School savings a bonus

Jade Gonzalez. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

By Alesha Capone

Werribee mother Jade Gonzalez says participating in a program which helps families save for back-to-school costs has given her a confidence boost.

The Saver Plus program, which was developed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ, sees participants set a savings goal for school costs, make regular deposits into a savings account across 10 months and complete financial skills workshops.

At the end of the program, their savings are matched by ANZ, dollar for dollar, up to $500.

The Smith Family delivers the program in Wyndham.

Ms Gonzalez said she was able to buy new school supplies and clothes for her two children, six year-old Patricia and nine year-old Antony, with the savings she made while involved in Saver Plus.

Ms Gonzalez said taking part in Saver Plus had left her with a feeling of achievement.

“It teaches you to save, which is the most important thing,” she said.

“The classes are really good, and include more information about how to be more financially savvy.”

Ms Gonzalez said much of the coursework was similar to advice contained in the The Barefoot Investor book by Scott Pape, such as paying small debts first and being mindful of apps which advertise “buy now, pay later”.

Ms Gonzalez said she had never imagined being able to save a deposit for a house, but the lessons she learned in Saver Plus had changed her mind.

“Now I’m able to save, it’s put in my mind that maybe I can get a house one day, and given me a boost of confidence,” she said.

For more information about the Saver Plus program, visit: or call 1300 610 355.