About Rachel

Rachel Smith is an Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur.

Her Transport Planning career spans 17 years across the public and private sectors in the UK and Australia specialising in delivering behaviour change. Rachel:

  • has two TEDx talks
  • is the Author of Decongestion
  • creator of the 7m wide Cycling Super Highways.
  • was in the “Lab Team” for the BMW Guggenheim Lab (she was nominated by Enrique Penalosa for the international mobile think-tank about cities of the future in New York, Berlin and Mumbai). Rachel was responsible for curating public programming for the Berlin Lab.
  • has spoken in London’s Palace of Westminster in the House of Lords
  • was retained by the UK Government for 6 years as an expert traffic reduction/behaviour change advisor working with schools (increasing walking to school from 38% to 92% of all trips), workplaces and tourism destinations including The Eden Project and the National Trust
  • has won numerous international transport and road safety awards including the BP International Road Safety Award
  • is a sought-after speaker who has spoken at more than 300 conferences around the world, is a regular on international TV, radio and print media and is a Columnist at Sourceable.

Rachel is best and most known for Underspent.

Rachel is also the Author of Underspent.

Rachel quit overspending – 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 an experiment, but it changed her life, so she kept on going. For Rachel, being Underspent is about Financial Security (having cash in the bank for a rainy day) and Lifestyle/Experiences (being able to afford ‘big dreams’).

As a teenager, with a Saturday and summer holiday job, Rachel would write down what she wanted to buy on a ‘three-month waiting list’. If she still wanted and needed said item when the three months had passed, she bought it. Nine times out of ten, however, she no longer wanted or needed it. Her ‘no buying’ experiment really reinforced that we need very little to be happy.

Rachel is the Founder of Underspent, Australia’s leading saving money and financial behaviour change program.

As a highly qualified educator (former adult numeracy/literacy teacher, university lecturer and PADI Scuba Diving Instructor) Rachel created the Underspent 10-week online program which sees men and women, around the world, change their spending and transform their savings.

Express 10-week online program AUD$99

10-week online program AUD$999.00

Work individually 1-to-1 with Rachel coaching you through the 10-week program AUD$,000.00

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

Rachel is passionate about having cash in the bank and being prepared–this is essential in a world where 65% of men and women have no money for the future, jobs are being automated and technology is changing everything – so she has written two books: Be Ready. The future is NOW! 14 steps to prepare yourself mentally, financially and professional for our new world of technology and automation and Ready for Redundancy.

Rachel has always gravitated towards solving modern lifestyle issues with affordable solutions. Rachel loves sharing what she’s learnt over the last 20 years, so that you don’t have to waste time and money working out the answers.

  • Rachel has brought information, proven solutions and implementation processes to life in her four internationally best-selling books.
  • She shares her solutions in inspirational, thought-provoking, informative and entertaining talks and keynote speeches.
  • Rachel is constantly uncovering modern life truths and insights via targeted social media surveys. She doesn’t make assumptions. She will always ask, listen and discuss.
  • She uses the online programs and live master classes she has created to coach men and women through implementing the steps in her books, focusing on solutions that can be delivered/completed quickly, easily and cheaply.

Rachel’s passions include financial security, experiences not stuff, inspirational education, family and friends, sharing, the beach, surfing, horse riding, swimming, bicycle riding, meditation, day spa’s and weekend holidays.

“Rachel Smith is one of Australia’s brightest thinkers on the perpetual challenge of urban planning” (News Limited)

“an emerging International Talent” (The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York)

“her dedication to the environment is inspiring and her passion for cycling is unmatched” (TED, New York)

“You are an inspiration Rachel’ (Kochie, live on Sunrise – David Koch, Channel 7 Sunrise TV breakfast show)

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Why Cycling Rachel Smith?

  1. Cycling Super Highways – My first dream is to build Cycling Super Highways. My vision is that anyone will be able to safely ride a bicycle regardless of their age, gender, physical abilities, cycling skills and road safety awareness. When the Los Angeles Department of Transport said “for the bike to catch on we need a revolution in our bicycle infrastructure” they were right. If we really want riding a bicycle to be a central part of our lifestyle, our transport system and our cities we need an ‘infrastructure revolution’. That’s why I created Cycling Super Highways, 7 metre wide bicycle ways with six lanes for slow, medium and fast bicyCl e riders, completely separated from all parked and moving cars.
  2. Floating Bikeways made out of waste plastic – My second dream is a floating bikeway on the Sydney Harbour or on the Thames in London, constructed out of recycled waste plastic and used aluminium drink cans. Let’s use our waste. David de Rothchild built his Plastiki boat using used plastic drinks bottles, Vertec build road bridges with waste plastic and in Kuranda, Australia benches in public places are made from old plastic milk bottles. I’d like us to innovate and build floating bicycle paths from waste plastic. Imagine it. Watch my TEDxQUT talk “Who says building the impossible is impossible?”
  3. Lazy Sunday Cycle – I’m the co-founder of Lazy Sunday Cycle. LSC is all about normal people, in normal clothes on normal bikes. It’s not about no special clothes or specialized and technical equipment. We encourage and enable anyone and everyone who wants to ride a bicycle for fun; people who are ‘interested but a little bit concerned’ about cycling, people who just want to get out there and have a go at cycling, enthusiastic bicycle riders and people who want to cycle with other people so that they can chat. It’s aimed at young people, old people, families with children, children with stabilizers, people with fancy bikes and people with cargo bikes and people with bikes with baskets!

A few cool things!

