The Griffith Business School (GBS) Alumni Network is helping people get their finances in check, through their first networking event for 2008.

At the Professional Women’s Network Breakfast, Financial Fitness series author and Teachers Union Health Marketing and Business Development Executive Cathy McGuane will discuss tips on managing the money you earn, after having worked in the financial services sector for more than 20 years.

Ms McGuane said bad money management or financial illiteracy was the major cause for many of society’s social problems — marriage breakdowns, depression, stress and suicide attempts.

“Once people learn some basic fundamentals about money management they have a great start for a secure financial future,” Ms McGuane said.

One of those basic fundamentals is not spending more than you earn.

Ms McGuane said although not spending more than you earn sounded basic it was not easy in a society where people were constantly bombarded with marketing messages.

“These marketing messages create an environment where people think they ‘need’ something when in fact it’s a ‘want’. This savvy marketing creates an environment where people spend compulsively,” Ms McGuane said.

“People need to become ‘conscious spenders’ thinking before they buy.”

Other tips include tracking spending habits as well as saving habits and realising if you buy something on credit card and can’t pay it off by the end of the next month, then you couldn’t afford to buy it.

Ms McGuane will also share how her passion for this issue developed after a teenage relative fell into significant personal debt. Seeing how it affected his lifestyle, relationships and self-esteem she was driven to write self help books and spread the word on this subject.

“I want to raise awareness that we should be more conscious about our actions and how we manage our money, particularly if we have children — we are our children’s greatest role models,” Ms McGuane said.

During the breakfast Ms McGuane will provide pointers on good money management and share how she made her books so successful, selling more than 100,000 copies.

The GBS Alumni Network Breakfast will be held on Friday, February 29 in the Albert Room, Chiefly at Lennons Hotel, 66 Queen St Mall, Brisbane. Networking starts at 7am with breakfast from 7.30am.

Tickets cost $35 for Alumni, $45 for non-Alumni, or $280 for table of eight. Bookings essential by Monday, February 25 and can be made online at through the ‘It’s not what you make’ link or phone 07 3735 7648.