Six Cost-Effective Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

“Eco-friendly” most commonly refers to actions or items that are not harmful to the environment. In this instance, “eco” is an abbreviation for ecology, but who’s to say it can’t also stand for economy? As a homeowner, there are plenty of actions you can take that are good for the world and your wallet. Here are six to get you started!

Save water to save on water

Westwood’s Water Works perhaps puts it best: “Decreasing water usage can help preserve this precious resource while maintaining a happy and healthy quality of life.” A small adjustment to your daily routine can make a big difference. Next time you brush your teeth, for example, take note of whether you leave the water running the entire time. If so, it’s a simple fix! It won’t take long to train yourself to turn it off when you don’t need it. Looking for more easy ways to save water? Here are 190!

Get insulated

A U.S. president once said, “insulation is sexy stuff.” Silly as it may sound, many experts agree, at least with the sentiment. Uninsulated homes lose both hot and cool air, so they are working against you year-round, wasting energy and money. Installing proper insulation can pad more than just your walls; in the long term, this environmentally-friendly effort may pad your wallet, too. It might take a few years to make back the total cost of installation, but you will start feeling the return immediately — literally!

Pro tip: Building a home? Ask your contractor about advanced framing. With this       technique, the spacing of the studs allows for more insulation than conventional spacing, setting you up to save on both heating and cooling your home. Furthermore, this approach reduces wood use and possibly even labor costs, which could end up saving you money in the construction process.

Go with the [low] flow

One might imagine using 25%-60% less water when showering would require a major bathroom renovation, but it’s easier than you think. The two basic types of low-flow showerheads are: aerating, which mixes air with water to form a misty spray; Laminar-flow, which forms individual streams of water. Quality, low-flow showerheads are available for around $10 to $20.

Stick with energy-efficient appliances

When shopping around for appliances, be sure to include products that have earned the ENERGY STAR in your search. They may initially be a little more expensive than alternatives, but they’re known to be very durable and more environmentally friendly, not to mention likely to help you save on utility bills. According to ENERGY STAR, clothes washers and dryers that have earned their certification deliver superior efficiency and performance, saving users $490 and up to 30% on energy costs over the lifetime of the appliance

Pro tip: New Jersey offers financial incentives for “going green” through The New Jersey Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program (HPwES), which assesses a home’s overall performance and energy efficiency, taking into account improvements to insulation, duct sealing, heating and cooling systems, windows, doors, and appliances. Through this program, the more energy saving measures you install, the greater the incentive you may be eligible to receive. Visit the website for full details and information on eligibility. There are also federal income tax credits available for homeowners who are making energy-efficient choices.

Nip leaking faucets in the bud

“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” ―Benjamin Franklin. A leaky faucet may be the perfect example to illustrate this point. A dripping faucet might seem like small potatoes, but over time it can cumulatively hemorrhage gallons upon gallons of water, wasting means and money. If you’d like to get an approximate idea of how much water your leaky faucet is wasting, try this drip calculator from the USGS Water Science School. We tried it out and discovered that a faucet that drips once per minute actually loses 34 gallons in one year!


Seal leaky ducts for savings (and comfort)

Leaky air ducts can waste up to 30% in energy costs, not to mention make your home less comfortable. Worse yet, they can pull in dirt and contaminants from your attic and walls. Exposed duct joints can be sealed, but not those buried in walls and ceilings. Ducts can be sealed from the inside using a process called aerosol duct sealing, but it’s not commonly considered a DIY project. According to The Family Handyman magazine, a professional aerosol duct cleaning for an average home can cost anywhere from $1,800-$2,500. Expect costs to be on the higher end if your HVAC equipment is located in an area with limited access, such as an attic or finished basement. Projected return on investment falls somewhere in the three-to-five-year range.

 If taking steps to make your home more energy efficient earns you some extra pocket money, don’t just save it for a rainy day…let us help you make it make it grow! One of the best ways to do that is to deposit it into an interest-bearing account, such as savingsmoney market, or certificate of deposit (CD). Visit the NVE website, one of our convenient neighborhood branches in Bergen County, or call 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to learn more.


