Stories/letters from girls

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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how to get out of debt
*Image attribution: Oh It’s Perfect and the photographer is Kirri Garvey from Captured by Kirri

Hi, My name is Veronica! I am a happy mama of three, a freelance voice and performance coach, a small business owner and now debt free and well on our way to saving for our first property.

My husband and I welcomed our lovely children in our early 20’s, and being young meant that our careers were yet to blossom, we lacked the discipline it takes to grow financially and needless to say, we hadn’t a clue how to budget! We were limited financially and ideally, my husband and I should have taken on full time jobs in order to support our family. But I had dreams of the kind of parent I wanted to be. I wanted to earn a living without compromising the time I wanted to spend raising my young ones and the same went for my husband. Simply put, we wanted to be there while our children were small and this took priority over securing our careers. We knew that in order to maintain that lifestyle, we had to work as freelance parents.

I was working and studying as a singer and musician and instantly fell in love with teaching. This worked very well for me, not only because I loved it, but also because I was able to work from home, often after bedtimes or at nap times. Over 11 years, I have since grown my home studio into a small business in Canada Bay, with four teaching staff and a small musical community of over 100 students. I now earn a passive income on top of my freelance work, which is wonderful, and the feeling of contributing to the young people around my community is priceless.  However the path to get here has not been easy. Raising small children on two freelance incomes in Sydney was a week-to-week ordeal. We were using credit to live, paying things off when we could, only to use it again when a ‘big bill’ would come in the mail. This really spiralled us into a pretty dark place financially, which was not too friendly on our marriage to say the least! I do believe in hindsight that the more in debt we got into, the more nonchalant we became with our spending. Getting out of debt was not a priority however I also knew deep down that our financial worries would be temporary. Children grow, start school, and with that, I knew I would have more time available to work and when that time did come, our finances became a lot more stable.

# 1: Treat your debt with a positive mindset and with gratitude

This is a concept I learned from financial author/motivator, Suze Orman. It was not until I wrapped my head around the concept of respecting money and treating our debts with respect that our debt started to decrease. I think that for young families, money is sentimental. It means nourishment for our children, warm clothes, a trip to the zoo. I began to ‘thank’ the money that would come in, no matter how small. If I found a five cent piece on the floor, I thanked it. I changed our banking password to words of gratitude. I wrote ‘Thank you for this money’ on the underside of my wallet. I also wrote a huge ‘thank you for our debts’ manifesto and stuck it to my dresser in order to remind me that this borrowed money saved our family out of some desperate situations (and one overseas holiday, which we thoroughly, guiltfully enjoyed!). These were a constant reminder to switch my mindset from ‘Ugh, not another credit card bill, blegh!’ to ‘This money is precious, this money represents hours of work and resources, a roof over our heads, a warm blanket in winter, a memorable family event…’.

This is the single most powerful thing we did to change our financial outlook for the better, hands down. When you learn to respect money, treat it like you would a good friend, it returns the favour! When you respect that your debts are there because a little plastic card came to your rescue during a tough period in your life, it makes it easier to be humble, to stop treating debt with such negativity and to switch your mindset to one of gratitude. It is so much easier to get on with the task of getting rid of the debt when it is not such an emotional chore to do so.

# 2: Make more money

It is very difficult (impossible) to get out of debt when there isn’t enough surplus to increase your minimum payments. We worked very hard to increase our freelance income and set our careers towards a brighter trajectory. My husband worked overtime, while I worked every available moment on my business. I saw clients during school hours, after bed time hours and Saturdays, and worked on my business presence and admin late at night. I also loved making extra (tax-free!) income by selling things on eBay and having frequent garage sales. When you treat it like a game, it can be a ton of fun! There are many avenues to make extra money. I wish that or Airtasker were around a few years ago, as I most definitely would have used those websites to drum up extra cash!

# 3: Decrease spending

What we’ve learned is that with some preparation and organisation, decreasing spending is actually very easy.

