Helping students hit saving goals

Saving goals hit: Carly Shepherd was able to hit her savings goal as part of the Saver Plus program and plans to continue saving for a family holiday.
Saving goals hit: Carly Shepherd was able to hit her savings goal as part of the Saver Plus program and plans to continue saving for a family holiday.

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Managing money can be a difficult task for a lot of people, let alone saving money for holidays or a big purchase.

The Smith Family is trying to help change that through Saver Plus, a 10 month financial education and matched savings program.

The aim is to help people develop lifetime savings habits, using the goal of their own or their children's education costs.

It has been running since 2003 and in that time has helped more than 40,000 people save more than $23 million with $18 million matched funds paid by ANZ.

Each participant receives a dollar-for-dollar match matched savings up to $500 from ANZ.

At the end of the program participants use their matched savings to purchase an education-related goal.

Many Wagga participants have used their matched savings to purchase computers, laptops, iPads, text books, and school uniforms, or pay for extra-curricular activities.

Wagga student and mother of two Carly Shepherd took part in the program this year and highly recommends it to anyone who wants to improve how they manage their money and savings.

"I'd got in the habit of not saving anything," she said.

"I had two young kids and the money was gone but once I knew it was going to matched it was a lot easier to find the money.

"Once you start the habit it's easy to just set and forget. As you see the savings building you want to do more of it."

New participants are always welcome and can join the program at any point during the year. To be eligible they must address the following criteria.

  • have a current Centrelink Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card
  • Be in receipt of a centerlink payment
  • be at least 18 years old
  • have some regular income from work (themselves or their partner) including casual, part-time, full-time or seasonal employment
  • be a parent or guardian of a child at school OR studying full time

For more information visit www.saverplus.org.au or call or SMS your name and postcode to 1300 610 355 or email your local Saver Plus Coordinator, WaggaWaggaSP@thesmithfamily.com.au.

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