Local teacher, and mother of two, Brittany Corey was awarded the $3,000 grand prize during a special ceremony Wednesday, Oct. 25, honoring the winners and participants of the fourth annual ConneXfactor financial fitness competition.
Sponsored by Connex Credit Union through its ConnexCares philanthropic program, ConneXfactor challenged four individuals to spend six months competing to see who could improve their financial situation the most. Each participant was paired with a Connex Financial Advocate who acted as a coach, providing them with tips and guidance. A panel of judges reviewed each contestant’s total progress to determine the winners – which were as follows:
Giving birth to her second daughter just one day before the competition began, Brittany Corey was dedicated to freeing herself from debt so she could continue to grow her family with her husband and eventually live off one income. Corey worked closely with her coach, Connex Financial Advocate Mike Nowicky, to reduce her debt by more than $5,000, pay off her husband’s car loan, open college savings accounts for her daughters and still exceed her emergency fund deposit goal.
“My whole concept of managing money changed forever throughout ConneXfactor,” said Corey. “I’ve realized what our true ‘needs’ are, and my overall spending habits have changed for the better.”
Corey embraced an entirely new financial lifestyle which included budgeting paychecks two months in advance and planning two-week’s worth of family meals at a time. She sold excess items and found gently-used, hand-me-down clothing for her children to wear. Corey also implemented creative saving measures such as planting a large vegetable garden and adopting seven ducks to harvest eggs as a way to reduce food costs.
“This contest helped me become financially accountable and responsible,” added Corey.