  1. Food is the biggest expense for a family, so learning how to cook nice meals, stocking a freezer and eating healthily means less expensive packaged food (and is better for you too). Making menu plans and freezing food after a cook up with the kids saves hundreds of dollars a month and is a great way to spend time with young children.
  2. Holding BBQ’s with friends at home instead of going out.
  3. Shopped (and still shop) at Aldi and fresh food/fruit markets as much as we could…you really notice a difference in price!
  4. Negotiated our credit card interest rates down and calling them often to bargain them down even more.
  5. Use a pre-paid phone sim (Amaysim is the cheapest and the best!)
  6. Buying second hand where we can (having a love of vintage old things helps!)
  7. I also make my own ‘’ laundry powder!
  8. Use very cheap and simple cleaning items such as vinegar, baking soda, lavender and dish liquid.

# 4: Have a money date

As a couple, we changed the way we discussed about money (see #1), and now at every ‘pay day’, we pour a glass of red, sit in front of the telly, and casually chat about where our money is going that week. I vowed to make it simple and easy. Sometimes the candles even come out! It makes the chore of discussing money into something special. Having a money date is so important as it means we can keep a close eye on where funds are going but also celebrate each time we paid a chunk off our debts. As our statements became smaller and smaller, our money dates became a lot more fun and our confidence and excitement grew, but at the beginning it was not easy and if other couples are in the same predicament, expect a few bad nights (more wine!). It is not nice seeing a chunk of your hard earned money go towards debt, however, remind yourself that when in debt, there are only two choices: Pay it off now, or keep paying forever. They are two sources of pain, yes, but at least one has a happy ending! It won’t disappear on its own!

# 5: Budget to zero and use cash for general living expenses

We have a very conservative budget and take all of our general living expenses (such as groceries, petrol and fun money) out in cash. No cash, means no spending! We then allocate the remaining funds into a high interest savings account (at the moment, RAMS have a very good high interest savings account) and other bills are paid online until there is zero left. Our electricity and gas bills are paid in increments every week, so that we never have to pay a large bill. When we were in debt, what now goes into savings went to our debt, where we paid off the highest interest rate debt first, and then ‘snowballed’ to the next debt. Anytime we had a windfall (such as a tax refund or a big eBay clear out!), we would use the money towards debt. After two years, we paid off 4 credit cards, one personal loan and one car loan!

# 6: Read books and blogs about finance and/or business

Getting educated about money is inspiring, motivating and just makes sense. Unfortunately, being financially responsible is not a skill you learn at school! There are so many tips and tricks from people that I have picked up along the way. Obviously, 10thousandgirl is a blog to trawl through! Suze Orman’s ‘The courage to be rich’ was a game changer for me. We are now able to finally plan our future and are vigorously saving, which is quite easy as we’re so used to living within a small budget. Although we’re no longer as strict on our budget (we allow the odd un-budgeted spend and do it guilt free). We hope to purchase our first property within the next 12 months, expand my business even further within the next 3 years and are now able to plan for our future without a large debt to hold us back. It is worth every ounce of discipline and hard work!

Let us empower you to take control of your finances!

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reduce debt

Amy took a 10thousandgirl make-over course in Sydney.  She was in credit card debt but managed to turn herself around, eventually paying off all her credit card debt and buying her own apartment!  Pretty good huh?

Here’s how Amy did it.

Here are her four biggest lessons from her experience:

  • Try to work out a way that you can earn more, either by working towards a promotion at work, a second job, commissions and bonus’, renting out a spare room, downgrading your current home etc.
  • Try to live within your means:paying of credit card debt for things you bought ages ago is no fun.
  • Being organised is such an important part of being financially fit, I do my tax return on time, keep my receipts in order, do my healthcare claims and work expenses as I go along, so that it doesn’t all pile up and become a bigger job than I can, or want(!) to handle.
  • Surround yourself with smart, likeminded people that inspire you and can also lend a helping hand as you venture into new financial projects.

You can read Amy’s full story, here.
Want more ways to reduce your debt?  10 ways, here, here.

Financial literacy events for women

women in finance

I first discovered 10thousandgirl in 2011 and fell in love with the idea. Incredible things happen when women get together, and young women in particular are a force to be reckoned with!

Investing in myself

It was in Canberra that I attended the Life Planning Workshop (now Life Makeover Retreat). It’s easy to be swept away in the “busyness” of life, the minutiae of everyday challenges. It took a lot of self-convincing and working through excuses before I finally invested in myself and signed up.

