Money Smarts



Photograph: ©ryasick/istock.com

The First Bank of Greenwich has been encouraging some young customers to invest in the idea that a little savings can pay big dividends.

Its innovative Start 2 Save program, which launched during the last school year with a successful Cos Cob School pilot program, has a new generation of savers doing something their parents may find downright nostalgic: Stashing some of their hard-earned piggy bank assets into an old-fashioned passbook savings account.

“Somehow that notion of a penny saved is a penny earned skipped a generation. And I wanted to get kids in the habit and discipline of saving,” explains Frank Gaudio, the bank’s senior vice president. So he created Start 2 Save after investigating successful banking programs for the younger set at financial institutions across the country. Although the program really won’t impact the bank’s bottom line, Gaudio says getting kids banking just makes, well, cents: “Hopefully, they’re learning more about math and the satisfaction of saving, which for some people in my generation became a lost art.”

Each time a child visits the bank to make a deposit they get a chance to spin a prize wheel for goodies such as pizza slices, ice cream and toys donated by local businesses. A colorful set of steps has been positioned at the lobby’s kids’ teller window to enable diminutive depositors to meet their bankers face-to-face. They also receive small banks made of recycled paper for stashing their accumulating cash and coins between visits.

Meanwhile, the program is adding to participating schools’ assets: The bank matches the savers’ deposits with a percentage-based contribution to their schools’ parent-teacher organizations. At press time plans were underway to bring Start 2 Save to other interested schools with Parkway the next to begin.

No surprise, many of 120 Cos Cob School kids already enrolled have become completely invested. Kortney Knudsen, the ten-year-old daughter of former Cos Cob PTA co-president Joan Knudsen has saved more than $1,200. Most of her money came from gifts and money-smart chores such as redeeming bottles and cans. “It made her very conscientious about wanting to hang onto her money,” says her mother.

Gaudio’s been especially impressed that his youngest depositors have embraced Start 2 Save’s recommendation of dividing their assets into equal thirds for spending, charity and savings. “These are good habits that if they last a lifetime will serve them well.”

Next on the bank’s community-minded agenda is another frugally fit project: A financial education program for teens. “They need to learn things like credit card smarts before they go off to college,” says Gaudio. Yet another idea that’s right on the money.

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • Harvest Fair and Gift Show

    2014.11.01
     @ Second Congregational Church

    Event Will Include Hay Mazes, Games, Crafts, Food, Holiday Shopping The community is invited to a Harvest Fair and Gift Show on Saturday, Nov....

  • New Fitness Class: SalsaTone

    2014.11.01
     @ Latin Moves Dance Studio

    Starting November 1st ~ Every Saturday morning 10 to 11 AM Instructor: Melissa Lopez Start your weekend off right with this exciting cardio...

  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

    2014.10.11
     @ Canfin Gallery

    “The beauty of the physical world becomes a metaphor for the capacity of the spirit to reveal itself". Ira Barkoff Evocation of...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • Flinn Gallery Art Opening

    2014.10.30
     @ Flinn Gallery 2nd floor

    FLINN GALLERY Opening Reception 'IN FOCUS' Thursday October 30, 6 - 8pm Seven artists share their visions - Carolyn Conrad,...

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

    Imagine Candy located in Scarsdale Village- Winner of 2014 Best West of Westchester by Westchester Magazine- holds a Belgian Chocolate and Candy...

  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • Lynne Scalo Design Opening

    2014.11.05

    Please join Lynne Scalo, Greenwich Magazine and athome Magazine to celebrate the Greenwich showroom opening of Lynne Scalo Design Cocktails...

  • Breast Cancer Alliance Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show

    2014.11.06
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

    Breast Cancer Alliance to Host Branching Out, Coming Together, Aspiring to a Cure 19th Annual Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show: November 6,...

  • Free Screening of Documentary ' Children of the Inquisition'

    2014.11.06
     @ Bush-Holley House

    Join filmmaker Joseph Lovett as he presents his documentary film and multi-platform project of personal exploration and...

  • P.A.L.S. 2nd Annual Soarin' Soiree~ November 7, 2014

    2014.11.07
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    You are invited to join our State Senator, L. Scott Frantz and our First Selectman, Peter J. Tesei, for an awe-inspiring evening to benefit Patient...

  • John Hardy Event

    2014.11.08
     @ Bloomingdale's

    John Hardy One of a kind. One at a time. Each by hand. Bloomingdale's is inviting YOU to meet the head designer Guy Bedarida as he presents...

  • Olivine Gabbro Opening

    2014.11.08

    Olivine Gabbro invites you to join them for their Opening Party! DJ | Cocktails | H'Orderves | Gift Bags Made to Measure Beautifully...

  • Meet Joshua Safran, Author of "Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid"

    2014.11.11
     @ YWCA Greenwich

    Meet the author of this powerful memoir. Joshua Safran is an author, attorney, occasional rabbi, and nationally recognized advocate for...

  • Markham Roberts: Decorating the Way I See It

    2014.11.13
     @ Belle Haven Club

    Join us as Interior Designer Markham Roberts shares coveted design insights, key to creating the perfect home. The program will include...

  • AGAPANTHUS RISING

    2014.11.18
     @ Greenwich Water Club

    Like the Agapanthus flower, which starts as just a seed, we all have something to share with the world.  Sadly, we don't always nurture...

  • The Enchanted Forest

    2014.11.21
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

    Junior League of Greenwich presents 2014 Enchanted Forest! Holiday Boutiques Gingerbeard Workshops Santa's Breakfast...

  • Junior League of Greenwich The Enchanted Forest

    2014.11.21
     @ Junior League of Greenwich

    The Junior League of Greenwich (JLG) will host its annual holiday fundraiser, The Enchanted Forest on Friday, November 21 through Sunday, November...


Show More...

Most Popular Articles

  1. Go For Pink
    Greenwich Avenue
  2. 100th Annual Hunt Ball
    Conyers Farm
  3. 6 Ways to Practice Mindfulness
    Simple steps to get the most out of each moment
  4. SoundWaters Tall Ships Ball
    Stamford Yacht Club
  5. 10 Things To Do This Fall in Greenwich
    Greenwich offers endless opportunities to take advantage of during this season.