General Tips and Treasures

Saving for Christmas

What you save now is less on the credit card at Christmas!

All of a sudden, just like that, Christmas is rearing its white whiskery head on us.  It’s not far away but let’s not panic just yet!  Here are some ideas to help you save for the mad Christmas period between now and then.

  1. Give up those coffees!  Take your own in to work – it’s really not that hard and can save you around $150 between now and Christmas.
  2. Do you really need that bottle of wine every other weeknight or so?  Limit yourself to one on the weekend only and save around $200 between now and Chrissie.
  3. Those nights out with the girls are sooo fun but boy they hurt the hip pocket too.  Have one between now and Christmas maybe and create fun nights at home instead and save the extra cash you would have spent.
  4. ATM fees are a blighter.  It might look not very much that $3 here and $2.50 there but do that 10 times a week that’s around $30 which could amount to another $120 odd that could go towards your Christmas shopping.
  5. Food waste: households are still pretty shocking when it comes to food waste.  Plan your meals for the week ahead. Seriously, do it.  You’ll be surprised how much you might save from that alone.  Groceries can really add up!
  6. Scan your expenses – go into a Saving for Christmas mindset – and consider which expenses can take a backseat for a little while.
  7. Set a realistic goal amount for yourself to save between now and then.

Remember whatever you do right now (‘cos it’s not too late!) your Christmas self will thank you for!

Financial literacy events for women

make money

If you want to jump-start your savings, it helps to bring in a little more cash.

But How?

There’s always the typical weekend or evening part-time job. Or there are some much more creative and fun ways to bring in extra bucks. Have a look at our ideas and once you know what you’d like to do, the best next step is some simple Google searching to find listings or marketplace websites – there are loads out there these days.

  1. Become an Airtasker: strong enough to be a removalist or delivery person? Willing to clean houses? It’s not glamourous, but it pays. Most tasks are for single days giving you loads of flexibility.
  2. If you’re online savvy, be an online tester. Search for sites using “website testing” or “user testing” keywords. Or for more online tasks, check out Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program.
  3. Get crafty. Check out Etsy for ideas and come up with something you can make. This has lots of potential if you’re handy with the sewing maching or clever with craft items.
  4. Complete online surveys. You’ll be paid small amounts for each one you complete. There are lots of sites that come up if you search “online research surveys”.
  5. Sell your vintage items on Ebay. There’s always something in the closet or cupboard that you can part with. And you get the benefit of less clutter at home!
  6. Be a Door Dropper. If you enjoy a long walk through the neighbourhood, look for leaflet door dropper jobs on the big websites like Indeed or Gumtree. This can often be done in the early mornings or evenings around other work.
  7. Consider freelance design work. There are several large marketplace websites for designers for projects of all sizes.
  8. Mind the kids. Check out the babysitter websites and register as a sitter. There’s serious money to be made taking care of kids and you may meet some really interesting people along the way.
  9. Teach the kids: If you’re strong in maths or languages or other subjects, there are several sites that allow you to register to tutor in almost any academic area. You may need to prove qualifications, but there’s plenty of demand out there.
  10. Become a star. Look for local casting companies and sign up to be an extra. The bigger gigs can pay up $50 to $100 and you just might see someone famous.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!

Financial literacy events for women


stocks and shares for beginners

Getting started in the share market can be intimidating, which can keep a lot of us out of the market. But that’s not the best outcome, since that means missing out on possible good long-term returns.

So how can a new investor learn to play with shares safely, and start down the path to making money in shares?

One of the best ways to get ready is a share market simulation. The best known in Australia is the ASX Sharemarket Game. The game is run twice per year for 15 weeks. You’ll get $50,000 in virtual money to invest in the ASX 200 using real market prices. There are prizes for the best returns, but the real gain is the experience. There’s no cost to enter. The next round starts in early February 2016, and you can register for their reminder emails.

It’s worth looking around for other share market simulators as well. Some of the bigger overseas stock market games let you watch their best performers and learn from their strategies. While these sites may be based on the US or UK market, the principles they teach are similar. To make the most of it, you can even set up multiple portfolios to try out different strategies.

As you get a feel for the potential ups and downs of the market and you’re getting ready to do it for real, be sure to set your limits. Be very realistic about how much you can consider investing in something as risky as shares. Any share investor needs to be okay with the fact that shares can make money and lose money. You should only be investing if you’re not going to need those funds for a while and if you can handle a short-term loss.

