The ēCO Savings Race: Stephenson family update

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The Stephenson family what has just started down their road to financial peace. After only a few weeks, they are already starting to breathe a little easier.

“We are going to pay off all of our credit card debt, and we are going to get into a position where we save money and give,” said Danielle. She says her confidence comes from sitting down with her ēCO Credit Union financial coaches.

“Because we hadn’t seen it on paper to know this is exactly what you spend, and this is exactly what you have coming in, it always felt like there was never any leftover. But now, I see that if we stick to this amount of money per month, we will have a surplus, and we will be able to pay down the debt,” Danielle said.

Still, there is a lot of hard work to be done.

“I would sleep better at night knowing that we had a decent emergency fund,” Jeremy said. He also says that he does not want to wait any longer before he starts saving for retirement. “As I’m getting closer to 40, it’s just beginning to dawn on me and that I’m not saving anything. When you are not saving for retirement, you don’t really have anything to show for the work that you’ve done. I don’t want to be in my 60s and 70s wishing I had done this and full of regret.”

As the Stephensons cut costs, one of the biggest places they will see a change is in their grocery basket.

“I’m going to cut all junk food off the grocery bill. It’s going to save at least $40 every time I grocery shop,” Danielle said.

“I love potato chips and ice cream and soda, so I don’t think that I am very rare when it comes to that. A lot of people do. So I do believe if I can do it anyone can,” Jeremy said.

The Stephensons financial coaches have provided our ēCO Take Away Tip for you to practice at home:


If you find yourself often overspending on groceries, consider using the envelope system.

At the first of the month, put all of the cash you have budgeted to spend on groceries for the month in an envelope.

Only pay for groceries from that envelope. It will make you conscious of purchasing only the necessities.

Following along with all the team’s progress at

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