Tori Dunlap, Founder, Her First 100k
Sam talks with Tori, Founder of Her First 100k, a 25-year old "financial feminist" on a quest to empower millennial women with the resources to earn, save, and invest their way to the first six-figures. The money and career platform blends personal finance with behavioral psychology and has been featured on CNBC, Marketwatch, and Yahoo. Tori discusses her personal journey including launching her first business as a 9-year-old, conquering imposture syndrome, and the range of emotions associated with going viral.
Welcome to Ikigai Stories. I’m Sam Ushio. The goal of this podcast is to showcase people who are living with intention, working hard to line actions with priorities, and ultimately to provide a platform of inspiration for those seeking to live a life rooted in purpose. Tori Dunlap is the founder of Her First 100k, a money and career platform for millennial women. Tori is a 25 year old entrepreneur whose personal mission to save a hundred thousand dollars has evolved into a business that has been featured on cnbc, Market Watch and Yahoo. Her First 100k blends personal finance with behavioral psychology by tackling tough topics like the shame that can be associated with money and salary negotiation, while also deploying new school budgeting techniques like using a money diary. Tori is fearless. She pulls no punches on Quest to equip women with the tools to succeed.
Saying that a woman’s best form of protest is a financial education and highlights that financial topics often correlate directly with social topics. Women make less than men. Women invest later in life or not at all. And on average, women live seven years longer than men. Tori uses these compelling proof points to raise awareness and deliver solutions to tackle these important issues. At one point, Tori mentions that her parents have asked her the question quote, Why do you have to get so political unquote? And admittedly, this was a question that had popped into my Gen X Mind. It points throughout our conversation, but one of my key takeaways is that millennials like Tori are leading a new, more holistic definition of the word responsibility. And that requires an openness and willingness to learn from each other. If we want progress, then we need to find common ground, and Tori is at the forefront of this movement. Now, please enjoy Ikigai Stories with Tori Dunlap, the fearless financial feminist and founder of Her First 100k .
Speaker 2 (00:02:23):
Speaker 1 (00:02:23):
Having me. Let’s start off with talking about Her First 100k.
Speaker 2 (00:02:26):
Yeah. So Her First 100k is a money and career platform for women, and it was founded inspired by my journey to save a hundred thousand dollars by 25. So I believe I was put on this earth to fight for financial equality for women. And I don’t think we have any sort of equality before we have financial equality. So I am a money speaker and coach. I work with women all over the country, budgeting, saving, negotiating, investing, all of that fun stuff. And I think, yeah, that’s what I was put on this earth to do.
Speaker 1 (00:02:56):
Love it. So
Speaker 3 (00:02:58):
Let’s talk about the two numbers. Yes. A hundred K and by the age of 25. Five. Right. So why those two numbers? It’s
Speaker 2 (00:03:07):
Technically, I guess I, the deal I’ve made with myself is, as long as I do it, the day before I turned 26, I can say it was 25. Yeah. Cause it was this completely arbitrary goal I decided for myself of, no one was making me create this goal. No one was asking me. I realized when I was probably about 22 that it was in sight and I could probably do it. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And then I announced it publicly once. I rebranded <laugh> in February of this year. So I kind of have to have to hold myself to it. But a hundred K, yeah. It, it came from a variety of different ways. The first thing I like to acknowledge is I graduated without student debt and I wouldn’t be where I was if I didn’t have that. So it was a very collaborative process with my parents, but they helped financially.
I got quite a bit of money in merit scholarships, worked three on campus jobs, worked a summer job. So it was definitely a collaboration of sitting down probably three times a year with my parents and being like, Okay, how much are you gonna contribute? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> you know them to me, How much are you gonna contribute? How are we gonna figure out how to do this? Yeah. So it was a collaborative process. But that’s the first thing I like to acknowledge is it wouldn’t be possible if I had had crippling student debt, which most most people my age in the country do have. Yeah. But beyond that, like I got a side hustle really early. So when I was 21 I was working a nine to five, and then I was also side hustling and I was able to put all of that money into savings as well as a good portion of my nine to five income.
I started investing early, opened my Roth IRA when I was 21. I negotiated every job offer I had. So I got a 20% raise at my first job at my one year annual review. Went on to negotiate $20,000 more in my next job. That’s a whole other story. I ended up having to quit after 10 weeks cuz it was so toxic. But then negotiated $10,000 more at the next job. So that was a huge piece of it as well. And then automating my savings, being able to say, Okay, I’m gonna take this percentage or this amount out, out of every paycheck and immediately put into savings act like it doesn’t exist. And yeah. I mean, I’m gonna need every day until <laugh> until the day before I’m 26. Right. cuz yeah, it’s not like I, I I’ve never made six figures. I’ve never yeah. I didn’t, you know, invest a boatload of money. I do have some privilege, but it was also hard work, so.
Speaker 3 (00:05:21):
Yeah. Yeah. So it started when you were 22, that was when the Yes. When the light bulb went off, like
Speaker 2 (00:05:28):
Yeah. It was probably 22, 23. Yeah. I literally read an article, The financial diet is one of my favorite media publications about money and I’m really good friends with the team there. And they ran a piece about people who had saved a hundred thousand dollars at 25 or net worth. It was something hundred K 25. And I was like, Oh, that sounds interesting. And then like ran the numbers and figured out, okay, I can do it. And I would actually be doing it sooner if I didn’t go through that period of unemployment after taking that horribly toxic job and then having to quit 10 weeks later. So, Yeah. Yeah. Cause I wasn’t making money and I was also spending the money I had cuz I had an emergency fund. But that’s something I talk about quite frequently with clients of like, now we’re off on a tangent, but the importance of an emergency fund of like, I was able to quit a job I no longer wanted to be in.
Yeah. you know, you’re able to get out of a bad relationship because you can afford your own apartment that you’re sharing, you know, that you can move on from. Yeah. you can take a vacation when you’re on a take a vacation, retire early, like money means freedom. And so having the security I did of building up, you know, a six month emergency fund, that was what the money was there for. Yeah. So I was able to quit. But that, that was what I think is so important for women in regards to money specifically, is just the freedom that it gives you to make decisions about your own life.
Speaker 3 (00:06:44):
How long were you out of? So you, you did 10 weeks and then how, how
Speaker 2 (00:06:48):
Long? Yeah. So I started in October, realized by day two I had made the wrong choice and literally like walked out, walked outta the office, called my mom, and I was like, Mom, this was not right. And like all my good moms do, she’s like, I’m sure it’ll get better. I just hang in there. And it got so much worse. Yeah. So a week and a half in my boss made me cry and told me that she was worried she was going to regret hiring me. Wow. And then that sort of behavior continued for the next nine weeks. So yeah, I quit. I quit basically before she could fire me. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I literally walked in one morning after completing this huge project and I was like, you know, she, this is done. And she goes, Okay, are you leaving? Are you staying <laugh>? I was like, I think it’d be in my best interest for me to leave.
And she was like, Okay, then your last day will be tomorrow. So that was like January 5th, 2018. And then I spent the next three months unemployed. Wow. Yeah. And lived off of savings. So yeah, I was making more money that I never made. And that was the reason I took the job was I was able to negotiate $20,000 more. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> my gut was telling me, No, you won’t be happy here. Like, it’s not, this is not for you. But I didn’t listen to it. I’m, I’m happy to admit I got distracted by how much money I was like, Okay, I can put all, And it wasn’t like I get to blow all this money <laugh> cause I’m crazy. It was like, I get to save all this money for retirement <laugh>. Right. I get to, I get to, you know, triple my account or my account contributions and yeah. It just, it was not, not worth it at all, but it was a great lesson to learn the hard way.
Speaker 3 (00:08:19):
Yeah. So emergency fund is one of the key tenants or what, what what are some of the other key tenants that you focus on? Well,
Speaker 2 (00:08:26):
I have like a priority list of what needs to happen when, because for a lot of people they’re like, Okay, I have debt, I have credit card debt. Do I pay that off first? Do I do an emergency fund? If so, how much? Where should it be? Retirement’s important. Also, I wanna buy a house. So there’s all these things mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, so walk people through for me an emergency fund’s the number one priority and you’ll hear sometimes Dave Ramsey if that’s a whole other thing. I hate his guts, but we can talk about that if we want. He’s a big, he’s a big believer in like debt payoff first. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> cause debt is evil. Yeah. And I would rather have an emergency fund. I would rather have my clients have an emergency fund both for your mental health of feeling like, Okay, I have some sort of security.
Yeah. And also we don’t want you going into more debt should an emergency happen. So for me, emergency funds start with a thousand dollars try to get to three to six months of living expenses saved up. And you want that in a high yield savings account. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> a lot of savings accounts at your local bank or even like Bank of America or Chase are giving you like 0.4% interest. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> when you could be making 2.2 in an online bank, no fees, no minimums. So a high yield savings account for your emergency fund. The nice thing is, is if you pull it away from your day to day bank as well, you’re less likely to take money out of it because it’s like one extra step that you have to go through. Yeah. Then I have people pay off the higher interest debt, payday loans, credit cards, it’s the consumer debt.
