April marks Financial Literacy Month, so we thought, what better way to kick things off than with an event focused on talking all about money? We, being The Singleton Foundation Advisory Council.
We are a group of volunteers who come from diverse backgrounds and careers; some of us are entrepreneurs, some of us work in financial institutions, but all of us are passionate about financial literacy and aligned with the Singleton Foundation’s Mission: to inspire entrepreneurship and make financial literacy fun, engaging, and accessible to everyone.
As we set out to accomplish this mission, one of our goals is to shatter the idea that money is a taboo topic. We like—no, love—talking about money. The more we talk, the more we learn, the more we know about money. This is why we were excited to sit down, virtually, of course, with none other than Tori Dunlap of Her First 100K to talk all about money.
Meet Our Guest
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. Through this platform and her TikTok and Instagram accounts of the same name, she has helped over one million women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest.
Her Point of View
Tori’s focus is to talk about not only the “how” around saving money, investing money, negotiating salary, etc. but also the “how we got here” including the systemic issues surrounding money. She believes the more we can be OK talking about money, the more we can have these conversations throughout society, and the more things can start to change. We couldn’t agree more.
As you can probably guess, we had a lot to talk about…
Our Big Takeaways
During our “fireside chat” with Tori, We covered everything from how to negotiate your salary (and benefits) to how to allocate your 401K. Our council walked away with so much information including powerful strategies, applicable tips, and fun analogies that we plan to put to use. You’ll have to join The Council to hear the whole thing (wink wink) but here are a few of our favorite takeaways:
Do It For Future You
One of our favorite tools Tori lent to us during our chat made us laugh, which as anyone knows, is the best way to get something to stick. When asked “How much should you have for retirement?” Tori responded first with a technical answer about the magical formula any person can use to calculate their *personal* dollar amount, and also with a fun exercise:
Picture what granny-you or grandpa-you looks like and loves to do, and save for her or him. Maybe she’s going to be living it up in Palm Springs, drinking chardonnay with lunch, and frequenting the local pilates studio. Maybe he’s going to be living on Lake Tahoe, taking his boat out 5 times a week in the summer, and skiing during the winter. Visualizing your retirement can make saving for it way more fun and way more motivating.
Doing things now for future you doesn’t just apply to saving for retirement though. It also applies to dialing back your spending, starting to invest, or simply checking your bank account balance more often. Tori described “self care” as “the thing you do for ‘future you’ even if it sucks now.” It might be uncomfortable at the moment to face your money problems or set aside 15% of your take-home pay into an account you can’t touch for the next 40 years, but the future you will thank you.
Do the thing today that the granny-you will be proud of the younger-you for 5, 10, or 50 years from now.
Money is Psychological
In this Instagrammable world we live in (not to mention the 1-click pay option that makes it all too simple to buy what we see in an instant), it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying something for self-soothing purposes. So, we made sure to cover this with Tori during our chat. When it came to emotional spending, she had some excellent tips—not to stop spending money, but to stop spending it on a whim or on things we don’t actually care about or don’t really like.
When it comes time to click “buy”, Tori suggests asking yourself “Is it worth it?” First, is it worth the actual dollar amount listed, and secondly, is it worth it to you? Will you have to give up something else that you value more if you buy this thing today? Finally, is it worth the cost of work? How many hours will you have to work to pay this item off? If the answer to all of these questions is “Yes” then you can feel great about that purchase! And if the answer is “No”, well, then you know what to do.
Your hard-earned money should go to the things that bring you joy. So set your values, decide what brings you joy, and spend your money that way. We think Marie Kondo would like this answer too.
Join The Movement
This event marked a first for The Advisory Council, but I speak for all of us when I say there will be many more to come. If you want to be a part of future events such as this where you can not only hear from entertaining experts like Tori, but also have a say in who we talk to, what we talk about, and how it all goes down, join us!
Not only will you be able to participate in events such as this one, but you will also get to make an impact in the community and connect with the incredible team of leaders who are passionate about making financial literacy fun and accessible to all.
We are always looking for more members to join the movement, so if that’s you, email [email protected]