Click here to read my first post in the Financial Peace University review.
The first class was last week and I’ve had time to let my impressions gel.
As you can see from the materials shown here, the fee (mine was $90, but prices
vary) is not for materials alone. The paper inside the fancy box is worth maybe
$25. There’s an overpriced, cheaply bound book, a mind-numbing fill-in-the-blank
“workbook,” an envelope binder for keeping the recommended envelope
system organized, some CDs to supplement the weekly class, and some materials
with which you can order lots more from Ramsey’s website.
The rest of the value comes from the class, by which I mean the video presentation. I met in a room with about 40 other people and watched a DVD of Dave Ramsey teaching the first week’s lesson. It’s a little bit slick for my taste. Too glossy, too much of a performance and a production. Ramsey is quite the performer—the presentation is interesting and entertaining to watch—but it’s spoon-fed education. There’s no exploration of ideas, no exchange. And maybe there doesn’t have to be. It’s not philosophy, after all. People who take the course paid the money because they want to know what Dave has to say, not because they want to engage in discussion. Still, it goes against every educational bone in my body. All four of them.
All that said, I am actually enjoying Financial Peace University, to my surprise. It occurs to me that I didn’t pay to get my money’s worth out of the box, or even in classroom experience. I was willing to pay $90 for the chance that Ramsey would motivate me to do what I already know needs to be done: budget, save, pay off debt, invest. As Sabrina at SabrinasMoneyMatters might say, I’m paying to create some accountability. Good information and an easy-to-use system are just icing on the cake.