Women In The Black founder Tamia Gallego talks to SwitchMyLoan about her influential blog catered to women wanting to take control of their financial futures. Tamia currently works full-time, and manages www.womenintheblack.com.au as personal hobby.
Having emigrated with her parents from Viet Nam, Tamia saw the struggles of growing up in Australia having to make best with limited resources, this instilled a sense of personal responsibility to take control of her financial future. Being the financially savvy female that she was, she was always the go-to-person that her friends would seek out to receive advice about their own personal finances.
It all started with Tamia writing articles for her self and putting them on various Google blogs, until it caught the attention of her husband, who gave her the initial encouragement to finally do something about it. He convinced Tamia to spread the word and start up her own blog so all females could access her hints and tips all in one place!
There has been nothing of short of positive responses of her followers commending Tamia on increasing the awareness of the importance of financial literacy amongst women. Her favourite quote is “Time is Money” referring to that not all financial successes happen overnight, but being patient in watching your assets grow in value over time, such as shares, property, saying that “sometimes you have wait 7-10 years before you watch your investment pay off, it’s not an overnight thing”.
What was your main motivation on starting Women In The Black?
Historically women have been reliant on men to support them and therefore had limited choices.
In the 21st century, women are faced with some tough obstacles when it comes to their finances. Women still earn less than men, women can save less for their retirement due to a disrupted working pattern, and yet they have a longer life expectancy.
I wanted to encourage and influence women to take active control of their financial situation in order to increase their options. This means being able to walk away from an unhealthy relationship, being able to provide for themselves and their children, having financial security in old age.
What type of articles and information do you write about?
We provide educational articles on matters of personal finance congruent to the life stages of an individual. We find that nowadays people don’t fit into the traditional mould of, for example, starting a family in their 20’s or buying a house fresh out of University. We’ve come across women who are divorced in their 30’s and having to start again at a young age. Hence our posts are tailored to relate to an individual’s circumstance at the time.
A recent post that I enjoyed reading is “How Bad Debt Will Stop You Dead In Your Tracks” by Helen Collier-Kogtevs listed under Home Ownership http://womenintheblack.com.au/how-bad-debt-will-stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks/. The post provides a practical example of how having a high credit limit can affect your borrowing capacity to invest. Having a background in finance and an interest in property investing I enjoy reading the ins and outs of getting ahead of the game.
Based on your experience, what do you see as some of the biggest issues that female face as far as becoming financially better off?
I see that women do not consider their future with a 30-year view and don’t realise that time is the very essence of wealth creation.
In my early 20’s I was already making salary sacrifices towards my Super while paying down my owner occupied property. My friend mocked me for putting money away that I couldn’t access until retirement. I’m glad I did this because today I have a decent balance to manage my own SMSF in my 30s.
I see women not paying close attention to their finances, for example ignoring their pay slips, not checking their Super statements and investment strategies, not having a budget and not having a financial plan. Women’s peak earnings tend to be in their 20’s and 30’s as after that they take time out to raise children and rely on a one-income household, so women have about 10-15 years to make money work for them and most women do not realise this.
Finally Tamia, do you have any words to wisdom to financially savvy women out there who are looking to improve their finances?
- Pay yourself first 20-30% of your income.
- Spend about two- five hours a month to educate yourself about money by reading magazines, following blogs, attending seminars etc.
- Set financial goals quarterly, 6 monthly, yearly and review to ensure you’re on the right path.
- If possible, find a partner who shares similar financial goals as you as different money values/beliefs can hinder your long term progress.
To find out more, visit www.womenintheblack.com.au and subscribe to their monthly newsletter to keep up to date with the latest hints and tips for your financial future!
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