Back in June, two families won the honor of competing in KREM 2’s Financial Health Challenge. Both families felt like a lot of people do: they didn’t quite know how to dig out of debt. They have passed the halfway point of the challenge and now both families are finding their way back to financial health.
Just more than three months ago, the Sifford and Needham families decided to face their financial demons. Both teams are getting help from their United Health Services Credit Union coaches.
Wendy Needham wanted to put a stop to her paycheck-to-paycheck living. Before, if she didn’t have enough money in her checking account, she’d pull out her credit card to pay for something. Since then, Wendy and her sons have buckled down. They follow a budget and the other day they even tackled their own car repair instead of paying a mechanic $200. The Needhams slashed their debt by $3,264 and went from no savings to $660 in just over three months.
The Sifford family’s progress is equally astounding. Three months ago spur of the moment spending and an uncomfortable mortgage payment had them in a financial choke-hold. They have since reigned-in their out-of-control spending. They’ve done big things like selling a truck and little things like ditching their gas-guzzling lawnmower. Through strides big and small, the Siffords have slashed their unsecured debt by $4,519 while putting $915 into savings.
Both families say setting a budget has been key. In addition to getting coaching, they are competing against each other for a $5,000 prize.
The judging is based on how much they reduce debt and save while also factoring in their incomes. Right now the families are basically neck-and-neck.