THE FINANCIAL BARRIERS WOMEN FACE
Women earn less than men, are more likely to have interrupted careers because of child raising and caring responsibilities and statistically live longer so need to save more for retirement. Women in Australia can expect to earn $1m less than men in their working lives. The financial impact of this is that women in Australia are 2.5 times more likely than men to live in poverty in their old age. There was an interesting feature on the ABC on 9th January, 2015 on older Australian women becoming homeless at increasing rates – and what young women and families can do right now in their lives to avoid this. Check out the video.
ADD TO THE MIX AN AGEING POPULATION
Current policy settings, including the projected increase in the Superannuation Guarantee contribution to 12%, will not of themselves deliver the level of lifestyle to the majority of those retiring over the next 20 years that we, as a nation, are aiming to achieve. The population is ageing. The number of Australians over the age of 65 will increase by 75% over the next 20 years (from 3.3 million in 2012 to 5.8 million in 2032), and at a much faster rate than the working population and with Australians are living longer, there will be proportionately fewer working Australians available to fund those in retirement.
A HARSH REALITY: WOMEN & THE FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR
In the BCG study Women Want More the financial services sector was identified by those 12,000 respondents as the sector they feel most dissatisfied with, of all those sectors that affect their daily lives. The BCG survey results revealed that 73% of respondents were unhappy with the service level received and 71% were dissatisfied with their provider’s product offering. According to the BCG research, women are exasperated at how financial services firms serve them, offering up disrespect, condescension, poor advice, contradictory policies, endless red-tape and a one-sizefits-all approach based on the false assumption that men and women’s needs are the same.
Some said “I’m scared of money”, some said “I’ve never touched money, I don’t know what to do with it.” When they say that, I always think, this is not her voice. It is the voice of history. She is the product of this history. So we have to be very patient. We have to pull off the fears which are created around her, and after a while she says, “Maybe I will try”. If a woman tries and if she is successful, then her neighbours become very interested and they say, “If she can do it, then maybe I can do it too.” And if they are successful, that will open up the snowball effect.
An excerpt from March 2010 speech by Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Founder, Grameen Bank
THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE WORLD: WOMEN AS AN ECONOMIC POWER FORCE
The world has been undergoing a silent revolution over the last few decades. Women have been growing their status, capabilities and control of financial assets. So much so that in 2008 there were 1 billion working women, a figure targeted to grow to 1.2 billion by 2013, by 2005 women controlled 51.3% of the US’s personal wealth or US$14 trillion, a figure expected to grow to US$22 trillion within the decade. Globally, in 2008 women controlled consumer spending worth US$20 trillion, a figure expected to grow to US$28 trillion by 2013.
“When individuals and family units have clear long and short term goals and a solid understanding of the simple principles behind saving, debt management, insurance, superannuation and investing – there’s a new confidence, a peace of mind and a sense of independence, gratitude and generosity that floods over them, naturally influencing their family and those they touch in their communities.”
Zoe Lamont, Founder 10thousandgirl project
 Australian Financial Literacy Foundation, National Centre for Social and Economic Modeling (NATSEM), International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
 Julie Reilly’s 2013 publication Gender-Wise Philanthropy: Strengthening Society by Investing in Women & Girls 17 published by Women Donors Network
 Deloitte Dynamics of the Australian Superannuation System, The next 20 years: 2013 – 2033
 Boston Consulting Group, Women Want More, 2008
 Steve Macdonald, Investing Like A Woman, A White Paper, 2012
 Fara Warner, Power of the Purse: How Smart Businesses Are Adapting to the World’s Most Important Consumers – Women, 2005
 Boston Consulting Group, Women Want More, 2008
So join us to embrace women as an economic power force and provide the solutions to the barriers they face – Join A Money Makeover Program or Become A Supporting Partner. Alternatively contact us for more information.
Full article on LifeBuzz. Here’s the highlights – we’ve added an exercise for each idea to get your started. What # rings true for you?
#1. Stop spending time with the wrong people.
