Monday, May 17, 2010

FPU Alumni

A few months ago I started a FPU Alumni Group at church. The idea was to create a place where like-minded people could gather once a month to ask questions, ask for advices, share success stories, and all around support each other. I was also hoping it might help people who had drifted away by inspiring them. It's scheduled for the first Wednesday of each month, which I thought would go well with beginning of the month budgeting.

The first month we had 2 couples come. Both had finished Baby Step 3 and were doing quite well. It was nice to visit with them and know there were others out there, but they didn't return the 2nd month so I guess they didn't "connect" with the idea.

The second month we had 2 couples from the class we were helping facilitate. I shared a couple articles on Dave's opinion on success vs. failure (Successful people are simply failures that learned from their mistakes). It was a very short gathering since the actual FPU class started 30 minutes after our group met, but it was nice to see some people come.

The third month - last month - was a total bust. No one registered. No one came. It's frustrating because our church provides childcare, so that's not the excuse. I also hate when I don't succeed at things, so there is some disappointment there. I'm not totally surprised. Money is a hard thing to talk about. I was hoping to light a fire with people who had lost momentum, but people aren't likely to come and confess that they have lost their way.

Now I'm stumped... summers are hard to get people to participate. One thing working in our favor is that our FPU class just finished up so there are some people who might now be freed up to join us. I think if I include a specific topic in the church bulletin people might be more likely to attend (we opened it to any one interested, not just people who have been through FPU), but I'm not sure what the next topic should be. I'm considering...

* Christmas in June (tips on creative gift giving and planning ahead)
* Secrets of success - I'm hoping a friend we just met will come talk. He's on Baby Step #7.
* Couponing 101 - possibly even bring in a local coupon guy

Do you have any ideas? What topics would you like to hear more about?


Trish said...

Your topics sound good, but I don't know that I'd use the time away from the kids to attend. Perhaps it's the way my own life has played out over the past year, but maybe something like money management after a layoff, living on one income, managing a role reversal (perhaps more marriage class than money, but it's real and more couples are dealing with it these days)??

Good luck! I'm suer the classes will pick up soon.

Mrs. (not) the Jet Set said...

We have talked about doing an alumni class on and off over the last three years. It's interesting to hear how yours went. We always have a lot of people who want the extra encouragement after the class ends. Maybe if the alumni group meets two weeks after the last class ends it will be the right time for them to come back? Good luck!

TA-TA said...

Thanks for the feed back.
@Trish - I'm using your idea about budgeting on one income. That could apply to people laid off or people making other life changes.

@ Mrs (not) the Jet Set - a lot of people have expressed an interest in "keeping things going" after the class ended, but never actually show up when the time comes. Encouragement is needed, but people seem hesitant to admit they fell off the wagon. It's also not a main focus at our church. I can think of another church in town where it would be a huge success. They practically make their members go through FPU. They've had classes of over 500 people. I'll let you know how the topic based discussions go.


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