Here are some strategies to help you eliminate debt and create wealth in 2012.

One is the new free simple savings War on Debt calendar. The second is a reminder about a wonderful free financial literacy and savings program, Saver Plus.

To get you on the right savings track for this year, our savings partners, have produced a free calendar for you to print at your leisure. Click here to download it.

This calendar is designed to be a blueprint for changing your life. Simple Savings have been helping people to have a happier life since 2002. It’s the reason Simple Savings was created.

Following their 365-day planner can reduce the amount of stress in your life and actually make you happier. In order to help you accomplish this over the next 12 months, the planner will help guide you – not only in writing down your financial goals, but also your environmental and time management goals too.

Once you are clear on what you want to achieve, the planner promises to show you how to change your habits so you become 'the NEW, Clever YOU!’

Saver Plus

On the subject of helping families reach their savings goals, there was a government media release last month about the continuing success of a program we have previously featured – the Saver Plus program.

More than 3200 Australians have used the Saver Plus program over the past 18 months to save for their children’s or their own education, and the vast majority were women.

The Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins, said the Gillard Government invested $27.1 million over four years in the recent Budget for Saver Plus, as part of its support for Australians experiencing financial stress.

“The Saver Plus program is proving to be a real success, with more than 3200 people completing the program from July 2010 to December 2011 – and more than 88 per cent of them were women,” Ms Collins said.

“Saver Plus provides people with financial education and gives them an incentive to save for the education costs of either themselves or their children.

“We expect just over 14,000 people will take advantage of the program by 2014.”

Developed by Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ, Saver Plus is delivered in 61 locations across Australia in partnership with community organisations including Berry Street, The Benevolent Society and The Smith Family. The program is funded by the Government and ANZ.

“The program has a real focus on financial self-reliance because it provides solid budgeting education,” Ms Collins said.

"There is also a real incentive to save, as every dollar becomes two dollars in the bank.

“The most popular items over the past 18 months were computers and laptops, school uniforms and shoes, school books and stationary and camps and excursions.”

A report by RMIT University released in September 2011 showed that 87 per cent of people who participated in the program between 2006 and 2009 are still saving the same amount or more than they did while in the program.

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