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Financial Literacy

Move to develop financial awareness programs – “a step in the right direction”

By | Financial Literacy

A move by the Australian Government to establish an independent body to educate Australians about financial literacy – notably for women, the young and elderly – has been applauded by Brisbane Women’s Club as “another positive step to empower women and secure their financial future”.

The new not-for-profit organisation to be founded under the plan will be responsible for managing and distributing $40 million in community benefit payments and a further $10 million in funds slated in the Federal Budget to develop women’s financial capability.

The funds are to be used to administer grants and improve the financial knowledge and capabilities of Australians through education and development of financial products and services.

“Given our long-standing commitment to improving the lives of women, we are very pleased by this announcement for a new body focused on the issue,” Brisbane Women’s Club (BWC) Chair of the Board Robin Francis said.

“We have seen the success of financial literacy and financial awareness programs and how they change lives. Any funds which help these programs to be accessed by more people are very welcome indeed.”

Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said the new body would be a “game-changer” which would offer support for consumers and build the financial capability of all Australians.

“Financial literacy and capability is critical for economic empowerment, including for Australian women and young and older Australians,”Ms O’Dwyer said.

A key part of our mission here at Brisbane Women’s Club (BWC) is to advocate for programs and initiatives which improve the financial awareness and financial decision-making of Queensland women.

BWC holds a seat on the Economic Security 4 Women Council (ES4W), a national alliance of women’s organisations “united in the belief that economic wellbeing and financial security are essential for women and will enable women of all ages to have an equal place in society”.

BWC has also initiated the Invest in Yourself Campaign to help women develop self-awareness around their financial situation and to gain the right financial knowledge to help them be financially independent.

“For some women, understanding their finances comes easily and they seem to have it all under control,” Robin said. “For other women, the world of finances is a confusing one indeed.

“If women are ever to be truly equal, they need to enjoy true financial independence and that starts with education for women from very basic introductory information to much more advanced guidance and advice.

“And in doing so, we supply the next generation with the tools for their financial independence and so it becomes self-perpetuating.  “Initiatives such as this latest one announced by the Turnbull Government go a long way to improving the financial health of individuals and the greater community and we all benefit from that.”

Invest In Yourself logo

Launch of Invest in Yourself Campaign

By | Financial Literacy, News

Empowering women towards financial literacy

Brisbane Women’s Club, supported by the Queensland Government’s Office For Women, is launching a campaign that aims to improve the financial literacy of women across the Greater Brisbane region.

Using a partnership model between financial services experts and community agencies, Invest In Yourself will feature educational events, workshops, resources and online tools specifically designed for women in six key target groups.

Brisbane Women’s Club President, Robin Francis, says, “In planning this campaign, we have realised that too many women of all ages and demographics actually have very little understanding or control of their financial situation. Even professional women who may appear to be in control of their money have shared their secret financial confessions with us – and many are not as in control as they might appear.

“And then, of course there are those women caught in unemployment cycles, domestic violence and desperate situations who are feeling disempowered and can’t even imagine a financially free future – we need to equip them with the skills to gain control of their financial situations.”

Minister for Women and for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Shannon Fentiman said financial literacy was a critical need for women, particularly those who had made the brave decision to leave a violent relationship.

“Initiatives like this provide another important element of support to women who might previously have been caught in controlling relationships,” Minister Fentiman said.

“The more skills they have, the better able they are to reach their full potential and manage their own financial situation while they are at it.

“This will make a real difference in women’s lives and give them back the independence they deserve.”

Invest in Yourself is funded by the Brisbane Women’s Club and Office for Women and the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (DCCSDS). This initiative already has a number of financial planning experts and women’s community groups committed to being part of the campaign and who are giving their services on a pro-bono basis.

Brisbane Women’s Club are seeking further interest from financial services businesses and community agency groups to be part of delivering this campaign to women in our community.

Explore Invest In Yourself Website

 

Invest in Yourself: Financial Literacy 101

By | Financial Literacy, News

BWC communications intern Louise Priddle signed up for our first Financial Literacy 101 workshop and came away with five top tips from the experts:

  1. Make a real budget … and stick to it
    Being conscious of money-in versus money-out is important. BWC Director Cara Brett, from Bounce Financial, says you need to be realistic about the money you actually spend, rather than restricting yourself too tightly and dipping into your savings later. The key here is to include everything.
  1. Pay off your debt … particularly the bad kind
    Bad debt, such as credit cards, car loans and payday loans, is something that you want to get rid of quickly, according to Nicole Green from Unique Finance. Don’t be afraid of borrowing money for things like a home, but be careful about using debt to prop up your everyday expenses – it’s a sure sign you are living beyond your means.
  1. Top up your super
    Retirement might seem a long way off but it will be here sooner than you think. On average, women have half as much superannuation as men, so making contributions or salary sacrificing is important to ensure you have a decent amount to live on when you stop working. There are still some tax advantages for investing in super and jobs with the government or an NGO often have their own super perks. The rules change frequently so make sure you have a chat with your accountant or financial adviser.
  1. Invest in your own nest
    Buying a house or shares is a good option if you want an asset that is likely to increase in value over time. Of course no investment is guaranteed but borrowing money in these instances may not be such a bad thing.
  1. Give yourself a safety net
    Australia is one of the most under insured countries in the world which means most of us are exposed to big financial risks when things don’t go according to plan. Life, income and total and permanent disability insurance are the key ones for all of us to have or at least consider. Life insurance is also much easier and cheaper to get the younger you are, and something you definitely won’t regret if you’re ill or have an accident. If cashflow is a little tight it may be possible to pay for insurance out of your super so talk to your financial adviser about what’s best for you.

Useful websites
Personal Loans
Credit Cards
Property
Budgeting
Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia
Superannuation search
Women’s money toolkit
How much super will you have?
Centrelink benefits estimates
Lodging your tax return online
Calculating tax withheld on salary
Income Tax payable/refund estimator
ATO Summary of Deductions
My Gov Website for super searching
Universal Rollover Form

http://www.afr.com/leadership/it-took-an-expat-to-turn-around-the-brisbane-womens-club-20160113-gm550r – the business world sits up and takes note of BWC’s relaunch!

http://bmag.com.au/your-brisbane/brisbane-extra/2016/03/07/brisbane-women-push-through-the-glass-ceiling-together/ – article on “Regeneration – a story of change”, a stunning exhibition curated by the BWC in support of the Women’s Legal Service.