The Family Handyman, October 2016, p. 65

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How to Make the Most of Your Back-to-School Budget

According to a recent Junior Achievement survey, 60% of parents surveyed said it is a challenge to afford school supplies. The survey revealed that 64% of parents expect to pay less than $500 per child on back-to-school items while 17% expect to spend more than $500 per child. Unfortunately, the latter group seems to have a better handle on the numbers; according to a 2017 Deloitte survey, the average spend in the northeast is $513 per child. Here are some ways to spend smarter!

Go directly to the source

New Jersey PTA president Rose Acerra said in-school stores are trying to help lighten the financial burden for students and families by selling supplies at a lower markup than routine retailers. According to Acerra, “We were finding that sometimes, a parent is working — they don’t have the time to bring their kids to Staples or to a store to get their supplies. It was easier for them to just write a check to the PTA store and then be able to purchase their products.”

Review your inventory

If you’ve been through the back-to-school shopping routine before, check to see what usable supplies you have left over from last year so you can avoid purchasing anything you don’t actually need. If you really do the math, just a few items could add up to a nice bit of savings! With that in mind, when it comes to items that have the potential for a longer shelf life, such as a backpack, consider this: investing a little bit more for better quality could end up saving you money in the long term.

Warranties for the win

Savings expert Jeanette Pavini of advises shoppers to give their business to retailers that offer generous warranties. This is a good indication that their products are made well, but if they don’t last or meet your child’s needs, you can return them.

 Trust the [local] experts

Any parent is likely to agree that time and money are luxuries, so when it comes to shopping for  getting “the right stuff” the first time around is a big win. A recent article recounted the experience of Wayne resident Laura Rumana, who recently visited Gibling’s Footwear in Oakland for the first time after finding herself having to return multiple pairs of shoes for her six-year-old son, Tommy, to Ken Wrisley, store owner since 1986, measured Tommy and put him in a 5W sneaker — a lightbulb moment for Rumana, who’d been ordering size 3.5. Problem solved!

Play the waiting game

After the first few days of getting a lay of the land while spending time with classmates, kids may very well change their minds about some of the cool, trendy things they had on their wish list before school started. If you can spare that time, hold off to avoid any unnecessary spending. Depending on how long you wait, you may also find school supply prices have dropped!

Additionally, “Wait for Columbus Day sales to load up on fall shoes and apparel as well as sporting goods,” explained consumer expert Lisa Lee Freeman in a recent ABC News story. “The next few weeks are best for closeouts on summer clothing, which your kids will be wearing for at least the first couple of months of school.”

Rake in rewards

Retailer rewards programs come in especially handy around times like these when you know there’s some mandatory shopping to be done. But it’s not just stores offering this kind of incentive! One example is UChoose Rewards, a debit card reward program that allows you to earn points by shopping at some of your favorite retail locations. As an NVE customer, it’s easy to register your NVE Bank Debit Mastercard® for UChoose Rewards®.

Think long term

Unless your child is graduating from school, you’ll be in the same boat this time next year. Do your future self a favor and shop now for supplies you know you’ll need then. Think about the things you’ll always need, such as writing utensils, notebooks and poster board. Once the back-to-school rush has died down, the prices of those items and more are all but guaranteed to drop.

NVE Bank is here to help with a wide range of products and services to help you save money, reach your financial goals and more. Visit or visit one of our neighborhood branches, conveniently located throughout Bergen County, to speak with one of our Branch Associates. You can also call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).



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NVE Bank About Town: Connecting with Our Community

For 130 years, NVE Bank has put service to our communities at the forefront of our mission. NVE’s goal to make a difference can be seen in every effort we make, from major, organization-wide philanthropic fundraising programs to something as simple as a member of our staff purchasing his or her morning coffee at a local deli in support of small business. Big or small, every effort matters. This culture of caring we have developed over many years has been the driving force behind what has blossomed into a robust series of community support initiatives NVE hosts and participates in year-round. Here’s what we’ve been up to so far this year!


American Dream Program – NVE was pleased to present a donation of $5,000 to our partner of more than 20 years, Bergen County New Jersey Community Development. This organization provides down payment and mortgage assistance to qualified first time homebuyers through the American Dream Program.

