Financial Literacy For Rural Women The Focus As Australia Celebrates International Women’s Day
Sunday 8 March is International Women’s Day and not for profit organisation 10thousandgirl will mark the occasion by launching a national Women’s Financial Wellbeing program, focussed on increasing financial literacy for women in regional and rural communities.
The two year program will offer regional women access to some of Australia’s leading financial advisors and experts, free of charge and without having to travel to major metropolitan centres.
The program will consist of a series of regional workshop events throughout Australia, bi-monthly webinars and a suite of financial tools and educational programs.
You can read more about opportunities to partner with us or as a passionate believer in women’s financial wellbeing, nominate your town to host a free workshop.
According to 10thousandgirl CEO and Founder Zoe Lamont, the program complements the United Nations’ theme for this year’s International Women’s Day of ‘Make it Happen’.
“Women in regional towns are very active in their local community. They are natural investors when it comes to their families, schools, community groups and local businesses, however we’re finding this investment is not always extending to their own financial education and long term financial security,” said Zoe.
“The program has been designed to extend beyond basic money management and look at the importance of investing to ensure future financial stability. Women are good savers for immediate to short term purchases such as saving for a trip overseas, a wedding or a home but we need to create forums where women can put time aside out of their busy lives to consider their broader financial life plan. For instance, at which age would they like to retire, what kind of lifestyle would they like to maintain and what financial steps need to be put in place to enable their plans to happen.
“Our new workshop series builds investment confidence and equips women with the tools to take charge of their investments and finances to position themselves for a strong financial future,” said Zoe.
ASIC’s recently released Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker research found that investment concepts such as diversification and risk/return trade off were not commonly heard of by Australians (41%) and of those that had heard of the term, 28% didn’t understand it and a further 9% of those who said they understood it, couldn’t accurately describe the concept.
“This is concerning to us and doesn’t have to be the case. We are working to break down the gender and geographical barriers and ensure it is as easy as possible to access independent financial education, irrespective of whether you are male, female or live in a major city or country town,” said Zoe.
According to a white paper published by Infinitas Asset Management, women naturally make better investors than men.
“Women tend to be more focussed, considered and conservative about their investment decisions. They bring a different mindset, life experiences and sense of family and community responsibility when it comes to making investment decisions,” said Zoe.
The 10thousandgirl program is designed to provide women with the confidence and support to take control of their financial future and help them to ‘make it happen’.
10thousandgirl is calling for women throughout Australia to nominate their town to host a free half day women investing workshop. Interested partners can visit www.10thousandgirl.com/working-in-partnerships and complete the online form.
The half day workshop event will help participants to complete a personal financial review, discuss key investing principals, step through creating a personal investing plan and include a Q&A session with a panel of local financial service professionals. The panel will discuss topics such as property investing, starting in shares, super and tax tips, insurance basics, estate and succession planning and solutions and support mechanisms to work together as women to dissolve financial barriers.
The 12 part 60 minute webinar series will interview experts on in-depth topic areas including ethical investing, insurance, farm succession planning, seeking trusted advice, superannuation and wealth creation. Women throughout Australia are encouraged to sign-up for these free webinar events.
The webinar sessions commence this month, with the regional roadshow half day workshops commencing in June 2015, giving women a couple of months to register their town as a possible venue.
The two year regional women’s financial wellbeing project was made possible by a grant from Financial Literacy Australia and funding from leading financial service industry educators including Rabobank and HESTA.
10thousandgirl is a not for profit organisation started by a group of women in a Sydney pub in 2009. The girls quickly realised the importance and long term benefit of having a plan and understanding finance basics so they could make their plans happen.
More and more women started to come. In March 2011 the campaign formally established a board of directors, laid governance in place and has grown to educate thousands of women across Australia every year with the initiative attracting national and more recently global recognition in their bid to contribute to increasing the wellbeing and economic health of women.
For further information or interview requests please contact:
Ph: 0452 637 446
 Australian Securities and Investments Commission Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker, Wave 1 March – August 2014
 Infinitas Asset Management Limited Investing Like a Woman, Steve Macdonald, 2012
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.
Did you know that from 1 July, you will be able to do this using the newly launched myGov online service?
Once you set up an account with myGov, you essentially gain access to a secure online inbox. Here you will be able to receive online letters, statements as well as other important information from various government bodies such as:
- Veterans’ Affairs
- eHealth Resources
- National Disability Insurance Scheme
- Child Support
The ATO’s Steve Vesperman said “You’ll be able to update personal information, keep track of your superannuation, pay any tax debts and keep tabs on the processing of your tax return…you can be confident that your personal information and records are secure.”
