Contributors

The fun bookclub-like GIG (Girl Investment Group) program supports you and girlfriends, workmates or new 10thousandgirl friends to complete the 10thousandgirl Personal Finance Program. The aim is to learn the principles behind personal finance and investing in an engaging, supportive and light-hearted environment.

GIGs are all about learning the life and finance skills we need to know but often didn’t learn at home or at school. Supported by interactive webinars, videos and beautiful workbook materials, 10thousandgirl supplies the Personal Finance Program with an agenda and learning materials for each meeting, and you let your group know what time and who’s bringing tea, treats or wine.

Financially empower yourself while 10% of your program fees go toward providing a microloan for a woman to start a new business and lift herself and her family out of poverty. Pretty inspiring!

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 Want to find out more?

Here’s an overview of GIGs (Girl Investment Groups) and the NEW 10thousandgirl Personal Finance Program.

Interested and want to find other like-minds in your area? Register your interest.

Already decided this is for you? Here’s the Steps to Getting Your GIG Started.

Currently a financial services professional looking for opportunities to financially empower women in your local area? Interested in a Mentor opportunity? Read on…

On 7 August 1974, French street performer Philippe Petit walked and danced on a wire he illegally rigged between the New York World Trade Center’s twin towers.

Captured in an incredible documentary, Man On Wire, Petit’s six years of planning and preparation to achieve what’s been described as the ‘artistic crime of the century’ is an awe inspiring tale. He conceived the idea based on an article he read about the towers construction whilst at the dentist in France, and dared to dream that one day he would walk between them.

Each day, we all conjure up ideas that we’d love to materialise but never follow through on them. What does it take to defy the odds?

When Petit was asked why he did the twin towers stunt, he would say, “When I see three oranges, I juggle; when I see two towers, I walk.”

Incredible feats are achieved because people dared to see the opportunity in any situation. Whilst some may see nothing but brick walls, others see the potential to do something that invigorates them. What they rely on is their instinct, determination and a dose of compulsion.

If you’re going to break with convention, you need to not be a sheep of society. You have to zig when others zag. You have to ignore the criticism, relentlessly get back up every time you fall down, canvas alternate paths, and continually find inspiration. Defeatists need not apply.

You also have to be under no illusion that it’s going to be a walk in the park. I recall reading an article a couple of years ago about Olympic swimmer Eamon Sullivan’s battle with injury – five hip surgeries and 10 years of shoulder, back, knee and neck injuries – and training till he vomits. If you want to achieve the seemingly impossible, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and do the hard yards.

And finally, you have to be prepared for the potential isolation. When you go against mainstream thinking, you unintentionally force those around you to question their own beliefs. Not many people like to feel that they are wrong, or that their idea of what’s possible in life is somewhat questionable. So instead of supporting you – and your allegedly crazy ideas – they distance themselves and sometimes walk away. On the flip side, you may find others want to join you and give you infinite support.

Many of the great ideas came from people who defied mainstream thinking. The likes of Hendrix, Branson, Banksy, and Jobs were all revolutionary in their offerings to the world.

The question is, are you prepared to defy the odds to achieve your dream?

BIO:

Miss T Tonic is a strategist, designer and LifeStylist who spends her days taking great ideas and turning them into reality at Howl Communications and Style to a T. A passionate storyteller, she shares her insights on business, life and doing more of what you love.

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Did you know the average credit card debt in Australia is $3500? And paying minimum repayments at the average interest rate of 21.5% could take over 90 years to pay off?

Shocking but true.

In a recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald ‘Plot a path to turn red into black‘, some basic tips to get yourself out of a credit card pickle were shared along with case studies which show it can be done.

Here are some other tips and resources to help get on top of debt and back into black:

TIP!! If you are consolidating debt, make sure you are careful of your credit rating, making multiple applications for credit cards etc can impact your ability to apply for a home loan etc. at a later date. Talk to your bank manager/s but don’t let them log any applications for you unless they’re 100% sure you will get it. You can check your credit history by getting a free copy of your credit report from these credit reporting agencies:

TIP!! Paying a little more than the minimum repayments on your credit card can mean the difference between having the debt for 90 years or 2!