Finally, before you take the plunge, consider getting professional advice. While you’re still new at it, a trusted advisor will can be an invaluable resource to keep you from making mistakes you might regret later. And they’ll help you set up an approach to work for the long-term, which is what it’s all about.

Financial literacy events for women



create an emergency fund

If life throws you a curve-ball, would you have the savings you need? It’s a tough topic to consider and many people avoid thinking about something so unpleasant. But being in denial isn’t a good choice.

Consider instead how good it would feel to know you’re covered with an adequate emergency fund.

The first and most obvious question: how much is enough?

Step 1:  The starting point is a list of expenses that must be covered no matter what happens. You’ll need to do without lots of conveniences like the paid cleaners or evenings out. But rent, insurance, food and petrol are essentials. Look at recent months to come up with your monthly estimate.

Step two: estimate how many months you could be without income. Talk to friends or colleagues who’ve switched jobs to understand what it’s like. It often takes three to six months to get back on your feet. Knowing that, you’ll be able to estimate the safety net you need.

Another reality-check for the emergency fund is to think through other tough situations that might happen. Is your used car getting on in years? Is there anything around the house that might need an expensive repair? Do some worst-case-scenario thinking to understand what bad surprises could happen. Once you have the list, a little online searching can help you estimate what you’d have to pay for repairs or replacements. While you’re at it, think through anything else that might be a short-term cash need. For example, do you have overseas family that you might want to visit on short notice? Make sure your emergency fund is big enough to cover the largest of these items.

Once you have an estimate of your ideal cash buffer, look at what’s already in your savings account. Chances are you’ll need to keep saving. Figure out what the gap is, and set yourself a plan to add $20 or $50 or $100 per week, whatever you can afford. Open up a separate account to hold your emergency fund so you’re not tempted. Check with your bank to find a smart way to invest the funds, ideally in a flexible account that pays you at least a basic interest rate. Keep track of your progress, and allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment and peace of mind when the emergency fund is in place.

Financial literacy events for women

make your credit card work for you

If you’re applying for a credit card, how do you make sure you’re making the most of it? And how do you make sure your credit card doesn’t become a burden or big liability?

Here are our top tips for smart credit card management:

  • Most importantly, pay your bill on time, in full, every time. This one is not negotiable. The interest charges are never a good deal and once you get into that hole, it’s very hard to get out. If you can’t do this, it’s time to cut off the credit card. Paying in full and on time is also a great way to start building up a good credit rating.
  • Keep the same credit card for a long time. If you develop a good track record, your credit card provider may work with you to increase the limit and benefits over time.
  • Have the right limit. If you’re worried about overspending, ask your bank to set a lower limit. Perhaps $1,000 is enough for you. Just to cover the expected expenses, not big ticket temptations.
  • Log on. Use your credit card provider’s website and check your statement. Have a honest look at where you’re spending your money. Some providers can even help you categorise expenses to understand the trends.
  • Know your benefits. It’s worth reading the fine print that comes with your card. You may find you have benefits when you travel, or in case of a loss related to something purchased with the card.
  • Understand the points program. Many cards have rewards or points programs and many people don’t take full advantage! Make sure you understand the full range of benefits that you can obtain with your points. Don’t get drawn in by the flashiest or newest. Instead, consider points to be just like cash. Spend them where you’ll get the biggest practical benefit. Often that’s for unglamourous rewards like paying your card’s annual fee.

If you stay in control, credit cards can be a great tool to start establishing your financial track record. And the perks can be meaningful. It pays to be a fully informed credit card customer.

Financial literacy events for women


Teaching children about money

It can be tricky to know when to start giving kids money, and when you do, how much and what to say to them about it in terms of how they might use it.  Here’s some handy tips as well as an age appropriate guide to money for different aged children down the bottom.

  1. If you are giving pocket money – set expectations around what it is for and stick to them e.g. is some of it meant to be used for daily expenses like extra canteen treats, is a % of it to be saved, or is it purely for weekend treat-y purchases? Is it a regular and fixed amount or will it vary if they do extra chores around the house/garden etc? Have a bit of plan and be clear and consistent around how it might be used.
  2. When giving pocket money, give a combination of notes and coins to get kids familiar with money and all its different forms.
  3. Involve older children in family discussions around money – when you are talking about bills and how you are managing your money in general.
  4. Get your children involved in paying for things at the check-out – e.g. let them hand over the cash, take the change (and give it back to you!)
  5. In our cashless society where we use cards in the main, it is no wonder that children might come to think of money as an abstract concept – they never see it yet we are able to purchase things. Explain how cards work – that money is debited from our accounts (which houses our worked-for money) when we use the card. That we can only spend according to the amount of money we have in our account.
  6. Explain to children the difference between wants and needs and how you prioritise those around money.
  7. Talk around what a set amount might buy e.g. $5 can buy a small lego toy, a smoothie,

Age Appropriate Money Talk


  • We all need money to buy things
  • Money is notes and coins that are all worth different amounts
  • When you work you earn money
  • The difference between things we need and things we want.

