I was on benefits for years and had to rely on food stamps – now I'm a millionaire

I was on benefits for years and had to rely on food stamps – now I'm a millionaire

A MUM who was once so broke she had to sell her blood plasma to afford nappies has revealed how she turned her life around to become a millionaire.

Rachel Pederson, who lives in Minnesota with her three children and husband Poul works as a social media strategist and is known as a TikTok expert.


She boasts two seven-figure companies, secured a book deal and has paid off over £76,000 worth of personal debt, but by no means did it happen overnight.

Speaking in a recent video on her YouTube channel, Rachel explains that her future was thrown out of balance when she became pregnant at 20.

She explains: “Ten years ago I had just dropped out of college and I didn’t really know what my life was going to look like and I started going to hair school, I wasn’t sure how it was all going to work out.

“I found out I was pregnant right as I enrolled at hair school which means suddenly I was going to be a single mum.

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“That was such a wake up call for me because up until that point I was such a kid. I find myself 20-years-old, pregnant, with no idea how I’m going to make ends meet, no clue how in the world I am supposed to take care of a child that expects me to provide for them.”

Desperate to find a source of income, Rachel applied for a total of 40 jobs but failed to secure a single one because she was visibly pregnant.

“Every single job opportunity was becoming a dead end and I was starting to panic,” she says. 

“Diapers are expensive, formula is expensive, I don’t know whether I’m going to get child support .

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“I went into the Welfare office in Minnesota, that was one of the lowest points of my entire life.”

Rachel was told that she would be unable to return to school if she was on benefits and would be forced to spend a year at home.

She would be given £300 in food stamps, and a grand total of £115 in cash for all other expenses.

She says: “That is not enough to pay for anything, it’s not enough to pay for the onesies you go through or a stroller or a crib

“This isn’t what I saw for myself, this is not the life that I wanted, everything in my life was set up for myself and my daughter to become another statistic.”

Determined to create a bright future for her baby, she asked whether the welfare office  would check if she went to school  and they said no, so she decided to finish her ten month course regardless. 

As soon as she gave birth to daughter Dakota, Rachel’s family who had been unable to help her financially stepped in to help her with child care.

But things remained hard.

Rachel says: “There were days when I didn’t have enough money to get home or take the bus home , it was a $6 (£4.60) round trip and I would have $3 (£2.30) to get there.

“I would go to school and hope that I would have a client that would tip me enough for my bus money. 

“We made ends meet and we made it work, I don’t know how and logically it didn’t make sense.”

Rachel says she would even buy all of their clothes and baby goods from the charity shop using money off vouchers.

But once she finished her hair styling course Rachel applied to five of the top salons in Minnesota and received job offers from all five. 

I would wake up with track marks in my arms from giving so much blood plasma to make an extra £45 a week

She says: “I remember the days when those came through and I just fell on the floor crying because I knew this was the day we would break the cycle. 

“It doesn’t mean we’ve made it or that we’re millionaires, but I have broken the cycle.

“When you wake up and you have track marks in your arms from giving so much blood plasma because you can make an extra $60 (£45) a week to pay for diapers this made a huge difference.”  

Working in the salons meant that Rachel was slowly able to build up her income, pay off her debts and eventually branch out into a new career.

“In 2016 I chose to become the boss of my own life; my time, my paycheck, my dreams, my growth,” she explains on her website.

“It was a major risk – as a college dropout with NO degree, NO savings account, and NO safety net from family or circumstances, I had to make a decision.

“No matter what, I was going to crack the code and become a successful social media manager.

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“I was nervous, but quickly found support from my incredible husband (my soulmate, my best friend, my rock – and now my COO and partner in business). 

“We united on the journey of building our two multi-million dollar businesses.”

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