In this episode, Nicole and Marina chat with Tori Dunlap, founder of HerFirst100K about savings, side-hustles, and everything in between.

Tori Dunlap is a nationally-recognized millennial money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money. She has helped over 50,000 women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest. She’s a Plutus award winner, and her work has been featured on Good Morning America, the Today Show, the New York Times, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, and more. 

Nicole has had the pleasure of knowing Tori since 2017 back when she blogged as Victori Media. In the past few years she has grown astronomically and helped tens of thousands of women improve their finances and relationship with money. In our interview, we touch upon savings, side hustles, financial feminism, and how to be a financial ally, among other things. 

So, what is Financial Feminism?  

Financial Feminism is the advocacy of Financial Equality among all genders and races.

And why is this important? 

Money is the great equalizer. Your opportunities, your lifestyle, your career, your choices, all are limited if you don’t have financial freedom. You can’t leave a toxic relationship or job, can’t have a child, can’t buy a house, can’t go to college, if you don’t have the financial resources in place.

Think about the wage gap we’ve all heard about. Women earn 78 cents to the white man’s dollar… that is, WHITE women earn that. Often BIPOC women earn even less, sometimes 50-60 cents to the white man’s dollar. And not only is there a gendered wage gap, but there is an investment gap. Investments are how our money works for us, growing on its own over a long period of time. 

And what is Financial Education, anyway? And how can we get one?

A financial education is pretty simple—it’s understanding the importance of your money, where it goes, and how it can grow.

It’s a really important tool for your future, because if you don’t understand your money, or if you are uncomfortable thinking about money, you won’t be able to fully set yourself up for financial success.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to get information nowadays online. That’s why we love Tori and her business so much! She’s all about helping you get your financial education and she even has a specific portion of her website dedicated to where you can start.

So, when it comes to moving money, what do we do first?

1. Pay yourself first — save.

Automate your savings, whether it’s $20 or $100 going from your paycheck to your savings account every month, set it up now. Keep your savings in a High Yield Savings Account, like the one Tori recommends from Citi Bank to increase your money’s growth potential as you save.

2. Invest in your money’s growth.

If you work for a company with 401Ks and matching programs, set one up NOW. And if you aren’t sure about employer matching or what is available to you, just ask! Most HR departments are set up to help with all of it. And if you’re not able to set up a 401K with your employer, you can set up personal IRA accounts that will help you save for your retirement over your lifetime. 

When you’ve got yourself set up to save for your retirement, you can then look to invest money that isn’t attached to retirement for more growth opportunities. Companies like Ellevest or Swell Investment (just to name a few, there are so many investment firms out there where you can set accounts up), are more and more accessible with no-or-low fees and low-deposit-requirements.

3. Build your side hustle.

Side hustles are incredibly valuable to financial freedom. Many of us already have side gigs to help pay the bills or to fulfill a creative or productive need, but not everyone realizes how side hustles can offer us future financial freedom.

Once our bills are paid, if we have money left over we can pay ourselves and save and  invest, or further grow our side businesses. Also, with today’s economy looking like it is, and with the job market as it is, side hustles are a necessary cushion in our disaster preparedness plans.

Finally, how can we be Financial Allies to our fellow financial Feminists?

Support one another!

Use. Your. Dollars. (If you can) Shop local, support small businesses, and do your research. If you want to buy a product and it’s available to you from company A and company B, check to see how each company rates—are the employees happy? Do they pay fair wages? Do they support environmental health? Etc. 

If you can’t spend your money, you can still support others! Social media is now a way for us to be big cheerleaders for the brands and creators we love. Engaging in their social media feeds, commenting, liking, and re-sharing, is a very important way companies grow. Word of mouth is still the number one most-trusted advertisement!

If you want to learn more about Tori Dunlap and her business, check her out on instagram for some highly effective and hilarious content, check out her website, or join her facebook community, The $100K Club.