Bank News, Customer Profile, In Our Community, Smart Savings Tips

FirstPrize $avings Winner: Evelin S. Molina-Payes

First County Bank congratulates the recent winner of the FirstPrize $avings account prize drawing– Evelin S. Molina-Payes of Stamford, CT. Evelin is a college student and plans to use her $1,000 winnings on text books and other class supplies.

The FirstPrize $avings account is a basic savings account with a cash prize drawing component to promote personal savings. With each eligible deposit of $25 or more, the account holder earns an entry into a drawing for a $1,000 prize. The drawing occurs four times per calendar year.

Account details, rules and regulations are posted on the First County Bank savings account website: https://firstcountybank.com/firstprize-savings. To learn more about the FirstPrize $avings account, click view the official FirstPrize $avings Account Official Rules which may be found in the Savings Account Disclosure.

Pictured left to right:  Executive Vice President Willard Miley; Branch Manager Edens Fleurizard; prize winner; Evelin S. Molina-Payes, President and COO, Bob Granata.

Smart Savings Tips

An Apple a Day: Life Insurance Awareness Month

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Have you had your apple today? Stop by any of our branches to get yours and learn more about protecting your assets during “Life Insurance Awareness Month” this September.

In an effort to encourage our customers to review their protection needs, the branches have created some fun ways to get you to think about the importance of life insurance.   Insurance can seem complicated and overwhelming, but as trusted advisors, we are here to be sure you know that we can help with all of your financial needs, including protecting your family from the unexpected.

Life insurance can help secure the financial future of your loved ones, help with funeral costs and pay off any outstanding debts. If you’re a parent, life insurance can help to pay for tuition and other educational expenses for your child. Buying a life insurance policy can help ensure that your family doesn’t have to rely on your retirement savings for financial support should anything happen.

Call our CustomerFirst Contact Center at (203) 462-4400 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. of stop by any one of our 16 conveniently located branches to learn more.

For branch locations visit: https://www.firstcountybank.com/branch-hours-locations-and-directions

Bank News, Customer Profile, Smart Savings Tips

Pint-Sized Savers

Last month, our branches gave kids the opportunity to win a prize (and bragging rights) for correctly guessing the amount of coins in the money jar. Our 15 winners not only won the jar of coins as their prize, but also a small investment in their future and valuable saving tips beginning at a young age.

According to Forbes magazine, children as young as three years old can grasp financial concepts like saving and spending. A study done by the University of Cambridge showed that children’s money habits are formed by the age of seven. The sooner kids start saving, the faster their money can grow!

Congratulations to our 15 lucky prize winners and happy saving!

Darien: Brandon A.; Fairfield: Nicole C.; Greenwich: Patrick B.; New Canaan: Teagen H.; Norwalk: Nondine D., Motasem S., Corinne F.; Stamford: Arison B., Brooke R., Amber B., Dylan R., Jacob J., Chase N., Christian H. and Westport: Liliana B.

 

 

Small Business Profile, Smart Savings Tips

Celebrate National Small Business Week

This week, National Small Business Week will be celebrated across the country. We constantly hear the challenges and successes of starting and maintaining a small business; however, we don’t hear enough about the impact small businesses make in our community.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced, “National Small Business Week is being held from April 29-May 5 and is an annual event hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration to recognize the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, small business advocates and champions. Every day they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.”

We look forward to celebrating Small Business Week this week and every week by continually highlighting business events in our community and financial solutions for small businesses. You can participate by shopping local and continuing to support local, small businesses.

Bank News, Customer Profile, Smart Savings Tips

First County Bank Announces Winner of FirstPrize $avings Account Drawing

First County Bank is excited to announce the recent winners of the FirstPrize $avings account $1,000 drawing is Manav Des Puri of Stamford, CT. This innovative account called FirstPrize $avings is a basic savings account with a cash prize drawing component to promote personal savings. With each eligible deposit of $25 or more, the account holder earns an entry into a drawing for a $1,000 prize. The drawing occurs four times per calendar year.

Bob Granata, president and COO, Mirella Martina, AVP, branch manager and Reyno Giallongo, chairman and CEO of First County Bank, present Manav Des Puri with $1,000, as winner of the recent FirstPrize $avings account drawing. To encourage personal savings, the $1,000 prize is directly deposited into the winners’ FirstPrize $avings account. Account details, rules and regulations are posted on the First County Bank savings account website: https://firstcountybank.com/firstprize-savings.

In Our Community, Smart Savings Tips

First County Bank Sponsors Financial Literacy Programs at Local High Schools

Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money. First County Bank is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to offer the completely free financial literacy curriculum available to eight schools in the New Canaan, Fairfield, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and Wilton areas.

“Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program,” Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai, said. “Kids have their own bank accounts, and they work through assignments that are based on real life. But because First County Bank is sponsoring it, local schools get it for free. More than ever, it’s important that kids develop sound financial skills to prepare them for the real world. First County Bank realizes that, and they’re doing something about it.”

Banzai is an interactive, online program supplemented by printed workbooks which aligns with state curriculum requirements for personal finance education. It has become the largest program of its kind, servicing more than 35,000 teachers and available in all 50 states.

April is National Financial Literacy Month, and it’s dedicated to helping Americans improve their financial well-being. We’re making an extra effort to spread awareness to teachers about this free financial literacy program available to them. First County Bank has offered time, money, industry experience, and a variety of bank resources to help local schools teach personal finance in the classroom.

Students using the program are exposed to real-life scenarios where they learn to pay bills and balance a budget – but it’s not always easy. Students must learn to manage unexpected expenses such as parking tickets, interest charges and overdraft fees. The educational program also introduces students to auto loans, bank statements, entertainment costs, savings and more.

Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit firstcountybank.teachbanzai.com or call 888-8-BANZAI.

Smart Savings Tips, Trends & Tips

10 Tools for Success in Financial Literacy Month

If you’re struggling to find a way to analyze your finances, get a jumpstart by considering these tools for success provided at FinancialLiteracyMonth.com:

  • Free Webinars – Sign up for free webinars designed to help you on your path to financial wellness. Topics include goal setting, credit reporting, managing credit, debt repayment, and budgeting.
  • Income Worksheet – Use the income worksheet to help you determine the amount of income you can realistically count on.
  • Net Worth Worksheet – Calculating your net worth is as simple as comparing what you owe (liabilities) and what you own (assets).
  • Debt Load Worksheet – Create an accurate picture of your debt obligations.
  • Financial Priorities Worksheet – Creating a list of needs and wants can help you establish your financial priorities.
  • Financial Goal Worksheet – Smart financial goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding, and Trackable. Use this worksheet to identify short-, mid-, and long-term SMART goals.
  • Goal Certificate – Create a “fridge friendly” personalized goal certificate to help you stay motivated.
  • Record of Daily Expenditures – Knowing where your money is going is critical for a successful budget. Track your daily expenses and then ask yourself if you’re spending your money wisely.
  • Expense Worksheet – Create and follow a spending plan. A realistic monthly spending plan is a valuable tool to guide your spending and saving decisions.
  • Tips for Change eBook – Download the eBook to read tips submitted by financially savvy consumers.

If you’ve found these tools helpful, have questions or would like to work through a tool with a trusted advisor, we encourage you to reach out to your local banker. Let’s work together to get you on the path to financial wellness.

Smart Savings Tips, Trends & Tips

April is National Financial Literacy Month

April has been regarded as National Financial Literacy Month for almost twenty years. Financial literacy is something everyone should be educated about or have a trusted advisor they can come to for help. At First County Bank we understand the importance of teaching skills and providing our customers and community the opportunity to educate themselves.

This April, we encourage you to take the next step in learning more about your own finances – strengths, weaknesses and most importantly, opportunities. That next step can be as simple as scrolling through our blog to read about Smart Savings Tips or Lifestyle Trends & Tips. To pursue financial literacy further, we encourage you to talk to your local banker.

Smart Savings Tips

Do you and your money care about the same things?

moneybankAs the old adage goes “Actions speak louder than words.” On the topic in question, it is fair to say spending is an action that implies values. Which explains why the nature of finances can be so personal, and challenge us to ask the question, what do we value?

Is it:

  • Family?
  • Friends?
  • Health?
  • Happiness?
  • Travel?
  • Spontaneity?

In asking these questions, spending becomes a means of self-examination shedding light on our actions and our values. Sometimes they don’t add up and when they don’t add up life can get off track. Such as if you value health, and yet find on your bank statement a lot of transactions related to unhealthy fast food. Thus, prompting the questions:

Does your money care about the same things you do?
Is your budget going towards things you really care about?

In which case steps can and should be taken to realign spending with what we value. Such as:

  • Review expenditures and categorize them to see where the money is going. Know where you are now so you can make a plan going forward.
  • Recognize there may be some items in your budget that need adjusting, but will take time to achieve. For example, moving closer to work to cut down on travel and provide more family time will require time and planning.
  • Set goals to getting your money on track.
  • Make your goals visible. When you have the impulse to spend on something you really don’t value, you can stop yourself because you have visual reminders around you. Create visuals with pictures of your goals on the wall, on our computer, on your phone. Keep it readily in front of you.

Remember, money can enable a lifestyle of values and goals that reflect us. Now that you are aware of these tendencies and about what you value in life…go make your money care about what you care about.

By Heather Marshall, CFPC, MPP; Educator, AAA Fair Credit Foundation/Utah Saves