5 Ways To Make The Same Money As Men

A man is not a plan, but they enjoy higher salaries now and more wealth later. To be precise, 17.5 per cent a year higher and $1 million over a lifetime more (the estimated dollar detriment for women who are in their 30s and 40s today).

RELATED: Helen Mirren: ‘Women Are Still Toddlers In This Modern World’

It certainly doesn’t help that females are still the more likely sex to take career/pay breaks to raise kids.

Bottom line: the system is dreadfully biased against women… so it’s time to man-up your money plan. Here are five easy ways to ensure we hit the same financial heights.

1. DON’T be scared to go for a pay rise – back yourself with your boss (your partner would)

Women are notoriously shy about asking for the salary we deserve, often because we can’t quite accept we deserve the job in the first place. This is the so-called, so-common ‘imposter’ syndrome. I’m betting you do deserve it – your employer clearly thinks so – and if you put a calm and convincing case for extra cash (including evidence of your contribution), it will be granted (even if it takes a while).

2. DON’T trust super – it will fail you unless you pay in more before and after children

Super has only been compulsory since 1992 but already women are retiring with less than half the balances of men because it is earnings-based. Indeed, super is actually sabotaging us: it’s lulled us into the false belief that a comfortable retirement is assured. Far from it, but you should avert disaster if you make even small extra contributions in periods when you are working and any possible when you are not (check out the free money available via the co-contribution scheme and tax incentives for spouse contributions). The early years are crucial for compounding.

3. DON’T trust your partner – to always provide for you, that is. For many reasons, he might not be able to

Not to get too grim, but death, divorce, dire money decisions… they could all leave you broke. Besides, what a responsibility for a man to shoulder your financial future too on the basis of out-dated gender roles. He may be clueless! Get across the basics of your money life: know your accounts (and be sure you can access them), your insurances (ensure they are enough) and your investments (check they are suitable). Come what may you need to be protected.

4. DON’T just think about your family – you owe it to them to also look after your future

‘The woman’s money is the family’s money, the man’s money is his money,” a participant in a recent RMIT University study of females and finance said succinctly… and scarily. And another added: ‘It’s a mother’s job to go without.” No, no, no. This is the attitude at the root of our ultimate income inferiority. If you need further motivation: what if your kids came to you for money as adults and you couldn’t help?

5. DO dare to dream – the situation is serious but also easily fixed if you simply make prosperity a priority

You don’t amass money for money’s sake. You do it to have options, to have opportunities. So decide exactly what it is you want from LIFE. Crystallise these precious aspirations and the process of achieving them – and the small sacrifices it may take along the way – will seem so worth it.

Nicole is the founder of and developer of the 12-Step Prosperity Plan, an achievable and even enjoyable blueprint to take Aussies from worry to wealthy. Nicole’s writing has earned her top personal finance awards in both the United Kingdom and Australia. Her career credits include founding and editing The Australian Financial Review’s Smart Investor magazine, and reporting and editing for the magazine arm of the UK’s Financial Times. Author, qualified financial adviser and Fairfax’s Money Matters columnist for the last decade, Nicole is a regular on television and radio. She talks money without the mumbo jumbo. Follow her on Twitter at @NicolePedMcK.

September 16, 2015

Are You Studying For A Job That Won’t Exist In 20 Years?

A recent report has been published by the non-profit group, Foundation for Young Australians, which reveals sixty per cent of Australian students are training for jobs that will not exist in the future or will be transformed by automation.

  • 44 per cent of jobs will be automated in the next 10 years.
  • 60 per cent of students are studying for careers that won’t exist.
  • Young people will have an average of 17 different jobs.
  • Over 50 per cent of jobs will require significant digital skills and yet our young people are not learning them in schools.

