Why I Took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Course.

My financial background and why I took the Financial Peace University course about a year after my Wife died. My finances were a wreck, and worse was my mindset, I found Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University worth it, since it refocused my goals in life, Peace.

My Wife was 1/2 of my household income, and when she got sick with cancer, we focused on her reducing her hours and getting better. Initially, the prognosis was poor, but there was a chance she would beat cancer.  

The worse thing I did, yes, it was I since she depended on me to manage certain aspects of our household while she focused on healing and spending as much time with our kids as possible, was fail in managing our finances. I did NOTHING to control our spending.

One-half of our household income was almost wiped out instantly. What money my Wife brought in was quickly eaten up by the increased costs of fighting her illness. 

My Ego kicked in, and I made changes to increase our income to make up for her income loss, worked overtime, and picked up a few per diem jobs, but I failed to understand something.

For every dollar I made, very little made it into our house. Taxes were taken out, the commuting cost ate into our returns, and worse yet, I lost time with my family while we were still whole.

Now, if I first attacked what I had 100% control over, had the best returns on efforts, control our spending, we could have fared better.

Why I Took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Course.

You lose money for every dollar you earn due to costs to make that dollar and taxes. However, for every dollar you save, you gain a WHOLE dollar. You don’t pay taxes on stopping overspending or have commuting costs to cancel bills. I learned this later, but once you are set back financially(negative), it’s hard to get back to just broke(zero).

I kept up online subscription services, drove the less fuel-efficient car, ate out with the family, etc. Immediate changes could have been made to better our financial situation, but I convinced myself that I didn’t want our lives to change.

Our lives changed with the initial diagnosis of cancer, regardless of what I thought. I should have realized I was not in control of the whole situation, but I should have controlled what I had control over.  

Our family was bleeding money(stupid purchases/activities/subscriptions) that I got used to when we had two full-time incomes in our family. Many families are bleeding money constantly but tolerate it since they feel they can ‘pay’ for it. 

Why I’m Making Money Excuses, It Seems.

I had auto-pay set up for many bills I didn’t monitor well on a credit card. I would only look at the credit card when it came time to pay it off monthly. I figured I had a sound money system, but you can figure when cash was getting tight, this credit card was the last thing paid. So it started growing a balance. 

When I couldn’t pay the balance on the credit card, the credit card company was happy to help set me back further by adding interest to the credit card balance.  

If you can’t afford the credit card balance, why do you think you can afford the credit card balance with compound interest?  – My hindsight question to myself.

We suffered a few more financial setbacks: car needing new tires, nickel-and-dime treatment bills showed up, kid events, we didn’t have money. I allowed dumb spending to continue after a significant loss of income and was supplementing our income with a credit card. 

I Was Just Financially Dumb.

After about a year into the Wife’s illness, I got control of much of the money bleeding we were going through. Finding monthly money expenses was easy, but occasionally a surprise semi-annual or annual fee would show up(we were addicted to subscription services, online movies, audio books, game system annual subscriptions, etc.). Once I could hold the credit card balance, I could fight to reduce it.

By the time the Wife died, we weren’t out of hot water financially, but we were making progress. I became more financially fortified in my decisions(something important to talk about later).

Nonetheless, my Muse was gone. My drive to improve our finances was called home to Heaven. I was devastated, and I felt let down by my stupidity. Had I had better control of our finances early in her illness, or even better, before she got sick, I could have spent more time with her.

The trouble is, you think you have time.


Life insurance and SSA money were finally coming in, but I lost my way. I allowed my life to go on hold; I just existed, barely caring for my kids and myself. Life might feel like it stops, but those bills don’t.

The Wife just quit her job. She was forced to resign due to increased work schedule mandates, regardless of her illness. I was conditioned to prepare for this moment over the last two years, but not for her death.

My Wife was a great Mom. She spent so much time with her children and ensured they were taken care of, especially when I was out of the house so much with my multiple jobs. Now she was gone.

I became very protective of my children and quit all my per Diem jobs, and when my employer refused to honor my PTO requests, I had to change my status to Per Diem there. I kept up my hours but now had to pay out of pocket for health insurance.  

I Was Burning Through Money.  

I stayed with a bad employer, who also was my Wife’s former employer, picked up the additional cost of health insurance, and quit all my extra income jobs. We suffered a setback, and much was due to my decision-making.

Now the stage is set. I had dug myself into a financial hole again, and any lessons I learned in the past were specific to the current situation. I needed a simple, applies to all conditions, financial plan.

I Was Hopeful Dave Ramsey’s FPU Was The Answer.

And, it was.

Where I Took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Course.

My church hosted a Dave Ramsey’s FPU course, being taught by one of our young members, a financial planner. After talking to him over time, I found him to be a very fiscal conservative financial planner; he sets up plans for almost anyone to get rich over time.  

I signed up in March 2018.

The class was held on a Wednesday evening at church, which coincided with my daughter’s AWANA program. Providence, I’m sure. 😀

How Much Does Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Course Cost?

I paid $109.  

If you are interested in taking a classroom course, you can check with your instructor to see if there are discount codes given to them to help recruit students.

How Long Does It Take To Get Through Financial Peace University?

The book and coursework are concise, the book has worksheets in it mostly, and the material is presented via DVDs. 

The instructor re-enforces and answers questions about the material and helps share ideas on how to tailor your life to try to meet the FPU process.

So, the course work was spread over several weeks, and the goal wasn’t so much to cover the material but slowly try to apply how it can give you a positive effect on your life.

We discussed debt openly. We all had excuses for being in debt and made even more when we explained them.

My example, my Wife got sick. That might be the catalyst for our debt, but truthfully our debt was from me making horrible money decisions.  