Trike-a-thon – NVE is always proud to be a sponsor of the Children Helping  Children Trike-a-thon fundraiser. This year, the Jack In The Box Schools of Closter, Alpine and Tenafly benefitted The Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America (debra), a non-profit supporting the community affected by the rare genetic connective tissue disorder. We love that these children are learning about fundraising while helping children’s causes!


National Rebuilding Day – NVE Bank greatly values the ongoing partnership we’ve fostered with the North Jersey Chapter of Rebuilding Together. On National Rebuilding Day, which takes place during the last Saturday in April each year, volunteers from NVE join thousands of others nationwide to help provide needed and sometimes critical and life-saving repairs for vulnerable families in our communities. This year, our team helped make safety improvements to the home of one of our senior citizen neighbors in Westwood. The bank was also pleased to make a donation of $7,500 to the organization!



 iPiggiBank Financial Literacy Program – NVE proudly sponsored iPiggiBank’s 2017 Financial Literacy Class, Money Management 4 Kids. This innovative, eight-week financial literacy program, created by iPiggiBank, was delivered to first-graders at Bergen Family Center in Engelwood.

10th Annual Scholarship Program – NVE Bank continued its support of Bergen County youth by awarding 17 area students with scholarships to pursue their higher education dreams. Ten graduating high school seniors — many of whom are just about to start their freshman year at college — were awarded $1,000 scholarships to pursue their higher education goals. Seven middle school students also received a $500 savings product.


Teach Children To Save (TCTS) – In honor of  the American Bankers Association’s annual Teach Children to Save Day program, NVE Bank Branch Managers embarked on a month-long financial literacy teaching initiative, delivering a series of lessons on good saving habits to classrooms throughout Bergen County. Students received certificates and NVE piggy banks! We’ve had such a wonderful experience with the school’s administrators, teachers, and students, who always welcome us with open arms and let us teach the value of saving and other financial literacy lessons.


Flat Rock Brook Scholarship –  NVE was delighted to pledge a scholarship that enabled one child to attend a summer 2017 session of Flat Rock’s Summer Nature Day Camp! If you haven’t visited the Flat Rock Brook Nature Center in Englewood, treat yourself!


Credit: Flat Rock Brook

The Junction – Every year, our Closter branch team looks forward to a special visit from The Junction students, during which our staff teaches them about the inner workings of a bank and the importance of using debit and credit cards responsibly! The Junction, affiliated with Northern Valley Regional High School in Demarest, is a program that helps students with different abilities to learn functional living and occupational skills, and also coordinates community internships.


Bark for Education – Cresskill Education Foundation held its “Bark for Education” canine carnival at Cresskill High School in May. NVE Bank joined pet vendors and others throughout the community for a pet parade, costume contest, and raffled off some goodies for attendees and their pampered pets!


130 Years – 2017 marks an especially exciting time here at NVE Bank, as we celebrate our 130th year in business. To acknowledge this milestone, we hosted a week-long party for our customers, neighbors and others throughout the communities we serve. From July 10-July 15, we welcomed visitors into our 12 branches to enjoy refreshments, take advantage of special offers, receive free T-shirts, fidget spinners and other treats, and enter to win our special anniversary giveaway! Five lucky winners also received $500 StubHub® Gift Certificates to use for concerts, games or theatre experiences of their choosing. We had a ball, and we think everyone who joined in the celebrations did, too!


To learn more about NVE’s community involvement, as well as products and services, visit our website. You can also visit your convenient neighborhood branch, or call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).

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NVE Bank Celebrates 130 Years with Prize Drawings, Giveaways and Special Offers

February 1887: the first Groundhog Day is observed in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. March 1887: Anne Sullivan begins teaching Helen Keller. April 1887: Argonia, Kansas elects Susanna M. Salter as the first female mayor in the United States. May 1887: NVE Bank opens in Englewood, New Jersey! It’s hard to believe that was 130 years ago, but reflecting back in the context of those incredible historical milestones certainly helps put things into perspective. NVE has considerable history and deep roots in our communities.