The results show that 40 per cent of jobs have a high probability of being susceptible to computerisation and automation in the next 10 to 15 years. Jobs in administration will be the first to go. If the job requires system and data analysis, as in tax preparer, the job has a high probability of not existing in the future. Bank tellers, legal assistant, loan officer and cashier are all jobs most likely to be automated.  Even market research and sales research are jobs that will be replaced with machine-learning algorithms. With self-driving vehicles on the horizon, taxi and truck drivers will go the way of the VHS machines and local video stores and become defunct.

However, those jobs which require a high degree of personal collaboration will remain. Nurses, doctors, family therapists, curators, addiction counselors, high school teachers and of course, computer system analysts – they will be busy programming the software that automates jobs.

Young women looking at job forecasts should consider engineering (mechanical, electrical, environmental and computer programming), scientists and medical professionals are the most likely to have jobs in twenty years. As the population ages, jobs in senior care will also grow. There is a concern about the number of women studying the sciences, which according to the American Society for Engineering Education, hovers at just under 20 per cent. The number of women pursuing Master’s degrees in engineering is a fraction higher at 23 per cent. Overall, it’s still very low.

Ten jobs that are the most likely to disappear:

  1. Credit Analysts: 97.85%
  2. Milling and Planing Machine Setters Operators and Tenders Metal and Plastic: 97.85%
  3. Procurement Clerks: 95%
  4. Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders: 98.04%
  5. Tellers: 98.28%
  6. Umpires and Referees: 98.29%
  7. Loan Officers: 98.36%
  8. Timing Device Assemblers and Adjusters: 98.49%
  9. Tax Preparers: 98.71
  10. Telemarketers: 99.02%

Ten jobs that are the least likely to disappear:

  1. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers: 0.31%
  2. Occupational Therapists: 0.35%
  3. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: 36%
  4. Dietitians and Nutritionists: 0.39%
  5. Choreographers: 0.40%
  6. Physicians and Surgeons: 0.42%
  7. Dentists: 0.44%
  8. Elementary School Teachers: 0.44%
  9. Medical Scientists: 0.45%
  10. Education Administrators: 0.46%

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September 2, 2015

5 Everyday Savings Tips

Are you constantly living on the brink of bankruptcy? Do you have trouble saying no to a new pair of shoes? It’s probably time you developed some healthy spending habits. Budgeting and saving can take effort, but it all starts by being aware of your everyday financial activity, and cutting out the little things. Here are a few tips to help sort your savings, that you can incorporate into your daily routine.

1. Don’t be hasty

Some people call it the 30-day rule: if you see something you like, don’t buy it immediately. Wait 30 days and if you still want it, you have earned your permission to buy it. Why wait? Because given some time, you may have realised that the hot pink crop top was actually a terrible idea and if you didn’t buy it, you could have paid your phone bill on time! It helps prevent impulse purchasing and, therefore, unnecessary spending!

2. Make lists

A shopping list isn’t just help jog your failing memory. It can also stop you from buying things you don’t need. When it comes to grocery shopping, you might also want to make a weekly meal plan in order to get the exact ingredients you need, saving you from doubling-up, missing out, and having to return to the supermarket several times a week.

3. Log your spending

This should be the first thing you do if you want to monitor and cut back your spending. Start by logging your daily expenses, and pin point where you need to cut back. For example, I spend too much money eating out. Therefore, I’ve made a conscious decision to limit the number of times I get take-away, take my lunch to work, and if I know I have a big night out coming up, I’ll find other ways to save that week.

4. Cut back on treats for the kids

If you have kids, keep in mind that, despite what advertisers tell you, it doesn’t take the latest toys and gadgets to entertain them. A healthy child should have a healthy imagination, and being resourceful during play time is not only beneficial for your child’s development, but also for your budget. While most of us will know how easy it is to give in to an epic tantrum at the mall, try to take these things in your stride, don’t yield to poor behaviour (reward them when they’re good), and remember that it will all be over soon, and your kids will find other things to do.