  • I was hand-picked by former Queensland Premier Hon Anna Bligh MP and Transport Minister Hon Rachel Nolan MP as a curator of the art+place panel
  • Winner 2015 Key Person of Influence Publish Award
  • Nominated for 2015 Queensland Premier’s Award for leadership in sustainability
  • Finalist 2014 BUPA blog awards
  • Winner 2008 AITPM Janet Brash Memorial Scholarship
  • Winner 2003 CIHT BP International Road Safety Award
  • Finalist for the 2004 International Walk to School Week Award
  • I developed two award winning primary school assemblies. 1) Ready Steady Road Safety – An interactive quiz show primary school assembly based on the TV programme ‘Ready Steady Cook’ which questions the ways in which we travel to school and why and 2) Finding Nemo Outside School – Based on the Disney movie ‘Finding Nemo’ this assembly looks at the dangers on the way to school and at the school gate and allows primary children to identify safer ways to travel to and access school
  • In 2005 I convinced Disney Playhouse TV company to work with me and the walking bus kids at Devoran Primary School to produce a children’s television programme for the UK and USA on the benefits of sustainable travel – alas without Mickey Mouse – but we had our own red carpet ‘Premiere’ in the school hall
  • I’m a member of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and the Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management (AITPM)

How and why I became an Author – At the start of 2014 I was frustrated and like most people working in engineering/professional services consultancies I was living in fear. It seemed like everyday a co-worker, colleague, friend or industry peer was made redundant. So called ‘leaders’ in my industry didn’t seem to be doing anything and conversations at the coffee machine, seminars and BBQs revolved around the latest rounds of redundancies. I was sick and tired of the constant negativity. In March 2014 I “put my money where my mouth was” and I took myself to a one day entrepreneur and brand accelerator day. One week later I signed up to the 40 week Key Person of Influence entrepreneur course. I didn’t have a business idea, I didn’t have an ABN…. I didn’t have a clue! I did however have a very real sense of urgency and an almighty amount of drive and determination to succeed. My colleagues, managers and peers thought I was insane. “Why waste your own personal money on a business course” they typically said and “If I had spare cash I’d spend it on a holiday” or “why waste your time and money writing and self-publishing a book”. It was one of the toughest, hardest and most rewarding 40 weeks of my life. An intense journey of professional and personal development. I found my purpose and my WHY, I self funded and self published 2 books, I created two businesses, I learnt more about business than most business people will ever care to learn, 6 months after I finished the course I got myself an ABN(!)  and I met the most incredible, inspiring and generous people I have ever met in my life. I now have 2 businesses; Underspent &  ‘City Planning for Modern Lifestyles’. I’m not sure where my journey will lead, but it’s been one very exciting adventure thus far.

My story – According to medical research I should be dead. In 2001 I was involved in a near fatal scuba diving incident. Thanks to the incredible medical team at DDRC in Plymouth I am alive. Cheating death changes your perspective on life and definitely makes you seize every opportunity…     I’d studied rural and urban transport as part of my Geography degree, but had never considered a career in transportation. I graduated in the middle of a downturn and so I qualified as a specialist adult literacy and numeracy teacher and taught adult literacy to those who has slipped through the conventional education system. I was privileged to undertake research for the UK Further Education Funding Council, in partnership with Devon County Council, during 1999. As Project Officer I was made aware of “real” transport issues affecting the lives of people in remote rural areas: social exclusion, very limited transport availability, isolation from shops and employment opportunities, and the huge cost of owning and running a private car. My fondest memories are of a local blind society eager to help me improve bus routes; of Kate, a sixth former, travelling daily to college across the Devon Cornwall border by taxi and then two different bus services; and of Gerald, a quadriplegic, whose attendance at college – despite all the travel difficulties – was the highlight of his life. The project was all the more special for me because I had, only a few years beforehand, spent cold winter mornings travelling on a draughty, dirty and old double-decker bus, winding along the country lanes to get to college. Not only did I want to help improve transport generally, but I also wanted to prevent others from spending the hours of uncomfortable travelling that my peers and myself had endured. My hard work, dedication and sheer motivation paid dividends. The research was awarded significant funding and generated many trial projects to help students and the wider community. But most importantly, and ironically, my younger sister, her peers and the people of my home town benefited from better and more affordable public transport. From that moment I was hooked on transport planning and helping people to solve real transport problems. This is where my journey of transport and education began. In the days before ‘transport planning’ I was part of a scuba diving expedition in the Bay Islands off Honduras sponsored by David Bellamy and in that time gained a Coral Cay Diploma in Coral Reef Surveying, worked on environmental (water) research for an international pharmacy manufacturer, owned my own scuba diving school, worked as a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor (which is quite amazing for someone who never really graduated out of Mrs Hulme’s shallow end class at swimming club!) and sold a few time share holidays from a call centre. I’m a qualified marine medic with the International and British Divers Marine Life Rescue teams and in the past I’ve has rescued a number of stranded mammals including 2 dolphins, 3 seals and a whale and I was once the midwife to a grey seal on a Devon beach… nearly loosing 4 fingers in the process. I have been a brass musician since the tender age of 5 years old (when my instrument was actually bigger than me) and I have passed UK Royal School of Music practical and theory Grades 1 – 8 almost all with distinction. I’ve performed in London’s Royal Albert Hall and competed in the UK and Australian National Brass Band Championships. In my spare time I love horse riding, surfing, beach days, yoga, meditation, reading, hiking, kayaking, going to the movies and riding my pink bicycle. In my ‘extra spare’ time I’m writing two children’s book, but I don’t expect to be the next J K Rowling…