May 20 • 10:49 AM

There is such a thing called Financial Peace

February 13, 2008
Editor's note: The following guest column was submitted by Bernie Hillman. Hillman, a longtime journalist and freelance writer, was also editor of the Farm and Country Journal. She and her husband Al operate a seasonal agritourism business, 'Mr. Green Jeans' corn maze and pumpkin patch at their Imlay Twp. farm.

I had plenty of good reasons not to do it again. Excuses really, if truth be told.

Bernie Hillman
I'd nearly decided not to lead radio and TV personality Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course again. After all, I had other things I could do with my time.

Then the Thanksgiving card arrived in the mail. It was from the wife half of a delightful couple from Lapeer who'd taken the course last spring. They had six kids. She was a stay-at-home–mom. He worked in the automotive industry and they weren't in financial dire straits but didn't want to be, should his job be eliminated.

She wrote about how grateful they were for the class and how they'd gotten focused and paid off $11,000 and some odd cents of debt. They were heading toward a cash-only Christmas for the first time ever.

The letter was a knock on my head from God saying, 'See why you need to offer the class again?'

"Yes sir, I get it,'' I said. Then I got to thinking about the others who took the course. There was the young couple who drove here from Roseville every week. They'd gotten in over their heads with rental properties. There were the young grandparents from Imlay City who had their financial house in order but wanted to be sure they could help send their grandkids to college.

There was the blended family starting a small business who wanted to organize rather than jeopardize their household budget. There were divorcees and widows who lost plenty and wanted to gain something back. They learned from Dave and I learned from them. It's fun and exciting to see them get traction and start to succeed.

I'd known Dave for years after finding him on the 600 a.m. radio dial, 2-5 p.m. weekdays. Retirement was on the horizon (far horizon I hope) but still I needed a plan. His common sense approach to finances made perfect sense. So when Kevin Harbin, pastor at the United Methodist Church in Imlay City challenged parishioners to be good stewards of all God has blessed us with, leading the class was an easy choice.

To find out more about the 13-week course, come to a 30-minute free preview of FPU at 1 p.m. this Sunday Feb. 17, at the church, 210 N. Almont Ave., right across the street from the library. Classes begin at 5 p.m., March 2 at the church. This class is open to everyone whether you attend a church or not.

Dave's approach to personal finance leads families to become debt free and free to make choices. Everyone truly benefits from this program regardless of age, income and whether single, married, divorced or a single parent. I've seen it.

For more details contact Bernie Hillman at (810) 724-8488 or visit the Web site

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