Project Money: Columbus couple wins Season 11 and $10,000 prize

Project Money Season 11 winners Jeff & Sue Henning (center, holding check).
Project Money Season 11 winners Jeff & Sue Henning (center, holding check).(NBC15)
Published: Mar. 3, 2020 at 9:16 PM CST
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A Columbus couple who overcame unexpected medical bills and turned their financial picture around through Project Money Season 11 are not only thrilled to win the $10,000 Project Money grand prize, they also want to inspire others. The Hennings said, "We want to show others when life throws you a curveball, you can overcome it".

With retirement on their horizon, Sue and Jeff Henning thought they were financially set...then in April of 2017, Sue was diagnosed with breast cancer. Even after health insurance, they were left with hefty bills.

They signed up for Summit Credit Union's Project Money, where four teams work with a Summit financial coach to be the most successful at reducing their debt and increasing their savings.

By learning the secrets to mindful spending and budgeting, the Hennings increased their savings by $36,080 and decreased their debt by $11,384 from June through the end of 2019.

Speaking at the podium after learning they had won the $10,000 grand prize, Jeff said, "I would liken this to walking around the house, looking for your glasses when they're right on top of your head. Our money that we found was right under our noses. It was just that it was being spent."

Summit Credit Union CEO & President Kim Sponem announced this year's group of four teams was the most successful of any Project Money season so far, increasing their cumulative savings by $80,863 and reducing their debt by $62,442.

Sponem said, "This is a financial wellness program that others can also learn from." She added thousands of others watching the teams' progress on television and social media in 2019 might have also learned things that improved their financial pictures.

In Project Money's 11 years, competitors have saved a total of $450,981, and reduced their total debt by $481,180.

In addition to the Hennings taking home the $10,000 grand prize, each of the other Project Money Season 11 teams will receive $3,000.

If you'd like to find out more about signing up for Season 12 of Project Money, you have through Saturday, March 7 to apply.

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