It’s what’s costing them the most money. It’s costing them more than they’re gonna be able to make back in the market. So market returns, hopefully 7% on average, if your credit card, most credit cards start at 15%. Right. And you’re looking from anywhere to 15 to 30% interest. So paying that off first as much as you can I suggest starting with like the, the debt that’s costing you the most. So if you have two credit cards and one’s at 25 and one’s at 18, start with 25% interest. But also keep in mind that if the one that has 18% interest, you know, doesn’t have as much money on it, and you know from a mental health perspective again, that it’s gonna make you more motivated if you see at least one of one pieces of debt gone mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, like pay that off first.
Yeah. that’s something that I I really value in my coaching is like money is entirely emotional, entirely our mental space. So like all of these are guidelines, but if you know for yourself that you know, you, the debt is giving you so much anxiety or you know that to keep you motivated, you need to pay off the smaller amount first and build up, then that’s, that’s great. Right. so high interest debt and then number three is kind of retirement with lower interest debt. So start saving for retirement, 401k, ira, if you’re self-employed, a solo 401K or a step ira. And then mixed with paying down things like car loans, student loans, things that are costing you under what you could make in the market. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So anything under 7%. Yeah. and then number four is kind of happening with number three.
And, you know, retire retirement savings never really stopped. So number four is like the big stuff. So getting married, having kids down payment on a house, taking that incredible vacation, starting a business, all of that fun stuff. So for me, like an emergency fund number one goal, the nice thing about emergency fund is you’ll eventually have to use it, but that’s really the only goal that like, once it’s done, it’s done. Like you don’t, you don’t ever have to worry about it again. Yeah. chances are you’re always gonna be in some sort of debt until you’re older. Right. Maybe you’re okay, you’re done with credit card debt. Okay, now I move on to student loans. You’re done with student loans. Maybe you have a mortgage or a car. Like that’s for most Americans, like debt free is gonna be, if you get there at all, it’s gonna be when you’re, when you’re older. Right. And retirement never stops. So the nice thing about the emergency fund is like, okay, once you are funneling money to that and you’re done, then you can funnel the money that was going there to one of these other goals.
Speaker 3 (00:12:10):
Yeah. So can you talk about the the emotional aspect that you mentioned? Yeah. And just like how does, how do you coach clients to find that intersection between like there’s a logical quantity of thing and then there’s a, this just doesn’t make me feel right or right. This makes me feel better when I take this approach. How do you address that?
Speaker 2 (00:12:32):
There’s so much shame around money. Yeah. there’s shame if you have too much. There’s shame if you have not enough. I remember when I was going to announce that I was on track to save a hundred K and imposter syndrome kicked in and shame. And I was like, Who are you to announce this? Like, oh, I felt so much shame around it. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> we all feel shame around money. And for women specifically, the shame we feel is the same shame that our food, our relationship with food and our weight gives us mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. So we’ll go through the whole week and we’ve been eating like shit mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and we’ll get to Saturday and we’ll go, Oh, what’s another whole pizza? Right. <laugh>. And it’s the same thing with like debt, Right. Of I’m already $10,000 in debt. What’s another two? Yeah. It’s like, no, it’s another $2,000 of debt. Yeah.
Or I ate bacon for breakfast, so I’m gonna eat a salad for lunch. We all do this, but that’s not sustainable. Right. That’s not a lifestyle. Those are, those are like reactive choices as opposed to proactive. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So that’s why I’m a huge believer in talking about money because all the emotions that are going on that you feel are so singular to you, everyone else feels right. Like everybody else feels shame around money. Right. Shame for making too much shame for not having enough shame for having too much debt. Shame for buying this thing that they shouldn’t have bought or that didn’t bring them joy. And the more we talk about it, our relationship with money, how much we’re saving, what our fears are, what our goals are, the less alone we feel. And this happens, you know, not just with money, but anything.
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, the more siloed and alone we feel, the less likely we are to be able to move forward and progress because we feel like we’re the only ones or we feel so much shame that we don’t even wanna look at it. Right. So I call it the ostrich effect. It’s, it’s a a very common, common thing. I shouldn’t say like, I came up with the name, but the astro effect around money of, I’m gonna put my head in the sand, I’m gonna act like this isn’t a problem, and hopefully it’s just gonna go away magically. Yeah. So I worked with a client literally last night. She’s spending she and her husband and they have a six year old son. They’re spending $2,400 on groceries a month, plus another thousand on restaurants.
Speaker 3 (00:14:57):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> $2,400 on groceries
Speaker 2 (00:15:00):
For family three.
Speaker 3 (00:15:01):
What are they buying? I
Speaker 2 (00:15:02):
Don’t know. I have no idea. So
Speaker 3 (00:15:05):
Have them invite you over for dinner. Right.
Speaker 2 (00:15:07):
I’m like caviar and Yeah.
Speaker 3 (00:15:09):
Surf turf for everything.
Speaker 2 (00:15:10):
Yeah. Seriously. So, but that’s the thing, right? Is like, she finally got honest with herself and that’s why she called me and she’s like we only look at our statements once a year. Yeah. And we get to the end and we go, Oh, okay, well, we’ll just, we’ll just fix it this year mm-hmm. <Affirmative> without an actual plan. And there’s so much shame around that. Cause I don’t wanna acknowledge it. I don’t wanna I don’t wanna look at it. Yeah. so the more you’re talking about it and like getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, so pulling your hat outta the sand, I, I literally have clients like I, I, I recommend what’s called a money date, which is like sitting down with your money. And if you have a partner who you manage money with, sitting down with them once a month, non-negotiable for like a half hour to an hour, and the first time you do this, I literally recommend like, make yourself a down comforter fort like glass of wine, your favorite takeout. Like, make yourself as comfortable as possible and then rip the bandaid off. Yeah. but you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Yeah. And the more we talk about it, the more we talk about the shame we feel around money the, I mean, the better off will be. Right.
Speaker 3 (00:16:15):
Right. So I’m guessing that most people who work with you have already reached that conclusion and that’s why they’re reaching out and working with
Speaker 2 (00:16:24):
You. Some of them, yeah. Some of them are proactive, which is really great. Yeah. I remember one of my first clients, she came to me, she was saving 75% of her income, 80% of her income. Wow. And she’s like, I feel like I’m not doing enough. And I was like, Slow your role. Yeah. I literally had to tell her to spend money. Yeah. I was like, go spend money. Yeah. And that’s something that I pride myself on that’s a little bit different than a lot of the financial advice we hear. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, if you want the coffee, buy the coffee mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, that’s not gonna make or break your wealth. Yeah. So what I have people do is identify their three priorities and these are the things that like, bring them joy that they really want to spend money on. And for me it’s food travel and living alone in Seattle, because that unfortunately is a luxury and I wanna be able to like, walk around the house naked roommates. Yeah. No roommates. I wanna be able to do that. So for somebody else that might be clothes or makeup or
Speaker 3 (00:17:16):
Speaker 2 (00:17:18):
Of maybe, Well,
Speaker 3 (00:17:19):
Again, that’s, that’s where you draw the line.
Speaker 2 (00:17:20):
Right? Well, I, there’s ways to optimize this. Like, I’m not going, for me, luxury travel does not make sense for me right now. So there’s ways to optimize, but it’s, it’s saying like, these things are more important to me. So I know if I get to the end of the month and my Starbucks bill is $200, I’m like, no, like that, that, that is not a priority of yours. That does not bring you joy. That’s just you being lazy and emotionally spending. Right. So when you, when you look through the lens of those three priorities, and this is what I did with the client last night, my client last night of, okay, what are her three priorities? They were her son, her health and travel. And I go, Health makes sense with the food, but eating out doesn’t
Speaker 3 (00:18:01):
Speaker 2 (00:18:01):
<Affirmative>. Right. So we’re taking baby steps. Like if we can get her to minimize her eating out, then we can work on the grocery bill being so expensive. Yeah. But figuring out your priorities. I’m never gonna tell somebody don’t spend money. Cuz that’s just not feasible. That’s not enjoyable. Money is meant to be saved, but also meant to be spent. Right. So I think the original question which we got off on was like the emotional the emotional side of money. All of our spending is emotional, both good and bad. So it’s like, oh, you know, my friend got a promotion we go out to eat. Like, that was a great use of my money because I got to celebrate her. I got to you know, have a really good meal and I, you know, basically paid time or I paid money to spend time with her.
