In This Issue: Finances for the Whole Family


Holiday gifts came early this year for New York families with two huge policy announcements to increase savings! Clinic Founder and CEO, Mae Watson Grote, reflects on the significance. Plus, learn the Clinic’s tips and tricks for keeping your holiday budget under control this season!


On November 28, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed “#Refund529”(aka A9118/S6942) into law, allowing the New York State tax refund to be split for direct contributions into a 529 college savings account –a bill that the Clinic, in partnership with Citizens’Committee for Children and a coalition of eight nonprofits, has been advocating for years. For low-income New Yorkers who are so often disconnected from mainstream financial services, this presents an incredible opportunity to help them save.

Click here to read a statement from Mae Watson Grote, Clinic Founder and CEO, on the significance of Refund529.

This exciting news came just one week after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new initiative to introduce a Child Savings Account Program to New York City public school students to help them save for college.

Tips for Saving This Holiday Season

Gift BoxesIt’s the most wonderful time of the year! However, our bank accounts may sing a different tune. Here are some of the top strategies our customers and staff use to make the most of their holiday budgets:

  • Give “experiences”–something you can do together –instead of physical gifts
  • Save through the year with a Holiday club savings account
  • Plan ahead and make purchases in the “off-season”to take advantage of the best prices
  • Take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals
  • Use credit cards to make purchases and use the upcoming tax refund to pay them off
  • Secret Santa (who can afford to buy presents for the ENTIRE family?)
  • Make homemade gifts: One staff member recommends repurposing old bottles into cups or vases and old graphic tees into posters or ornaments! Or, try creating “coupon books”and delicious treats!
  • Make a list for when you shop –and make yourself stick to it
  • Research online before purchasing to ensure you are getting the best deal out there!

Holiday Workshop & Celebration

The Financial Clinic Holiday EventOn November 28, the Clinic hosted a Holiday event for its customers, partners, and supporters for an interactive workshop. Guests were allowed entry upon determining their holiday financial goal, which became their guide as they travelled from one table to the next, learning financial strategies complete with games and giveaways (with food and drinks of course). We even had a fun coloring table for the kids!

Stay tuned for details on our next event –we’re going to kick off tax season with a bang!

Social Spotlight: WorkBOOST NYC

Attention all workforce development practitioners: Seeking applications for the second cohort of WorkBOOST NYC! Check out our social media for the latest news, plus a new blog post on the first cohort’s experiences.

The Financial Clinic on FacebookFollow the Clinic on Facebook and Twitter to catch all the latest news and posts!

The Clinic Across the Country

Speaking Engagements and Presentations

nliftThe Clinic staff have been busy, offering their expertise at various conferences and presentations. A selection of recent appearances include:

  • Founder and CEO, Mae Watson Grote, and Director of Social Enterprise, Valentin Tsay, represented the Clinic as a founding member for the launch of nonprofit Leaders in Financial Technology (nLIFT) –a new initiative of six nonprofits to increase financial inclusion through technology-driven platforms. The convening was hosted by the Aspen Institute in San Francisco on December 6. Click here to learn more!
  • Partnership Associate, Laura Malecky, joined Neighborworks in Washington, DC on December 12 to present Change Machine to their Training Institute.
  • On December 14, Assistant Director of Capacity Building, Jessica Wise, and Manager of Capacity Building, Racquel Forrester, joined New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) to discuss financial security for a WIOA Out-of-School Youth (OSY) Provider’s meeting, in collaboration with Workforce Professional’s Training Institute (WPTI).