The workshop gave me the space and time to just focus on myself. I was surrounded by a supportive group of women, each of us on our own journey, and each of us looking to connect with like-minded others. The program encouraged me to reflect on what do I value, where have I been, where do I want to go, what are the possibilities?

It brought to focus how important it was to give ourselves permission to go within and from this process we start to map out our personal path forward – our purpose.

The workshop was very practical, including personal reflections and activities, discussions and Q&A session with a financial planner. One of my biggest takeaways was making a vision board. I discovered how powerful it was to allow ourselves to not only listen to our inner voice, but to then explore what we can create – because no matter our situation, we can choose to lead the life we want.

My own journey

Reflecting on my own journey, I first became a property owner at 26 years old. Together with my husband, Greg, we were confronted with a huge learning curve, having chosen to build our first home. Within five years, we had several investment properties funded by the equity in our residential home. We also had a young family, with our two boys, Jacob and Matt.

Becoming a mum opened my eyes to the world of small business. I was searching for a way to nurture myself as a new mother, and started a business which provides rest and relaxation through yoga retreats. We’ve now held over fifty retreats and have introduced yoga to hundreds of people.

Through this experience, I was fortunate to meet other women in the wellness industry. I am inspired by, and have much gratitude for, women who work hard to make a positive impact in the lives of others. I discovered a passion for helping women have greater control of their time, energy and financial security.

This lead to my second business, Women in Wellbeing, where business is made simple for women with a passion for health, healing and happiness. I provide coaching, guest speaking and host a podcast featuring successful women in the wellness industry across Australia and overseas.


Remember that life is a journey and at any point in time we have a choice.

Take time out for yourself. Give yourself permission to reflect on your journey so far and the possibilities you can create. Surround yourself with loved ones – then go for it!

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

If you want to hear more about PJ’s yoga retreats, Simplicity Retreats, or her coaching business, Women in Wellbeing you can reach her at on 0403 966 429 or at

To enrol in a 10thousandgirl Money Make-Over event, go here.

Finance for Women
Transform your money! Come take part in one of our supportive, light hearted events that will help you take control of your money.

10TG piot group loans

Actually two women’s lives.

Last night a group of 30 inspiring women around Australia gave two micro loans. These 30 women came from all walks of life – a mum from a farm in north west NSW, an artist from Melbourne, a mining consultant from central Queensland…

Over the last 6 weeks this powerful group of women completed the 6 Step Challenge, 10thousandgirl’s new ‘Michelle Bridges’ style online personal finance program. And they blitzed it!!

They documented their life plans, tracked their spending, worked out their net worth, negotiated rates on home loans, high interest savers and utility bills. They reviewed their insurance, consolidated super. They discussed investment principles and the behaviour of cash, property and shares. They opened super letters for the first time and made calls to their super fund to change their investment mix to fit with their age and stage. In week 4 they documented their personal investing plans, asking themselves:

  • What are my #1 financial goals?
  • How much money do I need for each goal?
  • When do I need it? What’s my timeframe?
  • What investment options suit that goal and timeframe?
  • What are my next steps?

And last night they wrapped up by mapping out their personal and professional support networks. They discussed the different professional support roles, how to find trusted advisors and learnt good questions to ask when approaching and engaging an adviser.

Then they wrapped up with an INSPIRATION FEST. Discussing what inspires them, who do they inspire? How do they stay inspired?

Well, wonderful women. You certainly inspired me. Thank you for your Ripple Effect. May it be felt across your life, among your family and friends lives, in your work and community life and as part of your program fee, you each donated $10 into a pool and were able to donate two micro loans, one to Merelita Marama and one to Linita Ponitini.

So thank you for your globally felt Ripple Effect… 


Merelita Marama, Nasautoka Fiji
Activity: Manufacturing
Loan Use: Sewing
Term: 26 Week

Some people are born with a natural talent. Merelita Marama (47) is one of them. She loves sewing for the people in her village and is a skilled seamstress. Merelita has built a steady client base among her friends, neighbours, office workers and church members. With her loan, she intends to buy more sewing equipment to help expand her business. Merelita is certain she will make greater profits, which will improve the lives of her four children.