5. Turn off the TV

This is not only great for saving on electricity bills, you will also avoid the constant onslaught of television advertising and product placement that piques your desire to shop! Added bonus: You will have more time to spend doing things you enjoy and are practical. Using your time efficiently is invaluable.

June 23, 2015

Choosing The Right Loan For You

The world of finance is complicated. You can always go onto price comparison websites to look at the costs of some loans or you can visit the Money Advice Service to seek help. Where possible you should always take your time when you are choosing a loan.

RELATED: How To Ask For A Pay Rise

Do you really need a loan?

If you really feel that you need a loan for an important purpose, try to avoid taking out credit. It’s always expensive and if you can’t afford the repayments your financial situation could deteriorate. Try and see if you could curtail your outgoings and save the money yourself for your proposed expense. Most people use credit because their regular budget doesn’t allow them a certain level of expenditure. If this is your situation then you must evaluate if you can realistically afford to repay any credit that you may wish to secure.

Secured or unsecured loans

There are two major types of loan. One that’s secured on your property or possessions, where the creditor can always be confident that they can recoup their losses through your assets, or an unsecured loan. If you borrow from a bank or credit card, or even a payday loan company you are taking out an unsecured loan. The length of time that you borrow the money for can vary, as can the interest rates. Though unsecured loans are generally more expensive and for smaller sums of money.

Guaranteed loans

If you have a poor personal credit history, there is still an option. If you have a close friend or family member who is prepared to vouch for you, and cover the loan should you fall into difficulty or arrears, you may be able to access a guaranteed loan and avoid the sky-high interest rates offered by payday loan companies.

Typically you will be able to borrow between £1,000 to £7,500 and you can repay the sum over five years. As long as your guarantor is confident that you will repay the debt this is an excellent option if you need a large household item, for example to replace a broken oven. The Independent suggests that you can also rebuild your credit history with this type of finance. The APR is generally around 50%, which is a lot lower than that offered by payday loan companies.

Credit unions

Another source of finance are credit unions. According to The Guardian, it’s 50 years since these institutions were established in the UK. They offer a low interest alternative to payday loan companies and banks, and encourage customers to save as well as borrow. The rates of interest offered by credit unions to borrowers are extremely competitive, some charge as little as an APR of 12.7%. If you want to borrow from a credit union you will have to be a member of your local organisation. The number of credit unions is growing and there will probably be one near you that you can sign up with. You’ll also be offered free life insurance, so if you die before you’ve paid back your debt, the repayments will be protected. This provides peace of mind for your family.

November 4, 2014

7 Steps to Buying Your Dream Home

Is this the year you buy your first home, or upgrade to a better home? It’s no secret that searching for a home that fits every want and need can be a frustrating process. Kim Clarke, founder of Xcel Properties, shares his top seven tips to secure your dream home in 2014.

1. Prioritise your needs and wants
It’s easy to get carried away with add-ons and extras. Map out what you can afford to spend and then outline what you ‘need’, sourcing what this will cost you. If you have a reserve to play after that, you can then begin choosing the luxuries that you ‘want’. If this is your first home, consider purchasing a new-build that you can afford that’s also a great investment. That way you’re only paying for what you need right now – an upgrade to a larger or more luxurious home can happen when you’re ready.

2. Take advantage of low interest rates
With interest rates currently sitting at a 40-year low, now is a better time than ever to apply for a mortgage. Remember to factor in at least a five per cent rate increase over the life of your mortgage to help determine how much you can afford to borrow and the size of your repayments.

3. Buy a house and land package
Being on a similar price level to second-hand properties, house and land packages are an increasingly popular choice in suburbs with room for growth. These communities in development maximise choice in terms of the size and shape of the land, and the positioning, size and design of the home – including all the key features buyers need to suit their living needs.

4. Apply for grants
Don’t forget to search online to see if you’re eligible for a government first home buyer’s grant. Some states such as Queensland offer up to $15,000 to those buying a new home.

