Project Money: Team Emily's secret for boosting savings/reducing debt

Published: Feb. 3, 2020 at 4:09 PM CST
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Since she started competing against three other Project Money teams last summer, Emily Gullickson has increased her savings by $15,818 and decreased her debt by $6,497.

Emily and the other teams have been working with Summit Credit Union Financial Coaches since June. The most successful team will win $10,000.

We checked in with Emily's coach, Christen O'Quinn, to find out Emily's secrets to improving her finances. To help Emily reduce debt and increase her savings, O'Quinn encouraged her to:

a. Create financial goals.

b. Utilize Summit's Climbr App to create a budget and adjust as needed.

c. Understand wants versus needs.

To help her make strides in reaching her goals O'Quinn suggested she:

a. Set financial goals, set a budget and tweak that budget to make it sustainable for the future.

b. Get her spending habits under control, and try various techniques to find what worked for her.

i. Emily deleted some social media apps, started meal prepping, clipped coupons, sold unused household items, and unsubscribed from emails that tempted her with deals.

c. Set up different savings accounts to help keep expenses organized.

d. Meet with a Summit financial advisor to review her current retirement planning and goals.

We asked O'Quinn how Emily felt starting the program, compared to now....and how O'Quinn thinks Project Money will help her continue to move forward with her financial strategies after the program?

O'Quinn said, "Emily came into the program feeling like she had bad spending habits because she consistently impulse spent. She had no emergency savings fund and was living paycheck to paycheck. Now Emily has funds set aside for emergency savings, unexpected pet expenses, has a plan for the future... and isn't stressed about her finances on a monthly basis."

If you'd like to apply for the next season's Project Money competition, you can apply online at Applications are due March 7 to be a part of Season 12.

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