Paying more than minimum repayments on credit cards

Start small, be strategic, keep on it and you’ll get there in no time.


Have you noticed lately how happiness has become a commodity?
In one corner, happiness has become an item we seek from others through their approval, validation, acceptance and love. In the other corner, we have the hedonistic lifestyle approach where instant gratification is sold as the sensory quick fix to happiness.
Unfortunately, happiness has been marketed as a ‘thing’ external to ourselves. Whether sought from others or bought from a store, we’ve somehow confused momentary pleasure for our happily ever after.
According to 8th Century Indian Buddhist scholar Shantideva, “All the suffering in the world comes from seeking pleasure for oneself. All the happiness in the world comes from seeking pleasure for others.”
So how do we get back to grassroots happiness? How can you feel good for free?
Have you ever been fully absorbed in an activity where you lost track of time or even your surroundings? According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, you were experiencing flow, a mental state of complete focus, full involvement and enjoyment in an activity.
You can achieve flow with any task, at work or at play; put simply, all it requires is challenge, control, concentration, and immediate feedback. For some, that might be playing sports, engaging in hobbies, or creating art. For others, it could be writing poetry, mowing the lawn, or cooking.
When we voluntarily choose to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile, we create optimal experiences. And it is these optimal experiences, where exhilaration and a deep sense of enjoyment coexist, that stick in our minds as markers for what life should be like.
Creating a go-to list of flow activities can help direct you to feel good when you need it. If you don’t know what causes flow for you, identify a range of challenging activities you think you may like, and give them a go without any self-judgement or distractions. Discover what you enjoy, discard the ones you don’t. You may even want to share your flow activity with others.
But what about those days when nothing you do makes you feel good? The Buddha once said, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.” Given the average person has around 70,000 thoughts a day, we have many opportunities to change the way we think at any particular moment.
What the happiest people in the world have in common with each other is that they have flexible attitudes. They are able to bend with circumstances when necessary; that is, they are willing to accept that some things are beyond their control and they are what they are. In other words, they don’t harbour irrational beliefs about how things should be.
Irrational beliefs are thoughts that make you unhappy, inhibit your ability to experience good health, and cause you to engage in self-defeating activities. They include thoughts such as the world should be a fair place or that you must be loved and approved of by everyone.
These views can make us feel glum when our life experiences fall short of our preconceived ideals.
To feel good, challenge your thoughts and become more flexible about your views. Turn your rigid beliefs into preferences and remain open to life’s changing circumstances. Once you do, you’ll discover that whilst life may not always live up to your expectations, you can positively change the way you react to the situation.
I’ve come to realise that happiness is the sum of every detail of your life, good and bad.
Achieving happiness doesn’t make you immune to experiencing days when you will be challenged. More often than not, you will have to step out of your comfort zone to make some tough decisions.
With your newfound flexible attitude and go-to list of flow activities, your patch of feel good sunshine is only a moment away. All it will cost you is two out of your 70,000 thoughts today.

Miss T Tonic is a strategist, designer and LifeStylist who spends her days taking great ideas and turning them into reality at Howl Communications and Style to a T . A passionate storyteller, she shares her insights on business, life and doing more of what you love.

