MADISON (WKOW) -- Lost jobs, lost homes, lost savings. It's hard to find anyone who hasn't been hurt by the recession in some way.
"There's so many people who are struggling day to day, they kind of lose sight of their dreams, doing that. So, how can we get people on better financial footing and help them dream again," says Kim Sponem, president of Summit Credit Union, sponsors of Project Money.
They picked four teams, local families who have many of the same money problems we all have.
"How can I get an emergency savings set up? How can I plan for retirement? How can I be in a better financial position than I'm in today?"
Sponem says the Great Recession, like the Great Depression 80-years earlier, is teaching some important, lasting lessons. Like the concept of keeping closer track of how we spend money: thrift.
"Thrift is a very old word. But, it's coming back; you see it everywhere now. I think this is more of a trend than a fad."
That trend towards more responsible spending and better money management starts with getting a handle on your debt.
"The first part is knowing where you're spending money and how you're spending money and what does your debt structure look like."
And, with the Project Money website's play-at-home feature, you can pick and choose strategies that work for your situation.
"The goal of Project Money, for us, is to bring awareness to people that they can make changes in their finances, that they can bring about success, and that, if these four families can do it... then they can too."
Click the camera icon to watch our Project Money report.