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2016 Project Money Winning Coach: Ryan Husom

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As our final 2016 Project Money post, we thought we’d highlight a huge rock star behind the scenes: this year’s winning coach, Ryan Husom!

We learned a lot from Drew and Liz throughout their Project Money journey, but how about the coach who helped guide and encourage them the entire way? We had a reflection chat with Ryan and wanted to share some of his champion moments from Project Money, and a few things he learned along the way himself.

The beginning.
At the outset of their Project Money journey, Drew and Liz had taken a sizeable loss on a purchased condo, which basically wiped out their entire emergency savings. Adding a little more pressure was the fact they had recently welcomed their newborn son Beckett to the world.

“They essentially had a whole new spectrum of things to think about,” explains Ryan. “As we started meeting, their goals quickly came to the forefront: rebuild that emergency fund, retirement and college savings, and student loan repayment.”

The three-tier approach.
Once the team had their goals set, Ryan said the first plan of action was to set specific criteria against each goal. To keep the team inspired, he quickly deployed what they called an “easy—stretch—mind-blowing” strategy (yes, they really called it mind-blowing).

“This tiered approach is a great way to keep people motivated,” explains Ryan. “The goals are realistic and achievable, and once you achieve the easy goals, you can leverage that as inspiration and confidence and roll from there.” Love it.

So, did it work? Well, Drew and Liz ended up surpassing the “easy” goals by September, the “stretch” goals by November and were cruising through the “mind-blowing” feats in December. Well played, Ryan. Well played.

The mantra: “This is life! You roll with it.”
Another huge factor in Team Elhert’s success? Their positivity and teamwork. Ryan explains it’s easy to quickly get down on yourself when it comes to finances, especially when it’s a competition that is largely followed by the public. However, Drew and Liz were all about looking forward. “No one’s batting perfect—this is life!” exclaims Ryan. “Even when things didn’t go exactly as planned, Drew and Liz reflected back on each other’s success, which was a huge part of their achievements.”

As a coach, Ryan is a huge believer in this. “If you get overly critical about one choice or one day, that can lead to a lot of negativity,” he says. “It’s good to learn from mistakes and remember that bad taste, but even more important to not dwell on them” Amen, Ryan.

The coach’s advice.
For those looking to get their finances back on track, Ryan promises it’s possible, which in his opinion is exemplified by Drew and Liz. “For them to achieve what they did after taking those hits is incredible,” he says. “Every person who comes through our doors has potential to make goals happen much faster than they thought. With a little guidance and determination, there’s really no limit to what you can achieve.”

Well said, Ryan. And Congratulations! There you go, savvy savers. Be sure to visit the Money Smarts blog next month as we’ll be announcing our 2017 teams! In the meantime, take a look back at 2016’s program on the Project Money page.