by Jenniffer WARDELL
The Bible can also offer guidance when it comes to handling your money.
At least, that’s according to Dave Ramsey, whose Financial Peace University is a Bible-based system for saving money, climbing out of debt and becoming a more generous giver. The once-a-week, multi-week class series will start Feb. 7 at the Christian Life Center in Layton, and Feb. 11 at the Bridge Community in Centerville.
“There is a Bible full of scriptures that are dealing with debt – actual borrowing of money,” said Ramsey. “None of them are positive. You’re a slave, you’re a fool, it’s a curse. These are the things associated with debt as you read the Bible. There’s nowhere in Scripture that God uses debt to bless His people.”
Ramsey began the program after going into debt himself, losing everything he had to debt even though he was making $250,000 a year at the time. After that, Ramsey said he researched how money works, reading everything he could about finances and interviewing older people who were able to become wealthy and stay that way.
“That quest led me to a really, really uncomfortable place – my mirror,” he said. “I came to realize that my money problems, worries and shortages largely began and ended with the person in my mirror. I also realized that if I could learn to manage the character I shaved with every morning, I would win with money.”
The series of nine classes covers everything from cash flow planning to mortgages, retirement and the role of insurance. They’re an in-depth expansion of his “Seven Baby Steps to Financial Peace,” which starts with saving $1,000 to create an emergency fund. The second step is to pay off debts, starting with your smallest and working upward until you have everything paid off but your home. Once that’s been accomplished, he advises people to stop borrowing money completely.
“I am a slave if I borrow money,” he said. “Jesus said it’s very difficult to serve two masters. You’ll love one and hate the other.”
The next step after that is expanding your emergency fund, growing it from $1,000 to enough money to cover you completely for 3-6 months of no income. Then you should take 15 percent of your income and start investing it toward retirement. After that, those with children should start saving for their college education and putting any extra money they can toward paying off their house payment. Finally, participants can focus on building their wealth and giving to others.
“God tells us to tithe, but it’s not a sin or salvation issue,” said Ramsey. “It’s because it’s good for us to learn to become givers. When you’re a giver, you’re more Christ-like.”
Both sets of classes will have the same content, and run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. In order to register for a group, each family needs a membership to Financial Peace University that includes materials needed for the class. The cost for a full year of membership is now on sale for $109, but regularly costs $129.
To register for the classes being held at the Christian Life Center, visit clclayton.org/event/financial-peace-university. To register for the classes being held at The Bridge Community building, visit thebridgeutah.org/events/2018/02/11/financial-peace-university.