That was, that was great quality time. Yeah. That’s a great purchase. A not so great purchase is the thing you do outta laziness. The thing that doesn’t really bring you joy, the thing you do reactively. Oh, my boss made me feel terrible today at work. So I bought this pair of shoes that I didn’t really need and didn’t really want because I thought it would fill something mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that was, you know, a gaping hole. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And we do this with food, we do this with a lot of other things. Yeah. so the more we can figure out, okay, what are our spending triggers, what are our emotional spending triggers, and how can we combat those? And how can we use our money as a tool to bring us the most joy?
Speaker 3 (00:19:21):
So when you work with somebody, is there it, it seems like just getting them to admit, because there is, I think you’re exactly right. There’s a ton of shame wrapped up in, in money getting them to admit that they’re spending $2,400 a month Right. On groceries for two and a half people. It seems like that could be a a, a hurdle. Yeah. so like what’s the process that you use to help her in that case? Or any of your clients like establish rapport, trust to, to kind of break through that conversation.
Speaker 2 (00:20:04):
So the best thing I can do is have them figure that out for themselves. So I have the money diary and I created a product around it, and it’s called the cash calendar. And the cash calendar is basically a way to track your purchases, every single purchase for a month mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and then reflect back on it and like check ins every week. But I had her do that and I literally, I mean, this happened yesterday, so we’ll see how it goes. But the nice thing about Money Ding, is I have them established their three priorities mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and then I have them do the exercise without judgment. So they’re an anthropologist again, like, Oh, I bought that pair of shoes that I didn’t need and didn’t bring me joy because I had a terrible day at work. Interesting. No judgment. No. How could I, That’s terrible.
No. Beat yourself up. Just like, That’s interesting. And then we get to the end of the month, you evaluate your purchases. Did they align with my priorities? Did they bring me joy? What went well, what didn’t? And what can I adjust next month? And so the easiest way I can I can, I can allow change to happen. You, you, if you hear something from me, you’re gonna go, Oh, that’s interesting, but you might not do it. Whether it’s if I give you an exercise to just monitor your own spending habits and then come back to me and then we can figure out how to move from there, that’s transformative. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, Right? Because you’re looking at and the way I have them track it is not only what they spent and where, but why they made the purchase and how it made them feel.
Mm. And they literally do this for every purchase, including automated things like Netflix or, you know, the thing they bought online with their saved credit card information in their browser. Right. you can hear something from me and go, Oh, that’s great, but if you see yourself doing this actively, you’re gonna be like, Oh, okay. Yeah. That’s the change that needs to happen. Yeah. And so I have them do that practice for themselves. Yeah. And I, you know, teach ’em how to do it and guide ’em through the process, and I’m there as an emotional emotional support for them mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And then they can come back and be like, Okay, here’s the changes I wanna make. And I can, I can say Great. Or I can say like, let, like let’s, let’s maybe let’s maybe be more aggressive, or maybe you’re being too aggressive. Let’s, let’s pull back a little bit. Yeah. so then we can evaluate from there.
Speaker 3 (00:22:23):
It sounds like you’ve almost forced them to step outside of themself and look at completely their decision making Yes. With blank slate.
Speaker 2 (00:22:32):
Yeah. Because again, shame judgment, like all of these things are gonna happen. So I literally tell people, and I put this in the cash calendar and when I work with clients like, this is without judgment. You are an anthropologist in your own life. Like you’re just looking at what’s going on right now mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And for those first like week or two, you’re gonna be really good. You’re probably not gonna spend a ton of money. And that’s why I have people do it for at least a month. And I do it sometimes when I need to get back in, back in check like my $200 Starbucks bill because coffee is not a priority for me. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, it might be for somebody else. That’s awesome. But for me it’s not. So if I see, okay, I’m spending a lot of money there and the thing that that is, is not adding a lot of value to my life, then it’s like, okay, I, I need to start tracking my purchases again.
Speaker 3 (00:23:13):
Yeah. Talk about your audience. Who are you typically working with and what does the client look like?
Speaker 2 (00:23:20):
My favorite millennial women, women in their twenties and thirties who are either just kind of getting into their careers or starting to make some money and don’t know what to do with it. Yeah, I think it, it’s, it’s women who are friends of mine, Like they’ve, they’ve gone from clients to friends mm-hmm. <Affirmative> because we’re all in it together. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, like we all have shared experiences, we’ve all seen gender bias at work. We’ve all seen you know, we we’re, we’re really coming into an adulthood in our twenties and thirties in Trump’s America. We’re having all of these experiences that are, are shared and at the same time are diverse. And so we’re able to talk about it and it’s just, yeah. This is, these are my people. These are my favorite, favorite people in the world are just women who are super motivated and just really wanna use money as a tool for, for their lives.
Speaker 3 (00:24:14):
What are some of the key challenges that you’re seeing the millennial women face?
Speaker 2 (00:24:20):
Yeah. So there’s been a lot of talk about the pay gap. Rightfully so. So depending on different studies, you read 76 to 80 cents on a man’s dollar. And that’s for white women. Women of color have it even worse. So we take the pay gap, we make less money than men, women on average also invest later or not at all. So we take less money, it earns less money. And then women on average live seven years longer than men do. So less money, earning less money. And then we’re expected to live longer on that money that affects a bad for me. Everything. Yeah. So that’s my, that’s my motivator of how do we get you making these big, taking these big steps, making these big wins. Again, the daily coffee, like if you’re spending a ton of money on coffee and it doesn’t, it doesn’t add joy to your life.
Sure there’s some changes that can happen there, but that’s a little win. Big wins are negotiating your salary, investing early living in a lower cost area if you can. Those are the kind of things that really contribute to wealth. And I always say having a financial education is a woman’s best form of protest. Truly. Yeah. So if you have money, like I said before, you’re able to make these decisions in your life. You’re able to get outta situations you no longer, longer wanna be in. You’re able to put yourself in situations you want to be in. You’re able to take a job that you really love because you love it and not because you’re worried about necessarily that you know how much, how much money you’re gonna be able to take home. You’re able to quit a job you don’t like anymore and start a business or leave for another job. You’re able to donate to causes you believe in. You’re able to vote with your dollars. You’re able to support candidates and organizations that mean something to you because money talks whether we like it or not. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And so giving women money is how we change the equality picture.
Speaker 3 (00:26:24):
Yeah. Can you talk about the word joy? So you were referencing the word joy a lot.
Speaker 2 (00:26:30):
It sound like Marie Condo, don’t
Speaker 3 (00:26:31):
I? No. Is that intentional? So actually a guest three or four episodes ago was a Marie Condo consultant. Oh really?
Speaker 2 (00:26:37):
Speaker 3 (00:26:37):
I have to go back. And she was part of the first global cohort, so Oh, cool. We were all about joy in that conversation. Yeah. But is that an intentional word for
Speaker 2 (00:26:46):
You? A hundred percent. Yeah. It’s priority based spending. Yeah. It’s not, you can’t spend money on this. It’s like, no, if you want this great mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, if you want this thing that seems frivolous, this pair of designer, you know, designer handbag or Yeah. Coffee every day too much personal finance advice is black and white. It’s like, the reason you’re not wealthy is because you drink coffee. And it’s like, that’s not true. The reason avocado
Speaker 3 (00:27:08):
Speaker 2 (00:27:08):
Right. Right. Avocado, $90 avocado
Speaker 3 (00:27:11):
Speaker 2 (00:27:12):
Toast. No. The reason millennials aren’t wealthy is because our student debt crisis, we have over a billion. Or is it trillion? It’s a trillion dollars of student debt. Yeah. That out, out weighs now. Credit card debt. Yeah. wages have stagnated for the first time in recent history, so we have more debt and yet we’re making less money. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And the solution that a lot of baby boomer, especially baby boomer like money media has, is like, you’re, you’re buying $19 avocado toast. And that’s why millennials can’t afford houses. It’s like, no, it’s not. And if, if you really thought about it, you know that that’s not, that’s not why. So for me it’s, it’s priority based spending. You can afford anything. You just can’t afford everything. My lovely friend Paula Pants says that you can afford anything. You just can’t afford
Speaker 3 (00:28:06):
Everything. Yep. Yep. When you, so you probably don’t have clients that are boomers. And
Speaker 2 (00:28:16):
Actually, well, I’m starting with all of this, this media coverage now. Yeah. That’s the really tragic thing. Back to the, the, the point of like wage gap plus investing, gap plus living something years longer. I’m getting women in their fifties who are calling me and they’re going, I have nothing safe for retirement. Mm. And I don’t know what to do. Mm-Hmm. Because the clock is taking and I know I should have started earlier. Yeah. And those are the heartbreaking calls. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (00:28:40):
Speaker 2 (00:28:40):
Are the ones that, Ugh man. It’s just what do you tell them? Because I’m not the person to give you hope. That’s false hope.
