Review of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University


Dave Ramsey claims to teach people how to manage finances, get out of debt, save money, and make good investments. He is the author of a number of books on personal finances and has a syndicated prime-time radio show in which callers describe their financial situations and get free advice. The first website linked above is the home page of what is surely becoming an empire. I’ve tried just one little fiefdom in the Dave Ramsey financial advice empire: Financial Peace University (FPU).

It’s a 13-week course, complete with textbooks, homework, and class sessions. The class meets one night a week for two hours and teaches the basics of money management. FPU’s main claim is regarding the past success of its 300,000+ students:

On average these families have paid off over $5,300 in debt and saved $2,700 during this 91-day program!

I was skeptical. But my money management skills are those of a 12-yr-old (ooh, something shiny! Me buy now!) and I have the debt and saving rate to prove it. In short, I had little to lose. So if I could just meet the advertised averages of savings and debt reduction, that would help a lot. And I just might learn something. So I paid my $90 and enrolled in what is certainly the cheesiest-sounding university I have ever attended. The first class was last night (check back later for pictures of the materials and my first impressions). I’ll keep you posted.

Update 1 | Update 2

There's only ONE program I really recommend. It helped me turn my 'hobby' into a $6,000+ per month money making machine. Click here for the exact formula I followed.


  1. At around age 32 and in the medical device industry I found myself making good money and spending every bit of it while “maintaining” my revolving credit card debts (juggling them from 0% offer to 0% offer) and my student loans. I finally got completely fed up with myself as a “smart person” and decided to look outside my circle of friends for advice and uncovered Dave. His stuff is not rocket science but it breaks down some hard truths about our culture of spending, using debt and very foundational financial habits. I use his plan “loosely” and it WORKS. I use a budget each month, use cash 80% of the time, save a lot more than I used to and have now been debt free and have not used a credit card in over 6 years. I feel strongly enough about his program I decided to teach my first FPU class as a volunteer a couple months ago. It’s relatively inexpensive for the class and the basic stuff you lean and unlearn about personal finance is invaluable. But, it all boils down to you and your level of dedication to follow through and actually do it.

  2. Is it just as effective to take the on-line course as it is to take a live classroom course? We want to get started right away and there is
    Nothing scheduled in our area.

  3. TJones,

    Yes. Dave Ramsey’s program is helping me, and has helped others. You can check out some stories on YouTube. These people are not millionaires, but they got out of debt and are learning self-control and financial responsibility.

    I will say, though, it is NOT easy. Interestingly enough, the hardest part is NOT being broke and putting all of your money into the debt you owe (which, let’s face it, if we had done that in the first place, we wouldn’t be in this position).

    The HARDEST part is facing the debt. It’s making the list. It’s coming home from a crappy day, to a house of fussing kids, or a moody spouse, when you’re just way down, and looking at that list on your fridge and thinking, “I’m a total failure.” (Isn’t it interesting that we feel like failures as individuals because we can’t pay our debts, when the United States Government can’t pay its debts?)

    It is not a quick fix. It is not easy. It is not pleasant. But, it does work.

  4. Has anyone used the program and has had ANY success? I’m more interested in whether the program works or not. i need real help!

  5. Here’s a tid-bit from the DICTIONARY:
    the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
    Why call him a hypocrite?! So one man falls, gets back up, and LEARNS from his mistakes?! Oh wait, then he SHARES what he learned so that others may not fall the same way he did!
    He is ONE person trying to help MILLIONS of DIFFERENT situations. Nothing is perfect in this world. There is always room for improvement. At the very least, we can try. If it doesn’t work, what harm has come?


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