In the decades since, NVE Bank has been a pioneer in community banking, supporting small businesses, adopting the latest financial tools to help our customers thrive, and always providing the highest level of personalized service. We’ve also helped our customers and communities navigate challenging times: the Crash of ’29; the Early ‘80s Recession; Black Monday; the Dot-Com Crash; and, of course, The Great Recession. We’re proud to have weathered those storms, remaining a leading community mutual bank serving northern New Jersey. This month, we’re celebrating this huge accomplishment, and we hope you’ll join us!

NVE Bank will celebrate our 130th Anniversary by throwing a week-long party throughout our 12 Bergen County branches. From July 10 – July 15, 2017, all visitors are welcome in our branches to enjoy refreshments, free t-shirts and fidget spinners, and enter to win our special anniversary giveaway! Five lucky winners will each receive a $500 StubHub® Gift Certificate to use for concerts, games or theatre experiences of their choosing!* Entry forms for NVE’s 130th Anniversary Prize Drawing are available at any NVE Bank branch.** Details and official rules are posted here and are available at all branch locations. You can find a list of NVE branch addresses and hours here.

In addition to these celebratory offerings, NVE has created a special product in honor of our milestone anniversary. Interested in maximizing your interest? Take advantage of our 130th Anniversary special 13-month CD with a 1.30% APY for a limited time! ***

Now is a good time to remember that NVE Bank is an independent Mutual Bank. That means we do not answer to shareholders or Wall Street — we answer to our customers. In 2017, Bauer Financial Inc., the nation’s largest independent bank rating firm, awarded NVE its coveted 5-Star Rating, designating it as one of the strongest banks in the nation. As one New Jersey’s oldest and strongest financial institutions, we offer an extensive range of personal and business products and services to our customers, and are deeply involved in the communities we serve, dedicating hundreds of hours annually to civic and charitable event participation.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating 130 years at NVE Bank! What have you got to lose?

For more information on NVE Bank’s products, services or promotions, call 1-866-NVE-BANK (683-2265), go to or stop by your neighborhood branch.

* This promotion is not sponsored or endorsed by StubHub, Inc.

** Entry forms and details are available at NVE branches.

*** Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is effective as of 7/8/17 through 7/15/17. Existing NVE customers must have and maintain an NVE checking account with direct deposit for the 13-month term. New customers must open and maintain an NVE checking account with direct deposit for the 13-month term. If checking account is closed prior to the expiration of the 13-month term and/or direct deposit is not activated or is discontinued prior to the expiration of the 13-month term, the APY will be changed to 0.005% for the balance of the term. Penalty for early withdrawal. Limited time offer. Fees could reduce earning on the account. Minimum amount of $1,000. Maximum amount of $1,000,000.



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10th Annual NVE Bank Scholarship Awards Recognize Bergen County Students

According to an April 2017 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 3.1 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school between January and October 2016, about 2.2 million (69.7 percent) were enrolled in a college or university in October. The total numbers for 2016-17 school year remain to be seen, but the team here at NVE Bank can tell you first-hand to count in 10 bright, eager graduates from high schools throughout Bergen County. We know this because we just honored them at our 10th Annual Scholarship Ceremony, which took place at our Englewood headquarters on June 20th.

The scholarships are part of a program that has been offered by the Bank for the past decade, where 10 area high school seniors are selected to receive $1,000 scholarships. The program is extended to local middle school students, as well. This year, seven graduating eighth grade students were selected to receive a $500 Savings Product Scholarship. Since the inception of the program, NVE Bank has awarded over $150,000 to deserving students in Bergen County.

The following high school graduates were each awarded a $1,000 scholarship:

  • Sakshi Dadlani – Academies at Englewood
  • Bianny Garcia – Bergenfield High School
  • Grace Haemmerle – Pascack Valley High School
  • Brittany Hartley – Dwight Morrow High School
  • Soo Jin Han – Tenafly High School
  • Lillian Hui – New Milford High School
  • Katherine Jesson – Cresskill High School
  • Allan Mezhibovsky – Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest
  • Adriana Rodriguez – Teaneck High School
  • Yuki Yamada – Leonia High School


The following middle school graduates were selected to receive a $500 Savings Product:

