Post # 1
FI and I are slowly beginning to combine our finances more, and I think using Dave Ramsey’s FPU may help us as far as debt reduction and savings. Right now we have a joint checking that we have been equally contributing to for rent, utilities, etc. Now we are considering combining our incomes more from the get-go and then paying bills out of that, with each of us getting a certain amount of spending money to do what we want with (not having to check in on every little purchase with the other person). This is how we envision we will handle our money once married, fully combined with me being the primary person handling paying the bills (as I’m the more organized, pay all bills on time one).
FI doesn’t have much debt (less than 2k in a credit card that he’s getting paid off) but had gotten into bad credit card debt in his early twenties so he’s still trying to learn how to rebuild his credit and become more financially responsible. I’m financially responsible (ie. not paying bills late, etc) but unfortunately I have a lot of student loan debt from going to law school (over 100k) and credit card debt which mainly is from my years in college and law school (~12k).
I had some rewards points that I never realized I had from one of those credit cards (Amazon) so I ordered the 13 disc set of FPU and the accompanying workbook (used, but I figure I can just write my own answers in on top of whatever’s written in there) for under $15 (that’s including shipping).
Can’t wait to start it. Has anyone used FPU? I would love to hear how others feel it helped/didn’t help their finances.
Post # 3
@MsYankee: I listen to Dave Ramsey at work only out of total boredom! I’ve never done the FPU but it seems like it certianly cannot hurt. It will work if you both stick to the plan and stay diligent. I listen to couples who derailed for a tiny bit but then got back on track.
I think it would be hard to allocated every dollar to something at the beginning of the month personally! But that really is the ticket, deciding what to do (jointly) with every dollar earned before you spend it. I think we’re doing OK without FPU though.
Post # 4
I’ve heard GREAT things about his FPU but I don’t know if we’ll ever do it. I’m a credit card user & I hate using cash & he preaches that everything should be done in cash. I’ve never had ANY credit card debt (or any debt at all outside of student loans), I use it and pay it off every month to get the rewards points.
My SO & I tried the envelope system (not sure if that’s in his FPU) for a couple months but it didn’t work at all for us. We didn’t keep the cash with us and I still couldn’t make myself use cash & lose out on rewards points.
Good luck with it! I’ve heard good things from most people, I just couldn’t do it myself.
Post # 5
@soontobemrsm11: You could use the envelope system even with credit cards for the rewards, just simply have a piece of paper with the $ amount on it and subtract each time you use it until it hits 0.
Post # 6
My FI’s friend did it and had great success. He was a financial mess before and through FPU was able to straighten out his life and his finances. He even did the pizza delivery job!
I used to listen to Dave Ramsey’s radio show a lot and was always amazed by what people that called in had accomplished with his program.
I don’t like everything he says – I use credit cards and don’t have a problem with it, I don’t like his religious angles, and his figures on investing are way out of whack nowadays, IMO. But he’s good at motivating people, which is a big part of trying to save and clear up debt. I like that he’s pretty blunt and doesn’t let people make excuses for things like buying new cars when they are in debt, or that sort of thing.
Post # 7
@Elky: That’s a better idea then trying to reimburse ourselves every time lol good idea thanks!
Post # 8
The workbook was delivered today and the cd’s should be coming today or tomorrow! I’m excited to get started and check them out!!
FI loves cash-only, I never seem to have cash on me but I think it will really help with budgeting. Can’t spend what you don’t physically have in your wallet (cash)!
Post # 9
We’ve done it and it’s wonderful! We’ve paid off over $30,000 in student loans since we got married last year. I really recommend it for anyone.
One thing he will say in FPU is don’t combine finances before marriage. Just so you’re aware that that will come up. https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/article/not-mixing-before-marrying
Post # 10
I’ve never done FPU but right when I finished school I had a job where I had to drive 4+hrs away by myself to project sites in the rural middle of nowhere so I used to listen to Dave Ramsey A LOT on the road. I have to say his show is really inspiring to listen to! After hearing story after story of people who cleaned up their finances I decided to do my own (just based on what I heard – not by going through FPU) and paid off all my school debt and have half my mortgage paid off. Right now I have no debt other than my house. For my age I’ve done aewsome with savings & investments but still have a ways to go before I achieve total Financial Peace! Luckily FI is also responsible on the money front. It meant so much to me when he said that he paid for my e.ring in cash. If after we moved in/combined finances I found out we were paying my ring for years to come I would be all “TAKE IT BACK!”
Anyway I never went as strict as the cash envelopes but started using my debit card for *everything*. I still check in on my online banking several times a week to be sure of what my cash flow situation looks like. I don’t use a credit card for much of anything but keep one in my wallet as a backup for emergencies. For instance I was visiting friends in Germany last winter & couldn’t use my debit card in the train station so used my CC there. But otherwise my rule for myself is that if I don’t have the cash in my checking account, I can’t buy things.
Good luck! It’s hard at first but once you get used to budgeting it’s a breeze!
Post # 11
I’ve read some of his stuff, but I didn’t really focus on it due to his religious angle, and the investing advice. Also, DH and I completely merged finances about 2 years before we got married.
For other personal finance advice, I recommend checking out the blogs
Get Rich Slowly (http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/) and
The Simple Dollar (http://www.thesimpledollar.com/)
Post # 12
@MsYankee: My fiance and I had to take this class as a pre-requisite to my father giving us his blessing because he didn’t want us to start our lives in debt, or end that way either!
I will say to begin with that we did not and do not have any sort of debt, student loans or credit card or otherwise – the class is kind of targeted at paying off debt, so that made a lot of the class kind of irrelevant to us but VERY good info should we ever need it in the future.
I don’t know if you have a smartphone or not, but there are apps that let you break up your bank account into “envelopes” so you can see what you have to spend in which categories if you are like me and think traditional physical envelopes are a little outdated (and unsafe!) We use cash for groceries, gas, fun money, etc., but there’s no way we’re leaving an envelope labeled RENT lying around with $800 in it!
The most important piece of advice I could have for you is discuss EVERY lesson as a couple afterwards. We did every step together, re-watched some lessons and did the bonus activities, etc., then afterwards we had a discussion about what we thought about the lesson. It was through these talks that we kind of nailed down which parts of the program we wanted to stick to and which parts we were going to fudge a little. For example, I have a credit card and we are going to continue using it because we are not in debt and we need to build credit because the manual underwrite process for purchasing a house is a pain in the butt and even Dave admits it takes 3x as long to get a house that way because only half of the banks will even do it, let alone approve you.
If you have any specific questions let me know!
Post # 13
@208bride: wow, thanks! We haven’t officially started yet – but we did listen to one of the cd’s (part of it) in the car ride home to my hometown the other day (it’s only a 30 minute drive) and FI liked it (he was not so on board with listening to cd’s -he thought it would be boring). I’ve listened to the cd’s a little on my own and I really like it so far!
I think we’ll officially start the program this weekend. I’m excited!