Underspent

In 2014 Rachel saved $52,680 without changing her life.

“You are an inspiration Rachel” Kochie, Sunrise. 

Rachel Smith is Underspent. She didn’t buy anything new or 2nd hand in 2014 and saved 38% of her take-home salary. She changed her spending and transformed her savings. It started as a lifestyle experiment, but it changed her life, so she kept on going.

For Rachel, the results were breaking her impulse shopping habit, saving $52,680 in 12 months, being cash rich, financially secure, happier and more content.

Rachel is the Author of Underspent, the Founder of Underspent and is a Money Saving Expert for Australian TV, radio and print media.

Rachel is best-known for helping professional men & women quit impulse shopping and live a happy, cash rich and financially secure life through her Underspent book, program’s, weekly blog and weekly Facebook Live videos.

Rachel is famous for ‘Changing spending, transforming savings’, for helping professional men and women switch from surviving to absolutely thriving. You too CAN quit impulse shopping and live a happy, cash rich & financially secure life. You CAN switch from just surviving to financially thriving.

Rachel will inspire you and ignite your fuse for change. She’ll leave you thinking “If she can do it, so can I”

Why work with Rachel?

  • She knows how. She’ll teach you and support you through the process.
  • She has a proven methodology (the 7 steps in the Underspent book).
  • She is a qualified behaviour change specialist with a proven 15 stage behaviour change process.
  • She saved $52,680 in 12 months.
  • She had 2 years worth of salary in the bank when her role was made redundant in December 2015.
  • She always has more than $50,000 in cash for ’emergencies’.
  • She is financially secure.
  • She’s Underspent and lives life to the full… Horse riding, charity hikes, surfing, beach days, massages, yoga retreats, pottery classes, movies, weekends away, holidays and so much more!
  • She’s the Australian media’s ‘Money Saving Expert’. A regular on TV, radio and in print media including Sunrise, Today Show, ABC, Channel 7, Channel 9, Sunday Mail, ELLE magazine, The Economist and the Daily Mail.

Rachel has identified 3 key problems:

  1. We’re Overspent – We’re impulse spending more than we earn. We’re living off credit cards and spending money we don’t have on stuff we don’t want or need. We’re ‘Status shopping’ and buying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ because we’re never satisfied with the things and the ‘stuff’ that we already have and own. Our self-worth is based on what we buy, own and want to own.
  2. Our impulse and accidental overspending is out of control – 8 out of 10 people don’t know how much money they spend. 81% of people don’t know what they spend on daily, weekly or monthly basis – we’re impulse and accidental spenders. Office workers tell Rachel that they can easily spend $25-$50 a day (accidental spending) on take-away coffees, food and snacks, that’s $7,200 – $15,000 a year!
  3. We’re financially unprepared & we’re not financially secure – 65% of men and 85% of women have no money saved – they have zero cash in the bank. 66% of households could not raise or get their hands on $3,000 in an emergency.  We are not financially prepared and we don’t have any money saved for ‘Unexpected Life Events’ e.g. a job loss, their work hours being reduced, a relationship break-up or divorce, taking 12 months unpaid maternity leave, a medical emergency, a health issue or sick child, a car breakdown or a natural disaster (a cyclone or flood). Millions of us are living pay-cheque to pay-cheque. Our lives can change from ‘doing ok’ to ‘disastrous nightmare’ in a heartbeat if we aren’t financially prepared. Data suggests many of us are 2-6 pay-cheques away from being homeless. (Rachel spent the month of April 2017 in Bowen, Mackay and Airlie Beach as part of the Queensland Government ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie Community Recovery team. It was there, that Rachel witnessed first-hand, the ‘disastrous nightmare’ and devastating impacts of not being financially prepared for ‘Unexpected Life Events’).

