Joy Newhouse

Jul 08 2015

For Parents: Words of Wisdom (Part 5 of 5)

Hills Bank Savings Plan for Kids
Sometimes it’s hard to know how to get your child off to the right start saving money, so as parents, grandparents, and mentors to youth, we at Hills Bank have brought together our experiences and financial knowledge to share with you. See what’s worked for other parents as they teach their children financial responsibility.

Market Research

“Teach your child how to plan purchases in advance. Encourage him/her to do research and wait for the right time.

Demonstrate how to make unit-price comparisons, and check for value, quality, availability, reparability, warranty, and other comparison factors.

Don’t assume he/she knows what these terms mean.”– Darren G., Hills Bank employee

Save Your Spare Change

“Our family started a group coin jar to which everyone contributes spare change. When the jar is full, we’re going to spend it on something we don’t do very often that everyone can enjoy, like going to a movie.

We’re learning that if you put in as much as possible on a regular basis, it grows faster. If we’re lax it will take us longer to get to the reward.” – Amy M., Hills Bank employee

Wants vs. Needs

“Help your child evaluate wants and needs. Make sure he/she understands, even in the simplest terms, that some of the allowance is for things he/she needs, and some is for wants.” – Pam F., Hills Bank employee

Patience, Repetition, and Fun

“Remember to relax. It takes repetition for kids to learn, so be sure to have fun along the way!” – Kent C., Hills Bank employee

Lead by Example

“Use a regular shopping trip as an opportunity to teach. For example, while in the grocery store, demonstrate how to plan economical meals, avoid waste, and use leftovers efficiently.

Also, explain what you’re doing when you write a check or use a credit, debit, or ATM card.” – Mary N., Hills Bank employee

Understand Your Family’s Approach to Finances is Unique

“Each parent may have different experiences, values, and beliefs about money. Parents should talk about these feelings and opinions and establish a consistent approach to teaching children about money.

This is essential to the healthy development of the children.” – Rachel K., Hills Bank employee

Early Bird

“The earlier you start saving the better because compounded interest over time multiplies your investment. Keep this in mind for your retirement and your child’s college savings.” – David T., Hills Bank employee

Cash Only Please

“Allow your child to pay in cash so he gets the idea that cash and change represent hard work.” – Angela T., Hills Bank employee

Ways to Save

“Give your child suggestions for how to save money. For example, use coupons or utilize sale prices and rebates.” – Bonnie B., Hills Bank employee

The BIG Picture

“Encourage your child to look at the bigger financial picture. For example, a movie involves more than just the price of the ticket.

     Movie ticket $9.00
     Gas (about 2 gallons) $6.00
     Popcorn $5.00
     Pop $3.00
     plus time and energy

Explaining the bigger picture will make them aware of all the factors.” – Luke B., Hills Bank employee

Admit When You Can’t Afford It

“Parents should show their kids that they can’t afford everything they want either. It is good for kids to see that parents have to say “no” to themselves too. This could be brought up while window-shopping together.” – Joel K., Hills Bank employee

Record Keeping

“Encourage your child to keep receipts and a record of what he/she has spent.” – Jenny E., Hills Bank employee

Help Kids Spend Money

“Sometimes, kids get so focused on saving their money, that they don’t spend any money along the way. Help them to enjoy their money by spending some on small purchases or by buying something they’d like.” – Jean A., Hills Bank employee

Paying Bills

“When it’s time to pay the household bills, invite your child to watch. Show him how to use a checkbook, online banking system, or mobile banking.” – Brandon D., Hills Bank employee

While each family is unique, one common goal we share is that of financial responsibility and success for our children. Let’s partner together to teach the next generation. If you have any tips that you’ve found success with, share them with us in the comments below!

savings-plan-for-kidsDownload our Savings Plan for Kids that has many great ideas for managing money.
View the complete 5-Part Savings Plan for Kids Series

Joy Newhouse

About Joy Newhouse

Joy Newhouse is Vice President and Branch Manager at Hills Bank’s Cedar Rapids location on Blairs Ferry Road. She has been at Hills Bank since 2002 helping customers with deposit and loan needs. Joy has three active, school-aged children and spends most her weekends at basketball, baseball, and softball tournaments throughout Eastern Iowa. Joy can be reached at

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