Car loans, credit card debt, new house had young couple ripe for Dave Ramsey
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (BP)--Tim and Judy Fost were like most couples with no children. Though they both worked and made good incomes, there always seemed to be too much month at the end of the money.
The culmination of car loans, student loans, credit card debt, a newly bought house and no savings was beginning to wear on the marriage of the College Station, Texas, couple. They also had been trying to get pregnant for five years. The stress was piling up, just like their debt. Something needed to change.
The change was financial expert and best-selling author Dave Ramsey. After Fost heard his radio show, he told his wife, and both began to tune in regularly.
"We thought it sounded like a really good program," said Fost, who was living in Spokane, Wa., at the time. "We actually looked into getting FPU [Ramsey's Financial Peace University discipleship course] into our church, but when they didn't get into it, we actually started it in our own home with three other families."
His wife, who was pursuing her master's degree at the time, still remembers the beach towels they had hanging up for curtains, trying to avoid more debt.
"Here we were, with good jobs, in a good house and making good money," she said. "But we couldn't seem to get past the debt. We were being eaten up by the interest alone. We felt like we weren't making any headway. But when we heard Dave, we said, 'OK, we can do this.' It was just a complete sense of relief."
Following the steps recommended by Ramsey, the couple paid off $36,000 in debt in six months -- six months early thanks to a surprise inheritance. The timing was perfect -- the Fosts found out they were pregnant. By the time their first child was born, they had their savings established.
That was seven years ago. Fost now works out of their home, president of his own pharmaceutical research company. Judy is a fulltime stay-at-home mom of their two children, ages 6 and 4. Both say none of it would have been possible if they hadn't gone through Financial Peace University.
The biggest change for the couple hasn't been finances; rather, it's been their spiritual lives. Fost admits his relationship with God deteriorated when he was a teenager, and he was a "non-practicing Christian" before hearing Ramsey.
"I started listening to Dave and everything he said about God and reading the Bible," Fost said. "God has a very good instruction manual for your life, not just with money but with everything. It brought me back to church. I have a very strong relationship with God now."
The couple attends Christ United Methodist Church in College Station. For Judy, the growth in her husband's life has been an answer to prayer. A strong Catholic, she'd attended Mass by herself and finally dropped out of church altogether because of her husband's absence.
"Going through FPU brought me closer to God," Judy said. "I read the Bible daily now, where I didn't before. I really have learned to give my worries up to God and to not take them on myself."
The couple continues to teach FPU classes and enjoys seeing the difference that a debt-free lifestyle can make for other families.
"This has become a personal mission for my husband and I," Judy said. "I've been a volunteer in different organizations like Junior League. Those don't matter -- this is life-changing per family."
For more information on Financial Peace University, visit http://www.daveramsey.com.