So why do we impulse shop? Why are we overspent? The 7 mistakes, or 7 blunders, most professional men and women make are:

  1. They’re unsatisfied with what they already have and own
  2. They’re boredom and lonely
  3. They feel unprepared
  4. No willpower
  5. They love buying gifts
  6. FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
  7. Fear of failing to meet their children’s needs

Want to go from surviving to absolutely thriving? Want to be happy, cash rich and financially secure? The solution is to implement 7 steps in the book Underspent. These are the 7 steps that worked for Rachel:

  • Step 1. I identified my passions and priorities
  • Step 2. I made a budget and sorted out my banking
  • Step 3. I got people in place to help
  • Step 4. I inspected, assessed and organised my stuff
  • Step 5. I got into swapping, sharing and selling
  • Step 6. I used everything that I already had
  • Step 7. I got out and had fun

Rachel’s story. In 2014 Rachel didn’t buy anything new or 2nd hand and she didn’t dramatically change her life to do it. She bought food, essential toiletries (tampax& loo roll) and ‘experiences’ -coffee’s, going to the movies, horse riding, massages, yoga and dinners out were fine. That wasn’t ‘stuff’. Rachel’s ‘journey’ began in December 2012 on my way to India for the Mumbai leg of the BMW Guggenheim Lab (a mobile think tank in New York, Berlin and Mumbai to discuss and exchange ideas about cities of the future). In the airport lounge, she read an article about an Aussie family who had only bought ‘things and stuff’ from second-hand stores for a year. In the run-up to Christmas, the most consumerist time of year, Rachel spent some time in one of the poorest places on earth: Dharavi Slum, Mumbai. On New Year’s Eve 2012, she decided to quit shopping. She pledged and promised to buy nothing new or second hand for one whole year (2013). She failed. She saw buying nothing as a hardship filled with doom and gloom, like a year of punishment. ‘Negativity creates negativity’—her year of no buying lasted just four months. In 2014, she tried again. Second time around, she saw buying nothing new or second-hand for a year as an exciting opportunity, an adventure and a whole new way to live my life—a lifestyle experiment. Positive thinking creates positive experiences. She succeeded. She didn’t buy anything new or second-hand for one year. She quit shopping for 365 days. It was one of the best years of her life. She saved 38 per cent of her net annual salary and she didn’t dramatically change her life to do it.

Why did Rachel quit shopping and spending? Rachel first observed redundancies (or retrenchments) in late 2008. She remembers that Monday as though it were yesterday. She watched men and women pack their things into cardboard boxes and saw adult professional men sit and cry. She heard stories about colleagues who’d lost everything and she witnessed leaders admit to suicidal feelings. If Rachel hadn’t of been so scared about the future, she would never have embarked on her year of buying nothing – something that has literally changed her life. And when Rachel took a redundancy in December 2015, she had more than two years’ worth of salary in a long-term cash savings account – financial freedom!. It had been hard work saving so much money, completing an entrepreneur course, writing books, creating a portfolio of assets and developing her own ‘gig economy’ but she was financially well prepared.

Rachel wasn’t a shopaholic and she didn’t have huge credit card debts, but she had a few impulse shopping addictions. As a teenager with 2 jobs she was a money saver with a 3 month wait list. As an expat adult in Australia  with a huge “mining & infrastructure boom” salary (before 2014) she found it very difficult to walk past a bookshop without being sucked in by yet another ‘Buy three books for the price of two’ offer. If she was at the airport or train station for work she’d always buy a magazine, whether she needed one or not. She also had a habit of buying stuff for the house that she didn’t really need. If she saw ‘the most beautiful cushion in the world’ in a shop window, she’d want to buy it. Rachel’s mum, sister and friends would say that she was also a little bit addicted to buying handbags!  During 2014 Rachel discovered her ‘pain’ points, the reasons why she went shopping and bought stuff. The first was Boredom. It was easy to go to the shops when she had nothing better to do. The second was rewarding herself. She’d always treat herself with new clothes after a sixty-hour week. Third was peer pressure. Lots of Rachel’s friends had money to burn and loved shopping, and she’d been easily influenced into buying too.

For Rachel the benefits and outcomes of being Underspent were…

  • Cash in the bank
  • Financial security
  • Money saved for emergencies/life changes
  • Quitting impulse spending
  • Breaking her impulse shopping addiction
  • Breaking her habit of buying ‘stuff’
  • Being happier and more content