Primary School Age Children

  • That when you are shopping, comparing prices before the actal
  • purchase is good practice: “Look as you go, buy as you come back”
  • With online shopping: be careful . Do not share your personal
  • information
  • Savings takes time and you need to be patient. To save for a goal we can choose how we spend our money.

High School Age Children

  • Cash over credit!
  • Explain the concept of credit : that it is borrowed money that must be paid back with interest
  • It is good to have savings in case of a money emergency
  • When you start work, always check your payslip to ensure you are being paid correctly and if you are paying tax
  • Be mindful of mobile phone data and other expenses to make sure you don’t run out of credit or get stuck with a large bill
  • Use your bank account to help you track your money.
  • Doing a budget helps you work out how you should spend your money.

*Some information sourced from the MoneySmart website.

Financial literacy events for women


financial literacy women

My initial drive to join the 6 Week Online Money Make-Over was to smarten up about my super and shares and explore other forms of investing. An added bonus was the opportunity to connect with like-minded women who valued financial independence and confidence as much as I did. Over the couple of months that I was involved with the group I acted on a lot of tasks around my super and shares that historically I’d shown some procrastination towards. I learnt a lot from the women in my group. Oh,  and red wine also became a central theme of our sessions!

But there were also some unexpected outcomes from my time in the group.

In the first session I wrote down my one to two year goal and nervously read it out to the group. I’ve had a long held ambition to start doing my own consulting work, focusing on improving the quality of adult literacy and numeracy training, particularly for remote Aboriginal communities. To be honest, when I read it out I’d described the goal with such perfect clarity and detail I was embarrassed by it.

After the first hangout I pinned the planning sheet on my wardrobe door to remind myself of it, as I’d get ready for work. I started to make tentative steps towards it; they were small but important practical gestures. They included

  • Getting an ABN
  • Speaking to trusted and skilled people
  • Getting tax advice
  • Putting money aside for software programs
  • And lots of reading and research.


During this stage of my planning I reminded myself of Tim Minchin’s advice to be ‘micro-ambitious’. By detailing all the small action steps I needed to get done, I committed myself to completing these tasks and was not overwhelmed by the larger goal. The weekly GIG sessions with the terrific group of women I did it with also kept me accountable.

A month after putting this goal down on paper I was asked if I’d work on a project with an Indigenous organisation across remote cattle stations in Northern Australia. It couldn’t be better suited for me: I had the technical skills for it and the childhood experience of growing up on a cattle station. Since then, I’ve been approached on another literacy project in the Northern Territory. This has all happened in a few months since that uncomfortable moment of the program, reading out and making real what I wanted to do.

Zoe and the 10thousandgirl team have been the enablers and have prompted me to go after what I really love to do. They also linked me with other smart and strong women to learn from. In the occasional moments of self doubt I look at the “Why?” part of my goal planning sheet to remind myself of why what I’m doing is so important.

Want to transform YOUR finances and life?
Click here to join the October Online 6 Week Money Make-Over!

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easy ways to save

Can saving money really be painless?  Is it possible to actually enjoy saving money?

Here are our top five tips to make that a reality:

  1. Enjoy the Hunt:  make a game out of finding the best bargains.  Be an online shopping, group shopping and coupon site wizard.  Set yourself a budget and enjoy the challenge in getting the most for your money.
  2. Say Goodbye to Plastic:  become a cash-only shopper.  It feels amazing to walk out the shop knowing it’s well-and-truly paid for.  Learn to love that feeling!
  3. Never Run Out:  become a grocery list and planning champion.  Even if it’s not your thing, take time to appreciate how good it feels to buy in bulk, plan ahead and avoid last minute splurges.  Give yourself a big pat on the back for every packed lunch, coffee made at home or bus instead of a taxi.
  4. Be a Streaming Machine:  there’s loads you can do now free online by streaming, much more than simple entertainment.  Find a course on one of the free sites or stream your workout videos at home.  Other than the broadband costs, it can all be completely free.
  5. Get Out in your Community: get to know your local community resources and all the free events they have on offer.  There’s more than you think!  Set a goal of enjoying one or two new outings or groups each month. Bring a picnic to make it even more affordable. And invite your savings-minded friends along – they may thank you for it!

