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Project Money: The secrets to Team Jeff and Sue's Success

Meet Project Money Team Sue and Jeff.  A family with two adult children, looking towards retirement when an unexpected diagnosis quickly drained their savings.
Meet Project Money Team Sue and Jeff. A family with two adult children, looking towards retirement when an unexpected diagnosis quickly drained their savings.(NBC15)
Published: Jan. 6, 2020 at 3:03 PM CST
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We are quickly winding down this season of Project Money. For the last six months, viewers have been following the progress of our four teams as they work with financial coaches to reduce their debt and increase their savings.

So far, Team Jeff and Sue have increased their savings by $27,410 and reduced their debt by $5,163.

Coach Aidan Hauge shares what's worked for them.

What did you advise Jeff and Sue to do to help reduce debt and increase savings? What were they able to accomplish to reach these goals?

a. Simply live by their budget. Together we found ways to make that easier and ways to plan for when life throws you financial curve balls.

b. Consolidated all of their debt into one low fixed rate mortgage. This simplified things and helped them pay off more of the principle and less interest.

c. Set spending, savings and debt pay off goals, which led the way for how they needed to set up their budget moving forward.

d. Figured out what expenses they were either putting on credit cards or taking out of the emergency savings, which helped us create a few more budget items so they could put money away.

Explain how starting various savings accounts and tracking expenses allowed Jeff and Sue to plan for both the expected and unexpected.

a. They ended Project Money with 14 different savings accounts, which helped with their goal of having every dollar of each paycheck accounted for.

b. Where their money was going, what it was set aside for, and where they were at in relation to their goals all became much clearer.

Explain how Jeff and Sue felt starting the program, compared to now. How do you think Project Money will help them continue to move forward with their financial strategies after the program?

a. They felt overwhelmed with their credit card debt and discouraged finding out how quickly a medical event can wipe out your savings. They were struggling to get themselves back to a comfortable and accountable budget that will take them into retirement and beyond.

b. Now they are confident, hopeful, and excited about their financial situation. They glow with pride about how far they have come in such a short time and share what they have learned with others. They are on track to pay off their mortgage in three years and have been able to hit their emergency savings goal. The budget system they set up is easy to adjust as life changes.

When is the next opportunity to apply for Project Money?

a. Apply online at

or at any Summit branch to be a part of season 12! Applications are due March 7.

Don't forget -- Season 11 winners will be announced in February!

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