EX: Identify someone you spend time with who drains your energy. Unless they need your help, cut your time with them back a little.
#2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.
EX: Identify your #1 problem at the moment. What’s one thing you can do about it?
#3. Stop lying to yourself.
EX: What do you need to be more honest about?
#4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner.
EX: Do something for yourself today! Just do it!
#5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not.
EX: Identify someone who you want to be like. Do you really want to be them?
#6. Stop trying to hold onto the past.
EX: Think of a memory in the past you hold onto. Take a deep breathe, fill your belly. Breathe into the memory. Now exhale, say out loud ” I let it go”.
#7. Stop being scared to make a mistake.
EX: Do something you think you’ll fail at. See what happens!
#8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes.
EX: Repeat similar exercise from #6. Identify something you are constantly berating yourself about. Take a deep breathe, fill your belly. Breathe into the idea. Now exhale, say out loud ” I let it go”.
#9. Stop trying to buy happiness.
EX: What have you bought lately because you thought it would make you feel good? Next time you make a similar purchase, ask yourself ‘why?’. What feeling are you trying to buy? What else can you do to create that feeling?
#10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness.
EX: Identify a person that makes you happy? What makes them that way? What quality do they have? Mmm yes you have it too!
#11. Stop being idle.
EX: Get up today and DO something you’ve been putting off.
#12. Stop thinking you’re not ready.
EX: START. Start investing, start a conversation with a guy you like, start negotiating a career progression… just START.
#13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons.
EX: Focus instead on the relationship you have with yourself, all other relationships are a bonus.
#14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work.
EX: Repeat similar exercise from #6 & 8. Identify something you have experienced in a relationship in the past. Take a deep breathe, fill your belly. Breathe into the idea. Now exhale, say out loud ” I let it go”.
#15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else.
EX: Set a goal around improving yourself. About making an improvement on your efforts last week or last month, or yesterday or last year.
#16. Stop being jealous of others.
EX: Identify someone you’re jealous of. Pay them a compliment – call, email, text or in person.
#17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself.
EX: Identify something that’s great in your life.
#18. Stop holding grudges.
EX: Repeat similar exercise from #6 & 8. Identify a grudge you have. Take a deep breathe, fill your belly. Breathe into the idea. Now exhale, say out loud ” I let it go”.
#19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level.
EX: Next time someone brings you down, look them in the eye and tell them you don’t agree. And that actually… you rock at that!!
#20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others.
EX: Next time you find yourself explaining yourself, stop. If they get you they’ll get you.
#21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break.
EX: Take a sporadic break – a walk around the block or a week away!
#22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments.
EX: Smile deliberately at something beautiful that catches your eye. Enjoy it for a minute +.
#23. Stop trying to make things perfect.
EX: Laugh out loud at an imperfection.
#24. Stop following the path of least resistance.
EX: Do something that CHALLENGES you.
#25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t.
EX: Ask someone for help.
#26. Stop blaming others for your troubles.
EX: Next time you catch yourself blaming someone else, bring it back to you? What could you have done differently? What can you do better next time?
#27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone.
EX: Pick your battles a friend once said to me. It’s the same with helping others. Pick a few people to support in your life, and support them well.
#28. Stop worrying so much.
EX: Jump up and down 10 times, waving your hands around above your head. Keep going till you burst out laughing – what were you worrying about again?
#29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen.
EX: Life’s like a garden, you need to fertilise the plants not the weeds. Identify one of your plants (key goals) – water it!!
#30. Stop being ungrateful.
EX: No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere is desperately fighting for theirs. Say thank you for something out aloud.
What can you stop doing?
