Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Overview

by Ryan Guina

My church is currently hosting Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. We are already several weeks into the program, and so far, it has been excellent. I highly recommend this course if you feel like you can make some improvements with your financial management. At the minimum I think this is a great course for teaching people the importance of saving, getting out of debt, and planning for the future.

Financial Peace University Overview

I plan on sharing a brief overview of Financial Peace University over the next few weeks. It will help serve as a journal for me, and will hopefully spur others to take a deeper look at their finances – whether or not they decide to take this course.

About Financial Peace University

If you’ve been reading personal finance blogs for any time now, then you have probably heard all about Dave Ramsey and FPU, especially Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps and the Debt Snowball, which is a popular method for getting out of debt. While these are probably the aspects of FPU that most people are familiar with, there is a lot more to the course. Basically, Financial Peace University gives you a handbook for managing your finances and setting yourself up to be successful.

FPU Membership Details

One of the best parts about taking the Financial Peace University program is the Lifetime Membership. You and your spouse can attend any future FPU course anywhere, at any time, at no extra cost. This is a great idea if you experience a [major life event] or want a refresher when you get to the next Baby Step on your list.

Membership Kit. You get everything you see in the picture at right:

  • Lifetime membership.
  • Full-Color FPU Workbook. Hardcover book with each lesson.
  • Audio CD Library. Audio versions of the lessons (great for commuting!).
  • Durable Envelope System. An envelope system for using a cash based envelope budget.
  • Financial Peace University Revisited. Dave’s book, it is referenced throughout the course.
  • Member Resource Center Access. Online features including budgeting software and an active discussion community for the duration of your FPU class and bonus articles, videos and more for a lifetime.

Is Financial Peace University Worth it?

The FPU membership kit lists for $199 on the Dave Ramsey website, but you can often find it for a lower price when they run specials or if your church or other group is hosting it (they give group discounts). We ended up paying right around $100 for our membership, and I’m sure we’ll get that much value out of it when we start applying the principles.

According to the website, “The average family pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 in the first 91 days of Financial Peace University!”

That’s a strong statement…. According to their website, the average family makes an $8,000 swing in their net worth. But the common denominator here is that they applied the principles they learned and made the commitment to follow the steps outlined in Financial Peace University. I can honestly say that if you follow these steps, you will make improvements in your financial situation. If you don’t follow the steps, you won’t. Like everything else, it depends on how much effort you put into it.

Financial Peace University by the Week:

This is the weekly course outline.

  1. Super Saving – Common Cents for Your Dollars and Cents
  2. Relating with Money – Nerds and Free Spirits Unite
  3. Cash Flow Planning – The Nuts and Bolts of Budgeting
  4. Dumping Debt – Breaking the Chain of Debt
  5. Credit Sharks in Suits – Understanding Credit Bureaus and Collection Practices
  6. Buyer Beware – The Power of Marketing on Your Buying Decisions
  7. Clause and Effect – The Role of Insurance in Your Financial Planning
  8. That’s Not Good Enough – How to Buy Only Big, Big Bargains
  9. Of Mice and Mutual Funds – Understanding Investments
  10. From Fruition to Tuition – Planning for Retirement and College
  11. Working in Your Strengths – Careers and Extra Jobs
  12. Real Estate and Mortgages – Keeping the American Dream fro Becoming a Nightmare
  13. The Great Misunderstanding – Unleashing the Power of Generous Giving

Be sure to check back for updates!

Have you gone through Financial Peace University? What was your experience and would you recommend it?

Published or updated June 9, 2010.
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kirk Kinder

I like Dave Ramsey. I have never used any of his products although I listen to his free podcast. He is really helping a lot of people. But, I have a plan to put him out of business. Teach personal finance in high school. If they taught kids some very basic ideas in high school, Dave wouldn’t have a job, but I imagine he would be ok with that since his goal is to provide financial peace of mind.


2 Ryan

Great point, Kirk, and I believe personal finance and money management should be taught in school as well, but even if it were, it wouldn’t put DR out of business.

Students wouldn’t internalize much of the coursework because they haven’t been exposed to it (insurance and credit are great examples), and personal finance is complex enough that most people would need refreshers every so often (or after they realized they messed up!).

On top of that, it would only catch the new students coming through, and I’m sure you know there is a large gap of people between high school and retirement age who can stand to improve their financial situation!


3 Joe Plemon

Yes, I have been through FPU and have been coordinator for our church in several other FPU events. It has made huge differences in the financial lives of our participants. Our most recent group of about 15 couples and 5 singles had over $100,000 positive change in their net worths.

An aside for Kirt: Dave Ramsey already has two programs designed for high school students: one for church groups and one for non-church. I have worked with our high school principal to get the Dave Ramsey program integrated into the curriculum for all high school seniors in our school district. This being said, your comment to Kirt is right on…some of them “get it” but most haven’t the life experiences to be able to digest the info. Still, if they can just grasp the concept of staying out of debt, the class is a hugely beneficial.


4 Carrie

My husband and I are 9 weeks into the program. I’m enjoying it immensely – I’m definitely the “nerd” of the relationship and have no debt. Dh on the other hand struggles with emotional money “issues” so I sometimes feel like I’m climbing an uphill battle. We don’t fight about it but we won’t make much progress as a couple until he gets completely on board. I’m glad it’s a topic of discussion however, for that we’re probably way ahead of most couples.


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