Savings Scheme Helps Families Go Back to School in Digital Age – Pro Bono Australia

Extract form an article by Wendy Williams

Since 2012, Saver Plus has seen a marked rise in participants using their savings on technology, rather than school books, with more than half now spending on digital devices such as a laptops or tablets.

In the five years from 2012 to 2016 the number of claims for digital devices increased from 37 per cent to 52 per cent, eclipsing the next most popular categories of uniforms and shoes (22 per cent), lesson fees and equipment (16 per cent) and books (9 per cent).

Brotherhood executive director Tony Nicholson said it was now common to see laptops and tablets on the stationery list as schools adapt to the digital age.

“This can put pressure on lower-income families, who before school even starts find themselves spending hundreds of dollars so their children have the technology needed for their studies,” Nicholson said.

“Saver Plus helps families save for those costs and reduce the pressure on household budgets.”

The program sees participants set a savings goal for school costs, make regular deposits into a savings account over 10 months, and attend financial education workshops. At the end of the program their savings are matched by ANZ, dollar for dollar, up to $500.

ANZ group executive Australia Fred Ohlsson said ANZ was proud to be assisting thousands of lower-income Australians to achieve long-term financial stability.

“Saver Plus helps participants develop financial literacy skills, establish a savings habit and strengthen confidence to access mainstream affordable financial services,” Ohlsson said…(continues)

SOURCE: Wendy Williams, “Savings Scheme Helps Families Go Back to School in Digital Age”, Pro Bono Australia, 17 Jan 2017

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