Did you resolve to be a better budgeter in 2010? Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Cornelius is offering a course in how to do it.
Associate Minister Tim Reimer will lead a 13-week course starting Thursday based on Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, a popular guide to money management, saving and paying off debt.
"I know people are struggling, especially in the last year," Reimer said. "Even before the economy (slowed), people were still living paycheck to paycheck."
Reimer said he appreciates Ramsey's presentation style.
"This stuff is pretty dry, but he presents it in a way that's about as fun as you can," Reimer said. "He challenges you. If you want to make changes ..., he's going to call you out on that."
Ramsey shows people how to make budgets and pay off debt quickly. He claims that on average, each family that takes his class pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 during the 13 weeks.
Reimer said a Mount Zion couple who took the course several years ago paid off graduate-school loans from private universities in a year.
"It's just incredible what can happen," Reimer said.
Each two-hour class will begin with a DVD of Ramsey teaching on topics such as developing a monthly spending plan, investing, getting rid of debt, making good buying decisions and giving generously. After each DVD lesson, the class will divide into small groups for discussion.
The class is open to anyone. Materials cost $100 per family, which is half off the standard fee of $200.
The materials include Ramsey's "Financial Peace Revisited" book and workbook, a CD recording of all 13 lessons and the chance to retake the course free anytime. After life changes such as having children, some may want to retake it and look again at their finances, Reimer said.
Ramsey integrates Bible teachings in the course. Reimer said managing money is a spiritual issue.
"... All we have is a gift from God, and we're entrusted to use that gift in a way that's responsible," Reimer said.
(Christ Community Church in Huntersville is offering a similar program using Ramsey's materials beginning next Sunday. It meets 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sundays Jan. 17-April 18. Details: 704-875-8374; www.ccchuntersville.com.)