image.works’ very own Emilee Guderyon and her boyfriend, Rob, are participating in a 7-month challenge to take control of their finances, build a better budget and pay off debt.
Organized by Summit Credit Union, Project Money is an annual competition held in image.works’ home town of Madison, WI. Four teams have been chosen to compete, including Team Emilee and Rob, with the winning team earning a $10,000 cash prize. With the help of a financial coach at the credit union, each team is working to save more and pay down debt. Their struggles and victories are chronicled in weekly blog posts detailing what it’s like to overhaul your budget and change your lifestyle.
Emilee works as an account executive at image.works, and Rob is now a full-time student after serving in the Army for the past three years. Because the pair are in a transitional period of their lives, with Rob finishing up school and Emilee paying off student debt, it’s a great time to start planning for the future.
When asked why she wanted to participate, Emilee says, “Project Money is a once in a lifetime learning experience. Everyone should want to apply! We were never taught how to budget or plan for real life in school and we are lost. Being able to work with a financial coach will help build a foundation for our future.”
Emilee and Rob’s top three goals for Project Money are:
- To be in a position to purchase their first home by 2018
- To start putting away money for retirement, with the goal of retiring by age 60
- To use the 7-month program to build a transparent financial relationship – no judging, fighting or questioning
Emilee says, “It has been a rewarding and educational experience. We meet with our coach each month and talk about our successes and ways to improve. I have learned that you cannot just say you will make the change – you have to imprint it into your brain and make it a habit.
“We were making bad financial choices for so long that it will not just change overnight—we work at it every single day. Every time I make a purchase I question it: is it necessary, do I need it or want it, how will it benefit me? It is so nice to have a coach like ours that is very hands on. She says that she is not coaching us to win, but coaching us to obtain our goals and maintain our new habits in the future.”
So far, Emilee and Rob have increased their savings by close to $8,000 and reduced their debt by almost $3,000.
It’s inspiring for all of us at image.works to see change in action. Keep up the good work, Emilee and Rob! We’re rooting for you!