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We live in your world - October 2011

We live in your world - October 2011

Saver Plus builds lasting savings habits

Saver Plus builds lasting savings habits

New research shows our Saver Plus program is helping low-income families develop lasting savings habits.

Almost nine out of every 10 participants enrolled in Saver Plus are now saving their money at the same rate they were while on the program, research by RMIT University has found. Many also reported less stress, increased self-esteem and feelings of greater control over their lives.

For Rose-Anne Bacon, a single parent in Kyabram, Victoria, saving was near impossible until she took part in Saver Plus. She saved $500 (which ANZ matched) for a second-hand computer for her daughter, and has kept saving.

“I’ve continued to save at the same level as I was during the program. The money is occasionally used for emergencies and anything left over goes into the holiday fund. I am so much more aware now of how to cope with unexpected expenses and think twice about the little things which all help you stay prepared,” Rose-Ann said.

Rose-Ann’s daughter, Georgia, is currently a participant: “You don’t realise where your money is going, but I am much more aware now. I feel like a weight has been lifted. I’ve got university books coming up next year that I’ll need to buy and just having $1,000 there, on top of what I save from now, will really help,” Georgia said.

The research reports, ‘Many Faces of Saving: The Social Dimensions of Saver Plus’ by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and ‘Evaluation of Saver Plus Past Participants’, by RMIT University were released by the Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, Julie Collins.

“The reports demonstrate just how important Saver Plus is in helping vulnerable Australians become more financially self-reliant and how vital it is that we continue to find innovative ways to support people who are disadvantaged,” Ms Collins said.

Brotherhood of St Laurence Executive Director, Tony Nicholson, said: “Saver Plus is now operating in sixty sites in all States and Territories and, with the continued support of ANZ and Government, we can assist in reducing the risk of financial exclusion for thousands of people in those communities.”

Now in its eighth year, Saver Plus has assisted nearly 12,000 Australians to save over $6 million and aims to reach 20,000 more Australians in the next four years, with a $13 million commitment from ANZ. The Government has committed $26.5 million for a further four years.

Saver Plus was developed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ and is delivered in partnership with The Smith Family, The Benevolent Society, Berry Street and other local community organisations.

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