INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Getting a grip on family finances is clearly a top priority in
many homes. Thousands have already signed up to join 24-Hour News
8 Challenge - 60 Days to Change.
Getting a grip on personal finances can be so overwhelming
that people develop what Financial Expert Peter Dunn calls "numb
spending." People know they should be doing something to stop
spending, but they don't know what or how.
Week 1 is under way. The three families who agreed to
participate in the challenge are making progress in overcoming
their own "numb spending."
The first family: Amy and Brent who are the parents of two
young children, are finding out taking control of their finances
isn't a quick fix.
"Well, like today. She went out to lunch and there was all
kinds of stuff right here," said Brent.
A purchase that created a little friction between them.
"I feel if I want to go to lunch every once in awhile then
that's fine. I think I deserve lunch just like anyone else," said
"Getting organized is the toughest part. The old step on the
scale lets see how much you weigh before you lose weight. It's
always the worst part," said Dunn.
Dunn said getting organized means being brutally honest with
"You're going to want to take the latest two months
statements, for any account you spend money on. If you currently
spend money on a credit card, you need to have that statement. If
you spend money on a checking account that statement's got to be
there as well. You need your pay stub, you need your insurance
policies," said Dunn.
The second family: Joe and Merita, who have a 23-year-old son
living at home with them, are taking a close look at their
financial lives together for the first time.
"She's the spender, I'm the saver," said Joe. Merita agreed.
60 Days to Change has them counting the number of
transactions, cash or credit they make in a week.
"If you're handing over your debit card or credit card or
cash buying something 15 to 20 times a week, you're much more
likely to spend absurd amounts of money that don't need to be
spent," said Dunn.
Dunn said married couples should keep their transactions at
ten or fewer a week, singles about 5 or 6 a week.
The third family: Single mom Nadia said its advice that is
helping her financial future take off.
"I find myself thinking about, like today, I was going to
stop before I got home, I was going to stop and get fast food. No,
no no. Not going to do that," said Nadia.
Learning to adjust to the realities of the new necessities is
also a part of week one. From buying your daily coffee, to the cost
of your cell phone, simple changes can make a difference.
"Don't give up your cell phone, don't give up cable, don't
give up the internet, simply evaluate your usage and compare that
to your plan," said Dunn.
Nadia said that advice alone is saving her $130 a month.
"I changed my cell phone plan. I changed my cable internet
and phone," said Nadia.
Our 3 families have taken their first steps on the 60 Days to
"Yeah I've just been way too lazy on this. I come home from
work and I just want to sit down and relax for awhile and play with
the kids and I'm not real interested in crunching numbers," said
"Oh, I'll take over the card probably, hold it in my wallet,"
said Joe. Merita said, "We'll see about that."
"I know that I have the ambition, the discipline, and the
motivation to do it. Just someone, or something helping me make the
right choices," said Nadia.
That's exactly what the Money Watch 8 Challenge - 60 Days to
Change program is all about. It will serve as a guide to help
people get their financial house in order.
To sign up for the Money Watch 8 Challenge
Also, 24-Hour News 8's David Barras wants to hear how the program
is impacting your life. To let him know how it's going