, and it’s not a book or a publication. It’s a 9-week course in learning how to get out of debt and build wealth. It can be taken either in person or online.

The fundamental difference between Financial Peace University and most other financial education programs is that it’s comprehensive. Most courses focus only on budgeting and debt payoff, but this course focuses on more than that.

Selling a Home

Over the course of your life, you will have to sell a lot of things. Selling is one of those necessary evil that we all have to go through at some point. Even if you are wealthy, you will still have to sell some of your stuff when it’s time. Selling a home has always been a challenge and it doesn’t matter how wealthy you are.

If you’re planning on selling your home anytime soon, there’s a system that Dave Ramsey recommends. As a matter of fact, he actually tells you that you do not need to hire a realtor. Now you might ask why anyone would ever sell a home without a realtor. Well, let me tell you why calling a realtor is just the right thing to do.

As a homeowner, you naturally want to get as much money from your home as possible without putting in a lot of effort. The internet is full of scary stories about homeowners discovering that they did not get as much money from the sale of their home as they expected. In fact, many homeowners end up losing their hard earned money in paying realtor fees and then having to endure long months of delays before they actually receive any of it.

FPU – Week 13 – The Great Misunderstanding

Why is it that most people don’t know how much they spend or how much they earn? This is absolutely shocking!

Dave Ramsey did a very good job of tying in this Financial Peace University Week 13 lesson in Chapter 5. It’s called The Great Misunderstanding.

Dave Ramsey tries to help you understand why most people don’t know these simple numbers – because they’ve never been taught how to track them. He says that this is actually good news because it’s easier to change bad behaviors than bad habits. This is very true.

As a society (and in our own personal lives) we have created beliefs about our finances that are simply not true. You know, those financial myths that don’t actually hold up under close scrutiny. If you can discover the truth about some of these financial myths, you can save a lot of money and take better control over your finances.

Among those financial myths are:

Everyone who puts money in the market will get rich.

Being smart with money is the most important thing.

You can have everything in life you want.

It’s okay to live in debt.

The rich get richer because they are not like us.

A Change in Attitude

Financial Peace University begins with a change in attitude. Dave Ramsey wants everyone to know that “Rich people are not smarter than poor people. They’re just willing to do what poor people aren’t.”

The FPU course begins by helping you identify what you truly want in life. It teaches you the difference between Needs and Wants and how to put away money for your Needs ‗ those things you have to have in order to live.

Lessons from the Bible

Giving and Investing Faithfully

Dave Ramsey founded the Financial Peace University™ (FPU). He is a well-known finance guru who has published many best-selling books such as The Total Money Makeover. FPU teaches participants basic money management skills and emphasizes the importance of working with a qualified counselor. The four-week financial program is very hands-on and can be completed in one’s local church, as many churches have affiliated with FPU.

The primary focus of the FPU is to teach practical strategies for spending, saving, and giving money for one’s home, one’s family, and one’s retirement. The FPU has three areas of focus: Money Basics, Financial Peace, and Unit Builders. Part of Money Basics teaches one how to begin by establishing a budget and gives encouragement to grow in saving and giving to the church and to those in the community. Financial Peace is the primary focus and empowers participants to understand the importance of saving, investing, and giving. This segment teaches the ABCs of fundamental money management. Unit Builders focuses on family and communication. This segment helps individuals be good stewards of not only their money but also their time. It prepares families to make key decisions and set financial goals.

Course Wrap-Up