This year’s Project Money program was an immense success. Just ask Becca and Joel, who reduced their debt by more than $15,000! Or Alane, who paid off her entire credit card balance, or Sheba and Karim, who are close to purchasing their first home—their number one goal from the start. And this year’s winning team? Keep reading to find out how Carrie and Chris Bennett achieved some outstanding things.
All of our participants this year are winners, and it goes without saying that we’re extremely proud. Let’s see how Carrie and Chris pulled off the big win and what each team did to start Owning It!
Our 2015 Winners!
Team Bennett: Carrie, Chris, Logan and Ryan
After Chris and Carrie started Project Money on a financial “hamster wheel,” they’re now far along the path to Owning It. Proof? The two reduced debt by more than $21,000 and added more than $7,000 to their savings account. That’s extremely impressive, but how did they do it? They sum up their success up in one word: communication.
Working with their financial coach, Sherry, they realized communicating about money was key. The budget plan Carrie and Chris developed to start communicating smarter proved to be one of their best decisions throughout the journey. It not only kept them on track but also highlighted their spending habits, so they could make adjustments and plan better for the future.
“We knew where we wanted to be, but we were too overwhelmed by the amount of our debt to put any logical and attainable plans in place,” said Carrie. “Our coach, Sherry, was a wonderful resource who helped us define our goals. You don’t have to be part of Project Money to meet with someone like Sherry at Summit—had we known this, we would have taken advantage of this perk long ago!”
What’s next? They plan to pay off credit card and student loan debt, teach their children financial responsibility, finish the living room they’re renovating and build their dream home! We’re pretty confident this family can achieve anything. Congratulations, Team Bennett!
Total Savings Increase: $7,174; Total Debt Reduction: $21,194
Team Becca, Joel and Taytum
In Project Money, Becca and Joel went from living paycheck-to-paycheck to truly planning their future. After eclipsing various milestones (Joel recently proposed in their first home, purchased just before the program started), they’re moving forward with $13,000 fewer dollars in debt.
The key to Becca and Joel’s success was respecting money. Where before they’d quickly spend beyond their means, they now understand the importance of planning where their money goes. With the help of their coach, Sarah, who provided accountability, Becca and Joel focused on awareness and planning, which was a huge step toward achieving their financial goals.
Over the next five years, the couple plans to fulfill Becca’s student loan payments and contribute to their daughter Taytum’s college expenses. Great plan, Becca and Joel! Keep Owning It!
Total Savings Increase: $5,513 Total Debt Reduction: $15,028
Team A & B, Alane and Bishop
Alane and Bishop have had a very successful journey with Project Money. From making $1,000 by selling old clothes on Facebook to gifting her entire $100 Holiday Challenge money, Alane’s path to Owning It has been fun to follow. Her journey focused on changing old habits and putting her money toward things that matter most, like spending time with her son, Bishop.
By the end of Project Money, Alane paid off the entire balance of her credit card and increased her savings by about $5,000! To her, the most valuable lessons were in learning the importance of monthly budgeting and learning to embrace change.
We completely agree, Alane. Congratulations for all you achieved this year. Way to come together and Own It, Team A & B!
Total Savings Increase: $4,844; Total Debt Reduction: $8,009
Sheba and Karim
When Project Money began, Sheba and Karim’s top goal was purchasing their first home; they’re now well on their way. From the onset, they were determined to understand where they were and where they wanted to go and to start Owning It! Ultimately, they did just that.
Their biggest win? Sheba and Karim say it’s been sharing their new financial insight with friends and family and the emphasis they placed on financial education. After learning about consolidation, they consolidated two auto loans with their credit card debt in October and are set to pay off the debt eight months early! The pair worked closely with their financial coach, Chris, who showed them how to allocate certain funds and consolidate others. In summary, they offer three pieces of advice to anyone striving to get on track financially: Never spend more money than you earn, automatically deposit into savings and know your numbers.
Great job, team! You should be very proud of your progress throughout this year’s program. Enjoy Owning It!
Total Savings Increase: $8,864; Total Debt Reduction: $4,833