What I learned in prison

Before you start worrying about the validity of my ‘Working with Children’ card… I’m part of the ‘Women in Leadership Driving Change’ group that visits women in prison. We deliver training on re-entering the workforce. The program is called ‘Tall Poppies’. It’s a name the residents (the preferred term for prisoners) selected. We cover all sorts: social media, interview prep, what to wear, mindset and, of course, personal finance. Which is where I come in.

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Money and Your Mind: Interview with David Levin, author

If you’ve ever said the following out loud or in your head:

“I am terrible with money.”

“I spend too much.”

“I don’t have control over my money.”

“I just can’t seem to break the habit of <insert annoying/destructive/wasteful financial action>.”

…this post is for you! You can skip to the interview at the end or read on for some background.

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Introducing Rebbecca Devitt, author and homeschool advocate

I grew up in the mainstream education system, attending the local public primary school and later a private high school, then onto one of the ‘sandstone’ universities. I didn’t encounter any homeschoolers growing up, so the whole concept seemed rather mysterious to me.

Through my work with Money School and Maker Kids, I encounter a number of homeschool families, many of whom have become my clients – so the mystery has somewhat dissipated, but it has been replaced with respect. I find it refreshing that these families actively pursue teaching their children about entrepreneurship and money, and I was keen to learn more.

Enter Rebbecca Devitt. Read more

Should I pay off my mortgage or make extra superannuation contributions?

Hands down the most common question asked in our recent ‘Women and Superannuation’ seminars for Department of Local Government and Communities is:

“I have some extra income at the moment.
Should I use it to pay off my mortgage
or put it into superannuation?”

Spoiler alert: the mathematics is crystal clear on this one, which is why most financial advisors won’t hesitate to reply: “Put it in superannuation”. This fails to account for your emotions and stress levels, which aren’t nearly so clear-cut. Read more

Real lost super: could 93% of your superannuation disappear?

When we hear ‘lost super’, we imagine lots of funds that we don’t know about. This story is about another kind of lost super. It’s the money you had in your super account, but it’s disappeared.
 
So, could 93% of your superannuation disappear?
 
Very short answer: yes.
 
Longer answer: if you stop contributing, and you’re paying fees and premiums, it can happen. Do that for over a decade, and you could have next-to-nothing left.
 
My statements come from a real-life example, not a hypothetical one.

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Can you learn about share trading by playing the ASX Sharemarket Game?

Twice a year, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) runs a Sharemarket Game (I’ll call it ‘The Game’ from here on in). There’s a public version for any adult and a school version for students. I’ve played it several times and I’ve sucked at it. The photo at the top of this post is how my portfolio performed the last time I played.

This has been a conundrum for me, given my real life experience with shares has mostly been successful.

I have gone back to my engineering training and done a root cause analysis (RCA) on why I can’t seem to do well at this game. I won’t bore you with the RCA diagram. I’ll skip straight to the bottom line, the root cause of my problem, and it is this:

I am lazy. Read more

Free and cheap financial education resources

Want to learn how to manage your money wisely? Good news! There are truckloads of solid financial education materials available – for free – to help you get up to speed.

Unfortunately, sometimes you’ll come across a financial product dressed up as education – a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It can be hard to tell the difference. To help you avoid the wolves, we’ve curated our favourite resources into this list.

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Kidpreneurs on show at book launch

Feeling low? Get yourself around young people starting businesses. Their enthusiasm is contagious.

The 12 kidpreneurs selling their wares on Sunday 13 November at East Fremantle Yacht Club have given me enough good vibes to handle whatever life cares to throw my way for the rest of 2016.

Here’s the wrap up from the Showcase – who was there, how they went, and contact details in case you’d like to order some of their products or feature them in a media article. Read more