How to Get Ahead Financially despite the Economy
At Substance, we’re constantly thinking of ways to empower people to experience success. And we have a crazy ministry launching at our Operating Center this coming week called Financial Peace University (FPU).
Of course, our goal as Christians isn’t to store up treasure on earth. Some people believe in a “prosperity gospel” which is basically an excuse to live a self-centered American life that sugar-coated in Christianity. However, the Bible teaches that if we can be a conduit of life to those in need (emotionally and financially) only then can we experience God’s best (Prov. 11:25-26). And that’s really our heart behind these amazing and fun financial classes at Substance.
One of the biggest misconceptions about the FPU class is that you have to be poor, broke or financially crushed to consider attending. Of course, that’s not the case at all. Some of you might be unemployed or underemployed and at the end of your rope with interest rates and debt collectors; yet others of you might earn a HUGE income and can afford to maintain a debt load. But here’s the deal: Just because someone can maintain a huge debt load doesn’t mean that they aren’t living outside of their means. (Can we all agree that our country and our government has struggled with financial management?) We’ve been bombarded with partisan politics about our National Debt, extending credit limits, downgrades in credit ratings, and the government shutdown.
This isn’t just a government problem; our society has followed the government’s lead. Did you know that within the first 7 years of marriage the typical newly married couple attempts to obtain the same standard of living as their parents, when it took their parents 30 or more years to obtain their standard of living? We’re all pushed by society to “keep up with the Joneses,” as if our society has forgotten how to save up to buy things, having been caught up in the idea that happiness comes from “stuff”. In fact, check out these statistics:
- The average credit card debt per household with credit card debt is $15,799.00!
- There are 609.8 million credit cards held by U.S. consumers.
- ·The average number of credit cards held by cardholders is 3.5.
- ·The average APR on a new credit card offer is 14.89 percent.
- ·The average APR on a credit card with a balance on it is 13.10 percent.
- ·The total U.S. revolving debt (98 percent of which is made up of credit card debt) is $793.1 billion, as of May 2011.
- ·The total U.S. consumer debt is $2.43 trillion, as of May 2011.
If we aren’t intentional about managing our finances, no matter where we are in our finances, we build financial pressure, increase our stress, and decrease the margin in our lives for doing things like ministry, and building community with close Christian friends.
Do you realize that about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the U.S. end up in divorce – and one of the leading causes of divorce is financial stress? Remember, it’s not how much you make, it’s how much you spend. Financial pressure and stress will steal your joy and your margin in life whether you are broke or earning a significant income. FPU is as much about managing your life, happiness, finances and spending habits once you are out of debt, as it is about getting your life in order and climbing out of debt.
So if you sign up, here’s what you’ll learn: You’ll learn how to beat debt, build wealth, find bargains, invest for the future, give like never before, and much more! Seriously: It’ll change your life. You can check out the full lesson plan here: http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/preview/.
And in case you’re wondering if it works: More than one million families nationwide have attended Financial Peace University with amazing results. On average, these families paid off $5,300 in debt and saved $2,700 in just the first 90 days. That’s crazy! In end, we could do so much more for our families, community and for the kingdom if we could get our financial house in order and stop worrying about money.
Classes start at the OC on October 4 at 7pm. Pre-registration for FPU is required, so check out the Substance Magazine or http://www.substancechurch.com/ministries/subgroups for more details on how to sign up.
I love you guys. We have limited slots so start your journey to Financial Peace today!