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Financially Fluent & Fiscally Savvy

Financially Fluent & Fiscally Savvy

Featuring Raye Ludovissie and Eric Bigelow

True to our community bank values, Star Bank is proud to educate and help customers and community members become financially savvy individuals and business people. As April is Community Banking Month AND Financial Literacy Month, we’d like to shine a spotlight on Raye Ludovissie, Branch Manager in Verndale, and Eric Bigelow, Assistant Vice President in Wheaton.

For years, Raye and Eric have taught teenagers in the Bertha, Verndale, and Wheaton areas about the benefits of being fiscally fluent. They teach students how interest works with credit cards, loans, and savings accounts; how to avoid fees by paying attention to account balances; how to avoid the trap of falling deeply into debt; and, most importantly, how to plan for the future.

“I expect to field a lot of questions about FDIC insurance this year,” Raye shares. Raye has been with Star Bank for 13 years, so he knows teens have a lot of questions about money. “Students are not receiving nearly enough information about how to manage their money so I’m glad that we can spend a little bit of time talking about the basics,” he says

Eric agrees. He shares his knowledge of personal finance every spring with high school seniors in Wheaton. “Many high school seniors need help with budgets and how to manage their money. It’s a new concept for teenagers and I feel lucky to be a part of their education.”

One of Raye’s favorite discussions is about credit, and how they are impacted by good and bad choices. “We talk about how a non-sufficient funds fee might turn a $3 purchase into a $33 purchase if they aren’t careful.”

Students typically ask Raye and Eric about non-bank payment Apps. “They all know about Venmo, and they know some of the alternative payment products offer quasi-banking services. But, they don’t know the risks that might be involved with these bank-like services,” Eric explains. 

The key for both Eric and Raye is to help teenagers understand that the financial decisions they make need to fit their financial reality. “Kids hear about millionaires buying fancy Mustangs, but they need to understand that their current situation isn’t going to allow for such extravagance”, Raye says. “We talk a lot about ‘needs versus wants’ which is probably one of the most important financial literacy lessons our bankers can provide.” 

In honor of Financial Literacy Month, we challenge you to take a little bit of time to brush up on your financial knowledge and learn how to make your money work harder for you. It’s never too late or too early to start! If you’re not sure where to begin, let us help.