Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union (ELFCU) and Pete the Planner have wrapped up a special mission to change financial lives in just 60 days. Hundreds accepted the challenge and four individuals have emerged as outstanding examples of what happens when you eliminate bad financial habits and replace them with good ones.
On April 2, ELFCU and Peter Dunn, known as Pete the Planner, – the 4th most influential personal finance expert in the nation – launched a contest inspired by principles in Pete’s book 60 Days to Change: A Daily How-To Guide with Actionable Tips for Improving Your Financial Life. Today, Indiana’s 4th largest credit union and Pete are announcing four grand prize winners of $1,000 each, areas of the program where they excelled, and a few of their own inspiring words:
Amity DeFelice; Carmel, Indiana for “Debt Reduction”
“By evaluating our spending and making cuts we were able to free up an additional $1,500 per month to put towards debt. With that…plus the $900 we are already paying [monthly], we will be able to pay off all debt (excluding our mortgage) in 15 months. We believe that these last 60 Days will impact our finances for the rest of our lives.”
Rene Muller; Lambertville, New Jersey for “Savings Accumulation”
“Pete’s 60 Days to Change is not a gimmick! We took a thoroughly uncomfortable, hard look at our personal habits and…have already achieved monthly savings that total greater than 23% of our base take-home salaries. My husband and I actively honor our short-term savings goal of $10,000 by July 2013 each day.”
Sarah Anderson; Kentwood, Michigan for “Reduced Spending/Daily Savings”
“It was like Pete jumped off the pages and slapped me in the face. I needed to stop my compulsive shopping and loosely using our debit card. I made some serious revisions to
my spending habits and have since reaped the rewards. While my husband is protecting our freedom [deployed overseas], I am proud to be protecting our finances.”
Kathleen Spicer; Terre Haute, Indiana for “Perseverance”
“Financial mayhem struck… It was tempting to put the book on the shelf and decide we
were never going to get anywhere financially but paycheck to paycheck, but no. We’ve made good changes. So now we have less money going out, which means it will be possible to rebuild our savings.”
The four winning essays appear in full at www.elfcu.org/60Days. Originally, ELFCU’s plan was to name three victors, but Spicer’s story inspired the selection panel to choose her as a “bonus winner” for persevering through the program even when her dog required $1,100 in emergency vet care and her refrigerator went out to the tune of $1,700.
A total of 659 contest participants comprised of both members and nonmembers of ELFCU enrolled in the contest and received a free copy of 60 Days to Change. At the end of the contest, ELFCU asked contestants to report back with a one-page essay.
“I’m very pleased with the outcome of the program. Hundreds of people allowed us to help
them improve their financial lives,” said Pete the Planner. “The feedback was overwhelming. Debt was paid down, money was saved, and lines of communication were opened. It was refreshing to see a financial institution truly partner with the people it serves.” A dual contest was held just for the credit union’s employees. Tami Feaster, Claudia Herin and Jill Kidwell were named ELFCU’s internal winners, receiving $500 each.
“The credit union supports a smarter money lifestyle for employees and members,” said Rich Jones, ELFCU’s senior vice president of marketing, business development and sales, the division that oversees financial education, “60 Days was designed to be a simple yet life changing initiative. Pete was the visionary and coach while we supported the competitors with solutions and tools. We’re here for them on the continual journey to financial change.”
All contest participants had access to Pete and his personal finance expertise via weekly emails and exclusive Q&A sessions on ELFCU’s Facebook and Twitter pages. If interested in ELFCU’s innovative financial education featuring Pete the Planner, please follow the credit union at twitter.com/elfcu for future announcements and opportunities.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.