5. Negotiate with builders
Do your homework by researching builders in regards to reputation and price. One increasingly popular way to research is through online reviews and forums. Choose your top five builders and source costs. Let each know what the other is offering. It’s likely that they’ll be able to compete on price or offer additional extras. Remember, a quick and cheap service is not necessarily the best service.

6. Ensure the community is a good fit for you
While the property is important, it’s the community that makes it a home. Before buying, take the time to speak with the neighbours, try the amenities and find information about funding of local facilities, reputation of the local schools and public transport. If you’re looking into a development, a good development should have a sales team that takes you around the neighbourhood and discuss the plans and services in our community.

7. Use the First Home Savers account
For those whose first-home purchase is a longer-term plan, the First Home Saver Account can help. Each year the government will make a 17 per cent contribution on the first $6000 deposited into this account each year – that’s an additional $1020 each year. Withdrawals can only be made after four years. First Home Saver accounts are available from some banks, building societies, credit unions, friendly societies, life insurance companies and super funds.

Are you thinking of buying a home this year?

January 31, 2014

5 Ways to Get Your Finances in Order (For Good!)

Most of us resolve to get our finances in order at the start of a new year (along with our diet, health, relationships…) but how many of us see that through? Well, maybe this is the year you take control and whip your finances into shape.

While growing your savings is no easy feat, a little bit of careful planning, teamed with a strategic budget, can go a long way towards helping you reach your financial goals in 2014 and beyond, whether that be paying off your credit card debt,  reducing your mortgage, or saving for a holiday or your first home.

Mortgage Choice spokesperson Jessica Darnbrough offers a few money saving tips and real-life pointers to help us stick to our financial goals this year.

1. Avoid unnecessary extras and costs
Evaluate your regular outgoings and identify any unnecessary costs which you can cut down or cut out. Cutting back on guilty pleasures like takeaway coffees, Friday night takeaway or premium television packages can lead to significant savings in the long term.

2. Think small when budgeting
Planning ahead with your finances for a full year can be daunting, and ultimately, ineffective. Instead, budget monthly or in accordance with the length of your pay period. This will allow you to amend your budget fairly quickly if you over overestimate or underestimate certain expenses.

3. Update your savings account
Research the benefits offered by savings accounts across various financial institutions. Switching banks and opening a new account with a lending institution that offers lower fees and higher interest rates will allow you to save more in less time.

4. Pay off and cancel your credit card
Credit card interest rates are notoriously high. Constant use without complete payment at the end of the month can lead to significant debt. Many people get stuck using a credit card and struggle to break the cycle as interest continues to accrue. Make paying off your credit card a priority early in the year, and cancel it as soon as possible. Debit cards are an ideal alternative, providing a similar level of protection for online and over the phone purchases, without the significant interest rates.

5. Compare to find a better deal
You may be paying more than is necessary on your home loan, insurances, utility bills, etc. Comparing your options via your mortgage broker or websites such as can help you find the best deal suited to your needs and save you money in the process.

For more budgeting tips and home loan options visit

What are your best money savings tips? Share them in the comments!

January 13, 2014

10 Super Terms Every Woman Should Know

Is one of your resolutions to get serious about your savings? If not, it should be! To help you understand superannuation, Crystal Wealth Partners director John McIlroy explains the top 10 super terms to help your retirement and investment choices.

1. Default option
Refers generally to the investment option you are given when you have your super money paid into an industry fund or retail fund and you decide not to make a specific investment choice.

2. Industry fund
These were established primarily to provide benefits for employees engaged in a particular industry (e.g. building industry).  These funds are designed to enable individuals who frequently change jobs within an industry, or have more than one employer within the same industry, to maintain all of their superannuation benefits within the one superannuation fund. Many of these funds have become like retail funds, which means that anyone can be a member, rather than just employees working in a particular industry. Historically, industry funds have provided a low-cost super option with limited investment choices but many are now offering a wider range of investment options.

