As children head back to school, parents are being urged to talk to their children about money, as early as preschool.
Dan Crotty, National Manager of the Saver Plus program with community organisation, the Brotherhood of St Laurence says 84 per cent of parents who do the Saver Plus program around Australia teach vital budgeting skills to their kids.
“We find the expensive back to school time inspires parents on lower incomes to join Saver Plus, with the incentive that ANZ matches their savings up to $500 to pay for education expenses,” he said.
“But most discover other major benefits. They learn how to build a savings habit, how to budget, and importantly, they’re encouraged to talk to their children about money from a young age – as early as preschool and primary school, right through the high school years.”
“When parents role model good money behaviours and have open conversations about the household budget, we see that participant’s children are better equipped to manage their money as they grow. This will help establish good money habits for life. It’s easy to find ways to talk to children about money, no matter how old they are,” he said.
Leanne Farnsworth Casey and Cardinia Saver Plus Coordinator, said these lessons are even more crucial as we become an increasingly cashless society.
“Children no longer have a tangible connection to money as we move to digital banking and tapping cards at the checkout. They also have little understanding of how credit works and the potential impact of debt on their finances.”
Casey mother and Saver Plus participant, Pamela, said, “I was worried that I couldn’t spare that much each month to put away, but after a while it was just a habit and I never thought twice about it!”.
Iranee Renghen, ANZ Pakenham Branch Manager says her staff are proud of the positive impact Saver Plus has in the local community.
“It’s wonderful to see how the program is building important money skills in parents and that children directly benefit from the educational savings, now and into the future.” she said.
An independent 2018 RMIT University report, Saver Plus: Pathways to Wellbeing found that of participants who completed the program, 87 per cent continued to save the same amount or more, three to seven years later.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ developed Saver Plus in 2003. The program is funded by ANZ and the Australian Department of Social Services.