Speaker 3 (00:28:51):
Speaker 2 (00:28:53):
But I’m also not gonna tell you that you can’t do something about it. Right. Because you can, like, the day you start investing is the best day, cuz you didn’t start tomorrow. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (00:29:02):
Speaker 2 (00:29:03):
But that’s, that’s the one that breaks my heart. Yeah. And I can only do so much for you.
Speaker 3 (00:29:11):
Well, so are there, are there perspective, There are, you’re referencing this, you’re kind of touching on it from different angles, but the, So I’m interested in getting into the psyche of the, of the millennial Sure. And in particular the millennial woman if you want to go there. But just if we just start like millennial in general. Yeah. I think there’s a different perspective in terms of money. Yeah. work life balance. Totally. you know, so the joy, priority based spending, all that type of stuff, I think is is a new perspective on engaging money. Yeah. So are there, are there perspectives that you see that are, that you can point at and say, this is clearly different with millennials versus a Gen Xer like me or a boomer before me.
Speaker 2 (00:30:08):
This is in no way novel. You could read a lot of pieces about millennials and they’ll tell you this, but our happiness is more important than pretty much anything else. And like, making other people happy. It’s not a selfish happiness, but it’s just, if you’re not happy in this job, you’re gonna do everything you can to make a change. Or if you don’t wanna work corporate, you’re gonna quit and build a business for yourself or freelance or do something else. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and what really, what I really struggle with in regards to the money industry specifically I haven’t been published in Money Magazine, so maybe I shouldn’t give them crap, but I’m gonna do it anyway. So they they’re one of those publications, and we may have talked about this before you and I, that they literally will say something like, Millennials aren’t saving money. We don’t understand why they’re not taking our advice. And then you flip the page and it’s like, millennials are terrible. They’re buying $19, $19 avocado toast and just they’re so entitled and we just hate ’em. And just from a marketing perspective, cause I work in marketing my nine to five, that is the worst. If you’re, if your audience, if you’re trying to appeal to millennials and you’re trying to get them to take your advice and then literally in the next breath you insult them mm-hmm. <Affirmative>,
Duh, that doesn’t work. Right. Like that doesn’t work. Right. Right. And so too much of the money guidance from people like Dave Ramsey, Susie Orman, who have paved the way for me and many, many other people mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and who have a lot of really great advice mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, but they’re so out of touch. Yeah. And they don’t understand that a lot of the reasons why we’re in the predicament we’re in as a country, as a world is systemic. It’s not because somebody bought the car they couldn’t afford. That’s a piece of it. But we’re talking like tiny, tiny piece. It’s the fact that student debt is at an all time high wages have stagnated. If, if your parents and grandparents and grand great grandparents didn’t go to college, the chance of you going to college is slim. Yeah. I mean I’ve been political up until this point, but like all of these abortion bans mm-hmm.
<Affirmative>, what people aren’t talking about as much is the financial impact that laws like this can have. Mm. Because if you are forcing, cuz the majority of women who have abortions are married with children. It’s not the teenager who gets pregnant. It’s not the the, you know, the couple who is irresponsible. It’s, it’s just parents. And if you did not expect for your family to expand and you’re already struggling if you have two kids mm-hmm. <Affirmative> now, now the resources are split into thirds instead of haves. And the same people who are trying to ban choice are the same people who are pro economic prosperity for America. And so if you are telling parents you must have this child that you didn’t want or expect to have, not only does that child and their parents have less opportunity, but this will continue for generations because like I said, if, if your parents and great grandparents and great, great great grandparents didn’t have opportunities, like it’s poor people stay poor statistically.
Yeah. So the conversation that millennials wanna have about money is beyond spending or earning, It’s what is happening in the world around us and in our country and in you know, social services and in politics and what, what is happening beyond that, beyond my personal finances that is causing all of this to turn ship Yeah. <Laugh>. Yeah. You know, and, and the Dave Ramsey narrative of like it’s all, it’s all you. And it’s it’s just, it’s first of all, it’s, it’s shaming, which I really don’t appreciate of making you feel bad about getting into debt or making you feel bad about your decisions in order to change. That doesn’t work. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you don’t grow a tree by chopping it down. You grow a tree by watering it. So that, and then combined with, there’s really no talk of, of anything beyond personal finances.
And I think that generation, I mean my parents, I love my parents to death and my parents have given me a ver you know, a really great financial education. I would not be where I’m at without opportunities without their education. But we can’t have a conversation in our house about the privileges we have being white and the fact that you can’t just, it’s the, it’s the bootstraps narrative really is what I’m talking about. We can’t have a conversation about the American dream and how that’s a fraud. Like we can’t, we can’t talk about it cuz my parents grew up of like, just work hard enough and everything will happen for you. Yeah. So what’s, what’s the bootstraps narrative that you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps? That the American dream exists, That if you just work hard and want it bad enough and first of all, if you’re white, that usually can work for you or at least you have a better shot. Or if you’re straight or if you’re cisgender or if you came from at least a little bit of money if you’re middle class. That’s the narrative. I just talked for 10 minutes to get to this one point that was encompassing of all the 10 minutes. But it’s the bootstrap thing Yeah. Of yeah. No, it’s not work hard enough.
Speaker 3 (00:36:07):
Speaker 2 (00:36:08):
Yeah. Because the single mom who works three jobs, because our, the minimum wage is too low. She’s working really hard. Right. She’s working harder than I am. Right. And she’s not progressing. And her, her kids, statistically speaking, will not be in Oprah who came from nothing and rose to the top. Like that is a very, very rare case. Right.
Speaker 3 (00:36:29):
Speaker 2 (00:36:30):
So those are the conversations we’re not having.
Speaker 3 (00:36:33):
So how, how, so you’re clearly passionate, right?
Speaker 2 (00:36:37):
Yeah. She’s went a branch. I’m like, Oh, let’s
Speaker 3 (00:36:39):
Go. So well, so how, how do, how do you capture that that those principles Yes. In the mission of her a hundred, 100 k I
Speaker 2 (00:36:51):
Mean, talking about politics, not making it a political Yeah.
I literally have on my site, having a financial education is a woman’s best form of protest. I am very clear as to who, you know, I’m, I’m blatantly feminist. I’m very clear as to what I believe who I support and who I don’t. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And that’s the other difference I think with millennials, because again, love my parents, they’re like, Why do you have to get political <laugh>? Like, don’t you think that that’s gonna be like, don’t you think that that’s gonna negatively impact you and your business? Like, just talk about what there is to talk about. And I’m like, No. The reason people gravitate to me is because I’m calling it like I see it. Yeah. Again, and I, I, I like love and hate to hate on them. But like Susie Orman, you know, gay woman who pave the way in the finance industry for women. Yeah. So much respect for her. Yeah. But also not really blatantly feminist. Where’s those weird callers? You know, it’s like they just don’t get it. Right. They don’t get it. Oh man. And I wanna talk about how money can change your life and how you can use it to change the lives of others. Right.
And how in Trump’s America where women’s rights are being violated or challenged literally every day. For me money seems like the best, the best way to bridge the, the inequality gap.
Speaker 3 (00:38:19):
So I want to explore this, the juggle between having a nine to five a side gig that is becoming bigger than a side gig, increasingly hard to manage yet it’s like not even side anymore it seems like. Just can you talk about that? Just being somebody that’s managing a nine to five and juggling a side business that is flourishing and exploding.
Speaker 2 (00:38:46):
It’s not easy. Too many people say, Oh, you just have to hustle. It’s not easy. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, that’s the first thing I like to say. Yeah. Like, it’s hard. Yeah. Is is hard. Yeah.
One of the best things I learned is to follow your energy. A lot of people when you first get started tell you like, block your time and if that works for you, great. Doesn’t work for me. Because sometimes when I get home and if I’ve blocked my time from Okay, six to eight is gonna be your time you work. Sometimes I just wanna sit and watch Jeopardy and Yeah. I’m like 80 millennial us watching. I love Jeopardy so much. No. But I’m also like 82. Like if I’m not in bed by 11, like I went out this weekend and I was up till two and I woke up the next day and I was like, what have I done? But no, like, I, you know, sometimes you get home and you don’t wanna do anything. Yeah. Cause the energy’s not there. Yeah.
And you have to grant yourself that. And sometimes when you’re like, Okay, I’m gonna be in bed by 10, energy comes and what are you gonna do? Go to bed and deny. So I, I’m a big believer in like following the energy mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, if you get energy at 10:00 PM take it cuz you don’t know when it’s gonna come back. So there’s sometimes where Yeah. I, I interesting. Am working a little bit longer than I expected. Yeah. but I work at a startup and a bunch of the people rolling at nine 30. Yeah. And I’m usually in by like eight 30 mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, if I’m in by nine 30, it’s not the end of the world. My hours before and after work are really where I’m getting a lot of my work done as well as weekends. And again, with following your energy.
