I love training. Any type of training. Especially if it will help me get better at something I'm interested in. Or learn something I need to learn.
In a couple weeks, I'm going to start some training for my brain, and my heart: Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University (FPU). It's designed to help people exercise their financial muscles. Over the last 20 years, Dave has helped millions of people turn things around, and become debt free.
Kathy and I are no strangers to Dave's program. Several years ago it helped us pay off thousands of dollars of personal debt, and develop a nice safety net. We'd built up our financial muscles, and gone on the cash only diet.
But somewhere along the way, I got off track. Little by little, I started letting debt creep back in. I was wanting to keep improving things at the gym with new equipment, and the like.
We still kept our financial workouts going to some degree, and paid cash for a lot of the improvements. But some things were just too big to cash flow. There was also the matter of some improvements at home too. Dave would not be very happy.
I've often talked about people losing 100 lbs and then gaining it back again. How could they do that? But isn't this just about the same thing? Working so hard for so long, toward becoming debt free, how is it possible to take your eye off the ball like that?
I think it comes down to a loss of focus. This happens all the time with people trying to maintain their weight, or keep an exercise program going. Whatever it is we're wanting at that moment becomes more important than what we've worked so hard for. We lose our gazelle intensity, as Dave calls it.
Sometimes we just get tired, too. Fatigue sets in. A little break seems like it won't really hurt us, since we're just taking a break for a little while. But a few days become a few weeks, and then a few months, and old habits come back, along with old problems.
So what's the solution? Just like in the gym, and with weight loss, you have to reach a level of disgust before you can start turning things around. You have to be sick and tired of being sick and tired. You have to be disgusted with how things are.
For the millions of people Dave has helped with FPU, they got disgusted with living paycheck to paycheck, and struggling to make ends meet. They were disgusted with their debt. They wanted their lives to be better. They wanted to rule their money instead of their money ruling them. Some, like me, have done it before and just want a restart.
I found out our church was going to offer the nine week program and knew it was time for me to jump back in with both feet. So just like our Biggest Losers, I'm going to join a different group of losers, all working together toward the same goal. We're going to exercise some financial muscle and lose some debt!
Since I've done it before, I'm going to be coordinating the program, but I'll be doing it with them, just like in our Boot Camp classes. And just like our Biggest Losers, I'm looking forward to being a little bit lighter in a few months!
Speaking of Biggest Losers, our Week Four Winner was Mark Clark, who lost 5.0 lbs and 1.6% of his body weight. Second place went to Brian Blair, who lost 4.4 lbs and 1.4%. Tiffany Gann took third, with 2.4 lbs and 1.0%, and Krista Krabel finished fourth, losing 1.7 lbs and 0.8%.