Name: Tori Dunlap
Degree: B.S. Organizational Communication, B.A. Theatre
Career Title: (9-5) Digital Marketing Manager, Tomorrow Ideas, Founder, Her First $100K
After graduating from college with two Bachelor’s degrees, Tori’s career started with her landing a digital marketing contract worth tens of thousands, and a full-time position as the head of marketing and communications for a global security company. All before she even turned 22.
Tori now leads organic marketing in her 9-5 at Tomorrow, a company committed to family financial wellness and works as a money speaker and coach for millennial women through her business, Her First $100K. Tori shares with us the importance of financial planning, salary negotiation and how she’s on track to save $100K at age 25.
You are currently on an incredible journey to saving $100K at the age of 25? What inspired you to set this goal for yourself?
Tori: When I was 22, I read an article about a woman who had saved $100K by the age of 25. And when I crunched the numbers, I realised if I hunkered down and focused, I might be able to do the same. But I’ve made a deal with myself: as long as I do it the day before I turn 26, it counts.
Saving $100K by 25 was a completely arbitrary goal I set for myself. It was just something I figured out I could do, and then I publicly announced it and build a brand around it. 🙂 Now, a month past my 25th birthday, I’m only $5K away — the end is in sight!
In 2016, you started your business ‘Her First 100K’ with the aim to help young women save more money and gain financial freedom – How did your own journey inspire you to help other women?
Tori: Having a great financial education from my parents — which included starting my first business when I was 9 — I thought everyone knew how to save, invest, and negotiate. It wasn’t until after college I realised most women, are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to their money and career knowledge.
I watched female friends get paid less than their worth. I read stories online about women being denied career opportunities because they were seen as “less.” I had sexist, negative comments said to me at work by male colleagues. So I knew that I had to fight back.
I believe I was put on this earth to fight for financial equality. My focus is giving non-judgemental financial advice as if it was coming from your best friend. My communities on Facebook and Instagram are full of driven, passionate women who are committed to bettering their lives, and it’s been absolutely incredible.
Having a good financial education is a woman’s best form of protest.
Not many young women are confident negotiating or talking about money – What is your number one piece of advice for negotiating a higher (or better) salary?
Tori: Make sure you come to the (salary) negotiation as well-prepared as possible. Your market research, your understanding of the job and how your experience fits well can help this process go smoothly and counteract any penalty that may be present. It’s like a presentation or an audition: knowing the piece like the back of your hand (and your answer to any potential rebuttals) can help you feel confident even when you’re nervous or facing the unknown. Sites like Glassdoor and Payscale can help you determine what your skills, experience, education, and city equate to in terms of salary.
It’s also wise to ask friends or colleagues who may have a good understanding of the going rate for a position. Ask something like, “What would you expect someone to be paid in a position like X with necessary skills like Y?” Facebook groups like Tech Ladies are great virtual spaces to pose these questions too.
I have a live, virtual workshop I just launched all about the salary negotiation process, including the exact script I’ve used to get 15% more every time.
Women don’t need to be given power, we already have power. We just need to know how to use it.
Who is your biggest inspiration at the moment – And Why?
Tori: Sallie Krawcheck will forever be my hero. Founder of Ellevest, she is the ultimate financial badass. So much of her work has influenced mine — like avoiding the phrase “empower women.” You’ll never see the phrase “empower women” on my site, nor will you hear me say it. As she puts it, the definition of “empower” is to be given power. Women don’t need to be given power, we already have power. We just need to know how to use it. That’s where my tools and guidance comes in!
What are some of the biggest mistakes millennial women make when managing their finances? And what are some of the things women should keep in mind when it comes to financial planning?
Tori: We know about the wage gap — 78 cents to a man’s dollar, even worse if you’re a woman of colour — but we’re not talking about the fact that women either wait to invest their smaller earnings (or do not invest at all.) And then, on average, women live 7 years longer than men. So we’re expected to take less money, have it grow at a slower rate, and live more time on that money. When you’re planning financially for your future, you need to be working with people who understand this and need to make different decisions to make up for the gaps.
Having a good financial education is a woman’s best form of protest. Money is freedom, money is power. We associate money a lot of the time with consumerist ideals and capitalism and big businesses and for most individuals, it doesn’t sound great. Money is often associated with greed rather than abundance so I think reframing money for women is the most powerful tool. Rally against inequality in the workplace, in your own community. You can donate to the causes you believe in with money, you have the freedom to leave an unhealthy job or quit a 9-to-5 to start a business, travel the world, buy a house or have the life you want.