Linita Ponitini, Tonga
Activity: Farming
Loan Use: Farm produce
Term: 52 Week

Linita Ponitini has three children under twelve. Her goal is to build a house for her family. She and her husband grow a range of crops, which Linita sells in the local market. But their profits are insufficient to cover both family and business expenses. So Linita is seeking a loan to buy seeds and seedlings to increase the farm’s production and yield.

Want to provide micro loans? Sign up

Want to do the 10thousandgirl 6 Step Challenge? Sign up 

growup careersJust 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 >>


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

Shocking but true.

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

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

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

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

Paying more than minimum repayments on credit cards

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

NAME: Sarah Power
ATTENDED: Life Planning Workshop Canberra June 2010

I have always been a daydreamer.  Ever since I was little I would spend hours day dreaming about my future and about who I would be when I grew up.  At the time I attended the Canberra Life Planning Workshop in June 2010 I had just turned 30 and despite amassing 30 years of day dreams I realised that I hadn’t actually achieved any of my dreams or even knew which ones I wanted to achieve.  As for how to start achieving, no clue!!  I kept waiting for things to fall into place, the perfect job at the perfect time, skills magically appearing to start a new hobby (and be the best rock star ever discovered), buying my dream home, starting my perfect lifestyle and obviously winning lotto to make all of this happen.

It has now been just over 12 months since I attended the Life Planning Workshop and guess what, I won lotto!  Nope, telling lies, I didn’t win lotto.  I did however learn to make realistic goals and that there is nothing wrong with a little bit of planning!  The beauty of the workshop, and what 10thousandgirl is about, is how to identify what is important in your life, how to create goals to align with these aspects and then how to make finance work for you to support your goals.  

Creating a life plan was an epiphany for me, along with the realisation that making plans and putting words/dreams into action isn’t all that hard if you view it as part of your journey.  So I decided to stop waiting for things to happen for me and to start making things happen!  

And to prove it’s all not talk, I actually ticked off a lot of little actions and ended up ticking off a pretty big goal.  I created and launched my own range of organic bed linen that is unique and a heartfelt part of me. commenced operation in April this year and have had a tremendous response to the concept.  Oh Mabel may not take over the world in terms of retail or the bed linen industry, however I hope that by starting and achieving this goal, that the result will set me up to continue enjoying a life that I have created as opposed to continuing a life where I felt I was just following the well trodden line.  

I feel that so much is now possible, and that is due to the tools I learnt from 10thousandgirl and their amazing Girls (thanks Zoe!) and from what I have learnt from starting Oh Mabel, is that there’s never any point in saying ‘Nope too hard’.

I am now excited about the prospect of the next 10 years and am determined to keep dreaming so that I can live them out instead of wishing.  Thanks 10thousandgirl!

Thank you Sarah and your wonderful enterprise Oh Mabel looks fabulous – we all want to jump into that bed in the field :)

So what exactly is microfinance? 10thousandgirl’s microfinance partner, Opportunity International help us go back to basics and explain the concept before Jhunu and Minati share their story.

What is microfinance?
Microfinance includes basic financial services – including small loans, savings accounts, fund transfers and insurance. Alongside non-financial services such as business training, microfinance assists people living in poverty who wouldn’t usually qualify for regular banking services because they have no form of collateral or formal identification.

Loans as small as $100 help people in poverty start or grow their own small business. This enables them to earn an income so they can afford food, clean water, proper shelter and an education for their children.

Through local partners in the countries where we work, Opportunity is a provider of socially focused microfinance – existing to help people out of poverty above all else.

How does it work?
By helping a mother buy a sewing machine to start a tailoring business or a father buy seeds to plant a vegetable garden, small loans enable people in poverty to earn an income and provide for their families. As each business grows, loans are paid back and lent out again. With 97% of loans repaid, the cycle continues, year after year. Each successful business feeds a family, employs more people and eventually helps empower a whole community.

Are you part of a GIG (Girl Investment Group)? Take charge of your own finances and in the process provide microloans to help women around the world lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Read more to join the campaign and create your ripple effect. More stories here

One of our favourite 10thousandgirls, Marie Delaitre generously shares her journey, tips and lessons from playing her way into the sharemarket.

Would you like to have fifty thousand dollars to invest in the sharemarket?

The ASX sharemarket game allows you to play with fifty thousand ‘pretend’ dollars (risk free), and learn about the sharemarket for three months.  It sounded like a good deal to me, so I signed up!