  • Allam Amzad – Janis E. Dismus Middle School (Englewood)
  • Alia Boodooram – Benjamin Franklin Middle School (Teaneck)
  • Marimel Dabu – David Owens Middle School (New Milford)
  • Jui Han – Leonia Middle School
  • Julian Mikell – Thomas Jefferson Middle School (Teaneck)
  • Josephine Benjamin Otley – Roy Brown Middle School (Bergenfield)
  • Bernice Yoo – Cresskill Middle School

NVEBank_Scholarships_2017_middleschool (2)

NVE President and CEO Robert Rey presented the students with their scholarships at the reception, which was attended by the students and their family members, school officials, NVE executives, and members of the Bank’s board of directors. During the presentation, Mr. Rey drove home NVE’s commitment to continuing to make a difference in the towns we serve by putting customers and communities first with programs like this.

Hats off to this year’s scholarship recipients, and all new graduates! We wish you luck and success as you pursue your educational endeavors.

NVE maintains 12 offices conveniently located throughout Bergen County. To learn more about how NVE Bank is contributing to our communities, or to learn about our extensive range of personal and business products and services, visit our website. You can also call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).


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Community Banks Champion Small Business

The 2016 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Employer Firms, published this April, surveyed 10,303 business owners across the country. Among the findings of the report, which provides an in-depth look at small business performance at the end of 2016, business owners reported the highest satisfaction levels in dealing with small banks — 80% compared to large banks (61%) and online lenders (46%).

While we at NVE Bank are pleased to hear this, as a leading community mutual bank serving residents and businesses throughout Northern New Jersey for 130 years, our expectations are set high. When it comes to customer service, trust, loyalty, and other service areas, community banks have long earned higher customer satisfaction ratings when compared to other categories of financial institutions. Here are some of the reasons why.


The customer is always…first

One thing that distinguishes community banks like NVE from big banks is that we aren’t under pressure from stockholders to widen margins or make risky investments for the sake of making quarterly returns look good. Community banks answer to two groups: our customers and communities. We strive to create products and services that meet their needs.

Proven action

Community banks make small-business lending a top priority. In fact, more than 50 percent of small-business loans come from community banks. As a result, we play an important role in helping to create jobs throughout the United States, and because we are small businesses ourselves, we intimately understand the needs of small-business owners. We know running a business isn’t easy. That’s why NVE has supported local businesses in and around Bergen County since 1887 with solutions that help them thrive. Flexible solutions + a local point of view = satisfied and successful business owners.

Personal relationships

Does your lender know your name when you walk into their office? Does he or she know whether you have children, or what your business goals are? Within the community bank culture, things of this nature are akin to basic hygiene. The point is, the relationship between a lender and borrower is an important factor that is sometimes overlooked. But it matters! NVE’s lending business is a perfect example of our customer-partnering philosophy. Whether it’s a personal loan to secure a first home mortgage or financing to expand a growing business, we are experts at providing options tailored to individual needs.

Local interest and intel

Just like small businesses, community banks have a finger on the pulse of the communities they serve. There are a few factors that come into play to make this happen, and there’s one common thread woven throughout it all: a local connection. Community bank boards of directors consist of local citizens who have a vested interest in nurturing and advancing the towns and cities where they live and where their banks do business. As such, most community bank loans benefit the neighborhoods where its depositors live and work. Furthermore, the personnel employed by community banks typically live in or near the towns or cities that bank serves, so they aren’t just bankers — they are customers of local small businesses! Their universal expertise in banking is bolstered by their local knowledge, which encompasses the economic, geographic, and sociological structure of the surrounding communities. This enables them to provide sound advice and ideal solutions for businesses and personal customers alike.

Before making any decisions about business loans, consider meeting with a trusted loan professional to help you determine what kind of product fits your needs. When you’re ready to learn about NVE Bank’s Commercial Lending services, or to receive a loan application, call an NVE Commercial Loan Officer at 1-866-NVE-BANK (1-866-683-2265) or e-mail one of our specialists:

Alice Vetrone-Layne –

Sam Tolley –

For information about other business and personal products and services, visit our website. You can also stop by your convenient Bergen County neighborhood branch.



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