When single parent Jayne D'Arcy lost her marketing job at the start of the pandemic, she made the bold move to change her career path and return to study.
With a reduced income, Jayne needed some advice on how to boost her financial fitness to support her two school-aged children.
Enter Saver Plus - a free financial education program designed to help families and adult students develop long-term savings habits. Across 10 months and five online workshops, Jayne learnt the steps to money success.
Here are the five lessons that put her on the path to financial wellbeing, and how they can help you too.
Setting goals for your savings instantly puts you in the right mindset. To start, it's important to understand your own attitudes to money and build a picture of your current financial situation, outlining future goals.
Jayne says it was helpful to set these goals within a supportive group.
"It was beautiful to witness the openness that the others had around money. It was very refreshing that we were all talking about money, and it wasn't taboo."
TIP: Try the 'set a savings goal' feature on the ANZ app to create a budget, boost your savings and track your progress.
Where and how you choose to stash your cash can have a huge impact on your finances – from the type of accounts you use to your bank's interest rate. Through the Saver Plus program, Jayne learnt how to find the best banking option for her situation, and how to use bank accounts to manage her cash flow.
TIP: Avoid the 'set and forget' approach to banking. It's worth taking the time to compare different providers and accounts to find the best one for you. You might be able to save on fees, and help your money grow with higher interest rates.
Saving your income isn't an Olympic sport, and neither is cutting your expenses. In the Saver Plus workshops, learn tips and tricks to shopping around for the best deals, and how to find rebates, grants, and financial support services.
"The workshops connected me with different Government grants and programs. By the end, I must have saved $1,000 thanks to these things I was eligible to join," Jayne says.
TIP: Check out these money savings tips for great ideas on banking, groceries, retail shopping and more.
Entering the world of 'credit and debt' can sometimes feel like talking in a foreign language. There's a lot to learn, from the differences in secured and unsecured debt to the relationship between risk and return. And don't even get us started on credit scores!
Through the workshops, Jayne was armed with the financial literacy to deal with and stay on top of debt.
TIP: Not all credit is the same, and not all debt is the same. Learn about the different types of debt and tactics you can use to get on top of them.
By the end of the Saver Plus program, Jayne felt in control of her money and was ready to plan for her financial future, including tackling her superannuation.
"I've been able to keep saving since the program and now that I'm working, I feel more confident in my ability to save," Jayne says. "I was going through a pretty tough moment and joining Saver Plus helped me financially at the right time!"
TIP: If you have more than one superannuation account, consider consolidating them to save on management costs.
Brought to you by Saver Plus. Saver Plus was established by The Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ and is delivered in partnership with Berry Street, The Smith Family and other local community agencies. The program is funded by ANZ and the Australian Government Department of Social Services, with ANZ providing matched savings for participants.