Project Money
 
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About Nick

Shortly after relocating to Madison, Nick began Project Money with hefty student loans, credit card debt and a self-professed habit of spending on “future income.”

Ready to make some serious changes to his financial situation, Nick worked diligently with his coach, Emily Lane, to build a budget and stick to it.  Seven months later, he’s reduced his debt by a whopping $6,715 and increased his savings by more than $3,793.

What’s more, in addition to reducing his debt, Nick says he has greatly reduced his overall stress.  “With having a good chunk of debt paid off, I can feel weight lifted off my shoulders.  I enjoy the things I choose to spend my money on, and it helps me sleep better knowing I have a solid plan to pay the rest!”

Q&A with Nick:

What are the key things you learned from your experience in Project Money?

Build a budget and stick to it.
You don’t need as much as you think you do! Try getting by with a little less; you might be surprised at what you don’t miss.

What’s the best advice you’d give to someone who’s in a similar financial situation to where you were seven months ago?

Start now. Don’t wait for some imaginary future where the timing is perfect. Also, build a budget. Even if it’s not perfect, it’s a step in the right direction.

What was your “aha” moment?

Instead of buying anything for myself during a shopping trip with my girlfriend, Jennifer, and her mother, I just helped out with decisions on their purchases. After a while they asked me, “What do you want?” If I was in a cartoon, a light bulb would have lit up above my head, because it was at that moment that I realized my way of thinking had changed.  I didn’t think about “wants” anymore, I was thinking about “needs” – and I didn’t need anything!

What was the best advice you received from your coach?

Pay yourself first — make sure that you have something going into savings, even if it starts small.

How has taking control of your finances changed your life?

I feel like there is a light at the end of the debt tunnel. I feel less stress overall, and I’m carrying that energy over into other areas of my life and have been starting things I had been delaying—like exercising again.

What’s next?

Project Money was just the start for me! I’m going to keep paying down my debt, and hopefully be able to put some money in a savings account along the way for a vacation and an engagement ring.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself a lot closer to paying off my college debt and one day, owning a home.

What one word would you use to describe how you feel about money/your financial situation as a result of your Project Money journey?

Optimistic

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