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Research finds kids learn life lessons about money from parents who save

Posted on: December 4, 2012 4:16 PM
Related Categories: Adelaide, Australia, children, saving

From Diocese of Adelaide

Latest report finds 81% of Saver Plus participants encourage children to save

Saver Plus, the financial education and matched savings program developed by the Anglicare and ANZ, is encouraging a new generation of children to save.

This was one of the outcomes identified in new research launched in Melbourne today, Wednesday 5 December, by the Hon Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

The 2012 Saver Plus evaluation report findings from RMIT University showed that 81% of Saver Plus participants encouraged family members - including children - to save; 31% encouraged their children to save money earned from doing chores; and 19% have since opened bank accounts for their children.

The report found this will be a powerful mechanism for increasing the household savings of future generations, particularly in light of research suggesting that learning to save as a child is an important factor in predicting savings behaviours as an adult.

Participants in Saver Plus, many of whom are single mothers or parents on low incomes, used the program to pay for essential educational items for their kids including computers, school uniforms, excursion costs and musical instruments, with savings up to $500 matched by ANZ.

"I used Saver Plus to teach my son about saving. We worked together to save the monthly amounts towards his laptop for high school and he did some lawn mowing for his share. He understood income was tight, but the program was a tool to teach my son about budgeting and saving and setting a goal," said Saver Plus participant Michelle.

Other findings of the evaluation report's survey of 1,201 participants include:

  • 89% reported that the educational product they bought with their matched savings had a positive effect on their own or their child's education experience. 
  • 87% were still saving the same amount or more up to a year after they completed Saver Plus. 
  • 79% said they were better equipped to deal with unexpected expenses.

Anglicare SA chief executive officer Peter Sandeman said Saver Plus continued to be an excellent way for families to get their finances back on track. “As society has moved away from a reliance on cash we have lost a great deal of knowledge around financial literacy and budgeting. Parents who are struggling financially could also feel embarrassed or stressed about their children finding out, which is understandable. Saver Plus gives parents the opportunity to plan for the future – and become financial role models for their children – by developing a savings pattern. Parents and children can learn and develop vital financial skills together.”

ANZ Managing Director, Retail Distribution, Mark Hand, said: “Saver Plus is the largest and longest running financial education and matched savings program in the world, with more than 16,000 Australians having participated. We will continue to work with the Australian Government and our community partners to ensure the program reaches more people.”