About Heike, Paul, Abigail & Chris
Heike & Paul’s goal at the start of Project Money was to break out of their “comfort zone.” Together with their financial coach, Scott Hoerth, they did just that.
In addition to developing a financial plan complete with goals they both could agree on, they took on additional jobs and sold household items and auto parts – including a car – they no longer needed. Most importantly, they learned how to communicate with each other about money and stick to a budget that works for their family.
Their hard work paid off: In addition to paying off all of their credit cards and the last of their student loans to reduce their overall debt by more than $24,000, they have increased their retirement contributions and begun saving for their children’s college education as well as a new, dependable four-wheel drive truck.
Moreover, they have ended their cycle of overspending. “We don’t worry about our finances anymore because we have a budget that works for us. Our new outlook is going to help us do the things we love, because we stopped spending money on things we can live without.”
Q&A with Heike & Paul:
What are the key things you learned from your experience in Project Money?
The most important thing we learned is how to communicate about money. We avoided it for the past 10 years because we disagreed on how our money should be spent.
We also discovered that we do have common financial goals and although we don't always agree, we can find a reasonable solution.
What’s the best advice you’d give to someone who’s in a similar financial situation to where you were seven months ago?
Get a financial coach now! Put everything on the table and be honest with everyone involved, especially yourself.
What do you think were the key factors in your success?
We were successful because we had a plan, a goal and lots of support. We also were not afraid to ask for help.
How has this experience impacted your family?
We don’t worry about our finances anymore because we have a budget that works for us. Since we know what we can afford and what we can’t, we don’t argue about money. Now we can put more focus on our family and having fun together.
What was your “aha” moment?
When our credit card debt was completely gone and our extra cash truly became “extra.”
What was the best advice you received from your coach?
“Just try it” as far as savings and debt reduction. Scott had faith in us when we needed it most.
Buy the stuff we need instead of simply want. Keep meeting with one another once a month to plan out our spending habits and keep ourselves in check.
Where do you see yourselves in five years?
Five years from now, we expect to continue to be in our current situation of having no new debt and we’d love to have our second mortgage paid off.
What one word would you use to describe how you feel about money/your financial situation as a result of your Project Money journey?