Competing against eight other families, the Shaw family emerged as the winner of $10,000 in Florida Commerce Credit Union's second weLiveFIT! Challenge.
Florida Commerce in Tallahassee, Fla. launched the contest in March, providing the families with a personal finance coach, who evaluated their financial status, developed a fitness plan to follow and provided additional support throughout the competition. Each family worked through Florida Commerce's iLiveFIT! program, designed to provide steps toward financial independence.
As a result, the Shaws increased their savings to $3,016, reduced their debt by $2,798 and boosted their credit scores by 161 points, according to Florida Commerce.
Thousands of people followed the family's financial struggles and successes on Facebook and Twitter as well as their blog and video postings on weLiveFITChallenge.com, the credit union said. The public was also given the chance to vote online to decide which families continued to compete in challenge. The families garnered more than 45,000 community votes from June, September and November.
Over the 10-month period, all nine families collectively increased their credit scores by 422 points.