FPU. Do you know it? Financial Peace University. It's a class on gaining financial peace. It's been an amazing trip so far for us...yes, us. Brian and I are taking this classes together - as husband and wife (teammates!). It was a 13 week and $95 commitment that we made back in September.
It all started when Roscoe lent us his Total Money Makeover (TMM) and Financial Peace Revisited books. Actually, it began before then - I've watched Dave Ramsey on TV and knew some others couples who have been through FPU. But reading TMM was what jump-started me into wanting to take the FPU class.
I began in July to work on a budget. *gasp* A budget!? YES! Put a pen on paper budget (okay, so I put keyboard to Excel spreadsheet but same concept) and followed it. The first month was rough... We messed up. We over spent. We had to pull money from savings to cover our tails. Messy, messy, messy. But we did it. And we re-did that same budget in August and tried again.
And then in September, we did it again. That is when our FPU classes started too. The first few weeks were review for us (having read TMM which is the same basis as FPU) and I thought for sure Brian might quit on me but we both stuck it out.
Now we are more than halfway through our course. We had our $1000 Baby Step 1 (BS1) within the first few weeks of doing this (by mid-August I'm sure...I can't remember the actual date). Brian selling his beloved Suzuki Boulevard M109R greatly helped pad that BS1 and get us caught up on bills though. His selling that was a huge sacrifice for him...he told me he loved us (the family) more than his bike though and that was something he was willing to give up. A few weeks later when I was paying bills and told him for the first time in a long time paying bills didn't make me want to puke - he said selling his bike was completely worth it then.
And now we're in BS2 - our Debt Snowball. Right now we're still facing $26K+ (yes...that's $26,000 PLUS) in debt (not including our house). But if we work our snowball right, that will all be gone by April 2011. That's like 18 months away! Do you know how awesome it will feel to have that all gone? Credit cards...college loans...car loans...medical bills...gone! I dream of the day! And do I really truly believe that we will eliminate all of our debt? YES! We are intense! We are determined to get rid of this debt! It is tying us down and holding us back.
And as of today...we've actually paid off some of our debt! A Kohl's card that had just over $160 balance and a medical bill from when LeeAnn broke her arm (about $500 when we started) are both GONE. Those payments? They've been "snowballed" into paying off the next debt...a school loan from when I was at Franklin (almost 10 years ago!). It'll be paid off by the end of the month and then that payment plus the payments for the other two items (Kohl's and Clarian Arnett) will be "snowballed" into the next debt - another school loan from Franklin! Ahhhhh... And then slowly but surely that snowball will grow and it'll be all gone!
Interested? Want to know more? Let me know - I'd be glad to hook you up with some information. It'll be a life changing decision for you!