Saver Plus, the financial education and matched savings program developed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence 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.