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.
So the banks are the focus of a traditional post RBA rate movement ‘bashing’ which is understandable as Australian’s will generally be effected in some way or another because they either
1/ have a home loan
2/ have savings account or a term deposit
3/ are a shareholder
Now banks provide a service and Australian banks are as strong as any in the world which was demonstrated through the GFC as other banks around the world were defaulting. Now as per any other business, banks are out there to make money for their owners, ie their shareholders of which many Australians are either directly or through their superannuation funds and if you are not all in cash or self manage your fund the chances are you are invested in them as well.
But just as a business like your local supermarket, they have a product to sell. To enable them to have this product to sell they need to buy that product and the difference between how much they buy the product for and sell the product for is their margin which the use to generate a profit which they can then return to their owners/shareholders. The banks product is however lending money, so to lend money they have to buy money…… to buy money the banks can do several things, one of which is borrow it from depositors, ie savings accounts and term deposits for a certain interest rate and then lend that money out at a different interest rate. The difference of which is the margin they keep for the service.
Competition among the banks for the consumers money ie term deposits and debt will push this margin down and ensure the consumers win but the banks will also always try to keep this margin at a suitable level to keep their owners/shareholders happy.
The trick is to remember that when all this noise is out there – the effect of how the bank reacts to reserve bank cash rate changes will differ for each person, depending on whether you are a borrower, depositor or shareholder.
How do interest rate changes affect you?
Alisdair Barr is the founder of Future Map, a dynamic financial literacy program focused on building life planning and financial literacy skills in the workplace. Having held senior leadership roles for the last 10 years at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, he is passionate about reducing complexity and helping to map out a better future for all Australians. More from Alisdair on www.futuremap.com.au
This article was published in the Department of Primary Industry’s Rural Women’s Network Spring 2011 Newsletter
Increasingly, young women are acting on their desire to live their dreams whilst learning skills to be financially astute. The 10thousandgirl campaign helps young women gain confidence, clarify their plans and learn the basic financial principles to support their goals.
With the fast growing independence of young women, over the next three years the 10thousandgirl campaign aims to support 10,000 young country-based women to live their dreams whilst being financially astute. As part of programs being run in 100 communities across Australia, a special sponsored workshop series was run in Scone and Merriwa over April 2011 in conjunction with Albury based style and image consultant Sandra Martin. The workshops were organised by Caroline Long and supported by the Department of Primary Industries. Here’s what two of our workshop participants had to say …
Allissa, aged 28
Why did you attend?
I attended the workshop because I had been afraid of looking at how to manage my money for a long time. I believed that money controlled my life, that I would never understand how to manage money and therefore made poor life choices because I felt defeated around finances. I was tired of living scared, so it was time to get some education and learn some tools to make money flow for me, not let money hinder my life flow.
What did you hope to get from the day?
Tools for my tool box!
What did you learn/how did you benefit?
My money matters were de-mystified, the clouds began to clear and I began to see my dollars a little clearer.
What actions have you taken since the workshop?
I am currently charting my spending and am in observation mode as my needs change.
What are your ‘words of wisdom’ for other girls looking to get their plans and personal finances on track?
Just go for it! Start somewhere, get brave, find a financial advisor or a 10,000 girl! and ask just one question important to you around money, the answers will come and then they will just keep coming and before you know it you’ll be feeling more and more confident and be having loads more fun with your finances.
What are your next steps?
I would like to look at getting a 10thousandgirl GIG (Girl Investment Group) together in the Newcastle area. I am really interested in getting some of this amazing information and education out to women who are or have been in situations of domestic violence. A big question on my mind right now is how to get the same learning and confidence around finance to women before they get to their ‘final straw’ in abusive relationships.
Phoebe, aged 26
Why did you attend?
Although I am a fairly good saver, anything that involves maths/numbers is not my favourite thing so I procrastinate over these things and annoy myself that I’m not doing more to take charge of what I spend.
What did you hope to get from the day?
I wanted to find ways to make financial stuff not so daunting. I also wanted to learn about what financial advisors do and whether I should visit one.
What did you learn/how did you benefit?
I learnt the difference between accountants and financial advisors. I got some tips on how to manage my money. I got inspired by what other women are doing to take control of their finances.
What actions have you have taken since the workshop?
I got together all the information on my super accounts so that at the beginning of the new financial year I can consolidate them into the best performing fund. I have outlined payment schedules for all outstanding debts and worked out when they will be paid off. I have spent my savings on a trip to Africa!
