Having a financial education is a woman’s best form of protest.
-Tori Dunlap, @herfirst100k
I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with a few local Seattle business women and attend a MONEY WORKSHOP hosted by Tori of @HerFirst100K for a special documentary project that she was being featured in. The video from 60SecDocs can be seen above.
More importantly, I was able to spend the afternoon in a room full of badass women, from various backgrounds and career fields, gathered in a room to discuss one thing: MONEY.
We talked about budgeting, saving, negotiating your salary/raise, investing and so much more. It really made me think about how much I spend on myself and how I try and save money where I can.
As women, we’re told not to talk about money… It’s a TABOO, it’s not LADYLIKE, it’s not appropriate to discuss with others…
As quoted by Arya Stark, (SPOILER ALERT) “I’m not a lady. I’ve never been one.”
The reason I chose the quote “Having a financial education is a woman’s best form of protest” from Tori is because I believe it to be very true. By having a financial education, being able to negotiate your pay, and knowing the best way to spend & save your money provides you the freedom to not rely on others (read: men). You don’t have to be the stay-at-home mom while your husband is the “breadwinner”. Unless that’s what you want, of course.
But as I’ve seen, women, specifically women my age, are being underpaid or undervalued … ESPECIALLY if they are women of color. Women are already paid less than their male counterparts, and women of color earn even less than white women. For those who don’t believe in the WAGE GAP, please do your research. It’s real. It exists. And according to experts, women are going to have to wait until at least 2020 to start to see the change. (Hang in there, ladies!!)
As you might know, I used to work in the financial industry, so I am more educated on the financial world than maybe the average woman. And I know major banks (Wells Fargo, Chase, BofA) are FOR PROFIT. They want you to apply for a credit card, a loan, and a home equity all at once. They do not have your best financial interests at heart. They want your money so they can loan out more money and then charge an ARM & A LEG for the money that they are lending (ie. your money). Isn’t that a wonderful cycle? And guess what? Most banks have been caught for shady business practices AND STILL GET BAILED OUT by our government!! Again, if you don’t believe me, just google how many times Wells Fargo (one of my former employers) has been sued or had to pay back its clients for its bad business practices. Go ahead, I’ll still be here when you get back.
Anyways, the point is the big banks aren’t interested in making you money. That’s why regular savings account interest rates are usually pretty crappy. You and only you are in control of your financial well being, and you need an understanding of finances to do so. That being said, today I’m going to share with you 3 tips I learned from Tori’s workshop.
I’ll also be adding in some actionable items that you can do TODAY!
If you’re interested in learning more about Tori’s workshops or personal 1-on-1 sessions, click here! She also hosts virtual workshops, so you can still work with her if you’re not in the Seattle/Washington area.
PS. this is not an advertisement for Tori or anyone else, just one business woman supporting another and spreading the word about financial health!
Tip 1: Know your situation & goals
The first tip is to know where you are in your financial situation and what your short and long term goals are.
Everyone’s financial situation, and goals, are different.
Some of us are just starting to save, some have a nice sum put away, others have no clue where to start.
Some people’s short term goals are to pay off debt, or buy a new house, or start a new business.
As you can see just from the few examples I’ve named, there are so many options and possibilities.
ACTIONABLE ITEM: ASSESS YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION
To know what your financial situation is, ask yourself these questions:
- What accounts do I have and how much is in them?
- Do I have an emergency fund?
- Do I have a savings account?
- Do I have a retirement account?
- Do I have any investments?
- Do I have any assets?
- Do I have any debts?
If you can answer most of these questions with a YES and a number, you are probably in a good financial situation. If you answered NO or didn’t have an answer to many of the questions, you probably are interested in bettering your financial situation.
ACTIONABLE ITEM: SET YOUR GOALS
Once you know where you are financially, write down what your short term & long term goals are. These are things that you want to accomplish within the next year, five years, or even 10 years and will require money. (As everything does in life)
Some goals could include:
- Paying off credit card debt/student loans/car loans/etc
- Saving for retirement
- Buying your first home
- Starting or investing in a business
- Dream Vacation
- Having kids
Tip 2: Create a budget
ACTIONABLE ITEM: CREATE A BUDGET
Once you have an understanding of your financial situation and set your goals, you can start to create a budget.
Tori recommends a “3 Bucket Budget”:
- Necessities (rent, car payment, groceries, insurance, etc)
- Goals (the goals that you identified above)
- All other expenses (clothes, drinks with friends, etc.)
Tip 3: Review expenses & allocate your funds
This is taking a deep dive into your spending. Most of us are so used to swiping our cards away and by the end of the month we are always like, where did all my money go? Or how did I spend almost $200 on one Target run? Come on, we’ve all been there, right??!
ACTIONABLE ITEM: REVIEW YOUR STATEMENTS
Look at your past statements and review all of your expenses, including bills, food, utilities, and recurring monthly payments. Do you need Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, or can you go without one (or two) of them?
ACTIONABLE ITEM: ALLOCATE YOUR FUNDS
After you review your spending, you can decide what percentage of your income you want to (or can) start allocating to the 3 buckets.
If you don’t have an emergency fund, now is the time to build one. Tori recommends starting at $1k and building it to at least 3-6 months worth of expenses in a high-yield savings account. Your financial priorities should also include paying off your debt (highest interest first), and saving for retirement (401k, IRAs, etc). It’s never too early to start saving for retirement, and if you can, you definitely should be investing.
How comfortable are you with talking about money?
Are you an investment newbie or wiz?
Have you started saving for retirement?
What are some of your financial goals for this year?
At the end of the workshop, Tori provided us with a resource list of different apps and tools she recommended. If you’re interested in the list please feel free to comment below and I can forward you the list of different apps/resources! Or if you are interested in learning more about taking control of your financial situation I would highly recommend booking a session with Tori!
Thanks for reading! Talk soon,
Photos by : @karyaschanilec
Video courtesy of: @60secdocs
I love a good deal and think YOU DO NOT have to spend A LOT to look GOOD!
Some people are ashamed to shop at places like TJMaxx, Ross, and Marshall’s but they are honestly just being arrogant! Who doesn’t love a good deal?? Even @GaryVee says you’re dumb if you’re not going to these stores! You can find brand name items for a lot cheaper. This super cute pink blazer I’m wearing I just got at TJMaxx for $30! It could easily go for $70-$200 at most big brand name stores!
I paired the pink blazer with a basic white tank top from Target and a pair of black paperbag waist pants from Forever21. I usually don’t wear much jewelry but I thought this pink jeweled necklace would make the outfit look more dressed up & fancy. I wore nude Sam Edelman heels that I got on sale from Nordstrom’s and had my blush backpack from Guess with me as a purse.
Blazer: TJMaxx $29.99 … bought locally, here is a similar one I found on their website.
Tank Top: A New Day for Target $8
Necklace: Sugarfix by BaubleBar for Target $20
Pants: Forever21 $22.90
Heels: Sam Edelman on sale for $60
Location: General Porpoise Doughnuts – Pioneer Square location