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‘Never _______ enough’ is a sentence that has featured prominently in my thoughts over the years. It is amazing how quickly and easily one can fill in the blank, perhaps even infinitely.
Insert words like beautiful, wealthy, skinny, clever or successful, and you begin to realise how slippery that slide is into the self-pity pool.
Typically an affliction of women (and loved by advertisers), these murmurs of doubt, dollops of fear and sprinkles of self-deprecation are deeply rooted in societal norms and can be said to be the drivers for many of our decisions in life.
Like it or not, we live in a culture of scarcity, where feelings of deficiency are often driven by (unconscious) comparisons of how much you and/or everyone else has, doesn’t have, wants or needs. With deficiency comes fear, and with fear comes action. And that action is consumerism, a belief that we can buy our way out of hurt, despair and loss with an immediate fix.
I was educated that having a good career was paramount if I was to make it in the world. That is, having a well-paid secure job that afforded me all the needs, wants and luxuries I could ever desire. And so, I trotted up that corporate career ladder and enjoyed the lifestyle that went with it. I could buy any solution for any ailments I encountered.
But over the years, I began to question whether the choices I made were my own. The jobs I chose, the clothes I bought, the venues I frequented, even the car I drove, were all executed with the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mindset. My job title had become my identity and my rule of thumb decision maker. I had fallen into the materialism trap.
Dissatisfied with my place in the world and the person I had become, I decided to turn things on their head. Perhaps now was a good time to let go of the idea of who I thought I should be and become who I really was. And that started with redefining what a career meant to me.
My new definition of career is where you call the shots on who you want to be and how you want to interact with the world; it is yours to design, chop and change, and keep. It’s an allencompassing occupation that culminates in your life’s work. Your traditional notion of paid work career is but a single component of what I call your life career.
A life career determines your social interaction, community involvement and family commitments. It is grounded in values and beliefs that you want to exhibit in all aspects of your life. It involves articulating how you might benefit others, how you can act with purpose, and how you want to be remembered.
In everyday terms, my life career includes engaging with people and activities that give me energy. I am relishing deeper, more meaningful conversations and am continually looking at ways to build a greater sense of community amongst friends, family and strangers. I’ve identified qualities and characteristics that I want to cultivate and have sought out activities that foster the development of these. My paid work is continually changing as I strengthen the foundations of my life career, but I’m not worried; I’m enjoying the experiments.
My newly defined career ensures I smile and laugh each day, even if it’s at myself. It reminds me that life can be amazing and fulfilling if you can let go of that feeling of being not enough. I’ve come to realise that I don’t need to buy anything to feel better about myself; all I need is time and patience. And those are still free.



Miss T Tonic is a strategist, designer and LifeStylist who spends her days taking great ideas and turning them into reality at Howl Communications and Style to a T . A passionate storyteller, she shares her insights on business, life and doing more of what you love.


Photo Credit: Brock Davis, Behance

For the last six months, first thing in the morning, I have written down five things for which I am grateful.

It’s really interesting to see what comes up each day.

Recently I have been grateful for: friends, my passport, my family’s health, my determination, great food, coffee, holidays and the freedom to make my own choices.

What has surprised me most is how often work comes up in my daily gratitude list.

Work often seems like such a burden, particularly on a Monday morning. The whole world seems so hard! Waging war against the strong desire for a sleep in, battling along on public transport or fighting traffic, dodging airborne germs as people sniffle and sneeze. Lamenting with colleagues about how good the weekend was, and how long the week feels like it will last!

Yet I look over my gratitude lists and I see it written time and time again – work. My job. My career.

It got me thinking I should have been a little more specific about what it is that tickles me about work at these moments. But, since it is a ‘first thing when you get up’ job, my lists are usually short, sharp and to the point.

If I wasn’t so bleary eyed, I’d probably write some of the following.

I’m grateful for my work because:

  • I work with beautiful people everyday. People who are strong, funny, intelligent, passionate and committed. People who make me laugh, who care about me and make me welcome, who drink coffee with me in the morning and share a celebratory drink at the end of the week. People who are at work to make a difference, in every way they can. People who, as well as doing their work, are also looking after their partners, children, parents, grandchildren, pets and themselves. People who make my every day a blessing.
  • I work on important issues. Working in human services is about exactly that – humans. My work is my contribution to try and make the world a little bit better.
  • My work is an ongoing education. As well as the formal opportunities I have for professional development, every day I learn something new, from what I read, who I talk to, or who I work with.
  • My work keeps me busy and keeps my achieving. I celebrate the little wins and know that I continue to get better at my job all the time.
  • My job is secure. I am very lucky to have a stable job, with leave and other entitlements.
  • My work gives me a steady income, which allows me to make choices with my money. My income gives me independence and options, whether I choose to use it to save, travel, shop, eat, explore or give it away.

