Back to school: Sharon and Maria tell us about their experience of Saver Plus

30 January 2018

More than 36,000 people around Australia have saved with Saver Plus since it started in 2003 –people like Sharon and Maria.

Sharon’s story

Perth community worker Sharon says Saver Plus allowed her to buy a laptop for her daughter, Sarah-Kate, 15, who is starting Year 11.

‘Sarah-Kate loves school. She’s the type of child that you have to remind to have study breaks.

‘My laptop was quite old so now she has an amazing one that doesn’t crash and it’s made her life a lot easier. If she doesn’t understand something at school she will go onto YouTube and learn it that way. She does all of her assignments on it. Studying is really her passion, and she will be able to use it when she goes to uni,’ Sharon says.

Sharon is surprised how much she learned about managing her finances through the program’s financial literacy workshops.

‘Obviously you want to do the best for your children. But the long-term benefit is the different attitude you have towards savings and financial goals. When I joined Saver Plus I didn’t even see that benefit, it wasn’t even on my radar. Before the classes I was not that great at saving. I definitely didn’t have a separate account for savings as I do now. That was an unexpected bonus, on top of seeing Sarah-Kate with her laptop.’  

Maria’s story

Adelaide sole parent Maria joined Saver Plus to learn how to save and to buy an iPad for her son Jayvee, 6.

‘Jayvee got seriously ill when he was two, so he was a late talker. He used to have a tablet with an app that helped him with his speech. When that broke he was so disappointed so Saver Plus was perfect timing,’ she says.

‘He really loves watching educational videos and is always finding information and sharing facts with me. His school provided an educational game website to use in class and was a fun way for him to do homework.

‘Everything I’ve learned about saving really helps a lot. Before if I wanted it, I would just buy it. Now I figure out how much I can really save, then save up and don’t put it on credit,’ she says. ‘There’s a big difference in my stress levels. I always sleep sound at night knowing that I don’t have any debt.

‘Saver Plus has very much impacted his life. It’s so great that his mum knows how to save. I’m now able to send him to a private school and have joined a scholarship plan for his university education.’

Saver Plus assists people on lower incomes to develop a savings habit and achieve a savings goal, with the added incentive provided by ANZ of matching participants’ savings dollar for dollar, up to $500. It is delivered in 60 locations across Australia. Participants also complete ANZ’s MoneyMinded financial education program.

Who can Join?

Participants must meet all of the below criteria: 

  • be at least 18 years old
  • have a child at school or attend vocational education yourself
  • have some regular income from your work (you or your partner)
  • have a Centrelink, Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card
  • be able to demonstrate a capacity to save after your regular expenses have been paid
  • have a connection to the area in which the Saver Plus program is run, by living, working, studying or having children at school there
  • have not received matched funds from Saver Plus before (you or your partner)
  • be in receipt of an eligible Commonwealth social security benefit, allowance or payment*

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