Three months later, I made a nice little profit of $3,694 … ok, a ‘pretend’ profit of $3,694.  In the game, 21% of the 10,000 players made a profit.  I came 92nd in NSW (out of 3,300 players), which is not bad for a first time player and novice.

Here is what I can share with you.

General lessons from the Sharemarket Game and our GIG (Girl Investment Group)

  • Buy what you can afford. If your investments are going to keep you up at night and have you constantly fretting on share price movements, it could end up driving you batty.  Keep it simple and fun.
  • Do your own research. Don’t just follow what someone else has to say.  People can seem very knowledgeable about ‘a good company to invest in’, but it’s your money, your risk.
  • Good companies come good in the long term.  Hang in there through price dips; remember that shares are long term investments.  During the game, when a market rumour about one of my companies made the price fall – I panicked and quickly sold out at a loss (even though I had bought because I knew it to be a solid company).  The price eventually came back up, but I had already sold.  It was a good learning experience.
  • Have a plan. Know whether you are making a gain or loss along the way (know your rate of return – is it better than putting money in the bank?), and know when you will step out.
  • Diversify. Don’t put all your money in the one company/industry  (the ASX game makes you do this by default,  you can’t have more that a certain percentage of your portfolio in one company).  This means that if one company/ industry does badly,  you don’t lose all your money.
  • If you are investing and researching yourself, it can be time consuming,  know how much time you wish to invest too.
  • Don’t just ‘guess’ – build a strategy based on facts, not hunches. I created a watchlist of ASX companies who have 2 or more women on their Board of Directors – and started to track their performance over 4 month.  So far, the results are not as magical as I had expected.  What sounds good in theory, may not work out in the market.  The watchlist functionality on the ASX website is a good way of seeing how a share performs, without actually investing.
  • Keep your records straight!  When buying real shares, ensure some of the routine stuff is completed from the outset – eg: have you given the company instructions to pay your dividends directly to your bank account, are you able to participate in a dividend re-investment plan, do they have your tax file number?

Lessons from playing

  • During the game, having a ranking helped me feel ‘confident’ that I was doing fine.  If my shares went down, but so did the leader, then I wasn’t worried.  When this was not the case, I spent more time looking at whether the shares from one company were being significantly affected.  Outside the game, I will try to follow an index which resembles my portfolio to keep my confidence up – and calm my nerves.
  • I checked on my portfolio once or twice a week during the game.  The newsletters from the game were a good prompt to check on my portfolio.  I did not make too many changes – once I chose a company to buy into, I held on to it.
  • Buying small packets of shares (less than $1,000) can make it hard to make a good return in the short term due to brokerage fees.

My friends have asked me whether I would do the same things if it was my own money – and to be honest, whilst I really liked the profit I made in the game – if I had $50,00 I would be afraid to just invest it in the way I did. So my goal is to start with small investment bundles – use the principles and habits I have been learning to build a portfolio over time.

I suspect that when I read this in a few years time, I will have leant new things and methods, but this is one of the first steps – and I wanted to share it with others who are thinking of buying shares on the sharemarket directly.

Possible actions to get you started:

  • Your first investment in the sharemarket could be an investment in learning about the market, while you save up to buy some of your own shares.  The ASX runs the game twice a year, and you need to pre-register.  Check online at for the next registration date.
    • Choose one or two companies to follow (put them on your ASX watchlist)– and when you have enough saved up and are ready to try investing,  buy some shares using an online trading account.  Small investments build up, and over time,  you will be glad you took a step in!

Marie is actively involved in a GIG (Girl Investment Group) in Sydney. The group of 8 meet in one of the girl’s homes each month and learn about the basic financial principles; how and when to invest in shares and property, what the options are when it comes to choosing a managed fund, how to be proactive when it comes to super and insurance and what new investment opportunities are becoming available in the fields of ethical or responsible investing. Most importantly, the girls are clear on their plans and goals and keep each other accountable to staying on track. Oh and they manage to have a vino, laugh hysterically and make sure everyone’s love lives are tracking along well too… To start a GIG in your area, check the website or contact 10thousandgirl to see if there are others looking for like minds to form a group near you.

