February 25, 2020

America Saves Week: Summit CU inspires savings with competition

Summit CU Project MoneyAs part of America Saves Week, NAFCU is highlighting the efforts of member credit unions with strong financial education programs that encourage members to save and strengthen their personal finances. Today, learn how Summit Credit Union's (Madison, Wis.) Project Money program helps its members reduce debt and increase savings.

"We created Project Money to help participants better their daily lives in a format that also inspires thousands of our neighbors to improve their financial wellness and lives, too," said Summit Credit Union CEO & President Kim Sponem. "At its heart, Project Money is a public financial education program that helps people, families and larger communities become financially stronger through real-life financial tips they can put into action."

Structured as a seven-month competition with four competing teams, Project Money pairs participants with a Summit Financial Coach to help them work toward financial goals of reducing debt, increasing savings, and more. Throughout the year, participants attend educational sessions and share their progress through blogs and media interviews to inspire others in the community to join the savings mission.

At the end of the competition, the winning team – determined by the selection committee comprised of credit union employees – receives a $10,000 prize and the other teams receive $2,500.

"Project Money and all our financial education programs meet people where they are at in their financial journey," said Sarah Campagna, Summit's Managing Vice President of Business Development and Financial Empowerment. "At Summit, we believe anyone can be financially successful with some tools and knowledge to make it happen. In 11 Project Money seasons, 7 months each, 44 participants increased their savings by $450,981 and decreased their debt by $481,180."

Learn more about Project Money and Summit's other financial education programs.

NAFCU has pledged to promote financial literacy and ensure credit unions' members can reach their financial goals by working closely with credit unions, lawmakers and regulators. See NAFCU's resources. Many credit unions offer services to help members reach their financial goals; NCUA has resources available to both credit unions and members and the CFPB has additional consumer financial literacy resources available.

The America Saves Week program features a specific theme each day that aims to drive social conversations and public awareness. Today's theme is "Save with a Plan"; engage in the conversation with #MySavingsPlan, #SaveWithAPlan, and #ASW2020.