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Learning to save on a tight budget

SAVER Plus is a matched savings and financial education program in greater Hobart and is offering up to $500 to individuals on lower incomes to save for education costs.

The program is delivered by The Smith Family and is currently recruiting participants to join.

Saver Plus is Australia’s largest and longest running financial education and matched savings program, assisting participants to save for their own or their children’s education.

ANZ rewards their efforts by matching every dollar they save with another dollar (up to $500).

The program includes MoneyMinded, a financial education program that builds participants’ financial skills, knowledge and confidence.

Nicole Hacker, of The Smith Family, said Saver Plus assisted families to develop a saving habit and strengthen their financial education knowledge and money management skills.

“The program has had a huge impact in the local community since it began in 2008,” she said.

Hobart UTAS student Rachael Davis, who is taking part in the program, said it had made a huge difference.

She said she highly recommended it to anyone who wanted to improve how they managed their money and savings.

“Every year I’ve set savings goals for myself, however I always find that by the end of the year I’ve just fallen short,” she said.

“When I was contacted about joining Saver Plus, I jumped at the opportunity to be taught the best ways to save and achieve these goals.

“I learned so many different saving techniques and strategies, not only from those running the program, but also from other participants.

“I find myself now being able to save so much per month without sacrificing too many things.

“I can happily say that through participating in this program I have developed a greater appreciation for saving money as opposed to spending it without thought.”

Since 2003, Saver Plus has reached more than 40,000 Australian families.

Independent research shows that 87 per cent of participants are saving the same amount or more after completing the program.

Participants must have a Centrelink Healthcare or Pensioner concession card, a child at school or be attending vocational education themselves, have a regular household income from paid employment and be in receipt of an eligible Commonwealth social security benefit, allowance or payment.

For more information, visit www.saverplus.org.au or phone or SMS your name and postcode to 1300 610 355, or contact your local Saver Plus coordinator at SouthernTasmaniaSP@thesmithfamily.com.au.

Saver Plus is an initiative of Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ, delivered in partnership with Berry Street, The Benevolent Society and The Smith Family and other local community agencies.

The program is funded by ANZ and the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

For more information, visit www.dss.gov.au.

Caption: Hobart UTAS student Rachael Davis.