Client Spotlight: Shari Mooney

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Shari Mooney considers herself to have an advanced degree in finance, thanks to the classes offered at OFE.

Mooney, who works in the City’s Planning and Urban Design department, started attending OFE Lunch and Learn classes in 2014, using what she’s learned to improve her financial situation.

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The OFE Gears Up for Money Smart Week 2017

The Treasurer’s Office of Financial Empowerment will participate in Money Smart Week 2017 during the week of April 22-29.

College Kids will have an informational table at Money Smart Kids Safari at the Zoo, on April 22, from 9:00 am-12:00 pm to kick off the week. View event details and mark your calendars!

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Highlights: Fourth Annual St. Louis Metro Financial Empowerment and Job Fair

The Fourth Annual St. Louis Metro Financial Empowerment and Job Fair took place last weekend, and thanks to all vendors and attendees who made this year’s event a success!

View photos from the fair!

 


Saver Spotlight: College Kid Lucian Bica

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Meet Lucian, a kindergartner at Wilkinson Elementary.

Lucian knows that he will go to college but hasn't decided which one yet. He does know that he wants to stay close to home. Lucian has already made an effort to save for college by depositing $70 of his own money into his College Kids savings account. He has participated in research studies through Washington University, saved money from his birthday and from chores. Jodie Bica, his mother, has noticed that Lucian thinks about money and savings more often than he did before the College Kids program. 

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College Kids Honored with a What’s Right with the Region Award

When Tishaura O. Jones was elected Treasurer in 2012, she took an office that did little for the community and turned it into an office full of programs that help better the lives of St. Louis residents. One of those programs is the College Kids Children’s Savings account program, which provides college savings accounts to all kindergarten students in St. Louis public schools. 

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Successful Budgeting Tips for Couples

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For couples, budgeting is often the last conversation that many have when combining households. Contrary to popular belief, talking with your significant other about budgeting can be the glue that holds the relationship together- when everything fits in place.

Recently, our partners at Enterprise Bank hosted a “Budgeting for Couples” Lunch and Learn in the Office of Financial Empowerment. Over the lunch hour, participants received practical tips from a banking professional about how to discuss budgeting with your significant other.

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Annual Financial Empowerment and Job Fair is April 1

The City of St. Louis Treasurer’s Office of Financial Empowerment will participate in the annual St. Louis Metropolitan Financial Empowerment and Job Fair on Saturday, April 1 from 9am to 3pm at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park.

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College Kids to Partner with Duke University Lab on Innovative Savings Solutions

The College Kids Children’s Savings Account Program is a new partner of the Common Cents Lab at Duke University.  Common Cents is a financial research lab that helps low-to-moderate income households improve their financial well-being. Common Cents uses research to recommend changes in behavior that lead to positive financial outcomes.

The Common Cents Lab is part of the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University and is comprised of researchers and experts in product design, economics, psychology, public policy, advertising, product design, and business administration.

Common Cents works with organizations such as fintech companies, credit unions, banks, and non-profits. They will help us determine ways to get College Kids participants increase their savings.

Past Common Cents partners include AARP, Digit, EarnUp, Gusto, Payable, Propel, RetireMap, RobinHood, Credit Union 1, Duke Federal Credit Union, Latino Community Credit Union, Self-Help Credit Union, and GreenPath Financial Wellness.

A team from the Common Cents Lab will visit the Office of Financial Empowerment this spring, and a report of their recommendations will be made sometime this fall. 


College Kids Parents: Get Your Taxes Prepared for Free and Double your Savings with VITA!

The Office of Financial Empowerment is teaming up with local volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) sites to offer free tax preparation services to the qualified parents of students enrolled in our College Kids children’s savings account program.

VITA tax sites across St Louis City will prepare your taxes for free and help you save by making a deposit into your child's College Kids account. Bring your child's account and routing number to any VITA site and split your refund with the 8888 Form. Deposits made into your child's College Kids savings account will be matched up to $100!

In order to qualify for free VITA tax preparation services, you must have an annual income of $54,000 or less, have a disability, or have limited English speaking skills.

To find the nearest VITA tax site, click here or contact 314-622-4700 or collegekids@stlouis mo.gov.

 


College Kids Savings Accounts: Year Two

The second year of our College Kids children’s savings account program is now underway, and we are pleased to announce that 3,163 new students are now saving for higher education. That brings the total number of students participating in College Kids to just over 6,300!

The program now serves 65 elementary schools, including new partnerships at The Biome and EAGLE Prep Tower Grove East.  Every child in the program received a jumpstart to their college savings account: a $50 seed deposit from the Treasurer’s Office.

During the first year of College Kids, families deposited more than $5,100 of their own money and received dollar for dollar matches up to $100. Thanks to the bonus and rewards program, nearly 25% of participants had more than one deposit in their first year!  In total, College Kids savers have accumulated more than $238,000. 

College Kids participants will be able to use their savings for any college-related expenses, including ACT/SAT preparation, college applications, and any expenses at an accredited higher education institution (room and board, tuition, textbooks, etc). 

For many of our families, thinking about college when their children are only in kindergarten was a big change.  College Kids families also gained access to resources that will help them on their path to financial empowerment.  In addition to the free college savings account, families have access to free financial education and credit counseling with Operation Hope.  Parents, guardians, and grandparents had opportunities to learn more about saving for college at Family Savings Nights at 1st Financial Credit Union and Lunch and Learn classes at our Office of Financial Empowerment.  

We look forward to another successful year of College Kids!  



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