|Posted: 1/28/2013 9:31:27 PM|
Can anyone tell me about his program? Are his classes worth the time? I need all input good and bad. Is this just another person getting rich on books and DVDs? Thanks for the input.
Loc: Washington State
|Posted: 1/28/2013 10:15:23 PM|
My husband and I used the books to follow the program so I don't have any info about the classes. His plan worked for us and we have been debt-free since 2006. It did take a while for my husband to be convienced but it's the best thing we ever did. There has never been a time since where I felt "I miss my credit cards". I not even tempted anymore.
As far as the books, I picked them up a a local used book store so the cost was relativey small.
The "baby step" plan is very simple but very effective.
I wish you all the best in your efforts to live debt-free.
I live for the applause applause applause...
|Posted: 1/29/2013 11:39:30 AM|
I read his book The Total Money Makeover about 8 years ago and thought, oh no way in hell.
About 18 months ago I bought a kit and went to his FPU class. For me, it was valuable. I went through a long period where I was unemployed or underemployed and ran up a lot of debt just trying to survive. Then I finished school and got a job, and I was overwhelmed with what to tackle first and how to spend my money the best way.
I like his program. It gave me "peace" (Financial Peace University) about my money within a month. Things weren't "fixed" but I felt like I finally knew what I was DOING and I had a plan I could follow and priorities were set.
I needed the camaraderie of meeting with other like minded people. I liked talking about issues, getting and giving advice and support in person, being encouraged and sometimes having my ass kicked.
So his program focuses on 7 Baby Steps.
First you must be able to live on your income at a basic level. He calls this the 4 walls:
Buy FOOD first (basic food, not eating out)
Pay UTILITIES next. Must keep the lights on and the heat and the water.
Then HOUSING - rent or mortgage. This comes after you eat and have the lights on.
Then TRANSPORTATION to and from work or your income source. Basic transportation. He usually finds people in trouble are spending too much on a too expensive car.
And finally CLOTHES< just basic clothes.
If you don't have enough coming in for these things at a basic level that is first to be dealt with.
If you do then you move on. Next you must get caught up on all your current bills. Not credit card payments, but house payments, car payments, utility bills. Then debt payments.
Once you can do that you start saving and you start selling stuff and you might need a 2nd part time job. You put together a Baby Emergency Fund of $1000 in cash, in an account you do not touch.
Once you have that, you start paying off your debt. Meanwhile you cut all expenditures to the bone. Get rid of everything other than basics. All extra money goes to pay off consumer debt. This could take 6 months, a year, 2 years, depends.
If you have an emergency in this time, you use your emergency fund to cover it. You get rid of all credit cards. If you use part of that fund you stop paying off debt until you have rebuilt it to $1000.
Once your consumer debt and all debt except the house is paid off, you go back to saving,m only now you have no payments. You save 3-6 months of expenses in cash and that is your regular emergency fund. You never touch that unless it is a true emergency.
Once that is done you move on to investing, saving for college, paying off the house.
He gives several techniques and tools to use.
1) pay cash only - he uses the envelope system. No cards at all.
2) have a written budget. Every month you start from $0 bc if you have nay "left over" money from the previous month, it all goes to savings or to debt. You assign a job to every dollar of income coming in.
There's more but that is the gist.
Loc: At the intersection of Hooterville and Stars Hollow
|Posted: 1/29/2013 12:20:59 PM|DH and I took his classes in 2006 and felt they were well worth it. It was kind of a date night for us.
We always had excellent credit but had started to feel like we needed a new way to look at debt. It absolutely changed our lives even though I didn't embrace it 100% (I love my debit card although I know his cash-only system would work better for me. I resist it like I resist WW - for the same reason - because I'm lazy and want what I want
Like anything I would honestly say that in the ensuing years we have both thrived on it - and completely disregarded it. We have a small amount of debt now and I'm guilty of both losing sleep over it, and thinking that the total $150/month it cost us is hardly breaking us (ie. justification).
I absolutely think it works and the principle is good to get people back to what they "need" versus "want" and his emphasis on saving and paying your debts is appealing to me.
Loc: Somewhere in the middle...
|Posted: 1/29/2013 12:26:25 PM|
His advice is not the best advice, but I think it works for folks who really struggle to get their spending under control. There are some things, like suggesting that you pay off the smallest debts first just so you get the emotional boost of paying something off, that are really not the best advice.
I live for the applause applause applause...
|Posted: 1/29/2013 12:54:41 PM|
that you pay off the smallest debts first just so you get the emotional boost of paying something off, that are really not the best advice.
AND ALSO so that you can take the payment from the smaller debt and ADD it to the monthly payment to a larger debt and therefore pay it off faster. And that IS good advice.
|Posted: 1/29/2013 1:11:05 PM|I pretty much agree with what everyone else has said. We took the class and I think it helped to be in that environment to have support and be able to ask questions. But I know plenty of people who just read the books and listen to the CDs that benefited as well.
Someone posted the other day, his FPU bundle was like $45 (?) on the DR website. It included the books, CDs, and his envelope system.
The envelope system is one of the things I've valued the most. Obviously I knew I should pay off debt. And I already knew to pay off the smallest first and then apply that payment to the next. But with the envelope system we have a car repair fund, house repair fund, clothes fund, health fund (dr. visits, etc), vet fund, and even an entertainment fund. (He actually suggests that when you set up your funds, you have some fun money. Just stick to the amount that's in your budget. )
We had a cracked windshield and I was stressing about paying for when DH reminded me we had the money for it. It was such a relief!
After you pay off debt, he gets into investing and such which is still beyond where we're at. But it seemed like pretty good advice. I'm sure it is since he's a multi-millionaire.
I'm with writermom and the cash for groceries. It got to be a pain (but really worked!) so I used debit, but we stay within our budget. Also, for gas- I don't like to have to go in and pay for gas.
The one thing I didn't agree with him on was paying cash for EVERYTHING and not needing credit. Unless you're a millionaire (like he is), you can't pay cash for houses and sometimes cars. You have to have credit in today's world.
Other than that, I highly recommend it! Good luck with whatever you do.
Pea All You Can Pea!
|Posted: 1/30/2013 11:01:38 PM|
I agree with most of the posters here. It's a great program and it's affordable.
Consider starting by reading his book "Total Money Makeover" (you can check it out of the library). It's a fast read too by the way.
If you like the book and think it may work for you, then definitely consider attending FPU. You can go to a live class or purchase the materials to take it at home.
It was the best time and money we've ever spent. We're debt free except for our home and we hope to have our mortgage paid off this year (we're under $35k on the mortgage).
|Posted: 1/31/2013 8:41:34 AM|
Definitely get the book, "The Total Money Makeover". It is an easy (and funny) read. We followed the program from only the book and radio show. People I know who have taken the classes loved them though.
I watched my SIL and her husband go through the program and I thought they were crazy. Then one day, I got fed up with never having enough money to pay all the bills when we should have had plenty. So I picked up the book. It changed my life.
Seriously, going through this program is one of the best things we have ever done for our marriage. I highly recommend it.
Wife to 1; mommy to 3.
I live for the applause applause applause...
|Posted: 1/31/2013 10:49:06 AM|
You can also listen to his daily radio show on his website. He also has about 2 weeks of archived shows you can listen to any time. And he has a 1-hr podcast of each show you can download.