Example: Tires wearing out isn’t an emergency, and it’s a planned maintenance item that I should have been saving up for. Even if it was a true emergency, I should have had money put aside to address it, which I didn’t—bad decisions. 

So at the start of the class, we gave our course expectations. Through the class, we shared how we were ‘trying’ to meet our expectations, and at the end, we discussed how we made progress in changing ourselves.

See that? We should have NEVER had life-changing expectations from FPU; we learn how to make life-changing decisions in our lives. FPU material might be covered in several weeks, but it’s practiced for a lifetime.

What Does Financial Peace University Teach You?

You might want to cover what it doesn’t teach you first.

1.- FPU doesn’t teach you how to make money.

Everyone is making money differently, and the FPU course outline is meant to be generic and apply to everyone. FPU doesn’t address income problems; that is for you to figure out.

2.- FPU doesn’t teach you how to get rich quickly.

Quick gains lead to quick losses. This fact goes not only for health, financial health. FPU is a process and teaches that if we follow the steps, the “7 Baby Steps”, we can eliminate debt, grow wealth and gain financial peace.

3.- FPU doesn’t teach discipline.

Our society is addicted to instant gratification. I did this, I want that, or worse, I like that without doing anything.

Discipline is something either you learn by choice or by force, not by a book or a course.

What Are The Seven Baby Steps?

Walking is one step at a time, so is financial peace through baby-steps.

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University 7 Baby Steps:

  • Baby Step 1: Save $1,000 in your emergency fund.
  • Baby Step 2: Pay off all debt (except your home’s mortgage) using the “Debt Snowball” method.
  • Baby Step 3: Save 3-6 months of living expenses in an emergency income fund.
  • Baby Step 4: Invest 15% of your total household income for retirement.
  • Baby Step 5: Save for your children’s college fund.
  • Baby Step 6: Pay off your home mortgage early.
  • Baby Step 7: Build wealth and give generously.

What Is The “Debt Snowball” method?

Put, and I will cover this more later, you pay minimums on all your debt and then aggressively toss every bit of extra money at the lowest balance debt.  

Once that debt is eliminated, continue to pay minimums on all your debts, and then again target the lowest balance debt with all your extra money till it’s eliminated as well.

Repeat. Repeat till done.

I will talk about the “Debt Snowball” method later and how it worked for me.

Why Is Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Important?

This question asks why I picked to take Dave Ramsey’s FPU course in hindsight.

When I planned to take the FPU course, I watched Dave Ramsey’s Talk show on YT, and he was answering questions specific to the caller’s problems.  

I could relate to many of the callers, but some I couldn’t. Some of the callers were so ‘dumb’ in their questions that I said, Duh!  

Their specific problems were specific to them, and the callers were so wrapped up in their problems that they saw no solution.  

I knew if you find yourself digging yourself into a hole, quit digging. This advice is generic enough to apply to everyone. Still, for some reason, people don’t understand when it comes to debt or how a generic solution applies to their specific problem. This issue was with me as well.

Rather than trying to learn from other people’s specific financial problems to match my particular issues, I would sign up for FPU. I was told FPU had generic solutions, a very generic, very K.I.S.S. approach to financial freedom, that I could learn how to apply to my specific problems.

I am now looking back, yes. It was worth it. I have been out of the program for a few years. Painfully I haven’t followed everything 100%, which I will cover later because I ‘disagree’ with some Baby Steps. However, I understand why the steps are the way they are.  

I will cover what worked for me and what I abandoned later. However, if you listen to the coursework, read the book, do the exercises, and ask questions from your instructor, some of the best money I have ever spent.

Yes, it’s worth it.

How Does FPU Apply To Growing Passive Income Systems?

With building a house, you need materials. To create passive income systems, you need materials: time, money, and knowledge/confidence.

Time: Let’s face it, when you are caught up in the rat race to make ends meet, you only focus on trying to make ends meet, not on building your future and your fortune.

Money: I hate the “it takes money to make money,” but face it, it takes money to make everything that costs money. So, get off your high horse and earn money; the first step for me was to stop shelling out cash for debt by eliminating my debt, and I had money left over finally to start building passive income generators.

Knowledge/Confidence: Let’s face it, no one is born with financial ability; we gain it along the way. However, some of us were taught old-school, or what “The Man” wants us to know, work hard and get paid. So if I wanted money to eat, play, etc., I had to stay busy working hard. This work keeps us too busy to learn to be efficient with money and have money left, so we don’t have to work so hard. A little piece of peace is in FPU’s program. 😀

Interested In The Financial Peace University Course?

My experience is unique to me, just as everyone’s experience is unique to them. Personal finance is just that, personal.

This reason is why I had to take the FPU; it’s basic and generic and how it applies to your financial life is the plan. The goal is financial peace, which you will hear many times, to become an “Everyday Millionaire.”

Click here, non-affiliate, and just read up on what FPU has to offer you:


Tom, Growing His Passive Income Generators.
Myself with an interesting Bull Sculpture.
Notice: No Lambo’s. :/
Hi I’m Tom, A Blogger And A PIG Farmer.

PIG Farmer as in I grow Passive Income Generators(PIG’s).

I’ve been playing with stocks, mutual funds, and options for decades, as well as always working on my side hustle stacks.

Unlike what you read online, I’ve yet to find a way to get rich quickly. Get Rich Quick isn’t happening for me.

My journey has been long and continues. I hope to have so many PIGs I can stop working at my current job and volunteer as a medical worker overseas. 

Still waiting, but getting there. I still am a family man, and while on this Journey of Growing PIGs.  

I wanted to share my adventures(ups and downs), hoping you will contribute with your feedback and comments.

Fun Fact: In my spare time, I am a Band-Dad!

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