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Harnessing debt, clamping more money
by Garrett Valenzuela
Mar 01, 2013 | 2613 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
File photo -- Sparks Christian Fellowship will host Financial Peace University, a nine-week class taught by finance guru Dave Ramsey, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning Sunday and continuing through May 5. The class will help attendees manage their money and reduce their debt.
File photo -- Sparks Christian Fellowship will host Financial Peace University, a nine-week class taught by finance guru Dave Ramsey, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning Sunday and continuing through May 5. The class will help attendees manage their money and reduce their debt.
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SPARKS -- There is no ignoring the worrisome financial state the country is in. More and more people are trying to harvest their future funds to avoid potential bankruptcy.

Sparks citizens now have the opportunity to learn from renowned finance author Dave Ramsey during a nine-week course being held at Sparks Christian Fellowship, beginning Sunday. Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) allows participants to inherit tools for financial stability such as budgeting, getting out of debt and saving for emergencies.

“You have to be intentional when it comes to your money,” Ramsey said via email Friday. “If you don’t pay attention to your money you’ll wander through life, and then wake up at retirement and wonder where all your money went. Without a plan for your money it’s easy to get into a financial mess.”

Ramsey is a four-time New York Times Bestseller and host of money and finance radio show based in Nashville, Tenn. Participants who enroll in the Sparks Christian Fellowship’s hosting of FPU will have a chance to learn from Ramsey through DVD tutorials followed by small group sessions.

Meg Grunke, public relations senior coordinator for Ramsey, said Friday that the class will cover a broad spectrum of topics to aid families and individuals of all knowledge levels. The completely clueless and the financially savvy can benefit from the program, according to Grunke.

“FPU is designed for everyone – people who are struggling financially and also for those who are financially secure,” Grunke said, adding that newcomers should not be intimidated in talking about their finances. “When attending the class, attendees do not have to share personal information that they are not comfortable sharing.”

According to Grunke, families who complete FPU, on average, pay off $5,300 and save $2,700 in the first 90 days. Following the class, nearly 94 percent of those families budget regularly. She said the class will empower participants to “have confidence when it comes to handling their money,” learn to work with their spouses in budget management and prevent reckless spending habits.

“FPU is a combination of God and grandma’s ways of handling money,” Grunke said.

Sparks Christian Fellowship is no stranger to the Financial Peace program, having sponsored and hosted it during previous nine-week sessions. Former attendees of the course voiced their opinions about the stability their gained from the course.

“What Financial Peace University taught us is to be wise, to really go after that budget and get rid of that debt,” Dave Reinitz said. “There is a certain freedom in becoming debt free. It is not everything in life, but it is a huge chunk.”

Alan and Patty McCord also attended the class, citing “not knowing where we were at every month,” and whether there would be enough funds to get things that were needed, as the driving factor behind their attendance. The McCords were able to harness their finances by working together to find common ground.

“We know where we are at and we know where we are going,” Alan said. “We have a plan and we can stick to it because it is all written down. That is what I feel has impacted us the most, and the feeling that you get when you don’t have any debt is tremendous.”

Sparks Christian Fellowship will host Financial Peace University from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 510 Greenbrae Drive in Sparks, beginning Sunday and continuing every week through May 5. For more information visit www.scf.net.
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