Rachel Kerrone has years of experience working in Finance and set up Parent Money to support families want to save, plan for the future and have some money left over for the fun stuff! She's not only got all the tips and tricks to get the most out of your finances with a family in tow, but with 3 gorgeous boys she's also got all the knowledge on the best places to keep them busy in London.
Tell us a bit about your family
I am married to Mark, and Mum to three boys - Lucas, Theo and Zac. Lucas and Theo have just turned 5 and Zac is 2 (and ¾) although thinks he’s also 5! We lived in South London for 16 years, before making the “move out” last year to the home counties.
What is Parent Money?
It’s a resource for parents in the form of a blog. Each article is focused on helping parents budget better for the increasing costs which come with having children. We focus a lot on setting financial goals, as well as saving for your family’s future. And of course, still being able to afford the fun things in life!
When did you come up with the idea of Parent Money?
I have spent my career working in Financial Services and have always felt like many people don’t focus on their personal finances enough, often living in overdrafts and not feeling in a position to save. One you have kids it’s even harder to find the time to do this.
Research shows that 7 in 10 families in the UK are struggling to make ends meet, and that money is the biggest cause of stress in the UK. I set up Parent money earlier this year as I feel passionately that parents need more support and advice to help them navigate the complex and daunting world of finance. Part of my mission is to simplify it, break it into bite size chunks and encourage people to make time to manage their finances alongside everything else in life.
What are your top tips for maternity leave?
There are financial pros and cons to being on maternity leave. You won't have commuting costs, spontaneous cocktails after work or the latest workwear trends to buy. But you will likely be lunching more, signing up to baby classes and meeting new 'Mum friends' for coffee and lunch dates on a daily basis. The sanity saving of this outweighs any expense – just make sure you have budgeted for it, particularly when the maternity pay runs out.
Where are your favourite places to hang out in London with your family?
London with kids is awesome - there are so many incredible FREE places to go. In autumn/winter I love the museums – the biggies such as the Science museum, but also some of the smaller ones such as the Horniman in Forest Hill, and the Museum of childhood in Bethnal Green.
When my twins were crawling and just starting to walk I used to head to the Tate Modern on the South Bank where they could motor around in wide open spaces, while I peered through tired eyes at some of the amazing art.
In summer, I love the splash parks. In South London we are spoilt for choice with Brockwell Park, Ruskin Park, and the slightly less well known Myatt’s fields park. And you can’t beat Brockwell Lido on a hot, sunny day. Just remember to get there early to bag your spot!
Have any other Mums (or Dads) inspired?
I follow lots of parent bloggers on social media and am inspired every day. But I guess those who inspire me most are those who are supporting great causes – Mother Pukka and Digital Mums for waving the flexible working flag, Mummas health hub and mothers wellness toolkit for making fitness and well being more manageable for mums, and everyone who is breaking down the stigma of mental health, making it easier for people to talk about it openly. Off-line it’s definitely my own parents, who have been just as incredible as Grandparents to their seven Grandchildren, as they were parents to myself and my brothers.
What's next for Parent Money?
Well obviously I would like to be seen as the “Martin Lewis of Mums”! Just kidding, but I do have lots of ideas bubbling away, and my work as a marketing consultant to financial brands means that I get to meet lots of really inspirational individuals who are changing the way people manage their money. I want to make sure that, as parents, we are supported and catered for, during what can be some of the most financially challenging years of our lives.
There are so many simple tweaks we can all make to our finances, which leaves a bit more cash at the end of the month for the fun stuff. And let’s face it all parents need that!
Catch up on Rachel's latest tips and tricks at www.parentmoney.com