Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University: Week One

When I heard that Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University was being taught at my church this year, I was intrigued. I’ve read Dave Ramsey’s books and heard his show on Fox Business channel, but I’ve always found myself wondering exactly what about him and his advice makes people shell out $100 for the thirteen week class? His advice has always sounded simplistic to me and the type of thing that’s easily learned for free. It’s always seemed to me that someone deeply in debt shouldn’t be shelling out $100 for anything, much less something that can be learned for free. I’ve never been able to figure out exactly why he has such a devoted following

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21 Responses to Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University: Week One

  1. Cheryl says:

    Thank you Maggie.

    Our church offers the FPU, but like most, I don’t want to spend the $100 for what I think I already know and can read out of his book from the library.

    I appreciate that you are letting us SA readers and bloggers know what goes on in those classes. I also hope that over the 13 weeks, you will keep giving us a synopsis of each class.

    Maybe I will follow along and be a part of a virtual class and also try to do the homework. Although I do already have my emergency fund, and have been working on or accomplished some other of Dave’s steps, it might be fun to see what your group comes up with. I blogged about my steps a while ago here:
    http://campfrugal.savingadvice.com/2009/09/03/dave-ramsey-steps-vs-mine_53370/#comments

    Very Interesting and thank you again.

  2. Josh says:

    Dave Ramsey is so absolutely horrible I would label his advice as criminally negligent! I have heard advice come out of his mouth that would have me fired and looking for another finance job. He does not understand finance in the least but for some reason the blind always choose to follow the blind. What he does should be considered providing financial advice so he can be monitored the way the rest of the industry is. I think it’s horrible that he is able to give the financial advice he does without being legally responsible for the consequences his advice causes to these poor people who follow it. I have no problem with having paying off all debt but once his advice goes beyond this he should just be honest and tell the callers he has no idea what he is talking about instead of giving ill informed advice that I am sure often does more harm than good. Please don’t give this criminal more money or publicity.

  3. Sounds like you should start a course on money management and charge people $100 for the course. Teach 10 people, and you have your $1000.

  4. Brent says:

    I just started FPU even though we’ve been on the plan for a couple months. Our first class was on valentine’s day. Your synopsis of it was very accurate. I could tell most in our group were having trouble grasping just how to get 1000 in the bank as well. I would have to disagree with you that 1000 is too small. If you look ahead to his steps, the emergency fund grows to 6 months of expenses and that this 1000 is a BABY emergency fund, to have while one pays off their debt. I think it is doable to someone in as much debt as a typical person just starting dave’s plan (lots of credit card and loan payments). If it was too large then this would seem impossible and any smaller and it wouldn’t cover alot of emergencies.

  5. Tricia C. says:

    Dave is wildly popular for the obvious reason that you already stated…most people don’t have a clue. Like you, I am frugally and financially minded, but most people aren’t. And the cost? The sad thing is, the majority of folks wouldn’t take it seriously if they weren’t paying. Dave is awesome! His advice is spectacular…I’d like to know what horrible advice Josh is referring to. The world would be a much better place if we all followed Dave’s sound financial advice.

  6. frosty22 says:

    The message is so good. Even if there is a sales pitch at the end of the seminar, realize that some people need that extra help, and hopefully you do not. Take the info, make a plan, write down your plan, refer and stick to it each week. You can move forward toward any goal. Just take Nike’s motto and DO IT!

  7. Jessica says:

    I just started the FPU class too. Like you we already were budgeting and had the math part down. However, when my husband was out of work last year we got really off track. Our behavior really caught up to us. I agree that the small groups are what makes the class work. I think without that there isn’t really any accountability involved. If you are looking for more detailed information on DR’s plan, try checking out some family finance boards. I have been a posting on those for over a year. That is where I get all my menu planning and frugal tips. That and DR’s plan I think can do wonders for any budget.

  8. Jo says:

    Did the course through our church last year and I found the course to be of excellent value.

  9. KellyB says:

    Great idea for a post! I’m very interested in reading the whole series and see how it goes for you. GOOD LUCK.

  10. I love Dave Ramsey and can’t wait to read more about your FPU! We have been talking about going to the classes but the next one doesn’t start for 10 weeks!
    Thanks so much for sharing your info.

  11. Robert M says:

    Josh,
    Not sure what part of Dave’s you feel is “criminally negligent”. You did say getting out of debt was good. Saving for purchases (cars, TV’s, emergencies) not using credit cards, saving 15% for retirement, saving for college, paying off the house, term insurance, giving to great causes seems like pretty sound advice too.
    Maybe you sell life insurance and the buy term vs whole life is cutting into your salary. Or maybe you feel paying the bank interest is better than paying 70% less to the IRS (paying off your house).
    I did sell life insurance some time back, and I have not run across anyone who has been able to show me how whole life could work for me or anyone else regardless of their financial situation. The interest deduction for taxes as well has been a fun topic among accountants and finance guru’s. The insist it is the best way and I “just don’t understand”. It must be very, very complicated since even the experts are not able to show me numbers that make sense. “Trust me” was one of the last comments that came my way.
    No thanks. I will pay the irs their money, use my debit card (they get points too), save for purchases and enjoy being debt free as well as being looked upon as a moron from the financial experts.
    If someone could show me a better way I would follow it.

  12. Isabelle says:

    It is amazing what people don’t know! I follow a website in the UK called ‘Martin Lewis’ and there are two particular forums, debt free wannabe and money saving old style that I read.

    So often people say things that astound me. How can they not know these things? It is just like food, many have no idea what they are putting into their own and their children’s bodies.

    I’ve read many times about Ramsey and how his system has helped people. He is running a business not a charity and like every system for anything, it is not for everyone. But, if it makes people aware enough to take on the message and go on to find other ways and sites about saving and how to free up money to save, it will be $100 well spent.

  13. Gail says:

    I have appreciated what Dave Ramsey has to say. I have read his books and have tried to follow his advice over the years. Not sure either what is so criminally negligent Josh is referring to either. There are a whole bunch of people out there that are completely clueless about personal finances and DR has some good helpful advice.

    I too am amazed at what people don’t know. I remember several years ago on the discussion board here there was a thread going about how to wash dishes. All I could think was how could anyone not know how to do dishes as I have been doing them since about 2nd grade! But then some people were never required to help around the house or do any kind of chores and were handed everything and never had to work for anything. Those that can’t/won’t do things for themselve end up paying someone to do the things for them or buying a machine (dishwasher) to do it for them, thus wasting money.

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  16. Arthur says:

    FPU does cover some things that the total money makeover book does not. If you call the Dave Ramsey customer service people and tell them you can’t afford FPU now but would like to buy the FPU CDs, they will sell you that. They did for me. The FPU CDs are great. You will learn from them.

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  20. HelpMeFriend says:

    For those saving pre-kers out there, we do need to start small. I also would be a little annoyed by the oohs and ahas at every simple idea, but there are those who spend the course sign up fee without any question because someone will help them to save money.
    See where they are coming from?
    $1,000 is huge to them, and it is such a small step.
    People like you give hope to people like us that one day, we too will be able to take a refresher course and see how well off we really have worked to make ourselves.
    Thanks for giving us a track to draft you on.

  21. Bill says:

    Wow Josh…really harsh words. Criminal? Based on what? What bad advice, lack of understanding etc? Dave’s plan was a Godsend for us and has turned our finances around completely. And helped reduce the money fights big time.

    His advice works flat out. I do think his investment advice is not as strong but overall it is incredible advice.

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