Name: Rebecca Darman
Attended: Life Planning Workshop, Canberra 14 May 2011

I was an attendee at the 10thousandgirl workshop in Canberra last month and have been telling friends about it ever since. Before the workshop, I was doing pretty well for myself. I had completed my university studies and bought a house around 6 months ago with my partner. We worked really hard, and saved up for a couple of years before we found ‘the one.’ Purchasing a home was a goal that me and my partner shared, and we were so proud to have achieved it together. From that time, our sole focus went to paying off the mortgage. There was money coming in from our salaries, but lots going out to different areas, like bills, food, cars etc. We were in a good position, but had never written down a detailed budget. I was slightly uncomfortable about this, and felt we needed to keep track of our money flow, and needed more balance between our financial responsibilities while also having a decent portion allocated to enjoyment and hobbies.

I got more than I expected out of the 10thousandgirl workshop, and didn’t think I could learn so much about finances, goal setting and myself in one day and in such a fun friendly environment. I really enjoyed the financial aspects, they were practical and very applicable to my situation. Activities like drawing up a money flow diagram, and writing down a spending plan were really helpful, as was the Q & A session with the experts. In terms of goal setting, I was really inspired to dream big! Before the workshop, I had goals floating around in my head, but getting them down on paper and making an action plan, brought them closer to reality. Making a vision board was lots of fun and seeing it each day keeps me really motivated as well. One of my goals for the future is to live in Mexico and help those less fortunate. Giving something back to society would give me much fulfillment.

Since attending the workshop, my partner and I have had a few discussions about our individual goals and priorities. It’s a really interesting exercise, and something we hadn’t really done at length before. We’re both also working on our own bucket lists.

The 10thousandgirl workshop equipped me with some great skills and knowledge. I left feeling inspired and believing anything’s possible. There are no goals too extravagant or ridiculous. Grab life by the cajones!

Each time we have a success, whether it be letting our mind be opened, taking action on something we’ve been putting off, starting a business or deciding to help someone else – when we share it, our success turns into inspiration for many others. This is what we call the ripple effect. Below are some inspiring emails received recently from powerful women who have attended 10thousandgirl Life Planning Workshops.

If you would like to share your story, ask a question or help them with their incredible dreams and plans in any way, please contact us and we’ll make it happen. Thank you to everyone who has shared their learnings, tips, challenges and successes along the way. Sharing makes the world go round, keep sharing and well done!

SUN 27th MARCH 2011

HI Guys,
I really wanted to say thanks so much for yesterday.
I came home buzzing with excitement and feeling like what I want out of life is possible.

I come from a very low income family and its hard to see my dad still renting and not being able to afford a car at the age of 65.
I always thought money was for other people, and that those people who knew about money were greedy people or not creative.

I now feel like the world of personal finance is an exciting area for me to learn more about. That figuring out how to create the lifestyle I want and the finances to match it is a creative process.

I feel really empowered by yesterday.
I think the course is such a wonderful thing to do. Thank you for opening my eyes.

DareDreamer (Sydney)

TUES 19th APRIL 2011

Hi Arienne,

The research group just sounds amazing. What I would like to do is look at getting a group together from June when I move to Newcastle. 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. I myself am in recent recovery from an abusive relationship where one of my barriers to getting out was a lack of confidence in managing my finances. I am really grateful and inspired by the opportunity I have had to attend a 10thousandgirl workshop. The timing was amazing for me as it has given me alot of encouragement and support that I was needing to move forward into a new life with confidence. 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 abuse relationships?? It seems like a hard one because these sorts of situations leave women very isolated. At the very least, I believe maybe it could be possible to get a group of women together maybe, that have experienced Domestic Violence situations and through learning in the research group find out where we can reach out to further lift women up….

I wanted to share a little about where my thoughts are at around 10thhousand girl because I really believe in what you gals are doing and it is spurring on many ideas and inspirations for myself. I hope that I can be successful in forming a GIG in the next few months, I would be overjoyed if thats how it rolls. I will keep you updated and please if you have have any feedback on my thoughts I’d love to hear what you think!

:) All the best!

DareDreamer (Scone)

TUES 19th APRIL 2011

Hey hey Arienne and Zoe, thought I’d let you know what I’ve been up to since the 10000girl weekend I had.

