Savvy Sassy She

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.

Photo Credit

Name: Arienne Gorlach
Attended: Life Planning Workshop & GIG
I’ve done a few! I think my first as a participant was in early 2010. Then I sat in and participated in a couple as I was learning to facilitate. It was amazing to see my progress and to also notice how my focus and priorities changed from session to session. If you get the chance to do another one I would strongly recommend it. We so rarely take time out in our everyday lives to focus on ourselves that this is a great opportunity to do so.

I then ran workshops as a facilitator and it was absolutely amazing to help people gain insights and to look at and plan their personal and financial futures. I have some really wonderful memories of people’s AHA moments and learning.

I also participated in the first round of Girl Investment Groups doing the original Personal Finance Program (part of it has now been modified to the Link Up events) and it was a highlight each month as I would connect with the other (awesome, inspiring, fantastic) gals, hear about their experiences and make incremental improvements to my personal money set up.

My greatest achievements so far are…?
Overcoming some difficult personal times and coming out the other side a better person
Topping Geography in Year 12 (I know it was a while ago and only at my school but I’m still nerdily proud of this)
I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t think of them right now!

What is your background?
I had a very nomadic upbringing during my childhood. We moved countries/cities about every 18 months. While it was hard sometimes, from it I have friends around the world, learnt flexibility and tolerance and have a slight addiction to hard to find international foods. I also speak English and Australian.

I got my degree in commerce with a marketing major and have worked in small business, education and non-profit (hello 10thousandgirl!).

Behind me at the moment is the kitchen.

What have you done that others are in awe over?
I think the major thing was leaving the security of a family business to go out into the big wide world to create my own path. There have been trials and errors but I’m forging forward to building a life of my own which includes being my own boss (gosh she’s nice). I sometimes miss the security of having a job, but this is the right choice for me.

I joined 10thousandgirl because…?
A girlfriend of mine shot around an email about someone she knew that had written a book for women about personal finance. That book was Flirting with Finance by our 10thousandgirl ambassador Anneli Knight. I got in touch with Anneli about my interest in helping women and she put me in touch with Zoe Lamont. Needless to say we hit it off and I’ve been involved ever since!

My personal goals for the next 12 months are…
Planning an intimate, low-budget, creative wedding that screams me and the boy
Launch new biz and a couple of smaller income-generating projects
Simplify my house, declutter and give or sell all that stuff that accumulates (yep, that’s why I’m on ebay a lot…)
Maintain a great health regime
Write draft of book (and have someone else edit my punctuation and grammar)

My financial goals for the next 12 months are…
To rebuild savings
To understand more about tax
To find a wonderful, educational accountant
To get all that paperwork out of boxes and into manageable order

In 3-5 years I’ll be…
Ecstatically and excitingly married
With kids (yikes, when did that happen?)
Running my business joyfully and expanding it
Writing (another) book

And financially, in 3-5 years I’ll be…
Still building my savings (can’t stop now can we?)
Have 5 streams of passive income
Starting money pots for the kiddies’ futures
Having an income that comfortably supports my family and needs
Buying a home

It’s my birthday in the year 2022 and I…
Personal side
I am very happily 41 years of age, just with a few more greys and fabulous laugh lines. I am surrounded by my amazing husband, children, furbabies, the extended family and friends that I could call at 2am.

I got me some vibrant health (hello core strength and tranquil mind) so I’m all glow-ey and shiny from the inside out (nice, huh?!).

The dream home (not huge – who needs 27 bedrooms?) is being designed and built.

I’m making a difference for women (and perhaps men, children, animals and the environment??) by empowering them through my work of light-hearted self-discovery, lifestyle design and action implementation. I receive and give in a positively endless cycle.

I travel, I read, I see, I learn. Always (well…travel maybe only sometimes…). I still do crazy dances.

Financial side
I bless my lucky stars (and that thing called sweat and working smarter) for the financial freedom and independence I have. That means that I can look after myself and my family and do pretty much what I want, when I want (okay – within reason, I might not get a private jet, own island or be able to give what I’d love to to each citizen of the planet…).  For me, it’s all about having options and the freedom to choose those options based on best-fit rather than scarcity and fear.

