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

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

    2014.09.18
     @ Laurel House

    Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as...

  • Isaia Fall Trunk Show

    2014.09.19
     @ Richards

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

    2014.09.20
     @ Meli-Melo of Greenwich

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • SoulCycle GWCH for Make-A-Wish CT

    2014.09.20
     @ SoulCycle

    Make-A-Wish Connecticut is thrilled to be partnering with SoulCycle's Greenwich location for a charity ride on Saturday, September 20th!...

  • Wall Street Tennis Challenge

    2014.09.20
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    The goal of The Wall Street Tennis Challenge is to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation’s efforts while spreading awareness...

  • Nam Cho Trunk Show

    2014.09.20
     @ Richards

  • Arts & Crafts on Bedford

    2014.09.20
     @ Bedford Street

    Shop at over 100 craft and artisan boutiques on Bedford Street, which will be closed to traffic for the weekend. Dine in our extended sidewalk...

  • Puttin’ On The Dog Festival

    2014.09.21
     @ Roger Sherman Baldwin Park

    Puttin’ On The Dog Festival Greenwich, Connecticut the place to be on September 21st for dogs and their owners...

  • Candy Fairies Book Reading

    2014.09.21
     @ Imagine Candy

    SCARSDALE, NY, Imagine Candy brings the acclaimed children's author Helen Perelman, the writer of the wickedly sweet Candy Fairies book...

  • Chizi's Tale Book Launch Party

    2014.09.21
     @ Tudor Investment Campus

    You and your family are invited to join Diane's Books of Greenwich and TUSK USA to celebrate the launch of Chizi's Tale: The True Story...

  • Chizi's Tale Book Launch Party

    2014.09.21
     @ Tudor Investment Campus

    You and your family are invited to join Diane's Books of Greenwich and TUSK USA to celebrate the launch of Chizi's Tale: The True Story...

  • 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!...

  • "Israel and the U.S."

    2014.09.22
     @ New Canaan Library

    The public is invited to attend a World Affairs Forum Great Decisions event featuring Seth Anziska, Columbia University. Mr. Anziska will speak...

  • Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon | Greenwich, CT

    2014.09.25
     @ Milbrook Club

    Greenwich Chamber of Commerce Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon will be held at Milbrook Club. Registration 11:30am; start at...

  • Aaron Henry Trunk Show & Personal Appearance

    2014.09.26
     @ Richards


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