Hoboken Grace graduated its largest-ever Financial Peace University class this month, with participants leaving credit cards and thousands of dollars in debt in the dust. With a growing number of instructors, the Financial Peace Team for the first time held two weekly classes this spring, while also introducing a small-group format.
As a result, more people than ever have found financial freedom. Here are three other takeaways from this semester:
Oftentimes, people start the course with no idea of how to budget, save or invest, says Vinny Hu, who leads the FPU Team at Hoboken Grace. One of the biggest successes, he says, is seeing them get to a point where they can handle their finances with confidence.
“People walked away from the course with hope,” Vinny says. “And a lot of change, which is really encouraging. People who had no idea what to do — they’re running out of money two weeks after the start of the month, dipping into savings — for the first time, they’re not doing that.”
2). Communication and vulnerability
Another success, Vinny says, is seeing people talk more openly about their finances.
The team this semester introduced a small-group format, similar to a dinner group setting.
“People got to know each other very quickly, there was a lot of vulnerability early on,” Vinny says. “So that was a great success. We’re definitely going to do that again.”
And, as usual, the course helped couples learn to talk more openly about money.
“Married couples, some of them married for 15, 20, 25 years, for the first time are talking about money in a way that empowers them, and they’re not fighting about it,” says Vinny.
On average, participants paid off more than $2,500 in debt and saved more than $2,000 in cash. They also cut up an average of two credit cards, according to surveys distributed at the end of the course.
“I think we’re getting better and better at it,” says Vinny.
The course also had its highest number of small-group instructors. Having gained confidence over their finances with the help of previous classes, former students are returning to FPU to lead breakout discussions, helping the team to grow each year.
FPU’s next semester begins in fall 2016. For more information, contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need urgent financial guidance about a situation before the fall course begins, you can contact Vinny at email@example.com.