I’m Co-Leading a Financial Peace University Class this September!

Hello hello!

I’m pretty excited to share that in September, I will be co-leading a Financial Peace University class at our church! For those who don’t know, FPU is a 9-week class created by Ramsey Solutions. They designed it to help people pay off their debt, build wealth, become financially independent and be unbelievably generous.

A lot of the writing on this blog revolves around pursuing passion in a responsible way. Master the Simple to Become the Expert. That’s partly why I’m so excited about this class — I have passion for this.

Shortly after Bailey and I got married, we took Financial Peace University online and learned a lot about finances, budgeting, retirement, insurances, real estate, and mortgages. I’ve also listened to well over 100 hours of the Dave Ramsey Podcast. So I’m very familiar with the organization and the financial principles they teach.

To anyone who has read my book or followed this blog, it’s no surprise that I like Dave Ramsey and the resources his team has built to help people.

Here’s why I like Financial Peace University and why you should take the class.

1. It aligns with my beliefs

What FPU teaches it biblically based. Stewardship is a significant theme in the Bible and Ramsey’s program focuses on that as a goal.

What God calls us to do with our finances is to be stewards of the money He has given us to manage. Just take the parable of the talents. In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus calls people to be wise with what God has given them.

Plus, the Bible clearly states in Proverbs 22:7 that “the borrower is the slave of the lender.”

2. It’s not a Get-rich-quick scheme

What Ramsey teaches is not a get-rich-quick scheme — he literally says it’s slow and steady that wins the race. He teaches that becoming wealthy comes from consistent saving and investment through intentional decision making.

This means taking responsibility for personal choices. No one can make your money behave but you.

3. It focuses on generosity

Something I love about the Ramsey plan is that it doesn’t focus on becoming filthy rich for the sake of having money. FPU focuses on creating flexibility in your life while being unbelievably generous.

Generosity is one way how we show God that we trust in his provision for our lives. And with wealth and no debt, you can do a lot of good through giving to others.

Live like no one else so that later you can live and give like no one else.

Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace Univeristy

4. It creates hope

One of the most inspiring parts of Dave Ramsey’s show is the “Debt Free Screams.” In these, normal people come into the headquarters and tell Dave about their story and how they worked their ways out of debt. In the last 17 years, people who have done the screams have paid off a combined half of a billion dollars. That’s just the people who have told Dave about it in studio. That’s inspiring and hopeful.

And that’s why I’m excited to help teach this class.

If you live near Columbus, Ohio, consider joining our class. I would absolutely LOVE to see you there!

Plus, if you use this link to sign up, you’ll get $20 off your registration!

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments or you can email me at cbtiger1@gmail.com!

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3 Tools to Help Guide You Towards Retirement

Happy Resource Friday!

I love talking finances. The only thing I like more is having easy-to-use tools for making finances as effortless as possible. Personally, I believe that mastering finances is one of the building blocks of life. When we don’t have financial issues, stress is decreased in so many other areas of life relationships, career, etc.

I think when we simplify finances as much as possible, it allows us to invest our energy into other areas that we care about. That’s partially why I haven’t used a credit card in two years. It’s so much easier for me to track my finances without something I have to pay off every month!

So today, I want to share a site with you that will make your finances easier to track. I’ve talked about Chris Hogan many times in blog posts and in my book. He’s a retirement expert who has written several books and has a podcast to help direct people in their future ambitions.

Hogan’s website has three great tools for you to use.

  1. An Investment Guide
  2. R:IQ Assessment
  3. The Net Worth Calculator

1. The Investment guide

The investment guide is a great tool for learning some of the basics about investing today. It teaches you about some of the basics of investing: the amount you should invest, what diversification means or even what compounded interest is.

2. R:IQ assessment

This is a sweet tool for future planning. If you take the assessment, you will put in the amount of money you expect you will need per month in retirement, what kind of lifestyle you will want to have, as well as your age and when you’ll retire.

Then it spits out a number your R:IQ or your Retire Inspired Quotient. This will tell you what amount of money you need by the time you retire and how much you need to save monthly to accomplish that.

