Celebrate Financial Freedom This New Year, Here’s How

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It was a year ago that Wendi and I were ringing in the new year at the wedding of Sean Kilbane and the former Laura Siedlecki (the photo above is from their wedding). Wendi and I have been happily married since March 4, 1995, and with every wedding we attend, we sort of renew our vows. When the couple exchange vows, we remember when we made the same ones and what a blessing our marriage has been.

The reality is that marriages, and lives, are strained for financial reasons. Mishandling of money leads to a lot of broken homes and broken families, which results in many children having to live in poverty.

A wise man once told me, “Bobby, it’s not how much money you make, it’s how much you spend.” This truth is so simple it is profound and why so many will never follow it.

We are a culture that wants instant gratification. We don’t want to save our money until we have enough to buy; we want to put it on credit or take out a loan. If you can get beyond the instant gratification, then you are on your way to being successful. Don’t believe me? Check out this TED Talk (this post resumes below the video).

I understand impulses and wanting things now, but if you spend less than you earn, then you are setting yourself up for success. I know, because it happened for me.

Wendi and I made pretty good money, but we always lived paycheck to paycheck until … wait for it … we started taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class at a church in town. It seems as if in no time, we paid off credit cards, paid off our vehicles years early and had money on hand for true emergencies.

The reality is this: If you want to improve your financial standing in 2013, then get yourself in a nearby Dave Ramsey class. It will change your life. How would you like to no longer have to worry about money? How would you like to have extra money the day before payday? All of this can happen if you are willing to make changes.

Do yourself a favor and spend some time watching these Financial Peace University preview videos. Because Ramsey’s company does not allow embedding the videos, you will have to click on the following links: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

After you have finished watching the FPU preview, then you will want to see if there is a class in your area. Go to Dave Ramsey’s website and click on the link to search for a class here.

I have my issues with Ramsey and his organization, but it is undeniable how his program turned my family’s finances around. For that, I am ever grateful.

Ramsey’s program might seem a little steep for some, but it is probably cheaper than some of the things you have put on a credit card. If you do not want to pay for the class, then check out some of his books and other offerings here: Dave Ramsey resources.

Another person who is helpful, but does not market herself like Ramsey, is Mary Hunt. I saw her share her story on television many moons ago about how she racked up so much credit card debt and how she paid off the debt. You will find her materials very easy to read, to understand and to implement. You will also want to check out: Mary Hunt resources.

After Dave Ramsey’s program helped get us out of debt, my wife and I still had subscribed to Mary Hunt’s website, Debt-Proof Living, to support her because of guidance her teachings provided for us.

If you have absolutely no money to spend at this time, then do not fear. Below you will find three embedded PDF files, two lessons and one PowerPoint presentation, regarding changing your financial outlook.

I taught these lessons at Parkview Christian Church (formerly Parkview Church of Christ) in Wooster, Ohio. If you follow the information below, then you have a chance to turn your financial picture around and live more abundantly.

I pray this will be the year you get those finances under control and turn things around. FPU did this for us in 2009, let it do it for you in 2013.

As you look at the information below, some things to keep in mind: The prices for FPU are probably different now than they were three years ago and the PCC Debt-Free blog is no longer updated since the class wrapped up. However, there is still some good information out there.

Update: This was my first attempt at trying to embed PDF documents in a blog. What I did not realize is that I needed to set up a Scribd.com account in order to have the actual PDFs display. I cannot tell you how many times I edited and changed this post since it was first published at midnight. It is now 12:46 a.m. Jan. 1, 2013, and I am signing off.

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