Project Money II - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Project Money II

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MADISON (WKOW)--Willie and Cassie Feltz of Madison are just getting used to being working parents, having recently returned to work after the birth of their son, Owen.

"There's a lot more to think about. Not just how much it's going to cost month to month for food and diapers, daycare will be coming up," says Willie.

But, when the Feltz's looked at their finances, they realized something wasn't right.

"We pay all of our bills, but there just seems to be less money at the end of the month then there should be," says Cassie.

The Feltz family was one of four chosen by Summit Credit Union for the Project Money challenge.

Each team is being coached by a financial expert and the one that shows the most financial improvement after seven months wins ten thousand dollars.

The Feltz's problems are shared by the other teams.

"They're in a situation that isn't unique to a lot of families. They have quite a bit of credit card debt and they really didn't do budgeting," says Feltz coach, Mike Bungee.

"At first it was a shock. I was used to just buying what I want when I wanted it and not really thinking about it," says Rachel Reinhart, who is also in Project Money.

She's a single mother of one and, like the Feltz family, she's facing a mountain of credit card debt; about $15,000 worth.

"There was a lot of dining out."

Rachel's credit card use was so out of hand she froze her spending, literally.

"I had the advice from my dad to put my credit card in the freezer in a glass of water, so it's there in an emergency. But it's there, in my freezer, in an ice cube, it is."

"People are finding, like Rachel, more satisfaction in knowing I didn't spend money I didn't have or I was able to pay down my debt and I've got much more to show for it now," says Reinhart's coach, Scott Hoerth.

And, although they haven't put their credit cards in the freezer, the Feltz's have set strict spending limits, with an eye to the future, and little Owen.

"It teaches us to save more money for him. For expenses like daycare, college and everything else rather than put it off till later and hope something comes up."

Click here for the Project Money website.

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