Financial literacy events for women


Feel calm about money

Money decisions are incredibly important and should never be made in a rush or without clear thinking!  A clear calm mind will allow you to ask the right questions, understand your options and make decisions that you won’t regret.  So stay grounded and take it one step at a time.

  • Set your own clear goals first.  Think about what matters to you.  Decide what your financial goal is and write it down.  Come back to this as often as you need.
  • Choose trusted friends to confide in.  Be picky.  Look for those who have their own money life in order and who manage it in a way that you admire.  Let them know your goals and ask them to help keep you focussed.  If you’re facing a tough decision, ask yourself – what would they do?
  • Find the right advisors.  Take this slowly.  Get recommendations from those you trust.  Talk to the advisor first.  Consider this a first date only.  It should only proceed if both sides feel comfortable.
  • Be informed.  Take the time to do thorough research.  Searching online can help you find a lot of valuable information.  To make sure you’re using reliable sources, pay attention to the source and make sure you check any ideas on two or three other sites before proceeding.
  • Stay confident.  Take stock of what you’ve done that’s working well, and let this build your confidence.  Take the time to understand what you’ve done well, and apply those lessons again.
  • Sleep on it.  Don’t ever rush into any decisions.  If anyone pushes you to act quickly, hold your ground and insist on at least a day to think.
  • Never, ever make a move you don’t understand!  If you can’t explain a new investment or account in simple language, you’re not ready.  Keep asking questions, or walk away.

If you’re mind is clear, you’ll make much better decisions with a lot more confidence.  Learn to recognise how good that feels and then you’ll be on your way.

Financial literacy events for women

Famous quotes about saving money

At 10thousandgirl, we often look to our heroes to help us stay on track.  Here’s from advice from a few of our favourites:

Never spend your money before you have earned it” – Thomas Jefferson

“Beware of little expenses.  A small leak will sink a great ship.”Benjamin Franklin

“No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”  – Warren Buffett

“Stop buying things you don’t need, to impress people you don’t even like.”  – Suze Orman

“We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs.” Gloria Steinem

“Be thankful for what you have.  You’ll end up having more.”  – Oprah Winfrey

“My favourite things in life don’t cost any money.  It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”  – Steve Jobs

“The best thing money can buy is financial freedom.”Anon


Take control of your money – we’ll show you how!

Financial literacy events for women

Nanna's money wisdom

Fact is, our Nanna’s are/were Mastresses as Money – they thrifted and saved and made do because they had to.  There is so much wisdom that translates brilliantly to the modern day by looking at how they used to do it.

  • NEED vs WANT: Apply the stranger test to something you think you need. Imagine a  total stranger offering you the cash value of the thing you really, really need or the thing to you; which one you would pick?  If you choose the cash over the thing, then very seriously reconsider buying it and and simply make do with what you have instead.
  • Cut your cloth!  That means if you don’t have it, don’t spend it.  Simple and very, very effective.
  • Grow your own: Now, even with the tiniest of spaces with no garden to speak of you can still grow bits and bobs yourself.  Grow your own sprouts and herbs, for example, on your window sill.  Sprouts are expensive and super easy to grow!  If you have a garden or some kind of outside space, learn about the seasons and different plant requirements and plot your abundant year out.  Super fun, good for the soul, know what you’re eating and even better on your wallet.
  • Spend less on going out: Feeling good and relaxed doesn’t have to come in the form of cocktails at Darling Harbour (actually….), oh no, it can come in the form of the good old fashioned and free Great Outdoors!  Spend the day bush walking, or surfing, or beach running or all of it!  Plan for more cosy nights in with friends and home made pizza and a good wine instead of exxy nights out.
  • Rent Don’t Buy:  more and more items are available to rent these days; even cocktail dresses!  Rent/hire where you can if it weighs up.  Explore the Collaborative Consumption movement on social media for more brilliant sharing ideas.
  • Cook in bulk and freeze: this could save you $$ in take-aways later in the week/month.  Buying in bulk or when meat is on special means you could save money that way too.  Have fun and do it with friends and go home with a variety of meals a la MamaBake
  • Use the library: Unless you find your own personal bible (I have a few), don’t buy that story, use the library!  Libraries often have other things to borrow such as DVDs and magazines too.
  • Mend it: If you have some time and you really want to save every last penny, consider stitching up that pair of work pants rather than throwing them out and spending a pretty packet on new ones.  If you don’t sew (I don’t either!), consider finding out how much a local seamstress would charge to do it for you for less than a new pair?
  • Simply Use less:Do you really need a hearty massive squeeze of dishwashing liquid every time?  Or could you maybe go a fairy squeeze instead and still get the job done?  Go the fairy squeezes!  Go easy on loo roll, washing powder too and measure out your coffee, pasta and other ingredients too.
  • Use it up: We are all guilty of chucking stuff out before it’s well and truly done.  Roll that toothpaste tube right up and squeeze every last bit out and then when you think you have used it all up, cut the tube near the nozzle and you will find a couple of extra day’s worth hiding up there.  Get more out of your mascara by adding a couple of drops of salt water to the bottle.  Then, when it has truly all gone, use the wand as an eyebrow brush.  You can also pop your mascara in a cup of boiling water for five minutes to squeeze any last extra out of it.
  • Make your own: Instead of buying take-out pizzas each weekend, make a batch yourself one Sunday afternoon and pop them in the freezer.  make your own cleaning products using vinegar and citrus peels, make your own bakery products.  It all adds up and can save you heaps.
  • Reuse items: Just because you think something is done with doesn’t mean it actually is done with.  Old t-shirts can be used as old rags for washing down the car or windows, glass jars can be painted (or not) and turned into cool little storage containers etc etc, coffee grounds as plant food, crushed up egg shells as slug repellant.  Heaps more fab ideas around this at the 1millionwomen website.

