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Students take initiative over cost of living pressures


For many families, this year has presented a number of financial challenges. Interest rates have risen several times over the year hitting mortgage holders particularly hard, and the cost of living is at its highest level in over two decades. While parents often do their best to shield their kids from family finances and budgeting, it appears they are far more in tune with the economic climate than expected.

While assessing the nominations for the Edstart Achievement Awards earlier this year, a recurring trend appeared. Students were not only aware of the financial pressures their parents were facing, they were driven to do something about it.

They are motivated to help their parents financially

Parents regularly spend huge amounts of money on sports and extracurricular activities, especially at high performance levels where the costs can run into tens of thousands of dollars. While they might not always realise it, their kids are aware of this and want to help out.

Multiple nominations into this year’s Edstart Achievement Awards were as a result of students recognising the financial sacrifices their parents make for them. Using the grant money from the awards to assist their parents was the biggest motivation for many students who entered.

“The multiple registration, uniforms, travel and participation fees become expensive so this will assist me and my family with budgeting whilst trying to reach for my dreams.”

- Hockey player from the Sport and physical wellbeing category

“These trips will cost close to $20,000 and I will get some financial support from the South Australian Sports Institute but mainly my parents. This would help to take some of the pressure off my parents.”

- Cyclist from the Sport and physical wellbeing category

"My parents have to pay so much for all of these sports, particularly as we live in a rural area and have to travel so far to compete. I want to put the grant towards higher level gymnastics coaching in Sydney."

- Gymnast from the Sport and physical wellbeing category

Parent support motivates students to go further

The efforts parents go to in supporting extra curricular activities hasn’t gone unnoticed. Many students told us they don't just appreciate these efforts, they’re determined to make the most of them. They know they couldn’t do it without their parents' support!

"A significant factor behind this is the unwavering support of my incredible single-parent mother. Despite the challenges she faces as the sole provider, she has consistently stood by me, believing in my dreams and encouraging me to pursue my passion. Her dedication and sacrifices have taught me the importance of resilience, determination, and never giving up on what truly sets my soul on fire."

- Hockey player from the Sport and physical wellbeing category

"My mum has always been my number one fan and she spends a huge amount for me to make my dreams become a reality."

- Rugby player from the Sport and physical wellbeing category

Students are ever grateful

Students understand and appreciate the sacrifices their parents make, and they’re very grateful for it!

“My parents have made a lot of sacrifices to send me to such a great school this year.”

- Cello player from the Performing and visual arts category

“As I have progressed in my dancing journey the costs and time requirements have increased. I am nominating to assist my parents in their support of my dancing.”

- Dancer from the Performing and visual arts category

Students are ready to learn more about finances

While parents may want to shield students from family budgeting, it’s clear many are confident and ready to learn more on the subject. Financial literacy rates are falling in Australia, with 15-24 year olds the age group affected the most. By involving students in conversations around money and family finances, parents are teaching them an important life skill to help set them up for future success.

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