3. MySuper
This is the name given to a new range of simple super accounts that are low-cost and provide limited investment options. There are MySuper rules which any super fund needs to meet to be classified as a MySuper account. Any fund, industry, retail or corporate super fund can provide MySuper accounts.

4. Preservation
To ensure that superannuation benefits are used for the primary purpose of the provision of benefits in retirement, the government has imposed provisions that restrict access to amounts held within the superannuation system.  These provisions are generally referred to as the ‘preservation rules’. Your age determines when you are able to access your super benefits and most younger people are able to access super benefits from age 60. Older people can access their super from age 55.

5. Retail fund
These are generally superannuation funds, which are ‘open’ for membership to the general public. They are mainly provided by larger financial institutions such as banks and life insurance companies and what they offer can vary considerably from low cost/low choice options to more complex structures which are sometimes referred to as wrap platforms.

6. Rollover
If you are entitled to a superannuation benefit you can, regardless of age, transfer all or part of the payment to another superannuation fund. This can occur simply to amalgamate multiple super accounts into one fund while working or can it occur upon retirement to consolidate savings.

7. Salary sacrifice
This is another type of super contribution but rather than being compulsory, an employee voluntarily elects to direct salary or bonuses into super rather than receiving cash. This may provide some tax benefits to the employee over receiving cash remuneration.

Self managed superannuation funds are one of the choices you have for managing your super, along with industry funds and retail funds. SMSFs are often also referred to as DIY superannuation funds. They are super funds with fewer than less than members that satisfy specific control and membership conditions. As the name suggests you can invest your own super through this type of fund, but you have to comply with certain rules. You can also appoint advisers to help you.

9. Super Guarantee
Super guarantee or SG refers to the prescribed minimum level of superannuation contributions required under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 to be made by employers on behalf of their employees. Also referred to as compulsory super, these contributions are currently at a prescribed level of 9.25 per cent of salary or wages. Most employees have the choice of having these contributions directed to a retail fund, industry fund or SMSF.

10. Superannuation pension
A pension payable from a superannuation fund which is usually provided by way of monthly payments. There are various types of superannuation pensions available and they are an alternative to taking super benefits as a lump sum at retirement.

Crystal Wealth Partners is a privately owned boutique financial advisory and investment management firm specialising in delivery of services to high net worth individuals and family offices.

What are your financial goals for 2014?

January 8, 2014

Q&A with MyBudget’s Tammy May

Most of us have some sort of financial stress in our lives, whether it be credit card debt, mortgage repayments or wanting to save for the future but finding it unattainable. Tammy May has always wanted to change that by helping people take control of their finances. In 1999, the South Australian businesswoman founded MyBudget when she was just 22, and today, the company manages over $425 million of salaries and employs around 250 people. Tammy has won both EY Young Entrepreneur of the Year and South Australian Business Woman of the Year awards, and this year made the BRW Young Rich List.

SHESAID chatted with Tammy to get her best money saving tips, financial advice for women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, and how she fits being a mum into her busy day.

Congratulations on making the BRW Young Rich List! Tell us about your journey from starting MyBudget to becoming one of Australia’s most successful businesswomen today?
Thank you. Certainly when I started MyBudget I didn’t have any grand plans to become a successful business person. I actually started MyBudget to help people, to assist people to eliminate the financial stress in their lives and improve their financial position. That being said, deep down I always thought that by doing something so profoundly good for people that it would grow and become a success. I am very proud of the team I have working with me. They truly care about our clients and come to work every day to make a difference. MyBudget wouldn’t be where it is today without them.

Definitely the journey has had some tough times, for example it has been difficult educating the market about what we do and the difference we make in the community and in people’s lives. Despite the challenges we have faced I have always remained unwaveringly passionate about what we do and been dedicated to improving our clients financial positions.

