This is a topic I hear come up every now and again, so let’s discuss it to help those contemplating FPU.
In case you are unfamiliar, Dave Ramsey is the host of the nationally syndicated personal finance radio show The Dave Ramsey Show. He is the New York Times best selling author of Total Money Makeover, Financial Peace Revisited, and The Money Answer Book, and among other things has developed the incredibly popular debt relief system Financial Peace University.
Today let’s focus on FPU and whether or not it’s worth the initial investment of $100, or whatever the going rates are these days.
Is FPU worth the money?
Some people argue that they wouldn’t, or couldn’t, attend Ramsey’s Financial Peace University if they wanted to because it costs too much money; and since they can’t afford their bills, they’re not about to shell out $100+ for some stupid debt book. Others say FPU is the best thing that ever happened to them and that the financial stuff was only a smidgen of the blessings they received from attending. Still others may rant about how Dave Ramsey is rich enough already, how he has built an empire off the chronically indebted, and that he should be ashamed of himself.
Before we get to far into the discussion let’s be sure to evaluate what the cost of the program truly amounts to. What is $100 actually worth anyway… what can it buy? A month, maybe two months of cable television. A month, maybe two months of a mobile phone contract. One week’s worth of groceries… maybe?
You get the point. Before we let the sticker shock of a cool Benjamin cloud our perception of value or worth, it is imperative we patiently evaluate the costs and benefits of the purchase.
What do you think?
My history with Dave’s programs officially began in November of 2009. At that time I had already been running Debt Free Adventure for 11 months and was fully immersed in everything personal finance. So why did I enroll in the class? To get my wife and I on same page financially. And it worked. In fact, it worked incredibly well.
Was the experience worth the $100 cost of a life long membership in the program? Uh… yeah, without a doubt. The value of the FPU program will be paying us back for the rest of our lives. Because of that fact… I recently decided to give back to the program. A few weeks ago I signed on as a volunteer FPU class leader, and have already watched God bless us amazingly because of it.
Is Financial Peace University worth the $100 you’ll have to spend to get it? Yes. It absolutely is. And Dave Ramsey – just like you, me, and everyone else – fully deserves to earn money from his honorable labor. After all, what is $100 compared to a life of financial ruin anyway? Hardly a drop in the bucket I’d say.
Is it possible for a group of financially struggling people to form a strong PF community on their own? Yes, but I’m sure the rates of success would be much lower. I don’t have any stats to back that statement up, but consider this… if it were easy to do this on their own, wouldn’t people be doing it in droves?
The truth is, starting from scratch to build community, formulate debt plans, and work those plans through to completion is doable for some, but not for many. For everyone else there is FPU and other programs like it (Crown Money Map, etc.)
If you have been on the fence about trying FPU because you’re reluctant to pay the money… go do it, I am willing to bet that you will not regret your decision. After all, what is $100 compared to financial peace?
If you’re the one still whining about not having $100 to take the course, I have a solution for you. Call your service provider and cancel your TV service for a month, and use the $100 to get your financial life in order.
Without sacrifice there is no benefit, and the small sacrifice of $100 is nothing compared to the dividends FPU enrollment will pay for years and years to come.
So is Ramsey’s FPU worth the sticker price? Well… I guess you’ll never know until you go see for yourself.
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