“They don’t teach this in high school. If we can teach [residents] to manage their money, we can reduce their stress so if–really when– bad things happen, they don’t resort to bad habits. The chance of a positive outcome is a lot higher,” says Pete Thielen, a volunteer with COTS’ financial wellness workshop featuring DVDs from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
Financial Peace University is offered to COTS’ residents quarterly. The 9-week course covers topics ranging from budgeting to building up savings. So far this year, 18 residents have completed the course, and several more are set to graduate when the current session wraps up.
COTS’ volunteers Pete Thielen and Dorothy Hollenbach attend the sessions in order to answer individual questions. Dorothy and her family have been COTS Meal Ministers for over 15 years, and she enjoys sharing her financial expertise with others. “My experience as a volunteer tax preparer for VITA gave me further desire to reach out to people and help with their financial literacy.”
Pete is a longtime follower of Dave Ramsey and enjoys sharing his personal experiences with COTS’ residents. He states, “I tell my story because I have lived Dave’s principles.”
Countless COTS residents have been able to apply what they have learned from Financial Peace University in order to improve their financial wellness. This past month, one COTS resident was able to save over $1,000 by putting all of his overtime pay (plus some extra) into his savings account.
“I think many people would be pleased if they could see the resourcefulness and motivation of these men,” shares Dorothy. “When people understand budgeting and how to get out of the cycle of debt, they can become self-sufficient and better equipped to handle life’s challenges.”