By Staff Sgt. Timothy Hughes, 75th Fires BrigadeAugust 29, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. -- Twenty-nine Soldiers assigned to 100th Brigade Support Battalion and their family members attended Financial Peace University Aug. 15-16 at Frontier Chapel here.
The two-day course was based on principles taught by Dave Ramsey, FPU founder and author of The New York Times bestseller "The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness."
"The course is designed to empower our Soldiers with the knowledge that they need to make sound financial decisions, get out of debt, start building wealth and change their financial thinking," said Capt. Steven Page, 100th BSB, course instructor and facilitator.
The attendees learned financial fundamentals including "baby steps" that Ramsey believes are necessary to take to gain financial peace and stability:
Step 1: Save up a $1,000 emergency fund.
Step 2: Pay off debts (minus mortgage).
Step 3: Fund your emergency fund for three to six months of expenses.
Step 4: Contribute 15 percent of income toward retirement.
Step 5: Fund for children's education.
Step 6: Pay off home mortgage early.
Step 7: Build wealth and give charitable contributions.
"I was thinking about getting a second job," said Spc. Tamika Miller, Company B, 100th BSB.
A couple hours before completing the FPU course, the Richmond-Va., native said she learned how to break down her paycheck and see how she spends money. She also said the course taught her how to save for future investments, such as a house. She plans to invest in the stock market in the future.
Although the course consisted of mostly Soldiers, several "Century" battalion spouses attended the class during various segments.
"My recommendation - especially when it comes to the 'Relating with Money' segment - is it's key that the Soldier and the spouse both attend that training," said Page. "The spouse needs to know that this isn't something the Soldier isn't and the Soldier needs to know that the spouse has a role."
The difference between having financial peace and not having it may have a significant impact on Soldiers when dealing with their family as well as their work performance.
Page said Soldiers are able to focus more on their mission when they are assured their families are taken care of.
"The strength of the Army is its Soldiers; the strength of the Soldier is the family," said Page, as he paraphrased Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army chief of staff.