Like that’s the other thing about managing a side hustle is every week is gonna be different. There’s gonna be weeks I’m speaking or weeks I have events. There’s gonna be other weeks where you know, I really wanna hang out with friends or friends need me. There’s something going on that I, I need to be there for or my family. So I try to not structure my time. It’s just like, okay, if I know I’m gonna have a busy week, then maybe next week is not as busy. Yeah. The nice thing about being an entrepreneur is you can kind of choose, especially a side hustle entrepreneur, you can kind of choose when to ramp up and you can choose when to slow down. Yeah. And that’s the other really key thing. I think too many people in the entrepreneurial community just say like, quit your nine to five.
Your nine to five is what’s holding you back. My nine to five is what’s given me the opportunity to do all these things. And I love my nine to five mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. Like, it’s not like a, it’s a job I don’t like, like I really love it. Yeah. It’s in the financial space, It’s financial tech. Like I really enjoy it, really love the team. It also just from an income perspective, it’s giving me the stability to be able to do all this other stuff. Because if I was trying to count on my business, especially at this point, cuz it doesn’t make enough money for me to live off of. If I was trying to, to make that my full-time gig, I would, I would grow to resent it. Yeah. I’d be chasing invoices. I would be so stressed I wouldn’t be able to take the time. I did. I took two and a half years of serving before I sold. Like I served before I sold, I, I garnered an audience. I started building trust and credibility. I started mm-hmm. <Affirmative> growing my network. Yeah. I really didn’t sell a product for two years. Yeah. And I was able to do that because I had a nine to five.
Speaker 3 (00:42:01):
So can you expand on that? The Yeah. What you
Speaker 2 (00:42:03):
Did there. So Victory Media was the original name of my business mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And that started as a blog. Originally it was like travel money career. And then I realized that all of my posts had something to do with Money <laugh>. Like travel was about like how I scored this crazy flight deal and like how I was able to, you know, finagle and negotiate a, you know, car rental rate. So I realized after about probably a year and a half of Victory Media that I wanted it to be specifically about money, but money and career. But yeah, started it after four years of saying I was gonna start a blog and literally bought the domain in a night and threw some blog posts up and tweaked as I went mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. but I’m sorry, what was your original question? Goodness. I’m on a rant now.
Speaker 3 (00:42:48):
Speaker 2 (00:42:49):
Speaker 3 (00:42:49):
It so well no, the you, I forgot your phrase.
Speaker 2 (00:42:55):
Oh, Service Force before
Speaker 3 (00:42:56):
Self sold. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:42:57):
Yeah. So start a Victory Media. And I tried to start coaching in probably late 2017 or early 2018 mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And I think I worked with one person and I just needed You need that long. Yeah. And I didn’t even realize it was smart that I did it until until I finally kind of launched H fk launched coaching and speaking for real and then blew
Speaker 3 (00:43:25):
Up. HK is
Speaker 2 (00:43:26):
Her first. Her first time. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. because I had grown and I had grown an audience, I had taken my time and I could not have afforded to do that, to take risks to, to build it slowly and authentically if I had been relying on it for income. Yeah. So I was giving advice, guidance, free blog posts. I was growing my network. There’s so many women in the personal finance industry who are bloggers and podcasters, and I built relationships with them. I leveraged their work, they leveraged mine. I was able to, I had the luxury of time because I had a nine to five. Yeah. And I’m able to take risks. I’m able to kill products that I no longer want to move forward with. And if it works, great. If it doesn’t, okay, then I get to pivot. I don’t have to be in this panic mode all the time. Right. and yeah. Serving before selling, I think my nine to five gave me the opportunity to do
Speaker 3 (00:44:20):
That. Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. So let’s talk about blowing up <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (00:44:25):
Speaker 3 (00:44:26):
So within the last, when did the, So Market Watch, Market
Speaker 2 (00:44:31):
Speaker 3 (00:44:31):
First time the Market Watch thing happened was
Speaker 2 (00:44:33):
March, March 5th. Two,
Speaker 3 (00:44:35):
Two, almost three
Speaker 2 (00:44:37):
Months ago. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (00:44:39):
That’s happened a couple times with Market
Speaker 2 (00:44:41):
Watch. So Market Watch published Yahoo picked it up immediately. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> MSN picked it up immediately. So in one day it was front page of Market Watch, front page of Yahoo, Front page of msn. I got blown up. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. hundreds of emails and dms and tweets and messages from people. And then they republished probably 12 more times, which is like unheard of. About a million views on that post since then. It went, it went viral. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. The hate I got then was from market watches, audience and clientele, which is straight old rich, white men in their sixties. Who,
Speaker 3 (00:45:27):
What kind of hate were you getting for
Speaker 2 (00:45:29):
The I don’t understand why gender needs to be part of this conversation. Why can’t she just say that she’s saving money? Why does it have to be about women? I’m like, you’re literally proving my point, Steve. Like you’re literally proving my point of we need safe spaces to talk about how money affects women differently. For all the reasons I’ve laid out and how money affects people with disabilities differently, and LGBTQ people and people of color. Like, we need these spaces because it does affect us differently. I’m not going to make as much money as men and I’m gonna live longer than men. Like that, that is for me, it’s just like, no duh. But probably 10% of the comments were great of like, good for her and 90% were of the same. Like, I lost, I lost interest as soon as she said cisgender, or I lost in interest as soon as she said privilege.
I don’t understand why we have to talk about white privilege. And that’s a huge tenant of my, of my story, is I really want to acknowledge that. Yeah. Of, I know that there’s, there’s certain, you know, a hundred K would not have been possible, it just wouldn’t have. So that happened. And a lot of opportunities stem from that. 62Nd docs reached out after that mm-hmm. <Affirmative> which is one of the biggest online documentary film companies. There’s been about a million views on that. They flew out to Seattle, they filmed me for two days. I did a free workshop for women in Seattle. 15 women came, I had to turn women away. DBC literally happened yesterday. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And we’re still, we’re still figuring that one out. Gone viral again. I’m getting more hate but it means more to me this time because it’s not 65 year old men who I believe are out of touch. It’s people in my demo. It’s, it’s men and women. This is really the first time I’ve gotten hate from women in their twenties and thirties who Yeah. Are just not being very nice.
Speaker 3 (00:47:33):
Well, so let’s first just, can you describe
Speaker 2 (00:47:35):
What yeah. What it was? Yeah. So on nbc, so it was very similar to the Market Watch piece, but it was it was my byline. So it was about I’m 24 and I’m saving a hundred K by 25, and here are six tips about money mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. So it’s more actionable. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> Market Watch was kind of more reflective. Here’s my story, here’s my mission of my company, that sort of thing. This was more like, one, automate your savings, two invest, here are your different options. So this was more actionable. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I knew I’d get flack. It’s just gonna happen. I have privilege that’s, I I don’t blame people for being upset about it. If they came from a background where this seems preposterous for this white girl who whose dad helped her by her first quarter vending machine at nine years old mm-hmm.
<Affirmative>, like of course that seems, that seems ridiculous. But yeah, the, there’s, there’s some comments that are just directly targeting my character, targeting my family. I mean, I’ve been cussing this entire time, but it’s almost, almost feels horrible to like, say these comments out loud, but just telling. Yeah. And it’s just it’s like a car wreck, right? Like, you don’t wanna look, but you also feel like you have to. Right. And I’m really receptive to feedback. Like, I wanna be able to, I wanna be talking about privilege. I want to be open and honest about that and about that part of my journey mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so when I get these comments, I’m like, am I not talking about this enough? But then I realize the entire article could be about privilege and they’d still be like, Oh, she’s privileged and I’m not gonna take anything she has to say. Yeah. And so I think that’s and I wrote up Instagram post about this. If you’ve, do you listen to the Fairer Sense? Have you ever heard of that podcast? Mm-Hmm. No. It’s done by two friends of mine. They talk about money in regards to like all of the issues we’ve basically talked about race, gender, disability, like the, the systemic issues around money. Yeah. It’s a great shell. But they talked recently about how for whatever reason, our society privilege and hard work are now mutually exclusive.
Hmm. But you can either have or not have privilege and still have hard work. So for me, like Yeah. I had, I had, yeah. I had privileges, I had a great financial education. I had parents who were involved in my life. I came from a middle class family. I also didn’t blow it. Yeah. Like, they didn’t hand me a check. It wasn’t a handout. It was like, how are we gonna do this together? I was working three jobs on campus. Like I was I applied, I graduated with two, four year degrees and four years. Like, I graduated two bachelor’s degrees. I was working really hard. And so these are things that we don’t talk about enough of acknowledging your privilege and also talking about hard work. Yeah. Also talking about all the things you had to do to get there. Yeah. And, and again, I get it, like, it’s, it’s really hard to listen to somebody who did not have the life you have and immediately write off all of their advice. Yeah. But I like to think that maybe there’s some nugget of my story or of the piece in CNBC or Market Watch or something that could, that could help. Like, even if it’s just a little bit of like, Oh, I’ve never thought about automating my savings. Yeah.
