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Rachel says she wanted to be a hairdresser from a young age. She knew it was a career that was never going to make her rich, but she also knew it was a job that would make her happy. But parenthood and adult responsibilities have made her realise that while money isn’t her driving force, it’s still important to have enough to live, stress free. “I think money is something we should be speaking to kids about early on – yes, it’s important that you enjoy your work, but income is important, too,” she says.

Being presented with the facts and figures around women and their money and the gender disparity in a chat with broadcaster Kate Thornton, proved eye opening for Rachel. She was shocked to hear that the gender pay gap has doubled over the last four years, although she wasn’t altogether surprised to hear that the difference in earnings starts in childhood, with boys being given more pocket money than girls. “I remember that I used to get a fiver from my nan and grandad, but my brother got £20,” she says.

Since our initial conversation, Rachel has looked at her financial situation anew, and when we caught up with her again, changes had been made. “Five years ago, I had a clothing business that was a good little earner,” she says. “But I started doubting myself, believing I was too old to be in fashion, and so I deleted all the social media accounts. But after our chat I’ve gone back to it. I’m building up my followers again and making money doing something I enjoy.”

Rachel also spoke to her boss about adding an extra day to her working week, but negotiated hours that meant she could still focus on her fashion business. “I was working three days which wasn’t really enough to make ends meet,” she says. “So, I struck a deal with my boss which meant I could make time for my clothing sideline, but still help her out in the salon. That extra day, at hours that work for me, make all the difference. It’s made me create goals for myself.”

Rachel is now looking at her pension pot and seeing where she’s at with it so she can plan for the future. And she’ll be chatting to the younger people in her life about the importance of talking about money. “Being financially fit means I haven’t got all those added stresses and money constantly on my mind,” she says. “And I think that’s worth talking about.”


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