My job is not perfect. I don’t think I know anyone who has the perfect job. It’s also not always easy, and I certainly have my bad days. I am however, lucky to have my job, and I will continue to be grateful for it, and all the options it allows me.

Rowena Southgate (aka ‘Ms Alchemy’) is based in Melbourne. While she would love to write as an occupation, she still needs to earn a living. This living so far has seen her work in research related to employment, in policy related to disability services, in HIV prevention in Vietnam, and also in the sexy world of communicable diseases. An acute observer and amateur photographer, Rowena likes to think twice about she sees in the world around her, and what it would take to make it a little bit different – for the better.

I’ve been writing and re-writing this post. Trying to find a pattern, a rhythm, a balance, in talking about my reflections on the year. I’m finding it very difficult – to list the accomplishments over the year seems like bragging, yet treating them with brevity and flippancy seems disrespectful to what I have achieved.

So, I’ve decided I need to change tack. I don’t need to tell you what it is I have done – just that I am very proud of it all. In the last twelve months, I have started things from scratch, continued with previous activities, and finished things that have been important. I’ve let go of relationships that held me back, I’ve renewed friendships that make me feel good, and started some new relationships with people who are strong, supportive and on my side. I’ve learned to understand my body better, to listen to it, to give it more of the fuel it needs, and have avoided the things that weigh me down. I’ve sought advice and support in the right places, and learned to quiet the voices that cause self doubt. I’ve persevered with building myself up when I thought I couldn’t. I’ve stopped sabotaging myself when I fell into old habits. I’ve tapped into some creative outlets, with the hope that one day, they will flow more easily. I’ve challenged myself in many different ways, and brought myself both to tears and to laughter.

While it hasn’t been perfect, 2012 has been a good year. It’s been a good year because I’ve had support, strength and a vision for the person I want to be. I’ve also been determined to make my world different, and better in any way I can.

And it’s with this sense of accomplishment that I will plan my year ahead. For me, 2013 will be a year to build on the momentum I am gaining. I will continue with my current projects, start some new ones, and leave some old things behind. I will inject into every day the experience I have gained in 2012 – the successes and the failures. And, with a sense of pride in what I did in 2012, I am setting out to make 2013 even better. I hope you too can see the good in yourself, the great work you have done, and that it is just the beginning of many wonderful things to come.

Rowena Southgate (aka ‘Ms Alchemy’) is based in Melbourne. While she would love to write as an occupation, she still needs to earn a living. This living so far has seen her work in research related to employment, in policy related to disability services, in HIV prevention in Vietnam, and also in the sexy world of communicable diseases. An acute observer and amateur photographer, Rowena likes to think twice about she sees in the world around her, and what it would take to make it a little bit different – for the better.

I am a terrible gift giver. I mean, I love to give gifts, I’m just useless at finding good gifts. Whether it’s a birthday present, a wedding present, a Christmas present or any other kind of present, I’m just no good at it. My sister has a knack for it. Especially when it comes to the cards. She just has this incredible ability to find a card that sums things up perfectly. Whether it’s a funny card for a birthday, or something a little more sentimental, she always gets it right. Puts my efforts to shame every single time.

As Christmas rapidly approaches I begin to panic as I start to think about the gifts I need and want to give. Presents for my partner of seven years, my Mum, my Dad, my sister – people I’ve known forever and I still have no idea what to give. Gone are the days of childhood when you had to wait for your birthday or Christmas to get that new book or CD – we all earn our own cash now, so it’s especially hard when people have it all – or go out and buy what they want, when they want it.

That’s why I love the idea of charity gift cards. Many charities at this time of year roll out their gift catalogues where you can make a purchase or donation to their work in the name of someone else. What’s particularly great about this is you can target the donation to the person you want to give it to.

Example: My Dad. He’s the hardest person I know to buy for. He doesn’t really read, he’s a handy man but has all the stuff he needs, he doesn’t play sport, he volunteers but doesn’t have much in the way of hobbies that I could buy him things for. But he LOVES the footy. So I checked out Oxfam. For $65 I could make a donation to a program that uses footy as a way of helping young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. Sold. This way, my Dad doesn’t get something he doesn’t need or want and he contributes to the sport that consumes about nine months of his year!