Or, Oh, that’s what an IRA is. I’ve heard a lot about it, but that’s what it is. You know, Or, or the importance of side hustling. Like we’ve heard that a lot, but maybe, maybe there’s, there’s a nugget in there somewhere. Yeah. And I think discounting all of it because you’re like, Oh, she has, she didn’t have student debt. Well I have student debt, so screw her. You know, like, that’s so hard.
Speaker 3 (00:51:14):
Yeah. So how, I mean, so this is all pretty raw, right?
Speaker 2 (00:51:16):
It’s like, It is. This literally happened yesterday and I’m, I mean, I literally in our break, Sam, like I’m pulling out tweets where people are just like, How dare you? You know?
Speaker 3 (00:51:24):
I mean, it’s crazy the stuff that people will say cloaked in anonymity especially, it’s like the, the part, the point that you’re raising about shame and money mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And you can be cloaked in anonymity and on a platform you can respond to somebody that you don’t know. Right. about something that, that like h hits everybody. Totally.
Speaker 2 (00:51:48):
And what really this is like, this is gonna make me cry, but they were talking about, Oh, her rich dad gave her everything. My dad grew up so poor. He and his two brothers grew up in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, would bathe once a week in water. And this is a podcast you’re be able to see probably this high mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, What is that? Two inches?
Speaker 3 (00:52:13):
Two inches, Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:52:15):
And he was the youngest and that was the water that was allotted. So by the time he took a bath, half an inch, half an inch of water, my dad white sure. But grew up poor and is, has made really intentional choices to give me a life that he didn’t have. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, him and my mom. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, they were really, really frugal. They chose to have kids later because they wanted to build wealth and build money in order to give me opportunities. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> they li they have lived in the same house for 33 years and we, we used to go pretty much every Sunday out house hunting and they never bought one. Even though they could afford it, they could afford all these cars in the house and all of this. And I, I was their investment. Hmm. And so you can insult me all you want.
Like, that sucks. It’s awful. But like don’t, don’t tell, don’t tell my father who grew up poor and, and worked so hard to get where he is, that he is rich and that just that he handed me all this. Yeah. Like, that’s, that’s not fair. Yeah. so yeah, this is clearly raw, but just, Yeah. I think that’s the thing people don’t realize about going viral on the internet. Like, it’s great. I’m getting blown up. I’m giving you a lot of great messages too. Like, we haven’t talked about that. Like, I’m getting a lot of really lovely, lovely messages from 18 year olds who are like, I’m looking up to you. Like, I love that you, you’ve done this. Can I do this too? Right. so we’re, I’m getting a lot of those messages, but what we don’t talk about enough is like, you’re gonna get a lot of shit.
Yeah. Like, you’re gonna get a lot of just really, really negative feedback that has nothing like assumes everything about who you are and where you came from and who your parents are. And that’s the stuff that you brace yourself for and you say doesn’t affect you. Cuz it really doesn’t. I know these are all strangers, like they don’t know anything about me. But then I wonder, okay, what could do I need to be doing something differently? Yeah. I do feel for these people though, because this is back to what we were talking about, they have been screwed by the system. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. That’s why they’re, that’s why they’re bitter. That’s why they’re mad. I completely get it. I completely get it. I, it sucks that they’re taking it out on me, but that’s, that’s okay. So you using empathy, I think that’s what I’m trying to do.
Use the tool to try to combat. Cause too many people say irrational. Like I was talking to my dad literally pulled in this morning and he’s <laugh> he doesn’t understand how Twitter works, but he’s like, Don’t open these messages. And I’m like, <laugh> not how it works bad. He’s like, just delete ’em. I’m like, again, not how it works. Like I can’t, I can’t delete a tweet when somebody’s directing it right at me. I’m gonna get the notification. Yeah. I’m also gonna get the notification of like, Wow. Great story. Thanks for sharing it. Yeah. But at least it seems like I’m getting more negative feedback this time. Yeah. And it’s from people, like I actually, and this is gonna sound harsh, but I actually care about their opinion. I don’t care about 65 year old Steve’s opinion. Cause I’m not his, I’m not his audience or he’s not my audience.
Yeah. empathy people are like, don’t read the comments. I don’t know how to not do that. Maybe I’ll get better at that. Cause then I miss the good ones too. Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t know yet. I’m, I’m honestly trying to think. Yeah. Do I, do I need to? I, but I don’t know how to even further acknowledge my privilege for me, like I, it’s all over my website. It’s like with privilege comes responsibility. I have a responsibility because I grew up this way to, to spread my knowledge. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> like I know that, I know that I have a responsibility. Right. And I don’t know how to be more clear. And it’s, it’s less, I’m truly, I’m one of those people that I’m gonna keep what I’m doing. Yeah. Like, I love what I do. I know I get, Im, I get messages every day from women who are like, you’re changing my life. Yeah. That’s huge. Yeah. That’s incredible. Yeah. I really don’t care what other people think about me, but what I do care about is representing myself in the best way possible mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and making sure that I’m doing my due diligence as a straight white woman. And that’s, that’s where all of this gives me pause of like, am I doing enough?
Speaker 3 (00:56:54):
But do you know her that finish line is or where, I
Speaker 2 (00:56:57):
Mean it’s, No, I mean
Speaker 3 (00:56:57):
It’s, it’s undefining
Speaker 2 (00:56:58):
That’s the hard thing is it’s like I literally have people who are like, you’re talking about privilege too much. She lost me at the word privilege and she’s privileged. I’m not gonna listen to her. I, there’s only so much I can do. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Like I am privileged. I acknowledge that I’m the first to acknowledge that that’s the first thing I talk about as part of my story. And, you know, advocating for people and all of that stuff. That’s, that’s what I will continue to do. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and there’s always more learning and growing to do. But beyond that, like I can’t make privilege go away.
Speaker 3 (00:57:29):
Speaker 2 (00:57:31):
And I also can’t, like, there’s too many people who feel guilty about it and I feel a lot of guilt and that’s not healthy either. Right. Right.
Speaker 3 (00:57:37):
So the the fire acronym Yes.
Speaker 2 (00:57:40):
Financial independence entire early. Do you,
Speaker 3 (00:57:42):
Do you love that? Is that or is, what’s your view on that? I
Speaker 2 (00:57:45):
Have a lot of friends in fire. I have a lot of friends who have either fired or are on their journey to fire. I’m more interested in the fi, which is financial independence. I think a lot of people are the retire early. And this is, this is the Susie Orman out of touch. She went on a podcast and was like, This is not gonna work. I hate the fire movement. And she didn’t understand it. And she later, about five days, I, five days after came out with this like LinkedIn basically apology. But it wasn’t really an apology where she was like, Oh, well I get that. For many people the re of retire early is just like quitting the job. They didn’t no longer wanna be in and doing something that they love, but still making money. And that’s what most people do. Mm-Hmm.
<affirmative>, it’s like, I wanna get out of the, the hustle, the, the job that just runs me ragged and do something I’d rather do. Right. but again, she didn’t do her due diligence. She didn’t, she doesn’t understand the community. She didn’t, she didn’t care to understand mm-hmm. <Affirmative> the Retire early piece, if there was a retire early, it would be what I just described of like being able to do what I want. Yeah. And having those full control. Yeah. Yeah. Having the freedom to make these choices. Yeah. Without, without financial repercussions. Yep. there’s fat fire and lean fire. There’s people who are like I don’t even sleep on a bed. I sleep on a yoga mat and I save 80% of my income. And that’s great. Again, good on them. I
Speaker 3 (00:59:09):
Didn’t know there are different fire
Speaker 2 (00:59:10):
Categories. Yeah. Fat fire and lean fire. So it’s basically, it’s like how, how much money, like am I gonna live off $30,000 a year in retirement or am I gonna live off of $80,000 in retirement? Fat lean cuz lean fire, you can get too faster. Right. But then you are not having as much fun <laugh>.
Speaker 3 (00:59:28):
So, so the fatter lean is based on the future date. Yes. Not the current. Yeah. So you’re savings,
Speaker 2 (00:59:34):
It’s how much money you’re going to be able to like, is it a 4% withdrawal rate? Is it a 2% withdrawal rate? Gotcha. And then how much money, Cause really what Fire comes down to Mr. Money mustache kind of, you know, coined this is that it’s not how much money you’re making, it’s how that’s the percentage you’re saving and the percentage you’re living off of. Right. so yeah. Fat fire and lean fire. And yeah, I have a lot of friends who, who are really great in the community of acknowledging like my friend Tanya, who runs Fair Sense and our Next Life which is a great blog. She fired with her husband. She was 38, he was 41. They had really high paying jobs. She talks about it, she goes, We had no kids. We had really high paying jobs. And we did it in seven years. Like we started year one. It took us year seven to do it. And privilege was part of that story.