Budget at a glance
Infographic: Thanks to theconversation.com
Personally I’d like to see less spending on defence and welfare and more on education – since one would think the latter decreases the need for the former, however…
Here’s some other resources to help get your head around it:
- Official papers : http://www.budget.gov.au/2014-15/index.htm
- Summary & transcript : http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/13/budget-2014-joe-hockey-speech-live
- Fan of these changes : http://www.smh.com.au/business/federal-budget/federal-budget-2014-young-to-wait-until-25-to-get-dole-20140513-388di.html
- ABC take : http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-12/budget-2014-what-we-know/5439838
Watch out for:
- Family Payments : http://www.budget.gov.au/2014-15/content/glossy/welfare/html/welfare_08.htm
- First Home Savers Account abolished: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/First-home-saver-account/
Just read a blog on the MoneySoft site that made me go ‘yeah, that’s me too!’ Have you hit that age or stage where dreams of marrying a prince are slipping away and you’re finding yourself thinking about money??
Here’s Amy’s story… ‘Before I was a mum, I was a woman who enjoyed shopping for myself, being out with friends and family, paying for Foxtel to make sure I was update with every show and movie available on this planet. I enjoyed manicures, pedicures, facials, dinner parties, brunches, shopping online, spending summer days at the beach and having a quick drink before heading home. I drove everywhere, not really stressing about the cost of parking meters, or parking stations. Late nights splurging on food and drinks was not an issue as I could most probably sleep in the next day and if not have a quick nap before meeting up with friends for dinner. Everything seemed simple. Life was simple. What I wanted I did with no care in the world.
Something happened between my twenty’s and my thirties. I would always put it down to “well that’s what happens when you start having kids”…but in actual fact it’s just that my priorities shifted. I woke up one day thinking hang on (and that’s a PG version of what I was really thinking) why has everything changed? At what point did I become so money conscious and when did I start loosing sleep over this matter?
I can’t tell you exactly when or why but it happened. I found myself regretting a lot of my decisions from my younger days. What if I didn’t live paycheck to pay check, what if I saved a bit here and there, maybe just maybe I wouldn’t be in the predicament that I’m in now. When friends were all putting deposits on their investment properties I was that hippy saying “Enjoy life, life is short, we have plenty of time to work our a$$’ off and worry about money” then I would laugh and go home and think how I have got it so down packed this thing called life…. Just quietly I think those friends are now laughing.
Something had to be done it was getting ridiculous, having twins, a husband and all the pressures of life I no longer craved the ‘what I wanted I did with no care in the world’ kind of approach. My husband who is equally if not more a little ‘whatever’ with our finances came up with a great idea, pretend like we don’t have money. The first few months was great, we set up separate accounts to which our income was assigned to and another account for all our bills to come out of. We did the whole take food from home for lunch, put our left over coins in a jar at the end of the day, started selling a few bits and pieces online for some extra income, but slowly slowly our spending demons started resurfacing and scratching through the few months of hard work we had put in. In the end we looked at each other and..’ READ FULL ARTICLE >>
There’s a new money tool for women just launched. I’ve been loving their blog the last few months and now they have a comparison site.
Here’s an excerpt from their last newsletter with links to a few great blogs:
Tax expert, Jasmine Kidd, shares seven tax deductions commonly missed by landlords. For those of you working and paying a packet for childcare, Tracey Sharah helps you get the most relief from childcare allowances.
And with winter coming, Veronica Foale suggests how to you stay warm without burning money.
So if you’re looking to compare super funds, health insurers, home loans or savings accounts, add this one to your list of fun comparison sites: http://moneycircle.com
We all know Christmas is a festive time and it’s pretty easy to let our spending go astray.
Here are our favourite MoneySmart Top Tips and Tricks for Christmas.
Track your Christmas gift, food and decoration spending this year with the TrackMySpend app. This app is free and easy to use. The new version of the app allows you to categorise your expenses and set spending limits for each category. You can also use the app to keep track of other expenses such as holidays and Boxing Day sales shopping, as well as your daily expenses.
Make a List. Before you start shopping, make a list of who you’ll buy gifts for along with how much you plan to spend on each one. Remember, the longer you spend in a shop the more you are likely to buy, so having a list will help keep you focused and stop you from frivolous spending you can’t afford.
