Helping kiwi youth become financially savvy

We’re helping young New Zealanders be good with money by supporting the student run charity SavY, that helps high school and university students develop good financial habits, regardless of their background and aspirations.

Moving from high school to university and into the workforce can be a time of sudden financial freedom, and for many it’s the first time they’ve faced ‘adult’ budgeting decisions. SavY was set up to support young people through this transition and to help them be financially smarter.

The charity (based at Auckland University) runs free financial literacy workshops in high schools across Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington. From what started nine years ago with a handful of workshops each year, SavY is now a slick operation with 250 workshops run in 2016 – and plans for expansion into other centres in 2017 and beyond.

BNZ Blog - Savy article 1
Graeme Liddell presents a $30k donation to SavY’s CEO. L-R: Lynn Lai (SavY Trustee), Sharon Liew, Daniel Tidbury (Finance Director), Charlotte Sellars and Graeme Liddell.

BNZ Covered Bond Trust and BNZ Finance recently made a $30K donation to help SavY with its expansion.

Charlotte Sellars (SavY’s CEO) says it’s thanks to BNZ that SavY have been able to grow. “SavY has been fortunate to have the ongoing support from BNZ. The BNZ donation has allowed hundreds of SavY members to personally grow from the experience of teaching these workshops, developing skills and creating memories which will last a lifetime.”

Sharon Liew, Senior Associate of BNZ Securitisation, says the relationship with SavY is one she’s really proud of.

“It’s this kind of grass roots practical work which is really aligned with BNZ’s strategy – SavY are literally helping New Zealanders be good with money – and that’s something to celebrate”.

Charlotte says a key focus in their workshops is storytelling. Check out some examples of SavY facilitators sharing their real-life experiences and practical tips below:

BNZ Blog - Savy article 2 Victoria Chan, SavY facilitator“Being 17 and moving out of Hamilton to come to big city Auckland was tough, but it was a step I needed to take for my future. I was lucky enough that my parents supported my accommodation costs, but I was determined to make it on my own financially as well as independently. The first year was a struggle because I was focusing on getting into law, but I knew that my qualifications alone were not going to give me all the skills I needed for the workforce. After getting into law a lot of big decisions hit me at once and it was time to do some proper ‘adulting’. One of the reasons I am passionate about the work I do in SavY is because I was the in the same situation as the students I try to reach out to. Even if I am able to help a few students in a class of 30 I would still come out feeling good, because I wish I had this advice when I was in their shoes.”

Victoria Chan, SavY facilitator

BNZ Blog - Savy article 3 Sarah Jones, SavY facilitator“Skiing has been something that I’ve done for as long as I remember. I had my heart set on being a ski instructor in California, which has helped keep costs down- getting paid to be in the snow all day- that’s the best part! I’m quite proud that I’ve got myself into the position that I can jet off to California in November this year. Saving for this trip was a bit daunting- when I started saving for this trip, I was a long way away but making plans and setting budgets really worked for me. I’ve still got seven months to go, but I’m on track to speeding down the trails in November. I think once you find that one thing that motivates you, everything else just comes secondary. This is one of the key skills we focus on in the SavY workshops.”

Sarah Jones, SavY facilitator