If there’s a charity you know that’s close to your heart or the heart of the person you’re struggling to find a pressie for, check them out. Chances are they’ll have a gift catalogue or you can just make a general donation on their behalf.

Now, not everyone likes this idea. There’ll always be someone who likes receiving an actual present. People that know me know that this is one of my ‘things.’ I love the idea of sharing our wealth with communities who really need it – rather than buying my Mum yet another scented candle that will sit in a cupboard.

So for those people in your life that that feel the same way, charity gifts can be a great way of spreading a little love at Christmas – or at any time.

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Ally Wells is travelling an undetermined path; following life’s twists and turns to see where she might end up, trying to relax and enjoy its unpredictability.

Well here we go again, it is almost Christmas 2012.  The time of year where expenses can get a little out of control, but it is possible to still have a great time without compromising on the fun or having the post Christmas financial stress!

Presents

  • Try the ‘tacky sack challenge’ this year.  Each year my partner and I have a Christmas stocking challenge with a set time limit at the local mall and a set dollar value to get items with.  It can be great fun ducking from shop to shop in our 20-minute timeframe and can keep costs of presents low!
  • Agree on a maximum expenditure with the people you’re doing presents with.
  • Limit the cost of presents by having a ‘Secret Santa’ for your group of friends or your family – My family has done this for the last 5 years and it saves money (buying one bigger present rather than a whole bunch of smaller stuff) and if you had some present switching with the process can add a little more excitement to the day!!
  • Give homemade presents, get your baking on in the kitchen or if you have a green thumb maybe get some nice flowers or plant seedlings from the garden.  Or even offer the gift of time to help out someone with a project or job you know they need done = be it baby sitting or dog walking or even cleaning or gardening!!
  • Be personal with your gifts – such as by putting a photo of you and the recipient inside a picture frame, or filling a cheap mug with the recipient’s favourite chocolates
  • Make sure you have (and use) reward cards (Fly buys and Woolworths Points) and other shops and supermarkets you use the most and then use your points to make a special present more affordable.


Christmas Cards

Rather than buying Christmas cards, make them (or get your children involved) or send e-cards, write a letter or phone people for a catch-up. With the money you save, you could make a donation to a charity – and invite your friends to do the same.

Get organised and purchase your Christmas cards for 2013 in the post Christmas sales where they are 75% off the ‘Christmas season’ price!


The Christmas Feast

  • Stock up in advance on food and drinks with long use-by dates (nuts, soft drinks etc) whenever they are on offer, up to the amount you’ll need – this will help to spread costs over the year.
  • If you are hosting guests, ask them to contribute a dish – this spreads the workload as well as expense.
  • Plan your meals, snacks and drinks beforehand bearing in mind the numbers of people you expect. Then take a list with you to the supermarket – and stick to it!
  • Buy supermarkets’ own brands – they’re usually cheaper than main brands and once you have them on a nice platter on one can tell the difference!


Start Planning Now for Christmas 2013

We all know the date of Christmas 2013 so get planning today.

  • Put a little aside every month throughout 2012 to make next Christmas more affordable.
  • Buy crackers, decorations, Christmas cards and even presents in this year’s post-Christmas sales – you’ll pay less and be on top of Christmas next year!
  • Spread purchases across the year (presents and non-perishable food and drink, especially if they’re discounted) in advance to avoid a big bill next December.

If you need assistance with any element of your financial life then get professional advice and start your journey to being free around your money and creating wealth with understanding!!


Scott Malcolm (scott@money-mechanics.com.au) is Director of Money Mechanics (ph: 6257 5557) a fee for service advice firm who are authorised to provide financial advice through PATRON Financial Advice AFSL 307379.

The information provided on this article is of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before acting on this information you should consider its appropriateness having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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I love to travel. I have ever since I was lucky enough to go to Germany when I was 16. Since then I’ve lived and worked in London, spent six months in Uganda and, most recently, spent an entire year living in Cambodia followed by nine weeks backpacking around South East Asia.

