Parent Richelle Blachshaw-Smith, with Jasmin Dorington from the Smith Family, has taken advantage of a new initiative to help save and match school costs.
Parent Richelle Blachshaw-Smith, with Jasmin Dorington from the Smith Family, has taken advantage of a new initiative to help save and match school costs. John Gass

Parents go back to school to save

SCHOOLING costs have just been eased for almost 60 struggling families with up to $500 from ANZ Bank and the Federal Government funded Saver Plus program.

Parents from 16 schools through the southern Gold Coast and Tweed are undertaking the 10-month program to save on education costs for their children at the start of next year.

The program requires eligible parents to participate in four financial knowledge workshops and save up to $500 in the 10-month period for it to be matched for educational costs, leaving participants with a total savings of $1000.

The Smith Family, one of the partner organisations that delivers the program, has had an 86% success rate from past participants who have kept saving after the program for at least two to three years.

Smith Family South Gold Coast coordinator of Saver Plus, Jasmin Dorrington, said it takes the pressure off the schools to make payment claims and eases the financial load for participants.

One happy mother is Richelle Blackschaw-Smith who heard about the program through the Tweed River High school newsletter and entered the program in February.

"So far it's fantastic. I'm actually really enjoying the money-minded workshops," Mrs Blackschaw-Smith said.

She has been saving $25 a fortnight and already has plans for her $1000 savings at the end of the program, hoping to use the matched $500 on her daughter's academic and sports school programs which will cost $480.

"My daughter Grace is also going to be dancing at the end of this year, so I will be able to use the $500 that's mine for excursions," Mrs Blackschaw-Smith said.



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