“If finances were all about math, then all mathematicians would be millionaires.” In 2015, I was hit with a realization: The reality that finances are more about behavior modification, then about numbers. It is more about suppressing wants and purging your life of debt (like a disease).
When my wife and I entered the class, I had a feeling that I had a pretty good handle on our family's finances. We thought we were on pace for being financially independent and were “ahead of the game.” However, after about the third or fourth week, we both realized that we had a lot of work to do on our family's finances.
Things I learned
Insurance – my insurance was way underfunded and I needed to significantly increase both my wife and I's insurance policies. No one had ever sat me down and explained what is a good multiplier for both of our life insurance policies. With my wife being a stay-at-home wife it was very hard to quantify what $ value she is providing our family, and what it would cost to replace her services if she would pass away. Also, I had no clue about how much car insurance was a “safe” amount and the value of umbrella insurance. In calling my existing insurance agent, I found that increasing my car insurance to 300/500/300 and purchasing the umbrella insurance was about a net even. Meaning, it didn't cost me anything to increase my car insurance when I supplemented with an umbrella policy.
Things I didn't expect
I didn't expect to feel so far behind on our college savings. To be brutally honest, we are on track for step 4, skipping 5, and on going right to step #6. I'd estimate that we are on track to pay off our home in the next three years, and our oldest is set to enter college in eight years. Based on our above scenario, I‘d love to hear other peoples' opinions on whether it is a good idea to delay step #5 until after our house is paid off? I know Dave has a method to his steps, but I want to feel so liberated in having our house paid off. In addition, after we have our house paid off, then we'll be able to save for 5 years until my oldest enters college. So in theory, this should give us enough time to save up a nice chunk. What are your thoughts? What would you do?
Financial Peace Benefit #1 – point blank, Financial Peace gives you a biblical perspective on handling your family's finances and living your life with legacy purpose. A purpose that will change your family's financial trajectory. In a culture so ingrained with “acceptance” of being in debt up to your eyeballs, Dave passionately lays out steps to show Christians and non-Christians alike that we don't have to live like everyone else. He is like a fish that is swimming against the stream, and it is so refreshing to see someone providing easy to understand steps. If I had been given this class when I was 22 (right out of college), I think I would have had a lot better understanding of how to get to financial peace and a healthy perspective on debt.
Financial Peace Benefit #2 – it provides you steps to get your finances under control, but in a way that doesn't make you feel overwhelmed in the poor choices you've made in your past. Honestly, my wife and I got in a lot of heated discussions (which most of you may), but that is alright. It is alright to come together and logically discuss what is good for your family. Your finances deserve this attention. Your family deserves a change in altering your financial course. Put in the time! Do it with passion!
Financial Peace Benefit #3 – finally, I loved hearing the experiences others would go through with their own finances and learn from older or younger people on what they are doing. It gave my wife and I an understanding of what works and doesn't work, and sometimes applies those same principles to our family. It was just great to have a feeling that I'm not alone in this journey. I'm not the only one that feels “perceptually” behind schedule according to Dave. At the same time, everyone was encouraging to each other and motivating! Loved this aspect of community in going through the course.
Overall, I LOVED Financial Peace University and highly recommend it to anyone. No matter whether you are 18 or 65 years old, it provides a great structure to get your family finances to a more peaceful state. One that motivates you to pay off debt, and “live like no one else, so you can later live like no one else“!
Update since 2015 class
It has been three years since we took this course and it has forever changed the financial trajectory of our family! To name a few things it has:
- Helped motivate us in getting out of debt
- Encouraged us to use cash for purchases to help “feel” the transaction of paying for merchandise
- Made us realize the importance of having the proper insurance levels
If you are at all interested in taking the course, then realize that your life will never be the same! Get started by buying the book below in getting started on Financial Peace University!
What are your thoughts on the course? What is your hesitation in taking the class?