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Finance guru helps consumers break debt cycle
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Grace hosts Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University

Grace Community Church will host Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University this fall.  The new course is nine weeks long and will start on Tuesday, Sept. 25. The class will meet each Tuesday from 7-8:30 p.m. in room 8 at the church, located at 210 South McKinley in Great Bend.
Financial Peace is taught via DVD by Dave Ramsey covering all areas of financial condition: debt, saving, retirement, education planning and giving.  This class will be facilitated by Barry Bowers.  Materials for the class are $95 per family.  Payment can be made to Grace Community Church by Monday, Sept. 17, to insure materials are available for the first class.
Questions can be directed to Bowers at 792-5378 days, 793-6121 evenings, or
The course is also being taught on Monday evenings at First Christian Church, 5230 Broadway Ave. The second session starts at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17.
It will be offered at the First Baptist Church in Lyons with classes at 6 p.m. on Sundays, starting Sept. 16.
Upcoming classes can be found on Ramsey’s website,

Financial expert and radio personality Dave Ramsey coaches listeners to become debt free, manage spending and save for retirement, and have something left to give to others. Locally, residents can attend the money guru’s “Financial Peace University,” offered several times a year at various locations.
Ramsey has recorded the latest version of his nine-week finance course on DVDs, with local experts leading the classes. Barry Bowers, a Great Bend certified public accountant, will be in charge of classes starting Sept. 25 at Grace Community Church. People who take the course run the gamut from young couples struggling with debt to senior citizens planning for retirement, he said.
Much of what Ramsey teaches is common-sense. “It’s the same advice your grandma would give you,” Bowers said, quoting Ramsey. “He somehow manages to make it fun.”
The first step toward managing personal finance is a budget, Bowers said. That means understanding where every dollar goes.
“Most people have never sat down and figured out where their money is actually going. Until you get a handle on that, you don’t really have the tools to go further,” he said.
Not surprisingly, the popularity of Ramsey’s course has grown since the economic downturn. According to the website,, more than 350,000 families have attended Financial Peace University.
It’s also no coincidence that churches are a common venue for the course, since Ramsey claims his teaching follows Biblical principals. Many people assume Financial University is a class about getting out of debt, but it also covers saving for retirement or an education fund, creating a budget and an emergency fund, and being able to share wealth.
“It’s beneficial for someone, no matter where they are in the financial spectrum,” Bowers said. Even though he’s a CPA, Bowers said learned something when he and his wife took the online version of Ramsey’s course a few years ago. In their case, they learned more about communication as it relates to finances.
It costs about $100 to take the latest version of the course. Participants receive compact discs with the audio of the lectures, a workbook and temporary access to online tools. “Once you’ve purchased the materials, you can go back to Financial Peace University any time you want at no charge,” Bowers said. Collective data taken at the beginning and end of the course show the overall progress made. According to Ramsey’s website, the average family attending Financial Peace University pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 in the first 90 days.
However, Bowers said, “it’s all confidential (and) you don’t ever share your information with anyone else.