My six months in Uganda and my one year in Cambodia were amazing experiences, made all the more amazing because I wasn’t just a traveller. I was a volunteer.

There are many debates to the role travellers can play if they choose to volunteer. There are numerous articles highlighting the issues and implications of ‘volun-tourism.’ Some are all for the idea, others are much more cautious, and even more are dead against it.

I could write a thesis on this topic, but, for now, I’ll stick to my own experiences; and what very different volunteer experiences they have been.

In Uganda I paid a fee to an organisation to host me in country. Being 22 and never having been to a developing country, this seemed like the easiest place to start – having someone else organise the logistics for me. And to an extent, it was. Was it expensive? Yes. Was it more expensive than perhaps it would have been had I travelled independently? Yes. But it was easier. The benefits of paying to volunteer, for me, in this case, far outweighed the difficulties of organising six months independently.

My role in Uganda was not always the one I had dreamed of. Organisational frustrations on the ground made things challenging, not to mention the culture shock of being in a place so foreign. But the relationships I formed and the connections I made still live with me now. My host family took me under their wing and made me feel at home. The children I worked with, helping fix up their school and dormitory, installing a rainwater tank with other volunteers and generally just hanging out singing songs and kicking balls around, they are the ones that made my experience. Sure, I may not have contributed lasting change to the lives of these beautiful children, and this type of volunteering may not be the best, but the experience enriched my life, and I can only hope, that at least for six months, it enriched theirs too.

It was this experience that led me to study more. To learn how I could spend time overseas in a way that would actually contribute to communities in a long-term, sustainable way.

And that’s where the Australian Youth Ambassador for Development (AYAD) program comes in to it. This program is for skilled young Australians and is committed to achieving sustainable development through capacity building, skills exchange and institutional strengthening. Organisations in Asia, the Pacific and Africa submit roles to be filled by Aussie volunteers in areas they need additional support. Volunteers must apply for positions and go through a rigorous selection process before undertaking pre-departure and in-country briefings before their placement starts. Volunteers are supported with a living and accommodation allowance and flights and insurance are covered by the program.

I was lucky enough to get a spot through the AYAD program with an organisation in Siem Reap, Cambodia; This Life Cambodia. My work here used skills and experience I already had to contribute to the organisation, working with staff to write better reports and grant proposals and newsletter articles, among other things. My work involved creating processes and procedures with local staff that live on, even though I’m no longer around.

Once again, it was the people I met through this experience that made my year in Cambodia so incredible. The vibrant, passionate, young Cambodians who introduced me to local hang outs and food, who laughed with me (and possibly at me) as I failed to master the Khmer language, who sang karaoke with me and taught me how to dance like an Apsara (rather ungracefully I’m afraid).

If I had not volunteered I would never have met these incredible people. I would never have had these experiences. I would have passed through Siem Reap in three days, visiting Angkor Wat and experiencing the Western party side of town. Instead I got taken to eat banh chao (Cambodian savoury pancakes) at a restaurant near Angkor Wat, and I got to play sideshow games, watch kids on the Ferris Wheel  (I wasn’t quite game to have a go myself, OHS in Cambodia is not so great …) and eat 50cent bowls of noodles at 60 Road, a local haunt.

For me, volunteering is a great way to really experience a country. Sure, some volunteer placements are better than others. Some are more focused on making sure the volunteer has a great time, cuddling babies or building houses, doing work that locals could be doing, and others are more focused on professional development and change; working with locals. Some do more harm than good for local communities. Some cost a fortune, others are free if you can get to your country of choice, and some will even pay for you – if you have the right skills and background. There are a plethora of options for volunteering.

We live and we learn. My first volunteering experience made me realise there was a better way I could volunteer and travel. My second one proved that. Everyone has to start somewhere. My advice; do you research and give it a go – it will change the way you see the world.

Ally Wells is travelling an undetermined path; following life’s twists and turns to see where she might end up, trying to relax and enjoy its unpredictability.

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So did that picture capture your attention??
The ATO (Australian Tax Office) has put together some info on identity theft and your tax file number. It’s important reading 10thousandgirls!

