Her First $100K’s Tori Dunlap on Why It’s OK To Buy the Latte

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The Financially Savvy Female had the opportunity to chat with Tori Dunlap, founder of Her First $100K and the Treasury app, TikTok star and host of the “Financial Feminist” podcast. Through wise investing, asking for raises and sticking to a budget, Dunlap was able to save $100,000 by age 25. Now, she’s on a mission to educate other women about their finances. Here, we chat with her about what she wishes every woman knew about money, the best (and worst) financial advice she’s heard and the financial goals every woman should add to her list.

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What financial topics are women typically underinformed about?

Financial education, in general, is in a deficit — and because of the patriarchal norms, education beyond the most basic information is usually gatekept.

A big issue I see is this double standard of education for women. We’re taught, “Don’t spend on clothes or lattes!” while men are told to start investing. It’s this weird, gross misogynistic bent that still shows up consistently in how we talk about women and money versus men and money.

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Women are primarily kept in the dark about investing and wealth building, and that’s on purpose. It’s especially crucial for women to have access to this education because women are statistically likely to lose $1 million over their lifetime to the investing gap. The stakes are incredibly high, so the more women begin to learn about investing and long-term wealth building, the better.

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What’s the No. 1 piece of financial advice you give to the women you work with?

My best advice is that personal finance is personal. Sure, there are a lot of great “standard” principles to follow and we can all learn from each other, but accepting that what works for you may not work for others and vice versa is foundational.

I am also a big advocate for shame-free education, so I think it’s important for women, especially, to seek out and follow advice that isn’t deprivation-based or trying to make them feel guilty about their coffee runs.

What is a money myth you wish women would stop believing?

That investing isn’t accessible to them, or that they have to already be wealthy or have a lot of money to start investing. I come across this all the time — women who say, “I don’t have $500 a month to put into an IRA.” I say “OK, do you have $100? Or even $50?” They have no idea that you can start investing with a very small amount.

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Also, as I mentioned above, anything deprivation-based really riles me up. I can’t tell you how much steam comes out of my ears when I see advice telling people that they should never buy a latte, or not ever go out to a restaurant if they’re in debt. There’s a balance — you can spend within your means, pay off debt, save money and still enjoy your life a little. It’s not an either/or situation.

What are some achievable financial goals every woman should aim to accomplish?

Making investing a priority. Get a three to six months emergency fund together, pay down your high-interest (over 7%) debt and then make a plan to start investing. Time is more important than the amount you choose to invest. It’s your biggest asset with investing, so the sooner you start, the better.

The other thing women specifically have to consider is the gender pay gap — we’re statistically paid less than our male counterparts. Asking for a raise, looking for a better job, or even starting a side hustle to supplement income is one of the best ways to get a leg up financially.

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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 
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