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Cody Van Pelt of Windsor, Colorado, lost everything in bankruptcy 16 years ago—and he’ll be the first to admit that he made every dumb money decision possible. He used credit cards, financed a car, bought a home with an adjustable-rate mortgage, and borrowed from Peter to pay Paul.
Finally, he came to his senses and began turning things around. Now, he and his wife own their own photography business, are debt-free with a fully funded emergency fund, and are working on saving for retirement.
The most exciting part? Cody’s getting ready to help others who are stuck where he once was. He graduated from Financial Peace University and recently joined the team of FPU coordinators at Timberline Church in Fort Collins, Colorado. But Cody wanted to do more.
He’s so excited about his own life change, and so eager to help others experience it too, that he’s becoming a Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach. In other words, he’s training to coach other people with money the same way Dave Ramsey and his team have coached thousands of people for more than 20 years.
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Becoming a Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach
In early April, Cody attended the on-site portion of Financial Coach Master Training. FCMT is Dave’s first ever financial coach training composed of online learning, on-site training, and a three-month mentorship. Once Cody completes all three portions, he’ll earn the master coach designation.
"I just felt that if I could help people get out of debt, I would love to do that," Cody said. "That excited me because I had been in such a bad situation."
But once Cody took control of his own money, he didn’t decide to become a financial coach overnight.
A God Appointment
Cody prayed about it for months, unsure whether he should commit to the training. Though he had the money to pay for it, it was definitely an investment. And he wanted to make sure God was on board.
"When I look back, I think: Wow, I wonder if God let me make all those dumb mistakes just so I could be doing this," he said.
Time and again, God made it clear that He wanted Cody there.
"This is definitely something I feel like God is calling me to," he said, explaining three different instances where God’s Yes was clear. So in February, Cody registered for the training and booked his flight to Nashville. And it’s been worth every penny, and then some, he said.
One Step at a Time
Before coming to Nashville, Cody completed the online portion of the training, called Fundamentals of Coaching. FOC takes participants through a series of five video teachings by Dave and his team. They cover the skills a coach needs to be able to confidently and competently talk to someone about budgeting.
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"It definitely prepared me for the second phase," Cody said. "I feel like I’ve got the process down now. And I think it’ll make me an incredible FPU leader too, because I’m so much more confident. I’m excited."
Once in Nashville, Cody spent two and a half days in live training with Dave’s team.
"I’m ecstatic about it," Cody said during the event. "The coaching that I’m getting from Chris Hogan is inspirational. He’s an amazing speaker and motivator. I was worried that there might not be enough information when I left or that there’d be so much information that I’d leave overwhelmed, but everything is just phenomenal."
After he left Nashville, he began his mentorship with Dave’s team to build on what he’d learned already.
Coaching in Action
With the skills he’s honed, Cody is confident he’ll be able to help people inside and outside of his church, as a ministry and as a business. Timberline, a large church with three different campuses located in a large metro area, certainly has enough people that there’s a need.
"I’m hoping there can be a strong network with the church," he said. "I hope to help a lot of Christians, but I hope to also help a lot of people who aren’t Christians. That’s what I’m most excited about—when they’re in those moments where they can be led to God. For me, that’s the most important part."