MoneyTalk With Parent Money's Founder Rachel
In this Interview series, we want to feature amazing and inspiring women who are willing to talk about money. Our goal is to break the taboo around money, share experiences and learn from the community. Please see exemples here.
Thank you for your time. Rachel is the founder of Parent Money, a platform aimed at today's parents - “who want to save money, plan for their family's future and have some money left over for the fun stuff”. We love her mission so we thought you should meet her!
Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I have worked in the financial sector for 17 years now. From investment banking to retail banking, and throughout the financial crisis. I am now responsible for running the marketing campaigns for a challenger bank, who are disrupting the world of personal finance and making it easier for everyone to manage their money better. It’s a huge passion of mine and I love feeling like I’m making a difference. I am also a Mum of three boys - twins aged 6, and a 3 year old. My life is pretty crazy!
What is your mission with Parent Money?
I set up Parent Money as a resource to help parents who want to save money, plan for their family’s future and feel more in control of their finances
When you have children, your life changes in so many ways. One of the biggest changes is often getting used to living on a reduced salary, whilst also trying to keep a small human alive. When I had my twins, I didn’t feel like there was one place I could go to get advice about money as a new parent, and that was quite stressful.
What is the biggest problem your community of parents usually encounter?
Reduced income and lack of time are the problems faced by most parents! And with research showing that it now costs over £230,000 to fund a child in the UK from birth to graduation, it’s super important to be financially stable. My advice is always to start saving for the future as early as you can.
What’s your relationship like with money and personal finance?
I have always been a spender and a saver! I am happy to splash out on something, as long as I feel like I’m getting a good deal and that I can actually afford it. But at the same time, I like to have savings in the bank both as a buffer in case of a loss of income, but also for those expensive times when you need to extend your property or buy a bigger car - all highly likely once you have kids, and also hugely expensive!
What does financial independence mean to you?
Not having to rely on anyone else for money. I think it’s really important, particularly when you become a Mum to have your own income, no matter how small. Relying financially on a partner creates an imbalance in many relationships.
What’s the one thing you indulge in?
Definitely holidays and travel! Before we had children we travelled a lot - a combination of long-haul, exotic places and short, city mini-breaks. We have definitely been less adventurous since having kids, but mainly because they’re still so small. Once they’re older I want to carry on ticking places off my bucket list!
What is the best financial decision you have ever made? And what is the greatest long-term investment?
They are actually one and the same - property. When we moved out of London a couple of years ago, we decided to keep our property there as well as buying a family home outside London. They have both continued to increase in value, and I’m confident/hopeful they will carry on rising even in the uncertain times we are experiencing right now. I see property as a great long term investment.
Have you ever experienced a financial epiphany? A sort of wake-up call, where you suddenly think - “I must start doing things differently”?
When we had our third child, both my husband and I realised that we had to start seriously tightening our belts and cutting costs where we could. Having three children in childcare was going to be seriously expensive, let alone all of our other outgoings. We spent a set amount of time each week reducing utility bills, cutting large bills like car insurance, and selling things we didn’t need and which were taking up space in our house. It’s amazing how much you can save just by investing some time and haggling!
What is Vestpod for you?
It’s a breath of fresh air. I love the fact that Vestpod is making so many women feel empowered to invest, and in a comfortable and inclusive way. We are all responsible for looking after our own financial futures, and learning from others makes it so much more appealing.
Own up. Have you made any major financial faux-pas?
Not specifically. But I do look back at my University days and realise how clueless and pretty reckless I was with money. I took out every student loan and credit card I could and frittered the money away on clothes and going out. When I got my first graduate job it was a wake-up call as half my salary was going on paying off these debts!
What do you wish you have done earlier in terms of financial planning?
I wish I had taken more risks with investing money. I have always saved my money in savings accounts such as ISAs, but I wish I had been braver in terms of investments. Crypto currency is a good example of this - I wish I had got into it from the start as I know people who have made a lot from it!
What would you recommend to younger women?
Always be confident and believe in yourself, don’t ever settle for less than you’re worth and never be afraid to ask for a pay rise! Getting on the property ladder when I was in my 20s has helped me become much more financially secure - even though it seems like a huge step, it’s worth saving for!
Favourite book & podcast?
I have always loved reading, but find it hard to fit in now I have kids. For fiction, I loved ‘Birdsong’ by Sebastian Faulks. In terms of non fiction, ‘Originals’ by Adam Grant is amazing, It truly made me think differently.
I love a podcast, and currently listen to ‘The High Low’ religiously every week on the way to work. I am also a big fan of ‘The guilty feminist’, ‘Woman’s hour’ and ‘Ctrl Alt Delete’ with Emma Gannon.
Where can we find you?
Thanks a lot!