The R:IQ is a tool to help you understand where you need to be and the Net Worth Calculator will help you understand where you’re at currently. Plug in some numbers and this tool will tell you how much your total assets are worth right now!

Check out these tools and tell me what you think in the comments below!

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How to Reduce Stress with an Emergency Fund

Here at Master the Simple, my goal is to help you become an expert of the small stuff so that the big stuff actually becomes manageable. Finances are somewhat of a bedrock for much of life. It’s not everything, but becoming proficient in finances will diminish plenty of unnecessary stress in the future. One way to start reducing stress financially is by creating an emergency fund!

In some research conducted in 2017 by Career Builder, 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Can you even believe that? That means well over the majority of Americans couldn’t cover an unexpected financial crisis if necessary!

An emergency fund will help diminish this problem (Grab my book Graduated and Clueless for a whole chapter on it).

Let’s get an emergency fund definition

But first, if you’ve known me very long, you should already expect a Dave Ramsey quote when I’m talking finances. So here is the definition of an emergency fund straight from him.

The emergency fund is your protection against life’s unexpected events, and you are going to have a lot of them through your lifetime. They’re not really “unexpected” if you think about it. You know they’re coming; you just don’t know when, what, or how much. But you can still be ready.

-Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money (p. 11)

Predictability is the key when determining if something qualifies as an emergency. This is not for impulse purchases! Otherwise, our emergency fund might vanish while my collection of drones turns into a fleet.

No, your emergency fund is for things you know will happen — you just don’t know when. Like a car dying. Or a surprise visit to the emergency room! If it’s a predictable cost, plan for it but don’t use your emergency fund for it.

make some space between you and a tragedy

people holding empty piggy bank with no emergency fund

Based on the previous statistic, you’re pretty likely to be one of those Americans living paycheck to paycheck, which means you probably couldn’t cover a large emergency if you had to. By the Ramsey recommendation, pulling together a small emergency fund of even just $1000 will give you a bit of breathing room while you pay off debt.

After becoming debt free, however, the goal is to figure out what your absolute necessary costs are every month and save a 3-6 month emergency fund to cover those costs in the event of the loss of a job or another personal tragedy.

$1000? How am I supposed to get that together? I can barely pay for my weekly chocolate milk from the grocery store!”

First of all, I feel for you. I am in love with chocolate milk. But it’s not absolutely necessary (ok, debatable) and that’s an extra $2.99 you can put toward your savings every week. Find places in your budget you can cut spending (Don’t have a budget? Check out my blog post on why you need one!). Start by packing lunch for work tomorrow.

We all have things we don’t need. Sell them. Sell anything you can to save that $1000! Find another job if you have to as well. Anything to get some space between you and an emergency. Here’s a great article about ways to save an emergency fund.

Do you have an emergency fund and have you ever had to use it?

I want to hear from you in the comments! As always, if you found value in this post, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

Thanks to Kaboompics .com from Pexels for the use of their photo!

Pay off Debt Before You Even Have It

I know what you’re thinking.

Pay off your debt before you even have it? How is that possible? 

Normal people put purchases on credit, get loans for cars, etc. Then they have to pay off that debt. Not only do they have to pay off the initial amount but all of the interest acrued as well.

However, you can avoid this. All you have to do is this:

Reverse the process.

Instead of paying for debt after you have it, just pretend that you are making payments for it before you even get it. It’s called saving and this is what will set you apart from your peers.

There was a recent study that surveyed more than 10,000 millionaires. What was found is that millionaires are intentional. Chris Hogan, the originator of the survey and author of books Retire Inspired and Everyday Millionaires, says this in his blog post:

Ninety-four percent (94%) of millionaires say they live on less than they make, compared to 55% of the general population. And, 95% of them say they plan ahead and save in advance for big expenses, compared to 67% of the general population.

Living on less than they made and paying off debt is how these people became net-worth millionaires. And that’s how you’re going to as well!

Saving is the key!

What do you think about the subject? I want to hear from you in the comments!

-Caleb

Give this a like if you found value in it!

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