Living with credit, New products

Clueless about credit? Enroll in Financial Peace University

Emily Crone

Donna Maria Coles Johnson is the founder and CEO of Indie Business Media, a multimedia production company that helps families create and maintain entrepreneurial, independent businesses. She is a very innovative woman who has helped us in the past with an article about small business credit cards.

I recently asked her if she knew of any resources that would be of help to my readers, and she had a great suggestion: a program called Financial Peace University. It’s not her product and she doesn’t get any commission off it — she just truly believes in it.

So what’s the scoop? FPU’s creator is Dave Ramsey, a businessman, financial writer and radio and television host. Donna Maria said she is attending the classes through her church, but other ways to attend are through the military, schools and workplaces. If you can’t find a local class, you can also take the entire FPU course online. If you’re really in the dark ages, you can also buy a home study kit.

FPU is comprised of 13 lessons, each on a different topic about personal finance. You meet with your class each week and watch a video lesson and participate in discussion groups.  You’ll learn about credit reports, debt collectors, living on a budget, how to save, real estate, retirement and so on.

“I just love it because it helps people get out of debt and puts parameters around credit card spending — that is, if you have to use them at all,” Donna Maria told me.

Ramsey claims that financial management is 20 percent knowledge and 80 percent behavior, so he works to break bad habits that lead to financial ruin. If you’re interested, purchase a membership kit. It will give you access to attend the classes anywhere, anytime, at no extra charge for life. Click here and you can type in your zip code to find a class in your area.

Are there any financial tools you recommend?

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  • casey

    Use Quicken or a similar program to track your spending. Yes, it takes discipline, but the results can surprise you and inspire changes to your spending habits. No, I haven’t done this yet for myself… I have looked at my spending by category on my credit card in Bank of America’s online interface, which was informative… but my resolution is to actually use Quicken.