Describe a typical working day for you…
I normally drop my kids off to school in the mornings on my way to work. I find this is a good  time to have a chat to them about their day ahead and any after school activities they might have on.

After I arrive at work, I get myself organised for the day, starting with a daily 15 minute huddle with my senior management team. Generally I spend most of my day in meetings relating to marketing and communications, and sales (depending on the day I may also have finance and human resources meetings) or strategy sessions relating to the company in general. In between meetings (and sometimes during) I eat lunch at my desk (I try to eat healthily where I can). Occasionally I will go out for a lunch meeting.

After the working day is finished (normally 6pm) I go home to have dinner with my partner and kids, or go to watch their sport and try to get to the gym when I can.

Your business helps people get out of debt and take control of their finances. What’s the first thing someone should do if they’re in debt?
Budgeting is the most important tool for taking control of your finances, and getting out of debt. The first thing you should do is to create a budget – this will give you an idea about where, when and how much you’re spending. It will show where you can trim spending and free up some cash to pay back your debts faster. Make sure you include all of your income (if your income varies, use an average from your ‘year to date’ figure on your payslip) and everything that you spend money on. And most importantly, make sure your budget is flexible.

Life doesn’t always goes exactly according to plan, so you need to make sure you leave a buffer for unexpected expenses – this is the only way that it will be realistic and work for you.

Do you think women are taking more of an interest in their finances these days?
I personally think women are becoming more independent every day and part of that independence involves understanding and taking control of their finances. Our statistics also show that women are 80% more likely to be the one looking after the finances in a relationship. From paying the bills, managing the cash flow to organising finance. It tends to be the responsibility of the woman. So yes, I believe they are taking more of an interest – which is fantastic.

What is your best piece of financial advice for a women in her 20s/30s/40s/50s:

* 20s – Try to avoid using credit for bad debt (e.g. shoes, groceries, holidays etc). Use a debit card instead. Avoiding credit cards in your 20s will set you up with good spending habits for life.

* 30s – Begin paying extra repayments on your mortgage. Both consistent and ad-hoc additional repayments such as bonuses and tax returns work to reduce the principal on your mortgage faster. The earlier in the loan term you begin making additional repayments, the greater the benefit in terms of time and money saved will be.

* 40s – Take stock of your financial goals. Review them regularly. Your goals now will be different than they were in your 20s and 30s. Seek professional advice to ensure you are on the best path for financial freedom in your later years.

* 50s – Make adult children pay board. If your grown-up child is working and still living at home then rent should be paid either as a flat rate or percentage of their salary. Establish rules to lighten any friction that may come later.

Most of us are saving for something, whether it be a holiday, a car or a house. What are your top money saving tips to achieve your goals
Make sure you have regular savings in your budget. Putting your savings in a separate bank account, that you cannot easily access is a great way to avoid the temptation to draw on them. If you want to increase the amount that you can afford to put aside for savings, you need to look for ways to cut down your spending.

You could:

–        Shop around for cheaper rent, phone, and insurance deals.

–        Plan your meals, buy in bulk and compare prices at the supermarket. Growing your own veggies can also save you some money.

–        Eat breakfast at home and take your lunch to work instead of buying. Use the coffee machine at work instead of buying take-away coffees.

–        Make your own cleaning and beauty products – there are some great websites out there that provide recipes.

–        Have a BBQ at home instead of going out, and ask your guests to bring a plate.

–        Car pool or take public transport to work instead of driving – this will cut down your fuel and parking costs.

However you choose to go about it, budgeting is key.

What is your advice to someone wanting to start their own business today?
Make sure you are passionate about your business idea. It’s that passion that gets you through the tough times and allows you to keep going. It’s also important to surround yourself with positive like-minded people. Where possible try to seek out the absolute right people to assist you and experts who know more than you do. My last piece of advice is that you should have a business plan, even if it’s just written on a piece of paper. 

