How to Avoid the Financial Stress of Sending Your Kids Back to School Next Year
If the excitement of sending your child back to school this month is tempered by financial challenges and anxiety over how you’ll be able to afford everything, you are certainly not alone. With the expense of sending children back to school coming hot on the heels of the costly Christmas season, this period of the year can be particularly stressful and draining on families’ financial resources. Due to the soaring cost of living at present, many of us are really feeling the pinch in our hip pocket, and having to purchase new uniforms, and school supplies, and maybe even pay fees for additional programs such as sport or music. It can feel overwhelming, or even impossible.
If this sounds all too familiar to you, what we tell you next may be the most important thing you’ll read all day, maybe even ever! Saver Plus is a free financial education program for families and individuals on a tight budget to develop life-long savings habits.
How the Saver Plus Program Works
Basically, after joining the Saver Plus program, you’ll be paired with a savings coach, and make regular deposits, towards an agreed goal over a 10-month period. For example, you might need to save enough money to purchase your child a device for school, or simply want to be able to cover the cost of uniforms and sports fees. During the 10-months you’ll also attend five online workshops to learn tips, tricks and information to help grow your budgeting and saving skills. Once you reach your goal, for every dollar that you’ve saved, ANZ will match it by adding the same amount to your account (up to a maximum of $500). You can then use the money from Saver Plus towards education costs such a uniforms, books, and extra-curricular activities.
Cassie, a single mum of five from Tasmania joined the Saver Plus program because she wanted to save for her children’s school costs, such as uniform and shoes. According to Cassie, she found it incredibly beneficial, especially during the pandemic when her children were all of a sudden expected not only to learn from home, but also have the technological devices to do so.
“I wouldn’t have had the money if it weren’t for Saver Plus and my kids would have had to miss out on lessons,” Cassie explains.
Cassie credits the valuable tips she learned from the Money Minded group activities, for her newly acquired ability to save and manage her money better. “If it hadn’t been for Saver Plus, my kids would have gone months without school. Thanks to my savings, I got two laptops and a tablet. I still had $200 left for school. It’s just a bloody brilliant program and I’ve been letting everyone know about it!”
Who is Eligible for Saver Plus?
To be eligible for the Saver Plus program, you must have all of the following;
- Have a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card AND an eligible Centrelink payment.*
- Be in school yourself or have a child in school (they can be starting next year).
- Have regular income from work (either yourself or your partner)*
- Be 18+ years old.
*Many types of income and Centrelink payments are eligible. To check your eligibility complete the enquiry form here.
Saver Plus is Australia’s largest and longest running matched savings and financial education program. It’s delivered by community organisations across Australia and has been going since 2003. It’s free to participate in the program which is funded by ANZ and the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Head to the Brotherhood of St Laurence website here today to join, or find out more about how you can start to build financial skills, develop life-long habits, and receive up to $500 to assist with education costs.