I’ve built passive income streams that are the result of helping people and giving value; I’m getting a great income from the business I’ve built; I’ve made good property and investment decisions that are building my asset base for the future; I have a good amount in superannuation so that I can live my older life without worrying myself into the grave and I’ve got all the appropriate insurances and emergency funds in place just in case!

Overall, I’m happy – the real type of happy that gets you through the tougher times. And that’s all from being me, learning from the mistakes, celebrating what I have and making life what I want it to be.

The very first steps I’m going to take right now are…
Updating and rewriting these goals in the INSPIRE framework

What do you want others to know – what is a tip or advice to give them?
The biggest, hugest, most ginormous thing is to live your life as you as much as you can. After all, you’re with yourself 24/7 (friends, family and society aren’t in there with you) so make sure you’re making the decisions and doing the things that make you happy. Ultimately, this will make the people around you happier.

The other thing is to make that decision (whatever that big one is in your life right now). Stop staying in the same place and fearing failure or a ‘bad’ decision. By choosing something, you can see if it is right or wrong. If it is right – yippee! If it is wrong, then you might have lost some time, energy or money but at least you know and can move forward and stop wondering those (sometime in the future, regret-creating, painful) words “what if I had…”.

This is where you can find more about me:
I am scattered around the place! I have a blog at, you can read some of my articles on the 10thousandgirl blog or see my new venture launching November 2012 (yay for stationery/planner fiends) at

In this world of increasing consumerism, affluenza and credit card debt, it is little wonder that some of us are becoming more aware of alternative ways to source what we need. In my opinion, there seems to be an increasing number of people and organisations heading towards buying handmade, creating simpler lives, purchasing second-hand and becoming involved in collaborative consumption and events such as the Buy Nothing New month.

This tendency doesn’t mean never buying something new again, just exploring different ways to meet your wants and needs.

In line with this month’s topic of Saving, is looking at ways of doing more with what you currently have. We’ve put together 11 fun tips to help you look differently at what you already have and save money at the same time!

1. Use the cans up in the back of the pantry cupboard
You probably have a pantry and freezer full of food you’ve forgotten about. How about spending a few minutes going through what you have there and creating your meals using those ingredients? This action is guaranteed to cut down on your shopping bill for a few weeks!

2. Knit a scarf for winter using crafting scraps
Not everyone may be in the same situation, but I know I have a box full of unused yarn. Knitting a scarf or some other beautiful creation from these bits gives you a great creative outlet and the end result is something useful.

If you don’t know how to knit and would like to, there are some simple tutorials on YouTube or google “free knitting class + your local town” to find a fun and social knitting session you can attend. Here’s one I found in Sydney.

Then voila, you have a new scarf you made instead of having to buy one (I recommend using big knitting needles as you’ll have a scarf in a much shorter period of time and it is cold now!).

3. Rent out your stuff
Do you have a bunch of things lying around the house that you are not using very often but don’t want to get rid of? How about listing it on Australian collaborative consumption site Open Shed? There, you can list your item, rent it to someone locally, make some money and get the item back and do it all again. Cool idea, huh?! Now, where did I put that drill I’ve not used for a year? And those golf clubs? And that Hungarian language course? And…

4. Repurpose your furniture
You may have some furniture bits that don’t suit your colour scheme or style anymore. With a little tender loving care you can make it beautiful again or find a new use for it.  Here and here are some ideas to spark your inspiration.

5. Upcycle your wardrobe
Another gold mine if you google it. DIYs and step-by-step tutorial galore! If clothes don’t fit anymore or just aren’t acceptable to wear in public do something cool with them and wear them again! From turning long skirts into short ones, bloomers into a shrug or scruffed up heels into glitter glam,  give your closet a cheap or free makeover. This really makes me want to learn to sew!

6. Hold a swap with friends
If there are things you don’t want to repurpose, upcycle or rent, consider holding a swap with friends at your home. You could keep it as a clothes swap or you could have a range of things people could bring. From kitchenware, knick-knacks and makeup, to games, stationery and books you could walk away with a whole new array of things you love. Plus you have the opportunity for a fun girlie day and the feel good factor of donating the left overs to a charity of your choice.

