Financial literacy forms a critical foundation upon which to build a positive relationship with money – but there’s just one problem. So many of us grow up without access to financial education.
That’s why Saver Plus, a program developed by The Brotherhood of St. Laurence and ANZ, has been helping low income Australians access financial education for almost 20 years. Through a 10 month program, participants learn important financial principles, work towards a savings goal, and get their savings matched dollar-for-dollar up to $500 at the end of the program.
Here’s everything you need to know:
What is Saver Plus?
Saver Plus is a free 10 month financial education program for low income Australians*, providing vital financial literacy skills to support their everyday lives. During the program, participants are encouraged to work towards a regular savings goal that will be determined based on your financial capacity. In partnership with ANZ, those who complete the program can have their savings from the duration of the program matched up to $500, for use on education-related expenses for themselves or their child.
*eligibility criteria apply
How does Saver Plus work?
You’ll work with a Saver Plus coordinator who will be with you every step of the way. You’ll maintain regular contact and be kept accountable with your savings goal, while going through a series of financial education workshops through the MoneyMinded program.
What will I learn?
You’ll learn critical money management skills to apply to your real life, and leave the program able to set a budget, stick to it, and confidently manage your income and expenses.
Throughout the MoneyMinded workshops, you’ll learn the following topics:
Workshop #1 Goals – Participants work on activities that will help them understand their own attitudes to money and build a picture of their current financial situation, including any future financial goals. Activities include comparing their needs vs their wants, goal setting, and the idea of paying oneself first.
Workshop #2 Saving and Spending – Participants learn about various ways of saving and spending their money. This includes tips and tricks on shopping around for the best deals, and how to find different rebates, grants, and financial support services available from the federal and state government. For example, cheaper car insurance for concession card holders.
Workshop #3 Everyday Banking Options – Participants discuss banking options and how to use bank accounts as a way to manage their cash flow. They learn about automated/online banking, different types of accounts including low or fee free options, how interest works, and how to avoid scams.
Workshop # 4 Credit – Participants learn about credit and debt, differences in secured and unsecured debt, relationship between risk and return, why understanding the fine print is really important, and what credit scores mean.
Workshop #5 Planning for the Future – Participants finish up by getting a general understanding of superannuation and planning for the future.
The curriculum is designed to explore all aspects of money management, helping you save and spend responsibly, and be more confident about credit and superannuation. Plus, you’ll learn about grants and subsidies you might be entitled to as a low income Australian.
How do I apply?
You can apply via the Brotherhood of St. Laurence website, after which a Saver Plus Coordinator will assess your application and eligibility. If you have questions about the program, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Am I eligible?
Saver Plus requires that you meet the following eligibility criteria in order to participate:
- be 18 years or over; and
- be either
- the parent or guardian of a child attending school in the current or next year; or
- attending or returning to vocational education where you will receive an accredited vocational education certificate; and
- have regular income from paid employment (you or your partner); and
- have a current Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card; and
- receive an eligible Centrelink payment (a full list of eligible benefits, allowances or payments can be viewed at the Saver Plus website.)
- be able to demonstrate a capacity to save after your regular expenses have been paid; and
- have not received matched savings from Saver Plus before (you or your partner).
Saver Plus is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and ANZ.