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.
Nice end of year Ripple Effect girls!! A big heartfelt thanks to our most recent 10thousandgirl 6 Step Money Makeover cohort who provided this microloan.
The small profit Christianally Moreno (25) earns selling charcoal augments her husband’s wages. She plans to expand and needs a loan to do so. By increasing inventory she can wholesale this essential cooking fuel to retailers in the market. More stock will also help her serve her existing customer base. Christianally hopes to double her daily sales to $25, and with a successful business sustain her family in the long run.
Borrower Name: Christianally Moreno
Location: Passi, Philippines
Loan Use: Buy and Sell Charcoal
Term: 6 Month
You too can easily donate a micro loan via Good Return so check it out.
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?
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
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
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 http://www.goodreturn.org
Want to do the 10thousandgirl 6 Step Challenge? Sign up http://www.10thousandgirl.com
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
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.
Zoe Lamont is most well known for her work developing 10thousandgi Girl, a financial literacy program designed to empower women in both rural and metropolitan regions across Australia. She has also been behind a number of other social ventures including a project to assist Burmese illegal migrant children along the Thai-Burmese border, Senator Online an internet based political party, and her newest start up Future Map which is a financial literacy program designed for the workplace. She has traveled the globe to 47 different countries and has also had experience as a panelist and speaker and is passionate about progression and making a social impact.
Zoe shares her her story of an entrepreneur below in this inspiring interview.
“Success is if you set out to do something, and you do it….action is a catalyst for progression in society.”
” Anyone who is an entrepreneur or is interested in the entrepreneurial world, knows that no day is the same.”
Bio: Alison Gallagher is a ‘creative communicator’ and Program Coordinator for Regret Nothing, a financial engagement program for young people aimed at making finance fun! She is also an actor and meditation teacher and enjoys inspiring others to help make the world a better place.
Welcome to episode seven of our podcast series!
Right click to download or listen below (approx 30 mins):
Today’s guest is Marina Passalaris, founder of teen program Beautiful Minds. Starting 7 years ago in Queensland she has educated over 1,000 girls. Beautiful Minds is no ordinary grooming course, as Marina Passalaris (Director) and her team of professional trainers, educate young girls on a number of subjects like, public speaking, confidence, first impressions, remembering names, leadership skills, make up artistry, self esteem, hair styling, body issues, drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, friendships and relationships, setting up boundaries, music therapy, social etiquette, resume writing, money skills and budgeting, wardrobe styling and fashion, photo shoot, social media etiquette and more….
10thousandgirl News, Workshops & Events
20th May 2012 – Sydney
Confidence. Goals. Life. Money Workshop for women, mothers and daughter
Tickets are limited so get yours now!
Upcoming Webinars on the 9th and 28th May:
Free 1.5 hour personal finance and life planning online webinar
(Supported by the National Rural Women’s Coalition)
Remember, if we’re not in your town this year, you can start a GIG (Girl Investment Group) at any time.
Marina has over 10 years experience in the entertainment industry as both a makeup artist,grooming and deportment educator and well known events organiser and host. Having worked in the industry in Australia and overseas, Marina has a wealth of knowledge in the grooming field.
Beautiful Minds is a life changing grooming, etiquette and life skills course for teenage girls. The course increases girl’s confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills.
Welcome to episode six of our podcast series!
Right click to download or listen below (approx 38 mins):
Today’s guest is Sarah Lawless, a 26-year old who started a non-profit – The Blue Stockings Inc – to help empower women through education. She is also juggling building a new home with her husband, studying for her Masters and works as a teacher full-time. She shares with us her passion about education, life long learning and community.
What Sarah discusses includes:
Starting a non-profit that empowers women through education.
How learning is an ongoing process.
Building a home.
Lessons learned while applying for finance.
Balancing a busy life – study, work, relationships, volunteering.
Grabbing opportunities as they come up – you don’t know where they will lead you!
10thousandgirl News, Workshops & Events
International Women’s Day Event: Opp Swap! Sunday 4th March 2012, Sydney NSW.
Upcoming Life Planning Workshops and Webinars include:
Free International Women’s Day personal finance and life planning online webinar – 12th March (morning and evening sessions)
(Supported by the National Rural Women’s Coalition)
Free Life Planning Workshop, Scone NSW – 3rd March
(Funded by NSW Dept Primary Industries)
Free Pilot Workshop, Clare SA – 20th March
(Funded by Rabobank)
Free Pilot Workshop, Adelaide SA – 23rd March
(Funded by Rabobank)
Life Planning Workshop, Armidale NSW – 29th April
Remember, if we’re not in your town this year, you can start a GIG (Girl Investment Group) at any time.
Originally from Kyneton Victoria, Sarah (pictured on right with Caitlin Grigsby) moved to the Gippsland region in 2004 where she has become an active community member being extremely passionate about community development, support and education.
Sarah was the Womyn’s Director at Monash University Gippsland Student Union for two years, where she developed her interest in the empowerment and support of women – particularly women accessing education.
Sarah, together with Caitlin Grigsby, discovered various academic barriers facing students experiencing hardship, particularly with women and mothers with limited access to funds and support systems. Together, they co-founded the initial Blue Stockings Inc with the hope to alleviate some of these pressures for women pursuing study.
Currently, Sarah works as a teacher at Baringa Special School in Moe and finds the role both challenging and incredibly rewarding while continuing her role in Blue Stockings.
http://www.barefootinvestor.com/ – investment advice
https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/ – government money advice, budgeting advice, calculators etc