Group of children listening to the teacher.
Group of children listening to the teacher.

Families can access $500 bonus for back to school support

FAMILIES struggling to meet the financial pressures of back to school costs could soon receive support through a sizeable cash bonus.

Financial education program Saver Plus this week revealed it would award a sum of up to $500 to participants of its 10-month program.

Participants are required to contribute regular deposits into an ANZ banking account for the duration of the program, as well as complete four of its workshops to become eligible.

More than eighty families across Ipswich, including single mother-of-three Melissa, joined the program last year.

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She admitted building substantial savings had always proved a challenge on a single income.

“I would always pay my bills, but then have nothing left. I always felt broke,” she said.

“Last year, doing the Saver Plus program I learnt to save, pay things off, budget.”

This year, the young mother was well prepared financially to cover all three childrens’ costs and maintain some savings.

Generic photos of students at Tennant Creek Public School. Picture: SUPPLIED
Generic photos of students at Tennant Creek Public School. Picture: SUPPLIED

“I haven’t even gone back to work yet this year and I have savings. I’m so proud of myself,” she said.

Her situation, however, is widespread for many families.

Many frustrated parents last month revealed they would spend on average upward of $600 as the start of the school year neared.

The amount did not include school fees or weekly food bills.

Saver Plus coordinator Cath Sweeney said recipients of the cash bonus were required to spend it on items for their children’s education.

She said the program was also a great way to help families start planning for next year’s costs in advance.

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“We all want our kids to start the new school year with everything they need,” Ms Sweeney said.

“Paying for school costs right after the holidays can be really tough.”

Ms Sweeney said many participants reported feeling financially secure and better able to provide for their family after completing the program.

“Now is the perfect time to join Saver Plus, as you will have saved $500 over 10 months and have your savings matched with a free $500,” she said.

Inquiries for the program can be made at www.saverplus.org.au or by calling 1300 610 355.

Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.



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