Super Savers: FPU Week 1

We've been quite nervous about this. Starting FPU, that is. We used to facilitate FPU before moving here, and after two years of discernment / dragging our feet, we felt the calling again. We soon found that not only was our Priest excited about it (a fan of Dave's radio show), but the Deacon as well (he and his wife had just taken it at another church). Just to add to the pressure, we had 37 families sign up for class. 3 times the size of any class we'd previously taught!

Anxiety was high, but as far as we could tell, week 1 was a smashing success. The class went well - people were entertained and the material was well received. All things you would expect. There was a part that we didn't expect though - the part that we got out of it.

First, for those not familiar. Financial Peace University (FPU) is a 13-week course taught via video by Dave Ramsey. Class coordinators like ourselves organize the classes, facilitate the meetings and lead the discussions. We don't get paid to do this, but rather do it as a ministry.

Week 1 is called Super Savers - the point of which is.... saving money! Week 1 is a bit basic, but you have to start somewhere. You can't lead this type of thing off by trying to balance everyone's budgets while running their credit cards through the shredder. They'd never show up for week 2. Week 1 teaches that saving must become a priority. You'll never do it if you keep putting it off.

"In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,
but a foolish man devours all he has."
-Proverbs 21:20
Turns out, God's a pretty smart guy.

One of the big take-aways in this lesson is that there are three reasons to save:
  1. Emergencies
  2. Purchases
  3. Wealth building
In a class like this, you'll always have folks all over the spectrum - some who have been diligent about saving, others have never saved a dime. For us, we've been through the class and at this point are pretty well living the plan. Debt is long gone. We have our fully-funded emergency fund. We save for big purchases that we are planning. We have money in retirement accounts and have started saving for college. It's the purchases that have been big on our minds lately.

See, we've been saving for a new roof, basically since we moved in (sellers agent misrepresented the property, was a big mess). Lately, we've been wondering if we should replace the boiler (forced hot water heating) instead. It's 45 years old, on it's last leg, and we seem to be dropping about $300 per year on it to keep it going. Not the most efficient thing either. We even mentioned it to the class that we were trying to make this decision and were hoping for a sign.

Turns out, God's a pretty smart guy.

Besides the one leak in the roof that we knew about and have patched, a current rainstorm revealed two (2) other leaks. Ug. We knew right then that we could not put off the roof any longer. But, we've been saving, and should have more than enough for the materials and the DIY crew to put it up. Dilema solved, right? But what about the old bloiler?

Well, we had some folks come out to quote the replacement of the boiler. We had two quotes, but fellow parishioner recommend someone else, so we gave them a shot. Well the salesman came out to inspect, the Mrs. was quite surprised to see that he was one of the folks from our class! We don't have the quote back, but we are hoping to swing some kind of 'Dave Ramsey' discount. We'll see.

If the price is right, we may be able to do both - without taking more than a couple hundred out of the emergency fund. Saving money is a basic concept. But so many people don't do it. Relentlessly saving all that money hasn't been tons of fun, but when big expenses come up and you can cover the bills - in cash - that's pretty cool.

What was the last major purchase that you saved up for and paid for in full? Have you ever done that?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin