The Gift of Savings

Lori Chillingworth with Zion’s Bank says this is a gift that comes with a very important lesson.


We are now well into the rush of the Holiday Season and you might be struggling for gift ideas for some hard-to-shop- for children on your list. This time of year, it is easy to get caught up in the latest gadget or gift fad. If you are struggling with what to give the kids in your life this holiday season, maybe you ought to think about giving them a gift that teaches.

Teaching your kids about saving money for a specific purpose is crucial to instilling good investment habits. The lesson is a simple one—if you want something, you have to save your money for it. Talk with your children to find out what it is that they want. Once you know what it is and how much it will cost, work with your children to show them how they can save for it by using allowance or gift money. Give your kids options, like saving for half of the desired item or making regular payments toward the item. Once your kids have learned how to save money to achieve their goals, it’s time to teach them how to earn money through interest accumulation.

I recommend helping your kids split up any money they earn or receive, allocating:

• 10% to charity;

• 30% to quick cash, for items the kids want or need right away;

• 30% for medium-term savings, where kids save for a few months to purchase something special;

• 30% for long-term savings, for college or another long-term goal.

It’s important for kids to see the inner working of bank accounts so they don’t think money grows on trees or that ATMs are magic money machines. At Zion’s Bank, we offer “Kidsgreen” and “Teengreen” savings accounts. Each type of account is specially design to highlight the value of saving for each age group and explain financial concepts like deposits, withdrawals, and interest.

• We give these savings accounts our millionaire’s interest rate, higher than the bank’s rate for $1 million deposit balances, so kids can see the compounding effect of interest.

• There are no minimum opening deposits and no minimum monthly balances requirements

• A free session with a “Kidsgreen” Savings Account specialist who will sit down with your kids or grandkids and explain how a savings account works.

Take the stress out of last minute Christmas shopping and give the gift of savings. Last Christmas, I opened up savings accounts for all my nieces and nephews and made a deposit for them in lieu of a gift. This year I plan to do the same. The kids get the choice of picking out something “cool” they want or saving for something special. I get the added bonus being the “cool” aunt by not burdening them with “lame” gift they neither need nor want.


For more information about the “Kidsgreen” or “Teengreen” savings accounts, visit

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