I’m back. I apologize I didn’t post on Tuesday. That was the day I took the Coast Guards’ Service Wide Advancement test. So, I was studying for the test since last week. I’ll get the results next week sometime. But enough about me. Lets get into today’s topic. Please read on:
Well, Clarissa and I just finished coordinating our 5th Financial Peace University (FPU) class. This time it was at my Coast Guard base and this group was awesome! The class was only 9 short weeks long and we had 14 Active Duty members and 6 of their spouses attend. That’s 20 people. They had a lot of debt. We are keeping that number confidential, but it was quite a bit. I can tell you this. In just 9 weeks, these 20 people managed to pay off over $72,500 in debt. They saved almost $28,000 cash for their emergency fund and they canceled 25 credit cards. Four of the households turned in 55 pieces of junk mail from credit card offers. By turning these in, those 4 households avoided an additional $114,000 in potential debt. And better yet, every single person in that class learned how to stop the pre-screened, pre-approved credit card offers. Plus, 6 households made the decision in front of the class to cut up one or more of their credit cards and cancel them (they got a special gift at the end of class). They have decided to live like no one else, so that later they can live like no one else!
Many of the attendees said how great this class was and how much they learned. One of the couples had already taken the class not too long ago, but they decided to take it again. It was worth it to them. They wanted to change some things in their life so they made the decision to do something different and then stuck with it. The Command (of our base) was impressed with the above numbers and they know that the stress level of those members will go down as they pay off more debt and increase their savings!
Although it was only 9 weeks long, Clarissa and I like to make the last class a little special. So we had a graduation. We had dinner catered by one of the Coast Guards cooks. We had a special cake made in the shape of a cut-up credit card. We had a few prizes to raffle off. To the ones who cut up their credit cards in class, we gave a special hand-made Christmas ornament with the cut up credit card pieces inside, along with the symbol “No Debt” on the front. Then we passed out the Graduation Certificates in a nice Coast Guard folder. Everyone said they had a great time.
So what makes these 20 people different from anyone else when it comes to their personal finances? Not much. Only that they all made the decision to learn something new and then applied it to their situation. They acted upon this new information. They made a commitment and then charged ahead! Everyone can do this too. In my next post I’ll be talking about the 3 basic things that you need to do if you want to get out of debt and change your financial position. Stay tuned. It’s basic but important. Don’t miss it. Until next time…