What are your ‘words of wisdom’ for other girls looking to get their plans and personal finances on track?
Get your finances under control because you’ll be amazed at the great things you can do with all the money you save! Plus it’s the small purchases that really eat up your money, by putting together a budget you realise just how much you spend on the small impulse purchases like an extra drink, ice-cream, chocolate. I’m not saying you have to stop purchasing these, we still need treats but when you realise you’re spending a hundred dollars or more a month on these you might not be so peckish!
What are your next steps?
I’m off to use my savings to explore the world – Africa!
The aim of the 10thousandgirl Campaign is to ensure every young woman 15-40 years:
– Has a plan for her life (dreams and goals that are written down)
– Has minimum 3–6 months wages in accessible savings
– Has relevant insurance in place
– Is learning to plan, save and invest for a self-funded retirement
– Is doing what she loves each day
– Is contributing to our world’s broader economic prosperity and wellbeing
10thousandgirl creates economic improvement for women through providing light hearted and engaging educational resources and programs in safe accessible environments, including; a 12-month Personal Finance Program delivered via bookclub like GIGs (Girl Investment Groups), one-day Life Planning Workshops, one-hour School Talks, Workplace and Community Presentations and an online resource hub.
Our goal is to raise $1 million to support women in developing countries to launch their own business … this is the ripple effect.
With every two Australian girls who go through the 12 month ‘GIG’ program, a micro loan is provided to a woman in a developing country to start or support a business and lift herself out of extreme poverty. This element of the program is to raise awareness around the fact we live in a global economy, and show that as individuals, when we step up, we increase our capacity to assist others. It’s a ripple effect!
10thousandgirl is supported by the Australian Government’s Office for Women and Economic Security4 Women, providing bursaries for women living in marginalised positions in Australia to take part in the programs. See our website for information on how to apply: www.10thousandgirl.com/apply-for-a-bursary
As part of the tour around 100 regional centres across Australia, the campaign is looking for financial planners, accountants, mortgage brokers, property professionals and interested womens and community groups to assist in running programs in the following areas: Canberra, Bathurst, Orange, Young, Dubbo, Tamworth, Armidale, Singleton, Newcastle, Alice Springs, Barkly Tablelands, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Wodonga, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Melbourne.
To participate in or assist with an upcoming event in your area, visit the website: www.10thousandgirl.com or contact Zoe Lamont at email@example.com or
on 0419 622 968.
UNLIKE their Generation Y predecessors, today’s Aussie teenagers appear to be a thrifty lot with a sensible grasp of the power of money.
This could have something to do with growing up amid the global financial crisis, which began in late 2007 and is still affecting financial markets and households today.
But they are not all as money-wise as they could be, having also grown up in a credit-happy world that has given them a strong appetite for debt.
One of the biggest financial concerns for young Australians is ensuring they get to adulthood without a bad credit rating, Veda Advantage spokesman Chris Gration says.
The latest survey by Veda found that 18 to 19-year-olds are less likely to pay off credit cards in full than the general population.
They are also more likely to miss a credit card or mobile phone payment.
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“One of the key things they need to have is an understanding of their credit file, but only 12 per cent have either a partial or full understanding of what a credit file is,” Gration says.
“When you combine that with their missing payments, they don’t realise that these end up as defaults on their credit file which can last well into the future.
“Many don’t understand the consequences of not paying their bills, which means a good proportion are setting themselves up for problems.”
A groundbreaking survey by research organisation Habbo in 2009 found that Aussie teenagers were among some of the most knowledgeable at managing their money.
Habbo regional director Jeff Brookes says the typical 12 to 18-year-old had strong convictions about paying bills on time and did not like owing money to anyone – including their parents.
The survey found that about 54 per cent of teenagers used their bank accounts for saving money, not just for spending. Of those, 35 per cent were saving for a tech gadget, 32 per cent for a car, and 21 per cent for clothes and education.
Teenage sisters Hannah and Elizabeth appear to be examples of the growing financial knowledge of young people. Both have just completed a financial workshop designed for young women to help boost their understanding about money and personal finances.But the girls already had a good grounding from their parents, who for the past two years have included them in discussions about household budgeting and family finances.
Mum Tania Sanders has also been increasing her own knowledge about wealth creation and she has passed this on to the children, including through a board game called Cash Flow that the family plays.