Speaker 3 (01:00:25):
What do they do now?
Speaker 2 (01:00:27):
She blogs and full-time and she just came out with her first book called Work Optional. And does different like financial independence retreats for women runs the Fair Sense podcast. So she’s doing these things that really bring her joy that she makes a little bit of money off of. Yeah. and then there’s also parents with kids that are trying to do it. So it’s, it’s, it runs the gamut. Yeah. But yeah, you’re gonna have a lot easier time if you’re making more money and if you don’t have kids and you live in a lower cost area. Right. Like that’s just the reality of it. Right.
Speaker 3 (01:00:58):
Right. Okay, so let’s back it up. Let’s, let’s, let’s do the gear shift. Shift gears. So you started your first business at what age? Nine.
Speaker 2 (01:01:11):
Speaker 3 (01:01:12):
Yeah. And it was a vending machine business.
Speaker 2 (01:01:14):
It was a vending machine business. So it was the kind where you could put a quarter in, you get a handful of candy out. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, my dad is a salesman. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> incredible. He’s in the Tacoma area and he had a customer who was trying to get rid of these ving machines. And it was like, probably the first one, I think was like 300 bucks. Bought it for me, brought it home. I’m sitting there reading after school. I’m nine years old. I’m sitting in the family room and he walks in with a Vny machine and like plops it down in front of me and is like, Hey, do you wanna start a business? And nine year old me, he is like, Yeah, let’s do it. And yeah, it grew from there. So all the profits went to my college education. It wasn’t a lot of money. It was quarters. Yeah. My dad and I hand rolled every quarter. We’d go out once a month on a Saturday morning and fill all the machines and service and
Speaker 3 (01:01:59):
How many machines were there?
Speaker 2 (01:02:00):
We had 15 by the time I graduated high school. So the idea was I don’t think I got my second machine until probably two or three years in cause I couldn’t afford it. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. My dad gave me like a loan for the first one, but he’s like, You don’t expand your business unless you have the money to do it. So I was writing checks in Costco for product when I was 10. Had my first savings account when I was 10. Was pitching myself. I had a contract. We probably still have a copy somewhere. Microsoft Word, black and white that just said in exchange for, you know, you giving me space rent free, which I negotiated. I’ll keep my machine full of tasty snacks. That was pretty much the contract.
Speaker 3 (01:02:41):
And where, where was it placed?
Speaker 2 (01:02:42):
So a lot of the initial contacts came from my dad’s customers. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So he would like intro pitch them. I would go in I don’t know if I remember the first time I ever pitched, but I remember probably a couple times later of just like, at first it was just, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. And I’d watch my dad or my dad would help coach me. And by the time, you know, I was in high school, I was servicing the machines myself. You know, I was driving to, you know, these, these companies. I have a roller cooler, my parents still have it. The cooler would, you know, follow me into the, into the place and I’d open it up and I’d have my chocolate covered raisins and my peanut m and m’s and I’d, you know, I’d know all the people working the front desk like, Hi, how’s school? School’s great. And I’d service my machines. And so really cool gifts my parents gave me taught me so much about business. It was in no way novel. Like I didn’t go invent anything. I didn’t go in Shark Tank. Like it was like, here’s how profit and loss statement works. Here’s how to pitch yourself. Here’s how to manage money. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, here’s what to do when you put your machine in front of a window in the hot summer when there’s not air conditioning.
Speaker 3 (01:03:45):
<Laugh>. What kind of products were there? Is this one of those big things?
Speaker 2 (01:03:49):
No, no. This is like literally you put, it’s like a gumball machine. Okay. You put a quarter in handful of candy. Yeah. So
Speaker 3 (01:03:54):
Usually like three headed
Speaker 2 (01:03:55):
Machines. I have a fix. I have a photo I can send you too. Yeah. yeah. And there’re a lot less expensive. Right? I could not. Cuz you know, these big like vending, vending machines are $2,000. These are like and I got to the machines that I really liked where they were super easy to open. The first one we bought cause we didn’t know anything. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, they were the price was too much for the machine that they were offering. And so we found the machines that we really liked and that were super easy to clean and maintain. And those were less money and, but yeah. 15 machines. By the time I graduated high school, all the profits went to my college fund. Yeah. We were hand rolling quarters and that’s what we’d do is we’d go out for like three or four hours on a Saturday. We’d come home and we’d watch golf usually and roll quarters.
Speaker 3 (01:04:34):
So wait, so when you say 15 machines mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, three machines. So
Speaker 2 (01:04:40):
There are three head machines. Yeah. That’s one machine. Yeah. So 15 times three
Speaker 3 (01:04:44):
For different products. Okay. So you had 45 of these machines. Well
Speaker 2 (01:04:48):
Really there, there one machine has three different products. Okay. In, in the same machine.
Speaker 3 (01:04:52):
Yeah. I’m constantly trying to steer my kids away from those machines, by the way. Yeah. Sorry. And they’re always placed strategically right next to the door. Uhhuh of the bouncy house or the
Speaker 2 (01:05:03):
Whatever. Mine were all because of most of them were my dad’s customers. They were like, they were in the break rooms Oh yeah. Of places. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you know, if you had a quarter, you’d get a handful of peanut m and m. Yeah. they wouldn’t work in startups now cause all of that’s, you know, provided for employees. Yeah. But yeah. So I was wow. 20. So 11 years later I sold that business to a 10 year old who also happens to be named Tori.
Speaker 3 (01:05:27):
Speaker 2 (01:05:28):
So she’s now doing the exact same thing. She’s gotta be 14 or 15. I should send her the CNBC article actually. Cause there’s the photo the day we sold the business.
Speaker 3 (01:05:35):
Oh yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (01:05:36):
And I, she looks like me. That’s, she literally could be my younger sister. We’re both sitting there really similar glasses. Like she, she looks like I looked when I was 10 years old. Super crazy. But yeah. Learned everything about how to run a business. And it is, it is, it got me into college. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Cause that’s what I talked about in my college acceptance essay. It got me into the entrepreneurial program at college, which I did my senior year. It got me my first job actually of just telling that story and talking about the entrepreneurial spirit. Yeah. it got me the job I have now, like it helped like helped me get market watch, helped me get cnbc. Yeah. all of these opportunities just because it’s new and novel. Like it’s very rare. Yeah. but yeah, again, I didn’t invent anything. It was just like learning how to be a business owner.
Speaker 3 (01:06:32):
So you did this for nine years roughly?
Speaker 2 (01:06:35):
Speaker 3 (01:06:35):
I was nine, That’s right. Was 20. I was thinking 18. Yeah. and it
Speaker 2 (01:06:41):
Got harder to manage in college because I was away in Portland and my dad was like, I’m not doing vending without you <laugh>. So it, it, I think he did it. I do it during breaks, but he was kind of having to go in and like do it on his own. He’s like, This is your business. And
Speaker 3 (01:06:56):
So Well is it, was it like a full day? It had to be
Speaker 2 (01:06:58):
A full day? Well, yeah. By the time it was machines. Yeah. It was, it was usually we’d start at like nine. We’d end at one or two. Yeah. And my dad, these are all my dad’s customers, so it probably helped his business a little bit too. Where he was in there. I, I would fill the machines in about five minutes and I used to, I used to get mad at him. I used to be like, Why are we talking all these people? Cuz he’d go in there and, you know, shoot the shit. Yeah. For 20, 30 minutes sometimes. And I’m like, Dad, you know, cuz I’m still, you know, 12. Yeah. And I have nothing really to say, to say to them other than Yeah. How’s school? Yeah. Oh that, that, you know, I got five peanut M and MSS instead of seven last week. Okay. Well look into it. You know,
Speaker 3 (01:07:36):
It’s genius as a salesperson.
Speaker 2 (01:07:38):
I mean, I would give free samples. My dad was big on that. He’d be like, every time you go and serve the some, you know, service the machine or it wasn’t probably every time, cuz I used to hate giving out free product cuz I was like, but this is, we just bought this <laugh>. And so he would be like, it was like Costco where he’d be like, we’d go grab like cups from like a water fountain or something and pour like peanut m and m’s and we’d give ’em to the people at the front desk.
Speaker 3 (01:07:59):
Speaker 2 (01:08:00):
And like I’m sure that helped.
Speaker 3 (01:08:02):
Oh yeah. Yeah. Is the reason why Costco gives us free samples. Right,
Speaker 2 (01:08:05):
Right, right. Yeah. so yeah, my dad was big on that and yeah. I used to hate doing that. <Laugh>, I don’t know if we’ve ever talked about that actually, but I used to hate it cuz I mean I got, I got the reason behind it. But yeah. 10 year old me didn’t understand like, why are we giving away?
