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

  • Cool and Collected ‘14

    2014.07.10
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    (Gallery 1) Featuring artists:  Carla Goldberg, Melanie Kozol, Francis Sills, and Eve Stockton Summer exhibition at Kenise Barnes...

  • Wine Time Social Hour

    2014.08.29
     @ Barcelona Wine Bar

    Fairfield Monday - Friday 3 - 6:30pm $5 select wines, $4 well drinks, $3 beers. 3 for $16 tapas Greenwich Monday - Friday 4 - 7...

  • TREEHOUSES: Look Who's Living in the Trees!

    2014.06.21
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Saturday, June 21 - Monday, September 1 Hidden in the leaves, snug in the trunk or burrowed under the roots, what types of animals actually...

  • Exhibit: Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.03
     @ Bruce Museum

    May 3 – August 31, 2014 Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing This exhibition focuses on two of the world’s leading...

  • Seaside Center: Arts and Crafts

    2014.07.18
     @ Seaside Center

    Let your creativity float free! Practice the art of Gyotaku fish prints; make a sundial, a shell wind chime, or fish bowl! Activities vary every...

  • Vals Free Weekly In-Store Wine Tasting | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.09
     @ Val's Putnam Wine And Liquors

    Each Friday we feature new wines just released and new to market for you to have an opportunity to taste and learn about through our sponsored...

  • Wine Time Social Hour | Greenwich, CT

    2014.01.27
     @ Barcelona Greenwich

    $4.00 select wines, $4.00 well drinks, and $3.00 beers.

  • Happy Hour | Greenwich, CT

    2014.01.26
     @ Morello Italian Bistro

    Refresh yourself with our famous Red & White Sangria! Don’t forget that during happy hour every day 4:30pm-6:30pm your 2nd drink...

  • Saturday Vals Free Weekly In-Store Wine Tasting | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.10
     @ Val's Putnam Wine And Liquors

    We will feature an array of new and different International wines that are selected by our staff as “Staff Picks Favorites” in...

  • Polo Benefit for Hope

    2014.08.31
     @ Greenwich Polo Club

    For the second year in a row, Virginia's House of Hope is having a fundraiser at the Greenwich Polo Club! Join us on Sunday, August...

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • Animal Meet and Greet

    2014.06.22
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 22 - August 31, 3:30 - 4:00pm Stop by for a chance to meet one of our Overbrook Nature Center or Heckscher Farm animals up...

  • Bar: Live Music | Greenwich, CT

    2014.03.09
     @ Barcelona Greenwich

    Join us in Greenwich every Sunday for live music and half-priced bottles of wine!

  • Greenwich Harbor Sunset Wine Cruise | Greenwich, CT

    2014.06.05
     @ Delamar Hotel Dock

    The boat "Prudence" departs from the Delamar Hotel Dock on 500 Steamboat Rd. All the wine is sponsored through VALS with food...

  • Exclusive Tour of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery

    2014.09.09
     @ Yale University Art Gallery

    Join JCC Greenwich for an exclusive tour with museum curator Elizabeth Manekin. The collection is noteworthy for exemplary works from the...

  • Understanding the Gaza War: Strategic & Political Implications

    2014.09.09
     @ Greenwich Library, Cole Auditorium

    Dr. Efraim Inbar is a Professor in Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and Director of its renowned Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic...

  • Bruce Museum: Look and See - Into the Deep

    2014.09.10
     @ Bruce Museum

    A program especially designed for children ages 3-5 years and their adult caregivers, who will explore the Museum’s exhibition through...

  • College Admissions Boot Camp | Greenwich, CT

    2014.09.13

    College Prep 360 will be offering two college admissions “boot camps” in their Greenwich office over the summer. The first workshop...


Show More...

Most Popular Articles

  1. Best of Greenwich
    Delamar Greenwich Harbor
  2. 10 Things Greenwich Teens Can Do This Summer
    One Greenwich teen shares some suggestions for summer fun!
  3. Villa Maria School: Annual Spring Gala
    Richards of Greenwich
  4. Save the Children Benefit
    Riverside Yacht Club
  5. Twelfth Annual New York Smile Event
    Cipriani Wall Street