When it comes to saving money and budgeting, the finalists in the Equifax Family Money Matters video contest have plenty of advice to share. How did these financially savvy folks learn their best money tips? Get more money-saving tips and drinks from the finalists.

Vote for Kaity R. in the Equifax Family Money Matters Video Contest

Q: What are your financial goals? Short-term? Long-term?
We are a family of 3 living on one non-profit salary. In the short-term, we are focused on being resourceful and finding creative ways to pay the bills and have fun on the cheap. We’re working towards our main long-term goal of total debt freedom and after that, hope to finally take the honeymoon trip we never had!

Q: What is your biggest budgeting challenge?
We have an old car and an old house, and unexpected repairs often exceed our monthly budget, so we end up having to dip into our emergency fund more than we’d like.

Q: What was your biggest money mistake?
Not keeping a budget, so not really knowing where our money was going.

Q: What has been your biggest money success?
As a couple, getting on the same page about our finances. It’s a relief to know exactly where we stand and what our strategy is for meeting our goals on any given day. We can talk things through if one of us is worried about money. Plus, there are no bills to hide!

Q: Have you had an “A-ha!” moment with your finances? How has that changed the way you handle your finances?
Buying our first home a few years ago was the biggest financial commitment we’ve ever made, and it was more than a little scary. We realized we needed to get serious about tracking our expenses and having a plan for our money going forward. The birth of our daughter last year only made this more important.

Q: How did you learn what you know about money? 
I’ve learned a lot from my own mom and from other moms online about cutting costs and DIY. We also listen to the Dave Ramsey show on the radio for inspiration.

Q: What is the number one money lesson you want to pass along?
It’s important to know where your money is going and to have a plan, but don’t forget that the best things in life are free! (seriously)