Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Taking a Look at the Financial Peace Planner

The Financial Peace Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Restoring Your Family's Financial Health

Reader Rachel left a kind comment on our very first post detailing our slide to the bottom.  In it, she recommended Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  “Aha!”  I thought to myself.  “I think I actually have a Dave Ramsey book floating around here somewhere.”

You should know this about me:  I’m an avid reader of both fiction and nonfiction.  I’ve read my way through many of the authorities on the subject of personal finance and budgeting.  Suze Orman, Mary Hunt, Joe Dominguez… I’ve read ‘em.  And I’ve tried working their programs as well.  Unfortunately, I always lose focus before I can really get anywhere.  It seems like the first step is always to build up a buffer in a savings account.   We’ll get to about $150 and something goes hideously wrong and “poof!” there goes the savings. 

No matter the system, I can find a reason why it won’t work for me.  Same thing goes with diets.  Hmmm.  Might have to think about this correlation a bit! 

Anyway, I did a little poking around and found my copy of The Financial Peace Planner.  Okay, it technically isn’t my copy, it’s actually my mom’s, but she loaned it to me quite some time ago.  I borrowed it with good intentions, but then set the book down and left it to gather dust.  I wasn’t ready.

I dug out the book, brushed off the dust and read the first chapter.  We’re going to give it a go, and we’ll post our progress here.  The Christian perspective of the book is somewhat distracting, but I can probably work it into our own worldview.  I’ve found that a few of the money management books I’ve read have a decided Christian slant on this.  I imagine it has something to do with the way we feel so out-of-control when our money situation is so crazy.  I’m thinking there might be a blog post in that.

One my “homework assignments” this week was to create a list of my fears about money. Here's my list:

  • We will lose the apartment.
  • I won’t be able to pay for my son’s treatment.
  • Gavin will lose his job and we will be destitute.
  • No one will want to pay money for my writing and we will sink further into the hole.
  • I won't be able to feed my kids.

One of the other assignments was to find a “financial buddy.”  Anyone want to sign up for that position?


  1. So glad you are going to give this a go. Somewhere in there, Dave Ramsey says, "you didn't get into your financial situation quickly. You will walk out slowly. With baby steps." It's a back and forth thing. I've been through the class (once as a student and twice as a teacher) three times and have heard people say it took them a month to build up their emergency fund, and others took YEARS. Hang in there. It really helped me to listen to his podcasts, too. People call in. If you aren't taking the class with other couples (by the way...your Husband is your Buddy!) hearing the people who call in with questions will encourage you. So happy for you! :)

  2. It will definitely be a slow process. I suspect it might take us at least a year to build up that emergency fund. I am, however, committed (publicly!) to the process. Thanks for the support!