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How Financial Peace University Changed My Life

How many times have you heard, “You need to do this – it will change your life!”?

I will admit, I was skeptical. I said to myself, how can one class really change your life? Little did I know I was about to embark on a truly life-altering and empowering journey. A journey I am still taking part in today. I know it sounds dramatic to make that claim. When we think about life-changing experiences we think of coming into your faith, marriage, or birth of a child. A financial class is not necessarily on that list. At least it wasn’t for me until earlier this year.

In March, my brother Kevin Jones and his wife, Erin, sponsored a Financial Peace University class at CCA.  They had taken the class a few years ago and felt a calling to bring it to CCA. I had listened to Dave Ramsey (the person behind this program) for years and could always predict what he would say to people who would call in for advice. I had watched as Kevin and Erin worked diligently to pay off their own debt. Yet when I thought about doing the same thing for myself, I didn’t think it could be done. That was something other people did. My situation was just what it was. I was using my credit cards as if they were an extension of my debit card. I was tired, however, of all the stress I felt when it came time to pay bills. Those minimum payments kept me in a cycle that felt nearly impossible to break. With Kevin and Erin teaching the class, I felt called to take part – and it literally did change my life. I went from a consumer who used credit cards as a form of payment for anything and everything to someone who was on the phone cancelling and cutting up five credit cards by the end of the class. There was a time I was so worried that not having those cards would be crippling. But what I learned was that having those cards was what kept me from moving forward, towards financial freedom. I also learned that while I felt like my financial situation was dire, it was not nearly as bad as I thought. Kevin applauded me for starting and contributing to a company-matched 401(k) early in my career. He helped me to see that one decision has actually given me a positive net worth. That knowledge really helped me change my perspective on what was possible for me.

Everyone’s story is different. There are all sorts of debt. Perhaps credit cards are not an issue for you. You may have medical debt, student loans, or car loans. Perhaps you don’t need a debt elimination plan. You may still want to take the class to learn more about investing, retirement, what sort of insurance is right for your family, real estate and mortgages, or saving for college. Perhaps you want to put together a more solid budget. The class covers all those topics too.

I realize money is not something we all like to talk about. In fact, it really is a very sensitive subject. I am telling you all about my journey because I want you to feel the freedom I feel now. Am I near the end of paying off debt? Nope. But because of this class, each day I inch closer and closer to reaching my goal. I am in control of my money and it feels great.

The class begins Monday, September 25 and runs for nine weeks. I encourage you to register for the class today. I feel this is such an important experience that this time I am co-hosting the class with Kevin and Erin. It is open exclusively to our congregation right now. On September 1, it will be posted on Dave Ramsey’s website and open to the public. Space is limited. The cost of the course is $93 + tax per family unit, which includes the ability to take the course an unlimited number of times at no additional cost at any location. For more information or to offer a scholarship for someone to attend, reach out to Kevin Jones at kjones.phx@gmail.com.