Three families sign up for a spending freeze challenge - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Three families sign up for a spending freeze challenge

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -
We're ready to go on a journey. Meet the Christianson's, the Conway's and the Nitzke's. All of them are serious about saving.
 
First, the Nitzke's. Abbey and Bert, their three children, and two foreign exchange students live this roof in Rib Mountain. Their New Year's Resolution is to spend less.
 
"You look at the end of the month, and we have 7 people, it adds up," Abbey explained.
 
So, motivated by costly month bills, the Nitzke's are out to prove they can control their finances.
 
"A lot of money just disappears and you don't know where it goes," Abbey said.
 
Like all three families, they filled their tanks, and picked up a weeks worth of groceries. But, the biggest hurdles in their budget: eating out and gas.
 
"We're all in different directions everyday, but we all like to meet up for dinner," Abbey explains. "But, that usually means it's later and it's juts easier to eat out."
 
That's one thing experts say can really rack up the budget
 
"Convenience spending is a huge problem," Financial Advisor James Koehler said. "You might think, two bucks no big deal, but two bucks often enough is hundreds of dollars."
 
So, in order for the Nitzke's to stay on track they've set goals.
 
"I have planned out what we will eat for meals, things like lasagna and chili," Abbey explained. When in doubt, make a sandwich."
 
Down the road in Wausau, the Conway's prepare for savings. Kristin Conway is a stay at home mom with four children. She's hoping this challenge will propel her family to the next level of frugality.
 
"Are you ready for this?" I ask Conway as we head into the grocery store to stock up.
 
"I guess so," she replies. And off we go.
 
"I actually had to do meal planning and go through my pantry and figure out what I had and what I didn't," Conway explained. "That's something I don't normally do."
 
As we walked the aisles, Conway picked up the necessities.
 
"Cream for my coffee, that's a must."
 
Finally, to the Christianson's. Vickie and Leif Christianson, their four children and family friend live in Wausau. With all those people under one roof they say things can get a little hectic.
 
"We have dance or sports and sometimes it's just easier to make a sandwich," Vickie explained.
 
With dance rehearsals, sporting activities, and extra-curricular's, the Christianson's are frequent visitors to gas stations.
 
"Always, always on the go," Leif said.
 
They're not alone. That's why we asked the experts. When so many are on the go, what are simple ways to save money?
 
"The biggest thing is they need to change their habits, they need to change the way they think and they can save tons of money," Koehler said.
 
So with full tanks of gas, and one last grocery bill, these families have set out on a mission to save.
 
Tune in Tuesday February 12th to Newsline 9 at 10:00 as we check back in with our families to see some of their cheap tricks, and how they're adjusting to the spending freeze challenge.
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