Tonight I led a new Financial Peace University group. For anyone that doesn’t know FPU is a 13 week course that teaches the savvy to the most destitute how to win financially. As we work through this course I’m going to be blogging all 13 weeks as a recap for my students and an introduction to the skeptics.
The first class subject was Super Saving. Obviously in any financial plan there needs to be a level of saving. FPU stresses the importance of making saving a priority. This is further magnified in explaining Baby Step #1 which is $1000 baby emergency fund in the bank. It is priority and must be done quickly. This will allow everyone to have a little money set aside for a rainy day while working through Baby Step #2.
My challenge tonight was to help facilitate a mental shift. I could tell that many people were daunted by the task of raising $1k to put their savings account. It seemed like a collective sigh of relief when the class was over ;). We had some great conversation about the different barriers to saving and concluded that money is not the problem. The problem is the person in the mirror. Once we get passed the person in the mirror we can really start gaining self control. We also discussed how life situations can easily become “emergencies” if we don’t plan for them. One example that I love is Christmas comes the same time every year. However, we always remember that around Thanksgiving time. All the sudden it becomes an emergency because 52 weeks is reduced to 4.
Sitting in the first class always reminds we when my wife and I attended FPU during our first year of marriage. When we attended 3 years ago we thought $1k in the bank was a huge hill to climb. We had around $36k in debt and could not really justify putting aside the baby emergency fund. However, we committed to the baby steps, worked extra jobs, and did nothing for a few months and were able to get our $1k in the bank. It felt so great. We had accomplished something together in our first year of marriage. For anyone that is married accomplishing things together doesn’t come often in the first few years :).
I am excited for the next 12 weeks. We had 26 people that had taken the first step in changing their family tree. The seed has been set. I believe that many lives are going to be changed. I can’t wait until next week which for our married couples will be intense. Relating With Money is always a tough session.