Madison-Area Mom Gets $10,000 in Summit Credit Union’s Project Money
Ninth annual competition empowers the community to improve their finances
MADISON, Wis.—Over seven months in 2017, Jenniffer Price saved over $10,000 and reduced her debt by almost $5,000 on her way to winning the top prize of Summit Credit Union’s Project Money. Each year, the financial-based competition and community education program awards a $10,000 cash prize to the top-performing team.
“Before Project Money, my financial life was like a roller coaster,” said Price. “But now I know how to manage my money and my mindset, and I’ve achieved the goals I never thought I’d achieve.”
Price, a single Mom, wanted to improve her money management skills, so that she could model healthy financial behavior for her daughter, Ashley, 15. Price immediately focused on paying off debt from unexpected medical and veterinary expenses. Supported by their financial coach, Melanie Ruelas, the mother-daughter duo reduced their debt, invested responsibly and yes, even enjoyed their occasional Starbucks treat.
“Every year, our Project Money teams wow us with their courage, dedication and positivity,” said Summit CEO & President Kim Sponem. “Because they allow all of us to be part of their transformation, the effect is much bigger than the teams themselves. They motivate friends, family, neighbors and their surrounding communities to shift the way they think about their finances.”
At the program’s outset, each team is assigned a Summit financial coach who they collaborate with from May through December to identify financial strategies that can help improve their lives. The program places an emphasis on financial education, empowering its contestants—and community members who follow along—with financial resources and best practices.
Winners are selected based on overall debt reduction, savings increase and participation in program events, which include live appearances on Madison’s NBC15. In addition to the $10,000 awarded to the winners, each participating team receives $2,500.
Since the program’s inception in 2009, Project Money contestants have collectively increased savings by $307,131 and reduced debt by $354,254. In 2017, participants accrued $28,592 in savings and lowered debt by $19,096. Applications for this year’s Project Money program are available on Summit’s website until March 10.
Pictured left to right: Ashley Price, Jenniffer Price, Chris Schell and Coach Melanie Ruelas.