Who inspires you both in the business world and beyond?
I am inspired by many different people. On a personal level, my Nana truly inspires me. She is strong, funny, loving and kind. Professionally, I am inspired by Dale Carnegie and his principals. So much so that myself and many of my executive team have undertaken the Dale Carnegie Training Course. He was truly an amazing man! Certainly also business people like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Oprah and many more.

November 27, 2013

How To Save Money In 6 Easy Steps

Who hasn’t faced a cash crunch? We’ve tried-and-tested these easy money saving tips that will save you the money for that holiday, and still manage to pay your rent on time.

1. Healthy eating

Here’s another good reason to eat healthy: it costs less than eating out! Junk food might sound cheap, but cooking at home always comes in cheaper. Even those cheap pub meals add up (think about those add-on bottles of wine and dessert!). It’s not even junk food that’s expensive – those daily visits to the coffeeshop and juice bar eats up a lot of your income.

2. Healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle means no binging, no binge drinking, and exercising regularly. What you don’t realise is all these are money-saving activities too. A healthy lifestyle is definitely easy on the purse and has long-lasting effects on your finances as you won’t be spending half your income at the pub.

3. Decide on a budget

Even if you’ve heard it many times, but found it difficult to do so, sticking to a financial budget does help in saving money. Start by paying all your bills at the beginning of the month. Direct debit is a great way to automate bill paying and free up your time. Keeping a schedule of payments allows us to realise how much money we can spend once the bills are paid. Also, log in to your internet banking regularly and check your account balance. Seeing your current balance on your savings and credit card accounts is a tangible reminder of your finances.

4. Planned shopping

You will be surprised how much you can save if you carry a shopping list as opposed to just popping into the shops without a plan. Also, shop for groceries when it’s most convenient for you – if a weekly weekend shop is best, schedule that in and stick to it, but if you’re buying in bulk and wasting a lot of groceries, consider 2-3 smaller shops a week.

5. Pay in cash

Believe me, I tried this myself and it helps. Looking at my hard-eared income disappear in physical cash is far more of a wake-up call to control my spending, than just signing the bill willy-nilly.

6. Go eco-friendly

When you use power-saving devices, not only do you get brownie points for looking after the environment, but you are also saving on those mounting power bills, water bills, etc. Another tip we love is raiding your local vintage shop next time you feel a shopping spree coming on, or holding a clothes swap with your friends.

How do you save money? Share your tips in the comments below!

July 11, 2013

10 Ways to Have Fun with Finance

By Kate Hurdley, Personal Success Coach & Director of Inspired Excellence. (Adapted from financial strategist Belinda Cheong’s presentation at an Inspired Excellence seminar on wealth creation).

  1. Pay yourself first.

    There’s no other logical way to start creating financial independence and abundance. Commit to putting 10% (or as much as you can afford) into a savings account each payday, or after a windfall if your income is irregular. Become aware that expenses miraculously expand to fit the exact amount of money we have in our account, so hide a little bit away first, and your expenses will be none the wiser!

  2. Set a realistic budget – and spend less than you earn.

    Remember what’s important is not how much money you earn, but how you manage it. Those little things do add up, so plan your spending and you won’t get caught out. A twelve-month cash flow projection will help you understand and plan your financial situation. Make some changes to the way you manage your money. Things won’t miraculously change for you today, unless you do something different to what you did yesterday.

  3. Your credit cards are a cash flow tool, not a crutch.

    Stop contributing to the banks’ profits, and cut those cards up! Commit to only using your credit card if you’re short of cash, and then pay the whole thing off as soon as you are paid. If you’re only paying the minimum amount due each month, all you’re paying is the interest – which won’t make even a slight dent to the total! Think about reducing the credit limit on your credit card, and start getting that balance down.

