Maine’s Machias Savings Bank Hosts “Future Promises” event

Since 2003, Maine community bank Machias Savings Bank has hosted Future Promises for students throughout Washington County, one of the most rural counties in the state which face a high level of poverty. The program starts with an annual job fair hosted by MSB at the University of Maine at Machias. All students in grades 3rd-6th in Washington County are invited to attend the fair. The bank invites various professionals to attend as well to discuss their jobs with students. Some of the professionals include: bankers, construction workers, vets, broadcast reporters, law enforcement and many others. Each of the professionals has a booth where they speak to the kids about their job and what it took for them to get into their chosen profession. Many of them provide engaging activities for the children to help spark their interest.

Traci Sanborn interviewing little boy

In addition to hosting the event, there is also have a booth staffed by MSB employees. At the MSB booth, staffers distribute financial literacy materials and discuss banking careers with the students. Each teacher is provided a series of financial literacy games to use in the classroom.

After the fair, students are encouraged to write an essay on what they want to be when they grow up and submit it to the bank. A committee reviews the essays and selects 20 winners. The recipients and their families are invited to an awards banquet where MSB provides dinner and presents them with their award. Students receive a certificate, a complete set of financial literacy games and a $250 voucher that can be applied to a savings account or a 529 college savings account.

Future Promises Bags

 

This program has achieved tremendous growth in the past several years with more than 900 students attending the Future Promises Job Fair in 2013. Currently, Machias Savings Bank is exploring the expansion of Future Promises to include two additional counties.

Throughout the month of August, we’ll be posting regular posts highlighting financial literacy information, including community banks who are active in their local communities’ financial literacy programs.

Have a story to share? Reach out to either Audrey Wright-Cipriano at audrey.cipriano@icba.org or Jessica Wallace at jessica.wallace@icba.org.

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America Saves Week

Today kicks off the annual America Saves Week, which is a campaign aimed to create awareness for creating savings funds, building emergency funds and assessing savings plans.

In case you need any ideas on how to become a better saver yourself, ICBA offers the following tips to help Americans get started on their personal savings:

  1. Set a goal: People are more successful when they have certain goals in mind, so create and share a savings goal with your family and friends. Start small—even saving your loose change can get you somewhere. Aim to start a path toward building an emergency fund of savings with six to nine months of living expenses.
  2. Make a plan: By creating a spending plan, list your expenses and compare them to your income. The plan will help prioritize what are necessities and wants for the month. Attempt to use your credit cards more efficiently, too. Doing that can help ensure that you will not take on too much debt and can minimize interest charges.
  3. Save automatically: Many employers offer regular payroll deduction, which is one of the best ways to start and keep saving money. Make it a routine to automatically put aside a certain amount of money each paycheck, or ask your community bank to make an automatic transfer from your checking to savings account each month.

Green Tree Farmers Market Gets Local Bank’s Help

Allegheny Valley Bank was founded on community support, solving the financial needs of our clients and supporting the economy through gainful employment. More than a century later, we are proud to serve the same mission. Our employees are encouraged to take an active role in our communities. It helps to further solidify our presence in the Pittsburgh market and provides employees the ability to develop relationships with local consumers.

One initiative of community support is the sponsorship of a local farmers market in the Green Tree neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Allegheny Valley Bank has supported this farmers market since the inaugural season in 2008. The Farmers Market begins the 3rd Thursday in May and runs every Thursday through the end of October. The market is held in Green Tree Park from 4 to 7 p.m. Local vendors have lots to offer – fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, baked goods, meats, cheeses, pasta and more!

Allegheny Valley Bank

Allegheny Valley Bank’s sponsorship enables the Borough to produce signage advertising the Farmers Market throughout the community. Banners and posters are displayed in Green Tree area schools and the local business district. Allegheny Valley Bank’s 26-foot inflatable balloon also helps promote the Farmers Market! Similar to a billboard, our balloon can be placed roadside at community events, at branch offices, and can be used year round. Because of its presence over the years, the balloon serves as a landmark for the Green Tree Farmers Market.

Now entering its sixth season, Allegheny Valley Bank continues to support the farmers market. Our employees have volunteered countless hours throughout these past six years representing the bank at a booth each week. They enjoy greeting the farmers market patrons. We often hold free raffles and answer any banking-related questions visitors might have. Our on-site presence has created brand awareness and strengthened our relationship with the Green Tree community.

– Andrew W. Hasley, president & CEO, Allegheny Valley Bank

Tell us about your community’s farmers market! Are you a community bank who sponsors a market in your town? Let us know! We’re always encouraging people to bank local, dine local and shop local.

Each Friday this May, be on the lookout for Go Local’s Friday Farmers Market posts. We’re highlighting the great works community banks from across the country do with their local markets.

America Saves Week Wrap-Up

Just because America Saves Week has ended doesn’t mean you should stop saving and reaching financial goals. After all, saving is a yearlong and lifelong priority!

So tell us, how did you participate in America Saves Week? Are you a community bank that encouraged your customers to open savings accounts or set aside a dollar a day? Are you someone who’s just starting to save? Or are you a mom or dad that discussed the importance of financial independence with your kids? No matter what your situation is, we want to hear about it! Send us ways you save money or are reducing your debt and you might be featured on our Go Local blog!

Didn’t get a chance to chat with a local community banker in your area about ways you can start saving? Visit www.banklocally.org to find a community bank in your town today. Want to learn more about community banks and the local investments they make each and every day? Visit www.icba.org and follow @ICBA on Twitter.

– Terry Jorde, senior executive vice president/chief of staff at ICBA
@terryjorde

ICBA Joins Nearly 2,000 Organizations to Participate in America Saves Week

ICBA is proud to be participating with the nearly 2,000 organizations nationwide that are encouraging Americans to save as part of America Saves Week, which runs Feb. 25 – March 2, 2013. The week-long national campaign helps raise awareness of the importance of creating savings funds, building an emergency fund and paying off debt.

As a former community banker, and a community bank customer, I know firsthand that community banks are excellent resources for consumers to utilize during America Saves Week and every week of the year. Main Street bankers are willing to take time and discuss ways to help consumers reach their financial goals. Beginning to save for your future can be daunting at times, but it is something every American needs to consider. No effort is too small, and with the help of your local community bank, creating and maintaining savings funds is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Set a goal: People are more successful when they have certain goals in mind, so create and share a savings goal with your family and friends. Start small—even saving your loose change can get you somewhere. If you set aside $1.50 a day for one year, you can garner an emergency fund of at least $500. Aim to start a path toward building an emergency fund of savings with six to nine months of living expenses.
  2. Make a plan: By creating a spending plan, which is a guide to help you take better control of your finances by tracking where your money goes, list your expenses and compare them to your income. The plan will help prioritize necessities and wants for the month. Attempt to use your credit cards more efficiently, too. Doing that can help ensure that you will not take on too much debt and can minimize interest charges.
  3. Save automatically: Join a retirement plan at work, if possible and maximize your employer’s matching contributions. Many employers offer regular payroll deduction, which is one of the best ways to start and keep saving money. Make it a routine to automatically put aside a certain amount of money each paycheck. Every penny, nickel and dime counts!

So head over to your local community bank and find out ways you can start investing in your future now. And don’t forget to visit www.banklocally.org to find a community bank in your town today.

— Terry Jorde, senior executive vice president/chief of staff at ICBA
@terryjorde