Speaker 3 (01:08:21):
You’re like, whoa, dad, not so many.
Speaker 2 (01:08:23):
Oh. Literally, literally. He like, fill it up with the cup. And I was like, no, no, no, no, no. And I put
Speaker 3 (01:08:27):
Speaker 2 (01:08:28):
Like put some of it back in because I thought Okay, like two handfuls is enough, not like three or four. Right. Right. But yeah.
Speaker 3 (01:08:36):
So do you leverage, I’m assuming you leverage that narrative in your all the time workshops, all time in your work with
Speaker 2 (01:08:43):
Yeah, I talk about it, I talk about it in h fk. It’s part of my journey. I mean I think it adds more credibility of like again, the financial education piece. Yeah. Like of not only did I see from a personal finance standpoint, like my parents you know, my mom pays bills still two days a month. I think it’s the 13th and the 21st. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And she has quickened from 1999 mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And she sits down and pays the bills. And I saw that. Yeah. I saw my dad call the cable company and negotiate the bill every three months.
Speaker 3 (01:09:13):
Speaker 2 (01:09:13):
That’s like literally said, Oh, I do it, I do it all the time. Now. He literally sits, you know, on hold and again watches golf and sits there and like, you know, puts them on mute and then, okay, you know, what can you do for me? I’ve been your customer for how long? And they’ll go, Oh, 12 years, Mr. Dun Lapin who’ll go 12 years. It’s a long time. I would like to keep being your customer. How can we make that happen? Yeah. I mean it’s just, he’s just, he’s he’s good. And then yeah, my mom’s super frugal as well. They were both just really good savers. I learned not to not overspend on credit cards. I learned all of this. And then also I learned how to run a business. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I learned the V machine thing on top. Yeah. So, yeah. I mean, incredible gift.
Speaker 3 (01:09:54):
So when you describe that, it, so do you do, do you view that, I know you view that as privilege, right? So I’m trying to unpack the association with having loving, caring parents who are very fiscally sound. Yes. Like at the, at a very high degree. And, and the word privilege. Right. Like, can you just riff on that a little bit? Sure. Just how that hits you.
Speaker 2 (01:10:25):
I mean, the fact that my parents have been married, I’m doing the math in my head, 90, it’ll be 33 years in September. I never went through a divorce. I’m an only child for pregnancy complication reasons, but whole other, whole other conversation. White middle class went to private school. Like my parents made really intentional decisions to be able to send me to private school. Yeah. I mean, having involved parents in your life Mm. I wish that was a privilege everybody had. Of course. Yeah. But unfortunately it’s not.
Speaker 3 (01:11:10):
Speaker 2 (01:11:11):
Like I had a really stable childhood. I had a really happy childhood. I never wanted for anything. I was always fed. I didn’t have everything I wanted mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. but we took vacations, we traveled, we I always had a dependable car to get me to school. I went to a private school. I did, you know, I piano lessons and theater. And my mom was a stay at home mom, which is a privilege. Right. She was able to drive me to all this stuff and really invest in my, my life and my future. And my dad, his number one priority was our family. So he never missed a piano recital or a baseball game. He, he coached tee-ball. I played softball for probably 10 years and he coached every single year. Wow. And then I played basketball for three years and he coached basketball too. And then worked really, really hard at his job and was really, he’s really, really good at what he does. Yeah. And so also provided for us financially. So for me, I think it would be negligent and honestly offensive to not acknowledge that, that all of that contributed to the person I am today and the opportunities I’ve had.
Speaker 3 (01:12:23):
Right. Yeah. Yeah. So, Well, I guess as you, I mean, that’s something to draw on. Yeah. Next time you pull that phone back out. Right, Right. And those haters are coming.
Speaker 2 (01:12:35):
Speaker 3 (01:12:35):
Because then that privilege can be, can be a support mechanism when you hit those tough times. Right. Right. So when those, Well,
Speaker 2 (01:12:43):
And that’s what’s been so cool is I’m very public about it, is I go onto, I go on a Instagram where a lot of my followers, like I I have a huge really dedicated following on, in, on Instagram. Yeah. I shouldn’t say huge, I’m just talking, it’s bigger than of my other platforms, but mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, I screenshotted a bunch of the hate mail mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and like talked about it of like, Yeah, this feels like a car crash. Yeah. I’m not gonna lie to you guys. This sucks. Yeah. And I really try not to sugarcoat things. Yeah. I try to be really, really authentic with what’s going on with me personally. Yeah. Professionally, like this is the thing people don’t talk about. Like when you go viral Yeah. Of like, you get all these opportunities, which is great. You also get people who are really, really mean. Right. And here’s how I’m dealing with it. Right. Not great. Right. But that’s okay. Right. and that’s actually added to my brand.
Speaker 3 (01:13:31):
Yeah. I mean, I think that’s the way that you, you control it or, or Yeah. That’s the element that you can control. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (01:13:37):
Well and people trust me more and find me more relatable Yeah. Rather than me being like, Oh, I have it all together. Yeah. Like, these comments don’t mean anything. Yeah. And I’d like to say that they really don’t mean that much to me. Like, Oh, I, I’m waking up, I going through life just fine. But yeah. I’m not gonna lie that like in the back of my head I’m like, Oh, that, that sucked.
Speaker 3 (01:13:53):
You’re human. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (01:13:54):
Speaker 3 (01:13:57):
What does the future of H FK look like?
Speaker 2 (01:14:02):
I’m going to be the millennial Susie Worman, but again, without the collars and blatantly feminist and in touch, I don’t live on the, my private island. And like descend from on high to give financial advice when I feel like it, I’m in the trenches with everybody else. Yeah. That’s really the, that’s the big umbrella goal, but really it’s to have an impact on women and women’s lives. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and to feel, I already feel like I’m making a change, which is so cool. It’s so cool to see my work pay off. Yeah. Like to have women text me and, and that I’ve worked with, or that have just followed me on Instagram and been like, I’m starting to invest now. And I was too scared to do it before or I had $70,000 and one of my clients $70,000 in credit card debt. She paid off 10 in the first month after working with me.
Speaker 3 (01:14:53):
Speaker 2 (01:14:54):
Because just discipline and sitting down and being like, Okay, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna shy away from this anymore. Yeah. I negotiated a job offer and sometimes people get in, sometimes people people don’t, but you know, I’ll get the dms of like, you know what, at least I tried and I was too scared to try before mm-hmm. <Affirmative>.
Speaker 3 (01:15:10):
Speaker 2 (01:15:11):
Speaker 3 (01:15:11):
Speaker 2 (01:15:12):
It’s incredible. It’s incredible. It’s really cool. And that’s what I want to continue doing. I are lovely friends and my mentor Cindy mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, I called her right after I gave really my first like financial coaching session. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I called her literally right after and I was like, this is what I meant to do. And she was like, Journal hold onto that feeling. I had this energy cosing through me, like nothing I’ve ever felt before. Yeah. Really probably being on stage cuz I love theater. I’ve always loved theater. Yeah. It’s probably, that’s probably the only other time I’ve felt this energy. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I’ve just exhausted, but at the same time I wanted to run a marathon and I’m not a runner. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So like, just that feeling of this is it. Yeah. This feels so good. Yeah. And she’s like, that’s the feeling you need. That’s the feeling you capture and that’s, that’s how, that’s what guides you forward. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> is if you’re feeling that, great. If you’re not make a change.
Speaker 3 (01:16:15):
How do you unlock that in others? How do you help them find that same energy?
Speaker 2 (01:16:22):
I think passion feeds passion. So seeing me get riled up I think gets them riled up, which is great. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> in a good way. But also just small incremental changes. You don’t have to start with a thousand dollars if you don’t have it. You can start saving 1% of your income. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and that’s still, you’re saving money. That’s still better than nothing. You can start putting away the $20 that you would’ve spent on something that you, you, you know, didn’t like, didn’t bring you joy and put that into savings instead. Right. And once you start seeing, oh I did, I did this myself, I did this, I didn’t think I could do it. I have complete control over my money. That’s, that’s what really gets you going.
Speaker 3 (01:17:08):
Right. It’s a snowball effect. Right. I mean that’s powerful. Like compounds. Yeah. okay. Where can people find you and what closing remarks? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> do you have?
Speaker 2 (01:17:22):
Herfirst100k.Com is where you can find me. My coaching sessions, my product offerings, as well as all of my social pages. I work with people one on one in coaching. I give online workshops for that are virtually conducted. And then I also have a ton of free resources on my blog and on my on my social accounts. Closing thoughts. Having funds means having freedom, having having money means you have the freedom to choose the life you want and make decisions. And I believe I was put on this earth to help women do that.
Speaker 3 (01:17:59):
Love it. Perfect. Close.
Speaker 2 (01:18:02):
Thanks. Thank you so much for having me.
Speaker 3 (01:18:04):