Financial literacy events for women

rent a dress

I stared blankly into my wardrobe. No, that’s not true. I started blankly around my wardrobe, which consisted of a traditional built in closet and 2x Ikea racks jammed up against a wall. Then I remembered the spare walk-in wardrobe I was also taking up at Mum and Dad’s place. It sounds like a lot, but it was no different to the wardrobes of majority of my female friends. Except for one section – the dresses.

They were, and always will be (now that I have started the business), my weak spot. Designer cocktail dresses in every colour, length and style you can imagine. There were 48 of them, two of which still had tags on them, and they totalled an investment of $20,299.00.

$20, 299.00? That can’t be right?! I did not spend a first home deposit on dresses!  EEK

And the reality is, I didn’t, because had I not spent that $20K on dresses, I would have spent it on shoes, or coats, or cocktails. Throughout my late teens and early twenties I wasn’t thinking about saving for a house. I hadn’t really even thought much about moving out, let alone making what at the time seemed like such a grown up decision to invest in property.

Now, I am 24. An age many still like to label as a ‘young, carefree, you-don’t-have-to-worry-about-anything’ time in your life. But, the truth is, we do.

I see so many young women, in my friendship circles, through my business and across social media that are worried about money. Deeply concerned that if they don’t find themselves in a job with a significantly high salary, their dreams of owning a three bedroom home in Middle Park, driving an Audi and wearing Chanel will be crushed. And yes, perhaps the dream could be toned down to a three bedroom home in the outer suburbs, a Mazda CX3 and wearing Country Road;  but the point is young women do worry about their financial future and as far as I can tell aren’t quite sure what to do to save it.

I launched my business, Her Wardrobe, an online designer dress rental store, 12 months ago. It started as the obvious solution to every girl’s problem: a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. However, as the business evolved I quickly realised Her Wardrobe is in fact a way for women to indulge in beautiful designer clothing without losing control of their financial situation. This, by no coincidence, coincided with my dress audit, and the realisation that even if I had rented just half of all the dresses I owned I would be a little more in the green.

Let’s Illustrate the Point:

As illustrated in the infographic below, almost half of all young Australians buy things on impulse resulting in an average credit card debt of $4,200, a figure that has increased to $4,7001 since this graphic was designed just a few months ago. Just by renting 10 dresses, instead of buying them you can put $2,400 back in your pocket to spend on a trip to New York, or maybe, even start saving for your first home!



Alex Osmond is the founder of, a designer dress rental boutique dressing women Australia-wide.

She admits, that whilst she has dramatically curbed her spending habits since starting the business she is far from having it all figured out and has registered for her first Money Makeover Workshop with 10thousandgirl in August.




Financial literacy events for women


“Each time a woman changes, she inspires another woman to change...”


Each time a woman completes the 10TG 6 Step Money Makeover, $10 is contributed to providing a microplan to a woman living in extreme poverty to start a business.



<p>Microfinance is the provision of financial services such as loans, savings, insurance and training to people living in poverty. It is one of the great success stories in the developing world in the last 30 years and is widely recognised as a just and sustainable solution in alleviating global poverty.</p><p><iframe src="//" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>

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