When you’re deep into that debt snowball, sometimes it seems like the light at the end of the tunnel looks more like a tiny speck. It takes time, hard work and endurance to reach those debt-free dreams. But you already know that. You’ve been there yourself, or you’re right in the thick of it. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone came along and just paid off the rest?
For a local Nashville couple . . . that’s exactly what happened. Matt and Jodie were coordinating their very first Financial Peace University class last August when our own Rachel Cruze stopped by. She surprised them with an $11,000 check. Yep. And that check covered every last penny of their remaining debt.
Check out their big surprise:
It’s been awhile since that August class, so you’re probably wondering where this couple is now. Are they debt-free? Are they still working their way through the Baby Steps? We had the same questions, so we caught up with Matt and Jodie to see where they’re at in their journey toward financial peace.
What went through your minds when Rachel came in the door?
“I was shocked. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s Rachel Cruze. Why is she here?’ It took my husband a second to realize who she was. It was a nice surprise and completely caught us off guard. Since then, we’ve paid off everything, and now we’re on Baby Step 3.”
What made you decide to lead a Financial Peace University class?
“We took the class to learn more about finances. Knowledge helps you grow, and we are always looking for opportunities to learn more. We weren’t bad off . . . well, at least we didn’t think so. Taking the class helped us realize we were one check away from a disaster in our lives if something were to happen, and ‘getting by’ was no longer an option. We took our first class in February and it ended in April. We loved it so much that we decided to join the Momentum team at church to lead it as well. We subbed for a class and loved it and held our own group in August. We plan on leading another set of classes this year! We lead because we want to help others just like us. We love to serve in our church, so this was another great opportunity for us to do that. We are raising five kids to grow up and be givers, not just takers. Serving is huge in our family. We believe in paying it forward. If you receive knowledge, it’s great to pass it along. Just imagine the people that would be helped by you stepping up and leading.”
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What was your first experience leading a class like?
“Watching the class being taught while we were in it made it seem super simple to lead. I was hesitant on the numbers side of things—I’m not great with math and numbers—but the tools that were given in the coordinator guide made it super easy. And the examples were super helpful. It wasn’t me trying to come up with scenarios on my own . . . they were just given. I didn’t have to try to make the content relatable. The guide did it for me.”
Do you have any helpful tips for others who are leading a class for the first time?
“Don't overthink it and have fun! Be vulnerable with your story and your experiences. You can always go to the website to find just about any question that Dave has answered if you aren't sure. I recommend listening to the podcast. It helped me a lot. For many questions, I already knew the answers because I listened to the show. If people asked questions I didn’t know, I could usually find the answer on the website. We would type in keywords.”
What did you enjoy most about leading a group?
We loved how it impacted marriages. To see the couples grow together and learn about each other and the goals they want in life was truly amazing. We got to witness them getting on the same page and strengthening their marriages. When you teach the class, it helps keep you accountable for your own finances as well. It refreshes what you learned when you took it.
Interested in leading a Financial Peace University class like Matt and Jodie? Help people in your community learn how to attack debt, master budgeting, and make a plan for their future. Don’t worry. You don’t need to be an expert or even be debt-free! Learn more about leading a class here.