Rachel & Underspent


Saving money is easy.
I saved 38% of my salary, without changing my life.
If I can do it, so can you!

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.

Rachel is the Author of Underspent and the Founder & CEO of Underspent, Australia’s #1 Saving Money program.

  • Can you imagine having cash in the bank?
  • Can you imagine feeling financially secure?
  • Can you image having cash for unexpected life events/changes?
  • Can you imagine being able to afford experiences & big dreams?

She is best-known for helping women break their impulse spending/shopping addictions/habit of buying ‘stuff’. Helping women change their spending and transforming their savings. Saving money is easy!

Rachel is passionate about financial security (having cash in the bank) and Lifestyle/Experiences (being able to afford her ‘big dreams’).

Rachel believes that there has never been a better time to be Underspent not Overspent. She has helped thousands of women save hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Rachel is on a mission to help women like YOU save money.

Why work with Rachel?

  • She’s done it.
  • She knows how (Underspent 7 steps).
  • She saved 38% of her salary.
  • She had 2 years worth of pay, as cash in bank, when her job was made redundant.
  • She always has 6 months of pay (cash) in an “emergencies” bank account.
  • She lives life to the full… Horse riding, charity walks, surfing, beach days, massages, yoga retreats, movies and so much more!

Rachel has two TEDx talks, was part of the BMW Guggenheim Lab (an international mobile laboratory about urban life) and has spoken in the Palace of Westminster’s House of Lords (London). She has won numerous international awards, spoken at more than 300 events/conferences around the world, has several magazine columns and is a regular on TV, radio and in print media (Rachel has featured on Sunrise, Today Show, BBC News, ABC, DW-TV, Disney Channel, Channel 7, Channel 9, in ELLE magazine, The Economist, the Daily Mail to name a few). Rachel has interviewed thousands of men and women in Australia, UK and USA about their spending and saving habits and is the Author of 4 books including Underspent – how I broke my shopping addiction & buying habit without dramatically changing my life.

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 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 – 65% of men and 85% of women have no money saved for the future – they have zero cash in the bank. 66% of households could not raise/get $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, 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’).

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

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.

“You are an inspiration, Rachel” said Kochie, Australia’s No. 1 breakfast TV show host.

Rachel wasn’t a shopaholic and she didn’t have huge credit card debts, but she had a few impulse shopping addictions. 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 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 loved shopping, and she’d been easily influenced into buying too.

For Rachel the benefits of quitting overspending were…

  • she had cash in the bank
  • she got rid of her impulse shopping addiction
  • she broke her habit of buying ‘stuff’
  • and she became a happier more content person.

For you, the ultimate result of being Underspent is:

  • You can afford your big dreams
  • You have financial freedom
  • You have cash in the bank
  • You get rid of any impulse spending/shopping addictions
  • You break the habit of buying ‘stuff’
  • You don’t spend money you don’t have, on stuff you don’t need
  • You’re a happier more content person
  • You’re financially prepared for unexpected events – You’ve future proofed yourself! 

Underspent benefits of being Underspent  Underspent I quit overspending (3)