Project Money: Meet Team Jaclyn & Kiara

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) Two years ago this month, Jaclyn and Kiara Nyhus of Madison got married. Now, they're dreaming about, and saving for, the next phase of their life together.

Kiara and Jaclyn Nyhus of Madison

At their west side apartment in Madison, Jaclyn told me, "We want to set a goal, hit that goal, and hopefully move out of the apartment life and into a house."

Kiara described her idea of a dream home to me. "Oh, big backyard-- because the two dogs are cooped up all day in here...probably at least 4 bedrooms...and a nice finished basement. I know those things take work."

Jaclyn and Kiara also want to start a family. With a smile, Jaclyn said,
"We need room for expansion."

To realize their dream of having kids, a house, and leaving the apartment life behind, Kiara and Jaclyn are working hard to reduce their debt and improve their credit score....and cut back on expenses.

They both work 70+ hours a week, so grabbing food at restaurants became an easy habit...sometimes to the tune of several hundred dollars a month. That has changed.

Jaclyn said, "We're not stopping in the morning to grab a cup of coffee or breakfast from somewhere...we take our breakfast from home, heat it up in the microwave, got lunch prepared...we're set...so it's those small changes that add up."

Kiara added that brewing their own coffee has been an easy way to save. "We drink a lot of coffee, spending that four dollars (at a restaurant) instead of using our Keurig that we have...that now costs us a quarter a cup to actually have coffee for a day."

And what would they do if they win the Project Money competition and the 10-thousand dollar prize? Jaclyn said, "Oh, my goodness, throw it toward the house down payment. If we still have a little bit of debt, use it to pay down that debt. We're not going to frivolously spend it and go out to eat...laugh...to McDonald's. Kiara added, with a laugh, "We'll be able to eat in our new house!"

With a new focus on their finances, they're confident they'll be adding new exciting chapters to their life story. High fiving each other, Kiara said, "Oh, yeah, I think we're going to win this! We got this. We do. We're in this together."

You can follow their stories and candid conversations by checking out the Project Money blogs, videos and Facebook pages. Follow the entire Journey at Project Money.