SANTA ROSA, Calif. (7/14/11)--Santa Rosa, Calif.-based Redwood CU’s (RCU) Amazing Savers contestants are reshaping their financial lives during 2011 as they compete for a $10,000 prize. The Amazing Savers contest follows five teams of RCU members through the year as they work with coaches from the credit union to improve their finances through budgeting, refinancing, reducing debt and investing. Among the savings realized so far by each team:
* Team Van Patten is saving $387 each month by refinancing its car loan and credit cards. * Team Flores reduced its auto loan interest rate from to 4.74% from 7.50%, saving $130 per month. It also plans to start a 401(k) to help with retirement savings. * Team Jaworski saved $800 and will pay off its car loan two months early by refinancing. It also increased its credit score by 84 points, is saving $274 a year on insurance and received additional coverage plus renters insurance by shopping different carriers. * Team Lynch reduced credit card interest rates to 7% from 29.99%, cutting its payments half and saving more than $2,000 in interest alone. It also has found creative ways to save on everyday expenses through coupons and other deals. * Team Campbell has put aside a $6,000 emergency fund to help through tight times as a small business owner, and has cut its grocery spending by more than 50% using the provided budgeting tools.
The contestants’ financial transformation progress is chronicled online through contestant and coach blogs. RCU also is promoting the contest through staff T-shirt days; radio, print and online ads; and on Facebook and Twitter. Followers of the contest can cast their vote for the contestant they believe has made the most progress. At the end of the year, the team with the greatest improvement to its finances will win $10,000 to put toward its financial goals.