MADISON (WKOW)--Rachel Reinhart has been through a lot in the past couple of years.
A divorce, a layoff and a lot of credit card debt put her between a rock and a hard place financially. And, she admits her spending habits only made things worse.
"I would go shopping and think, I want that and I'd buy it and think about how much it cost later."
Her conspicuous consumption didn't end with her wardrobe.
"$200-$300 a month minimum that I'm spending on going out to eat. At the end of the year, $3,600 later, what do I have to show for that? Nothing. Are you cooking at home now? I'm cooking at home now."
Rachel's predicament and her willingness to work through it made her a prime candidate for Project Money.
Working with a financial expert from Summit Credit Union, she's competing with three other families to payoff her debt and increase her savings the most to win $10,000.
"It's common for a lot of people, it's living on the credit cards. It's being able to make those sacrifices of when do I cook at home and when is it appropriate to go out," says Reinhart's financial coach, Scott Hoerth.
Eating out was also eating a huge hole in the Feltz family finances.
"There are so many things that are just more convenient. in winter, I work two jobs, and it's so much easier to just stop someplace to get something to eat than it is to go home and cook it," says Willie Feltz.
"Planning meals for the week seems to help. then you don't have to try to figure out what to have for dinner. it's Tuesday, so we're having spaghetti and that's it," says Cassie Feltz.
The Feltz's are facing a fast-approaching financial deadline with the arrival of their first child, Owen.
"For the summer, they will have $100 a week with family watching him. But in the fall, that's going up to $800 a month. So, how do we pool enough savings to pay down debt and pay for Owen's expenses will be a challenge," says Feltz coach, Mike Bunge.