Money

Kathy Connaughton knows what budgeting is all about

LEARN TO SAVE: The Smith Family Rockhampton’s Saver Plus co-ordinator, Kathy Connaughton, says she’s tried the program she promotes, which helps people save money each month.
LEARN TO SAVE: The Smith Family Rockhampton’s Saver Plus co-ordinator, Kathy Connaughton, says she’s tried the program she promotes, which helps people save money each month. Amy Haydock

AS a mum of four, Kathy Connaughton knows what budgeting is all about.

The Rockhampton woman believes in what she promotes, having done the Saver Plus program herself.

She hopes to help CQ families that may be struggling financially by teaching them how to save.

The Smith Family Saver Plus program encourages low-income earners to develop saving habits and strengthen their financial knowledge.

Although there weren't many people attending the Rockhampton Library session yesterday as Money Smart Week got under way, the Saver Plus co-ordinator for The Smith Family in Rockhampton said the program had been very popular Australia-wide.

"It sets people up who don't know how to save, so if you can save up to $50 a month for 10 months, ANZ will match up to $500 which will go towards something for your child's schooling, or spend it on yourself if you're studying, for example at TAFE, " Ms Connaughton said.

"I've done the program myself, so I know what it's about. And a lot of people, who do it, continue to keep saving."

Saver Plus offers anyone over 18, with a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card with regular work the opportunity to save $50 a month for 10 months to receive an extra $500, to put towards their child's schooling.

The program was one of three stalls available to consult with at yesterday's budgeting session, including The Public Trustee and Carers QLD No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS).

There will be two more events being held this week in Yeppoon and Emu Park.

Ms Connaughton said that as a parent, it was imperative to budget.

"I pre-pay my bills fortnightly because I know the bills will all come in and I won't be able to pay them all off at once," she said.

"As part of the program, you also attend MoneyMinded workshops where you can learn different skills and ways to budget."

Council CEO Evan Pardon said the session wasn't as successful as it might have been due to limited time.

"This event was not able to be widely promoted through normal channels, and promotion was done through agencies and other key stakeholders," Mr Pardon said.

For more info, contact The Smith Family on 4921 0273.

WAYS TO SAVE

Some examples are:

  • Give up drinking coffee or cut down on alcohol - it may sound scary, but it will save you money and can have health benefits
  • Cancel your gym membership and walk to work instead
  • Make your lunch at home
  • Have people over for dinner rather than going out and ask everyone to bring a plate of food
  • Borrow books and DVDs from the library
  • Lock up your credit card for a month and only pay for things with cash
  • Set a limit for birthday and Christmas presents or give homemade gifts
  • Source: moneysmart.gov.au

Topics:  budgeting, mother



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