Money smart mum

Wingham's Bronwyn Wallace 2014 MoneySmart Week Ambassador

Wingham's Bronwyn Wallace 2014 MoneySmart Week Ambassador

MoneySmart Week from September 1-7 is a not-for-profit initiative promoting the importance of financial literacy.

For local single mum Bronwyn Wallace it will offer her the opportunity to share her own story to help others.

Bronwyn has been chosen as a 2014 MoneySmart Week Ambassador and will attend a special awards dinner in Sydney.

Bronwyn first heard about the competition through her son Jack's school.

Since becoming a MoneySmart school, Wingham High has built a solid reputation for its financially astute students and initiatives.

Bronwyn felt she had some ideas to offer others and submitted a 500 word application.

It was when she was announced as a finalist Bronwyn admits she had a moment of regret.

The next round of the selection process required Bronwyn to produce a one minute video.

"I thought oh no, what have I done!" she laughs.

"But when I was chosen I have to admit I was over the moon."

Bronwyn's own relationship with money, and her journey to financial literacy, started when she became a single mum.

She went from a well paid full-time job to working part time and being solely responsible for her son.

Unfortunately for Bronwyn her old habits of spending and being carefree with money didn't change with her lifestyle.

"My spending stayed at the same level as though I still had the same wage," she admits.

She learnt a hard lesson about spending within her means.

"I learnt to always spend with the big picture in mind," she said.

"I realised you should never spend more than you have."

Bronwyn's application for MoneySmart Week was called 'life is all credits and debits.'

She recounts how she turned her life around by being forced to become "money savvy."

All her expenses have now been calculated weekly and she budgets for everything including two new tyres for her car a year.

There are now no surprises and Bronwyn finds life less stressful.

Being able to pass these skills on to her son makes Bronwyn happy.

"He's pretty money smart," she admits.

Jack has had a part time job since he was 15 and now owns his own car.

He also has a savings plan.

Bronwyn won $1000 and a two night stay for two in Sydney in the MoneySmart competition.

She will join Wingham High's Kim Dixon at the awards dinner on September 2 in Darling Harbour.

Bronwyn said the most important lessons she learnt on her own financial journey were:

1) Do not spend more than you earn

2) Understand what it costs you to live

3) Realise you cannot do it alone - there are tools available to help.

The MoneySmart website is a good place to start: www.moneysmart.gov.au or www.moneysmartweek.org.au


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