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“But I’m always going to have a car payment!”

“It will take thirty years to pay off my house!”

“Financial Peace University,” a workshop written by Dave Ramsey and offered by Trinity Christian Reformed Church in Rock Valley, Iowa, seeks to shatter those myths, said co-coordinator Dianne De Wit.

Debt elimination, communication skills, a house purchase, investing, and saving for tuition are just some of the topics covered. “The bottom line is being able to give to [God’s] kingdom,” said De Wit. “It’s powerful stuff.”

Two 13-week sessions recently attracted nearly 100 people from the congregation and the surrounding community. The church offered child care during the classes as well.

 Statistics show that financial trouble is the number-one reason for broken marriages, De Wit noted, though not every couple who attended the classes was in debt. Some came to help others with what they’ve learned. “It’s so encouraging to see young couples get involved and teaching their kids,” said De Wit.

Lance and Sarah Vander Pol are taking the classes. When spending money, they’ve learned to ask, “Do I need or want this?”

They are also teaching their children. Sydney, 5, and Megan, 3, have daily chores. The money they earn goes into decorated envelopes marked “give,” “save,” and “spend.” The first envelope goes into the church offering. Sydney said she is saving for a Barbie doll.

“I’m not just going to hand them money,” Sarah Vander Pol said. “If they want something, they have to bring their purse.”

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