  4. Accept that get-rich-quick schemes don’t work.

    Get educated instead. The key to financial wealth is understanding the planning and management process, understanding your spending patterns, and making a plan for yourself. Stop looking for a quick fix to your financial problems. Don’t invest in a scheme, invest in yourself! Start learning about yourself, your spending habits, finance, and investing. Build yourself a future.

  5. Find your own Unreasonable Friend.

    This could be a coach, a friend, or a colleague – anyone in your life who will be tough on you when you need it most, and will hold you accountable to your financial goals. Meet with this person once a fortnight and prepare to be questioned!

January 1, 2001

10 Ways to Have Fun with Finance (cont’d)

  1. Stop saving for a rainy day – Invest for some sunny days!

    ‘Play’ or ‘Freedom’ money is cash set aside to give you the freedom to take advantage of an opportunity when it comes along. And those opportunities are definitely out there. Saving for a rainy day means putting money aside for when the cappuccino maker blows up, or the plumbing packs it in. Useful situations to have money for, but what about putting that saved money to work for you and building on it. Talk to a financial planner.

  2. Do you suffer from the Cinderella complex?

    Any Cinderella clones out there? Do you secretly harbour a belief or hope that one day a dashing Prince Charming will rescue you from financial destitution, and take care of you forever? This belief will single-handedly block you from achieving your true financial potential unless you do something about it now! As financial strategist Belinda Cheong says, Prince Charming may come along on his white horse, but what if he’s broke! Or he’s rich, but a bastard! Remember, any Prince Charming worth his salt will find a financially independent woman ten times sexier than a co-dependent one.

  3. Believe that Wealth and Happiness can go hand in hand.

    Let go of all your ‘scarcity’ beliefs about money, such as “money is the root of all evil”, or “you can’t be happy and rich”. Whatever you choose to believe, will happen. You can be rich and happy – but only if you believe it, and only if you put a plan in place to make it happen. Remove the words “I can’t afford that” from your vocabulary. Instead, choose to say, “I am awaiting abundance”, or “Soon, I will be able to afford that.” The more you reinforce the positive state of your finances, the faster it will happen for you. Remember, being broke is temporary; being poor is a state of mind.

  4. Write your own shower statement!

    Constantly focusing on your lack of wealth, the debts and bills to pay, and your financial stress means all that will come into your life is poverty, bills, and stress. Yuck. Start focusing on what you do want. Write a financial vision statement – listing your financial goals and dreams. Write a ‘shower statement’ such as ‘every day, I am becoming more financially successful”, or “I am financially and emotionally abundant, I experience wealth in my life every day.” Stick it on your shower wall, and repeat it aloud every morning. Start making yourself feel good.

  5. Make a decision to start now.

    It’s easy to say that you’ll start paying attention to your finances as soon as you’ve paid off your debts, or as soon as you’ve settled these whopping bills. Stop procrastinating. The time to start is now. When you are in charge of your finances, you are in charge of your life. Go and see a financial planner for advice and get the money ball rolling. As Napoleon Hill in ‘Think & Grow Rich’ said, “Anybody can wish for riches, and most people do, but only a few know that a definite plan plus a burning desire for wealth, are the only dependable means of accumulating wealth.”

Kate Hurdley, a qualified Personal Success & Values Coach/Therapist, works with action-oriented women who want to live passionate, rewarding lives. Kate also runs Serenity & Success, an inspirational seminar series targeted at business owners, entrepreneurs and ‘career girls’. These seminars are aimed at helping busy, ambitious people achieve life balance, inspiration and self-awareness.

For details about upcoming seminars, or personal success coaching/therapy, contact Kate at Inspired Excellence on 0414 389 354 or by email:

Belinda Cheong was a speaker at the launch of Serenity & Success seminar series run by Inspired Excellence (0414 389 354). A financial strategist and planner, Belinda is committed to educating people about finance and wealth creation in a fun, uncomplicated way. For more information contact Belinda at Argyle Financial Strategists (Canberra), on (02) 6234 8111, or email her at:

January 1, 2001