  • Life: Well first of all, I finally split from the lovely bloke I wasn’t in love with. I’m making my little rental room more homey. I even put up a shelf with my own power tool. I joined a new skiing club (since bloke was at old).
  • Money: I finished a 4 week night school (in Canberra – highly recommend – Scott Malcolm of moneymechanics ran it) on intro to money stuff (including Super, Real estate and share investments, Wills). It was quite moving when on week 1 we shared our earliest memories of money (which apparently shape our attitude now) and people’s needs for attending a course like that (e.g. family went broke in an overseas country, widowed suddenly, causes arguments with husbands). Anyway I have streamlined my insurances, consolidated my three super funds and now even salary sacrificing to super to reduce tax and have more savings for when i’m an old bugger. (Tip here: system is geared to give tax breaks to people with dependents, babies, spouses, mortgages, etc and if you’re a free entity like me super is your best available tax break from my research). I also now realise I need a will to avoid added pain for those i leave behind if i were to die early (Tip here: not much point having insurances/super etc if you have no dependents/spouse and no will, and so legally there’s nowhere for the money to go). Also I downloaded an app to my iphone (tosser i know) (“Cashtrails”) which helps you figure out how much you cost to live – even generates cool graphs and excel spreadsheets.
  • Career: I’ve signed up to German classes and started researching jobs in Europe.
  • My biggest tip: is to photograph the picture dream board we made at the workshop and set it as your desktop on your computer. It constantly inspires me!
  • If it’s helpful, after your course, the CIT course, and my own research, I also made for myself (cause i find this all incredibly overwhelming) what I call the “Hierarchy of Money Sense” (I’m only half way through :D ) but it helps me to figure the basics first. No point having a share portfolio if i still don’t know how much i spend every month on food & rent!
  1. An income – know how much and when you get paid
  2. Tax returns – get up to date, know your MTR (Marginal Tax Rate). Know what offsets and deductions are available to your cirucumstances. (
  3. Know your cost of living – your budget / spending plan / cash flow – “how much do you cost to live?”
  4. Have smart bank accounts – a day to day (don’t use the wrong ATM); a credit card cause it’s cheaper than cash (but always pay up in full before any interest accrues); and a high interest online savings account (should be around to get 6.5% at the moment)
  5. Have your super sorted out – consolidate, and salary sacrifice depending on your cashflow (see 3) and MTR (see 2)
  6. Have insurances – health (spesh if you’re near 30 and with an income and so will pay extra levy), life, T&PD and income protection (can do via super)
  7. Get a will – no point having life insurance without it? Save your family and friends the added confusion and pain and costs. Most people who die today probably didn’t have it planned.
  8. Have investments – shares? real estate? investment properties? negative gearing? These are much trickier – will seek advice!

Anyway, I just wanted to share. The most intense stuff is still ahead ! ie the INSPIRE goals!!

DareDreamer (Sydney)

THURS 28th APRIL 2011

Hi Zoe

I attended one of your fantastic life planning workshops in June (Canberra) last year and I just wanted to touch base to once again say thank you, and to show you what that day has done for me.

Being able to set a life plan/goals for myself, and along with the realisation that the nice things that I want in my life are not just going to happen, they will require planning, totally forced me to look at what I wanted and how I was going to get there.  So for the last year, I took all that on board and started to make things happen, and to appreciate that all the small things (and the hard things) were part of living a journey.  And it made such a difference to my life and outlook in general having that realisation, as opposed to waiting for things to happen.  And complaining when they didn’t!

So nearly a year on from that day, and this week I launched my own little venture –  An online store selling my 100% organic bed linen.
I’m still working full time as a public servent but am hoping that all of these steps will see me working in my full business sometime soon!  All because of an epiphany provided by 10 Thousand Girls!!!

So thank you SO much once again.  I truly believe that without that great day last year and without your guidance and tools that I wouldn’t be where I am.

Good luck for all the future achievements of 10 Thousand Girls and I’m sure that there are many many aspired girls out there you and your team have helped.

Thank you.

DareDreamer (Canberra)

Again, thank you girls. By sharing your gratitude, dreams and inspiration, you inspire many. If these girls have inspired you, please share your story.

Vive the Ripple Effect.


“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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