Saver Plus is a free financial education program that teaches people about budgeting and saving, and provides them with up to $500 in matched savings.
It’s designed to support people on low incomes who have a government-issued health or pension card and help them to afford education costs, while learning lifelong financial skills that they can teach their children and families.
Bethany Community Support delivers the program in Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula. It’s a national program that was designed by Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ, and funded by ANZ and the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
Participants can spend the extra money on education-related expenses for themselves or their children. This includes uniforms, laptops, books, study supplies and extra-curricular activities, as well as tuition fees for tertiary students.
Saver Plus participants attend MoneyMinded workshops (currently online), where they learn how to better manage their budget, curb unnecessary spending, and set actionable goals to save money.
How Saver Plus works
1. Eligible participants set a savings goals of up to $500. You have up to 10 months to save (so to receive $500 in matched savings, you need to save an average of $50 per month).
Your local Saver Plus coordinator Amanda will help you set up goals that are achievable for you.
2. You attend MoneyMinded financial literacy workshops before you reach their savings goal. They’re fun and easy to follow.
Bethany delivers two in-person workshops. Please note: Due to COVID-19, we’re running these as eight short online training sessions.
3. Once you reach your goal, ANZ matches the amount that you saved.
4. You can spend this money on education-related expenses for their children or their own tertiary studies.
This is a free program however there is eligibility criteria.
To be eligible for Saver Plus, you must:
- have a Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card
- be 18 years or over and have a child at school, or attend vocational education yourself
- have regular income from paid employment (you or your partner) or other eligible income (for example, JobKeeper, child support or WorkCover)
- receive an eligible Commonwealth social security benefit, allowance or payment.
Benefits of the Saver Plus program
Independent research by RMIT University found that 83 per cent of participants reported the matched savings made a positive impact on their children’s education. Participants also reported feeling better able to provide for their family after completing Saver Plus.
Of Saver Plus participants surveyed:
- 87% of people continued to save the same amount or more, three to seven years later
- 86% shopped around more when buying products or services to reduce their spending
- 80% had more control over their finances
- 73% were better able to provide for their families.
To learn more about the benefits of Saver Plus, visit Brotherhood of St. Laurence’s Saver Plus webpage.
Charlie’s Saver Plus story
Bellarine resident and single father Charlie said Saver Plus “completely transformed” his spending and saving habits.
“Completing the Saver Plus program helped me realise the importance of smart banking. I learned how to spend wisely and stop ‘spending leaks’ like buying coffee every day.
“I’m also really intentional with my saving now. I used to just save for emergencies or say I was saving for a holiday, but I didn’t plan the steps I needed to reach a particular amount by a particular time. So I often didn’t save as much as I needed for the goals I had.”
Charlie was able to use the $500 of matched savings to buy school uniforms for his son who was just about to start primary school. He said he was proud to teach his son the skills he learned from the Saver Plus program.
“The program changed my life and I want other people like me to know they can get this support.”
To enquire, please call our Saver Plus coordinator Amanda on
Other financial support resources
Online financial counselling information is available from the National Debt Helpline website.
Telephone financial counselling information is available through the National Debt Helpline: 1800 007 007