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If you’re passionate about God’s ways of handling money, you’ve probably experienced it a time or two: Mention Financial Peace University (FPU) to one of your friends and within seconds, the eyes glaze over, the ears pick up a distant noise, and the head nods absentmindedly.
You know what they’re thinking too: “I feel sorry this poor guy, living on a budget and all. How boring! In fact, I feel sorry for me that I have to hear about it.”
Of course, we know that you in particular—yes, you, reading this article—might not be the person talking about FPU. You might actually be the other guy. The one who’s bored by, skeptical or even scared of the whole idea.
That’s why we asked recent FPU graduates to share their goals for 2013 with us! There was only one simple rule: The goal must be inspired by what they learned in FPU. Check out the top 10 real resolutions below. Looks like it’s going to be an exciting year!
1. Get out of debt.
We started a debt-reduction tree with tickets wrapped around the artificial Christmas tree. Each ticket represents $10 of debt remaining on our home equity line. Once every ticket is removed at the end of the year, we will be debt-free! —Jamie
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2. Buy a new home.
We have outgrown our house. We’ve wanted to move for years, but it wasn't in the budget. 2013 will be the year! Our goal is to live on half of what we make and save between $3,500 and $4,000 each month toward a down payment on a new home. —Kevin
3. Change careers.
I’m planning to find the career that God made me for. I started reading 48 Days to the Work You Love today, and FPU has caused me to be bolder in life. —Jason
4. Retire with dignity.
We are planning on retiring this year! We are now debt-free, so FPU has us retiring comfortably. —Edward
5. Move to Mexico.
Our goal this year is to make radical changes that enable us to help fulfill the Great Commission. We will be moving as a family to Mexico and paying $1,000 less a month for rent. We will live on the beach and learn to surf, commuting three times a week to San Diego for work. We’ll also have more time as a family, and we won’t have to keep up with other people's lifestyles. —Arceli
6. Grow spiritually.
I’m going to read Proverbs and the rest of the Bible in one year. —Jennifer
7. Lose weight.
Using the same concepts I used for budgeting, I have lost 25 pounds! I have more to go, but I know I can do it! To see my massive pile of debt go to zero made me realize I can do anything I want. Is it simple? Yes. It is easy? No. If it were, everyone would be debt-free and thin! But, gazelle-like intensity—making a plan and sticking to it, not being a child and doing what feels good but rather being an adult and doing what is right—got me out of debt and is now helping me lose weight! —Theresa
I plan to simplify my life and cut out things that drain energy and time. You can trim more than a budget! —Paula
9. Manage time wisely.
We will be intentional and spend our time the way we now spend our money—on priorities—and only a set amount on things that don't really matter, like TV or social media. We don't do a zero-based budget for our time, but we keep in mind the goals we have and how our time can help us get there. —Hyatt
10. Act like an adult.
Dave’s definition of maturity—the ability to delay pleasure—is applicable in every area of life where maturity is required, beyond just spending and money. It convicts me every time. —Adrianne
As you can tell, Financial Peace University is about more than budgets and penny pinching. It encourages you to look beyond your current financial situation and get a glimpse of your hopes and dreams for the future. And hey, if you do what this class teaches, you might even exceed them.
Are you an FPU graduate? How did the program help you reach your financial (and other) goals?