“There are a lot of assumptions made about our society,” Sanders says. “Sometimes it seems a bit of a rat race.”Our financial system seems to be set up so the majority of people have it ingrained in them that they have to get a job, pay off a house over 40 years and that’s it. There’s not a lot of literacy about becoming independently wealthy.”
After attending the 10thousandgirl workshops, both sisters, who are still at high school, want to get part-time jobs.
“The workshop was really inspiring,” says Hannah, 15. “It makes you really understand how money works.
Publication: The Daily Telegraph
Published: Monday, 13 June 2011
Journalist: Karina Barrymore
What to do when you don’t know what to do. Stuck in a life rut? Climb out in just five steps.
Ever asked yourself ‘what am I doing with my life?’ Ever heard that voice saying ‘I don’t know what to do with my life…’ Good news is most of us have – and there’s a way out of it. Lizza Gebilagin from Cleo breaks down the big question of what to do when you don’t know what to do with Zoe Lamont from 10thousandgirl sharing her experience of feeling lost and what she did to turn things around.
Zoe’s advice? “Your mind can see opportunities if you let it…” Easier said than done? Here are Cleo’s five steps.
STEP 1: Acknowledge the issue
STEP 2: Change your focus
STEP 3: Find your motivation
STEP 4: Do what you love
STEP 5: Trust that it’ll all work out
Publication: Cleo Magazine
Published: June 2011
Journalist: Lizza Gebilagin
BEHIND THE DESK: Investing time, skills and resources in the energy of young Australian women has created a new and efficient model for high impact, long-lasting community owned social and economic progression, as entrepreneur Zoe Lamont has shown.
Bernard Kellerman shares the ins and outs of the 10thousandgirl campaign, speaks to 10thousandgirl Jessica Blake about her experience of the program to date and encourages industry support of the movement.
Publication: Australian Banking + Finance
Published: Vol 03, No 03, April 2011
Journalist: Bernard Kellerman
Link to full story
If you really want to fight poverty, fuel growth and combat extremism, try girl power.
We know what the birth of a revolution looks like: a student stands before a tank. A fruit seller sets himself on fire. A line of monks link arms in a human chain. Crowds surge, soldiers fire, gusts of rage pull down the monuments of tyrants, and maybe, sometimes, justice rises from the flames. But sometimes freedom and opportunity slip in through the back door, when a quieter subversion of the status quo unleashes change that is just as revolutionary.
This is the tantalizing idea for activists concerned with poverty, with disease, with the rise of violent extremism: If you want to change the world, invest in girls.
Read more from Time Magazine about the opportunities and social shifts that occur when investing in girls and how a new US initiative Girl Up (www.girlup.org) is leveraging resources by mobilizing 100,000 American girls to raise money and awareness to fight poverty, sexual violence and child marriage.
Over the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, women, men and women’s groups alike celebrated the huge advances women have made over the last 100 years whilst appreciating the distance we still have to go. The 10thousandgirl Campaign celebrated and highlighted the occasion through an evening of sharing and encouraging ‘DareDreams’.
Ashleigh Francis, Miss World Australia shared her story as did three of our very own 10thousandgirls; Ida Ng, Hannah Muirhead and Jessica Blake. Ashleigh shared how she had grown from a mottle skinned self conscious child to the confident young woman she is today. The three 10thousandgirls shared where they had come from, how they are involved in the 10thousandgirl program and the highlights, changes and progress they have made in each of their lives over the past year. Hearing their plans and dreams was an inspiration.
Robin Stonecash, former economics professor, 10thousandgirl Campaign board member and emcee on the evening provided an overview of the campaign and entertained between speakers whilst Zoe Lamont, founder of the campaign shared an insight around the campaign plans for 2011 and progress made to date. Minister Kate Ellis provided a snapshot of the current economic picture for women and congratulated the 10thousandgirl team on taking action.
Toward the end of the evening, people wrote up their dreams on 10thousandgirl DareDreamer postcards and pegged them on the DareDreamer wall to share. Dreams will soon arrive in the mail!
The event was held at Level One, Angel 125 Pitt Street Sydney and was filled with light inspiring energy, interesting new connections and nibbles and champagne. Check out the photos (more to be uploaded next week) and have a sneak peek of Channel Ten’s coverage of the event.
The team at 10thousandgirl thanks everyone who came along.
NEWS COVERAGE: http://ten.com.au/6pm-with-george-negus.htm?movideo_p=44243&movideo_m=96112
MINISTER KATE ELLIS RECORDING: http://www.youtube.com/user/10thousandgirl#p/a/u/2/PfHt0EO-2Dk