Is your identity secure? It’s your identity – protect it!

Your identity is a precious thing, and it’s up to you to protect it!

Your identity is made up of your personal details like your name, date of birth, address and other information, including your tax file number (TFN). Your TFN is a unique nine digit number issued to you by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You may have applied for your TFN through your school.

Identity crime

Did you know if someone else finds out enough about your identity, they could impersonate you and use your identity for illegal purposes? For example, they could use it to access government benefits, access your bank account, lodge a tax return in your name or even take out a loan in your name. This is called identity crime.

How does identity crime happen?

Identity criminals take other people’s details by:

  • stealing purses, wallets, mail, or mobile phones
  • sifting through rubbish
  • advertising and interviewing for a job that does not exist
  • asking questions while pretending they are a government, bank or other representative
  • offering to help you complete a tax return or other official document
  • reading information on a social networking page online, or
  • tricking you into clicking on a link in an email, or web page that captures your details.

How can I protect my TFN?

  • Never give someone your TFN unless there is a good reason, such as completing a tax form or opening a bank account.
  • Never provide your TFN when applying for work, especially if you are applying for a job online.
  • Only provide your TFN to your employer after you start work.
  • Just like your PIN for your bank keycard, never store your TFN in your mobile phone, in your purse or wallet, or share it with your friends or family (including on social networking sites).
  • See our online security page (www.ato.gov.au/onlinesecurity) for tips on using computers safely and information about genuine ATO email and SMS campaigns.
  • When throwing away documents with your personal details on them, make sure you shred or destroy them properly first.
  • Report the loss or theft of your TFN or other identity documents without delay.

So who can I give my TFN to?

You should only give your TFN to someone who is authorised to ask for it. The most common people and organisations who are legally allowed to ask for your TFN are:

  • the ATO when discussing your tax records
  • your employer after you start work
  • your bank
  • the Department of Human Services
  • your super fund.

Help from the ATO

You should immediately report any loss, theft or misuse of your TFN, see www.ato.gov.au/identitycrime

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There is one small activity I do on a regular basis that makes a huge difference to my self-belief. It is the act of noting down, in one place, all the tasks I have accomplished during the previous week – both on a personal and professional level. A Week In Review!

For so many of us the weeks fly by and when someone asks us what we’ve been up to we draw a blank…Can you relate? Sometimes you may even beat yourself up because you feel that you’ve not achieved much during the last seven days.

This simple activity will only take you about 10 minutes a week and is one that makes such an impact. It helps:

  • build momentum;
  • gives you a moment to reflect on the week;
  • helps you remember what you have actually done;
  • see if you’ve done the tasks that bring you closer to your goals and aims;
  • gives you a boost to do more in the upcoming week;
  • reminds you that you do have the capabilities to do what you need to (self-belief and self-confidence);
  • and inspires increased productivity.

How To Do Your Week In Review

  1. Put aside 10 minutes at a regular time during the week. I prefer to do it on Friday afternoons.
  2. Have your to do list and diary on hand. It helps if you use some sort of scheduler to remind you of some of the bigger things you did this week.
  3. Choose a place to write up your list. I write mine on my blog. You may just want to keep a document on your computer. Write it down though! It doesn’t have as much impact if you just keep in in your head.
  4. Write down your dot points. Keep it short and sweet – it is easier to maintain. You may have things that are quite big or things that are quite small. For example:
  • Caught up with the girls
  • Cleaned the house
  • Completed website copy draft
  • Went to the gym x3
  • Cooked 4x healthy dinners
  • Read a book
  • Spoke to boss about raise
  • Counselled colleague
  • Sold couch on ebay
  • Volunteered at school
  • Browsed bookshop

5. Read over it one more time. Pat yourself on the back and see what the process has done for yo

Go on, give it a go and make it part of your routine.

Arienne is the content manager for 10thousandgirl and head she at Savvy Sassy She where she muses about life and wants to help everyone wake up to the lives they love and start living it now. A lover of lists , she is one of those people that does something that wasn’t on the daily to do then goes and writes it on just so she can cross it off.

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