Editor's note: Dave Ramsey's revised edition of Financial Peace University launched on July 17th 2012. If you are struggling with finances, we encourage you to check out Dave's materials! 

Financial expert Dave Ramsey is excited to launch the newest version of his life-changing course Financial Peace University (FPU). The nine-week course provides families and individuals with practical tools to gain control of their finances and set themselves up for long-term financial success. The course meets once a week where a different lesson is taught by Dave on DVD followed by a small-group discussion. Lessons include budgeting, relationships and money, getting out of debt, saving for emergencies and investing.

Since its inception in 1994 FPU has helped more than 1.5 million families positively change their financial future. Through common-sense principles and small-group accountability, FPU gives people the tools they need to change their behavior and succeed financially. On average families who complete FPU pay off $5,300 and save $2,700 in the first 90 days. Following the class nearly 94 percent of those families budget regularly.

“FPU will not only transform the way you handle money, but also your marriage and other areas of your life,” says Ramsey. “This isn’t a boring financial class. We make learning about money fun and easy to understand so people in every situation can benefit from the information.”

Ramsey knows first-hand the pain that financial stress can cause. After creating a net worth of more than a million dollars by age 26, he quickly lost it all. Since then Ramsey has helped families and individuals across the country learn how to get control of their finances and avoid debt so they don’t have to experience the same pain he did.

FPU lessons also include guest speakers Rachel Cruze, speaker and daughter of Dave Ramsey; Jon Acuff, author of Wall Street Journal best-seller Quitter and popular blog Stuff Christians Like; and Chris Hogan, counselor and speaker for the Dave Ramsey organization.

The revised FPU will be offered through churches and community centers. After purchasing a membership each participant receives a workbook, Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money, an envelope system and an audio CD library. Participants will also have access to budgeting forms and MP3s of all the lessons. For more information or to purchase a membership, go to www.daveramsey.com.

Hear the testimonies of families who have tried Financial Peace University…

Whitney Sparks

"I am a mother of two who has been through FPU and is now DEBT FREE!!

My husband and I started the class four years ago.  We had never been through the course ourselves, so we decided to learn while our students were learning.  What we learned was empowering and came at a great time our lives!

Little did we know that a couple of years down the road my husband would be laid off from his job.  So, we went from two full-time jobs to one part-time job (mine) and my husband being in the unemployment line.  After keeping our heads afloat during that time, we knew that things needed to change quickly and we needed to get out of debt and start saving money.  

That's exactly what we did.  We both found full-time employment again and became debt-free in February 2011.  I have now resigned my job as a teacher and I'm planning on being a financial coach to help others find the financial freedom that I have found."  

Alicia Pence

"Last August, my husband and I had our first child, Lucas.  In November, we completed our first budget and started listening to Dave on the radio.  In January, we started taking FPU and since then have been able to pay off over $18,000 making a little under $40,000 per year.  We have around $32,000 left on debt, which is mostly my student loan debt.  But we are expecting to be debt free in less than a year because my husband is starting to do auto body in our garage after he gets off work.  I co-founded a nonprofit organization in my hometown my senior year of college and I am now the Executive Director!"  

Leslie Horne

"I live in Independence, Missouri and have for the majority of my life.  My husband and I found FPU in October 2007.  At that time we had $236,589.80 in debt. We were struggling in many ways but mostly financially.  Since that time we have decreased our debt by $64,727.42. It is not the amount we expected to have paid off by June 2012 (five years after we started); but, when you look at the details of our financial life I feel we have been extremely successful.

First, off I just want to tell everyone who works with you thank you! Dave's program saved my marriage and sanity. Without getting into the really long version of the past five years, let me tell you about my journey with FPU.  The first year we did the program just off of the audio book we purchased from the local bookstore. That helped us so much that we decided to facilitate the FPU course at our church. So, we started the courses for a group of church members and went through the class with them ourselves for the first time.

The first year we emptied our emergency account at least 4 times before we figured out how to squeeze our budget so that we didn't touch it again for another 4 years.  We have successfully not increased our debt these five years even with job loses, lots of medical expenses (at least 6 surgeries), and our most important expense infertility treatments.

With all of the struggles, there was one that we felt was our most precious, we couldn't get pregnant and start our family.  When I was emotionally and mentally ready to get help, we could financially pay the doctor bills because of our FPU class teachings. We had a budget and we were able to find the money to get help.  There is no way that we would have been able to afford the doctor if we hadn't been on track financially.  I credit our family to two people who with God's help showed my husband and I how to live life better: our doctor and Dave. Without whom I wouldn't have my adorable son. After four years of trying to expand our family we were blessed with Christian in June 2010.  This coming year we are hoping to be blessed with another child.  Because in addition to paying off our final credit cards by the end of summer we can pay the doctor again to help us grow as a family.

Financial Peace University has changed my life in many ways.  In the future I hope to help others feel the blessing of this program I know it makes a difference and is life changing. Thanks for reading a small part of the Horne family financial journey." 

Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 5 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter and on the web at daveramsey.com.

Publication date: July 20, 2012