Financial Peace: Part 1 - Reading List

Financial Peace: Part 1

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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Financial Peace Revisited
By Dave Ramsey

This book doesn't hold the secret to suddenly getting out of debt. Sure there are tons of stories surrounding Dave Ramsey about how people got out of 100s of thousands of dollars of debt in weeks, but most people working his "system" take 2-3 years of following the "debt snowball" system. So take heart, this is a long process. If you want something life changing that has never been shared, this probably isn't for you. But if you are looking for something that gives you the steps laid out in a practical way, this could be helpful as you begin your process.

This book discusses money, how to spend it, how to save it, how to invest it, and how it can take over our lives if we let it.  Dave discusses marriage and money, kids and money, singles and money and so much more.Overall this book was very helpful to me, but I read this book as part of Financial Peace University - which I took at my church with my husband (more on the actual class in another post).

So I'm going to assume that you are in debt - I mean let's be honest, society teaches us that we have to be in debt! I mean how else to you get credit to buy a car? a house? get a college loan? And those are all things we have to have right? So that being said, if you are not in debt, please don't be offended by my assumptions because that is my goal, to one of you not in debt people!

Alright so here is my review of this book.

Each chapter is written by Dave Ramsey with a little blurb at the end of each chapter from his wife. I found it nice to see her thoughts after his, since they went through all their money issues together.

I think the best part of this book was the fact that Dave made it clear that each person is in charge of his or her own life, and that include their money- how much they get, how they get it, what they do with it. He also says over and over how important it is to realize that this is a mind change, not just a sprint to become rich. A quote he used from Gary Smalley really sang out to me, "Personal finance is not a microwave it is a crockpot." Society tells me I can get more quick, but patience is a virtue, and it is one that is needed in order to have financial peace. 

Another reason why I liked this book, and am putting Dave Ramsey's steps into practice in my family, is because there is so much Scripture in it. Maybe not every single page, but its there. The over riding verse for me in this book is Proverbs 22:7
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 The rich rule over the poor,
    and the borrower is slave to the lender.

I don't want to be a slave to the bank, or a credit card company. That is the point - and this book makes that point.

I also appreciated the information about families. There is this expectation for parents to save tons of money so their kids can have fabulous educations - don't get me wrong, I think giving kids a great education is part of job- but that doesn't mean we should go into (or further into) debt in order to pay for our kids to go to private schools and college. Dave addresses this, and tells you what steps to take to before setting up that fund for college - but more important, there is a whole chapter in this book about how to teach your kids to value money. There are sections for ideas for kids as young as three - ways for them to realize that we work for what we get. I wish I could explain it as well as he does - so maybe this will help: "You are teaching your children how to live life well when you build their character and money management skills. Teach your children how to handle money or they will come home and live with you forever."

A great plus is that in the back of the book there are worksheets to help you work the "7 baby steps" as Dave calls them. There really are some great ones in there: a monthly cash flow plan (budget on steroids), a debt snowball form to help you watch your debt (slowly) disappear, example letters for getting rid of those credit card offers, and much more. These forms/worksheets are extremely helpful.

All that being said, this book helped me because of the class, otherwise I'm not sure this book would have done anything for me really. I would have thought, while I was reading it, yeah that makes sense I should do that, but once I was done, I would let it go. I would continue to live the way I've always lived and spend like normal. So if you are looking for an option, tools, to help you get out of debt I would recommend this book, but I would caution that it works best as part of the Financial Peace University class and an agreement with your spouse that you are going to try to work the steps together.

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