7. Set up a market stall
If you just want to try selling things that you don’t use anymore set up a stall at a local market or go online to places like ebay.

8. Natural cleaning products
You have vinegar and baking soda somewhere right (check under the sink!!)? Instead of buying more of those expensive cleaning products how about trying these tips for vinegar and baking soda around the house?

9. Greeting cards
Birthday cards, thank you cards and Christmas cards; we receive a lot throughout the year and while some are definitely worth keeping for memory’s sake, others we may throw away (in the paper recycling bin) to save space. What if we kept those to use again? It saves paper and money!

Use a pair of scissors and cut off the side that has the writing on it. You now have a beautiful one page card you could use again by penning your heartfelt message on the back.

10. Read the books you have
I am guilty of owning a lot of books I’ve yet to read while buying more all the time. Put yourself on a 2 month book buying ‘ban’ and start reading what you already have. There is probably a lot of fun, escapism and wisdom waiting for you on that shelf!

11. Scrap paper notebooks
If you’re anything like me, you have a stack of scrap paper lying around from mis-prints, printed manuals and drafts of projects. How about gathering a pile of them up and stapling them together to create a notebook for to-do lists, musings and planning projects?

Do you have any other suggestions? Have you done any of the above? Share with us below!

Photo Credit: Open Shed

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 stationary fiend, she is struggling to do #11 above, but still thinks it is a really good idea so she’s off to tackle that stack of paper now, well, perhaps after she goes and finds some glitter for her shoe project.

By Arienne

Saving… An ever relevant and foundational element of personal finance. It doesn’t need to be boring! It shouldn’t be a word that you look at with dread.

Saving is cool :)

It means you are financially building toward something.
It is the basis upon which your life and future wealth is built on.
You probably work hard for your money so shouldn’t you see some it accumulating in one of your bank accounts rather than needlessly leaking out to unknown and irrelevant places??!

We’ve put together 5 steps to get you closer to a savings nirvana:

ONE: Open a high interest savings account (or check in to make sure the one you’ve got still meets your needs).

There is no use having a lot of money sitting in your normal bank account. The interest rate there is generally much lower than high interest ones. Use the standard one as your transaction account (where income comes in) and open a high interest one to transfer the amounts you want to save into. These generally don’t have any fees and you can open several under different account names (ie house deposit, holiday).  Check out the account comparisons on Mozo.

TWO: Set up an automatic savings plan.

Once you’ve set up your high interest savings account, set up an automatic savings plan. I normally set it to transfer money from my transaction account to my various high interest accounts the day after my pay arrives. I consider it paying myself first. And it is great to set it and forget it and just allow the savings to take place :)

THREE: Understand your needs versus your wants and track your spending for a month to see where it is going.

Very often we mindlessly spend small amounts that add up – $2 here, $5 there. Pay attention by writing down (or entering into an app such as ixpenseit) It brings awareness to what you spend on (a funny side effect I found was that I spent less because I didn’t want to write it down!)

Understand your own needs and wants and see if the item you’re looking at is necessary for you right now. If it is, implement the one in one out strategy to help keep your life less cluttered. For example, if you’re purchasing a new book, is there one you currently have that you could give away? Or if it is a new pair of shoes, is there an old pair you could donate?

FOUR: Reassess your bills, accounts and recurring payments and save the difference.

Have a look at things like your phone company, insurance, gas and electrical, gym memberships and credit cards. Could you renegotiate or research better deals? If so, put aside a couple of hours and make a few phone calls (or write some emails). When you save some dollars (and I’m sure you will) deposit what you would have saved into one of your high interest savings accounts. Cool!

FIVE: Get a piggy bank.

Seriously. It is a wonderful tangible way to stockpile those coins or notes you find in back pockets or jackets you haven’t worn in a while (don’t you love that?!). You don’t need to have a pretty piggy bank, you could use a shoebox or a jar, but if you’re in the market for one check these out (going to a good cause).

So there it is, 5 Ways to Step Up Your Savings. It’s not that hard – so what are you waiting for?!

For previous 10thousandgirl articles and podcasts on savings check out our

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