Shop online. You can more easily compare prices and products to get the best deal possible. Keep an eye out for free shipping and gift wrapping too. See MoneySmart’s tips on shopping securely online.
Make a ‘No Unnecessary Gift’ pact with your family and friends. Agree to not buy each other gifts this year, or make other arrangements instead of a gift, like setting a lunch date for January or helping each other out with a goal or task.
Embrace the real Christmas spirit this year by donating money to charity. Many charities have items you can buy as gifts in the recipient’s name. Remember, any donation you make of $2 or more is tax deductible. See MoneySmart’s donating page for more information.
Often one thoughtful gift is more useful than 10. If you can’t abstain from gift giving altogether then follow the savviest Christmas tradition of all – Secret Santa (some people call it Kris Kringle). Set a gift cost with a group of friends or family, draw a name out of a hat for each person and buy just one gift.
A gift for the future. Instead of wasting money on an unnecessary gift, you might think about making an investment on someone’s behalf. For example, you could start a bank account for a child in your family and add to it each Christmas. They will thank you when they are 21 and you have saved a couple of thousand dollars for them.
Start saving for next year. Open a high interest savings account now and start saving for next Christmas. See the magic of compound interest at work with our compound interest calculator. If you put away just $18 a week for 52 weeks, you’ll have the average Christmas spend of over $900 saved for next year’s celebrations.
Thinking of putting a few gifts on your credit card? Use the MoneySmart credit card calculator to see how much your gifts will cost you if you don’t pay them off quickly.
10thousandgirl’s personal favourite? Make your Christmas gifts. There’s no better gift than one that’s taken time and love.
Enjoy being resourceful! Xx
We all want the best deal, this is the value of comparison sites. Here’s our picks!
What we like about MOZO
- General web layout and usability
- MOZO Answers – a forum to ask and answer questions, check it out http://mozo.com.au/answers
- Their blog and infographics
We met with the Finder guys the other day and here’s what we found!
- Great young team who really care about people’s financial literacy and empowerment
- Home loan calculators – lots of them! Ones to help calculate property buying costs, savings with split loans, stamp duty, difference a lump sum payment can make to a loan and of course, loan comparisons
- An interactive site with loads of info to explore and use to help make your financial decisions
HOW DO COMPARISON SITES WORK?
We also liked how Finder were quite upfront with how how comparison sites work in a section called Free? What’s the Catch? Here’s a good explanation of how comparison sites work:
Someone has to foot the bill, but it’s not our customers. Instead, the providers on the site pay.
When you click through to or apply with a financial institution, broker or retailer from our website, that provider will pay us a small referral fee for sending you to there. We don’t mark up the products just for listing them on our website, and we don’t get ongoing or trailing commissions.
We also sell some ad spaces on our sites, although we try to limit those so you don’t feel too cluttered.
WHAT’S AROUND THE CORNER?
Keep your eyes out for new comparison site for women, Money Circle. Great blog posts and social media commentary to date so we’re looking forward to seeing their next steps and what they’re going to offer in 2014.
Happy comparing! Xx
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!
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…
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:
- Managing debt
- Creating a Debt Repayment Plan (video tutorial)
- Reaching your savings goal
- Credit Card Calculator
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!
Start small, be strategic, keep on it and you’ll get there in no time.
Happy New Year!
For some that sentence oozes expectation, for others it evokes a sense of anticipation and excitement.
Its mid-late Jan. Who do you resemble?
A) Ah I’ve set goals before, they haven’t worked, this year I didn’t bother
B) I set goals this year but I’m battling already
C) I’m kicking goals big time
D) My opinion on goalsetting is… we’d love to hear from you, please share!
Of course, at 10thousandgirl we’re firm believers in goal setting. After all, if you don’t know what you’re looking for there’s not even a chance you’ll find it!
To help we’ve put together an easy-to-follow goal setting and financial refresher EBOOK.
Feel free to download as many times as you like and share with your friends, family and work colleagues.
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
- Put aside 10 minutes at a regular time during the week. I prefer to do it on Friday afternoons.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.