How Having Financial Literacy Can Change Your Life with Tori Dunlap @HerFirst100k: Lesson 51

In this episode, I interview money expert and founder of @HerFirst100K community Tori Dunlap. We talk about building confidence with money, getting out of a ‘scarcity’ mindset, getting past shame and judgment when it comes to finances, and how building financial literacy can change your life. 

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Tori talks to us about her own relationship with money and how she built the confidence that she has now with how she operates with it. 

Growing up with parents who were really committed to financial education, Tori learned not to overspend on credit cards. She learned to negotiate her salary and she learned how to invest. She grew up just thinking that was the norm for everybody, and that everybody knew how to talk about money. 

She quickly realized that that wasn't the case. Since graduating college, she was the friend all of her womxn identifying friends were coming to for advice and guidance. At the time, she was working a corporate job. She was working a nine to five and marketing job and asked herself:

 “OK. In Trump's America, in this kind of environment where, you know, we see that women's rights are getting violated every single day, what is the biggest piece of that puzzle or what is the way we can start shaping the equality picture or start improving the equality picture? And I realize that a financial education is our best form of protest because everything is linked to money.” - Tori Dunlap @herfirst100k

So she started @HerFirst100k back then. It was just a blog, but then she took it on as a business on the side of my nine to five and marketing back in 2016 and then took it full time last year at this time. 

Money Stories  - Shame and Judgment When It Comes To Money 

Many people were never taught by their parents how to save and how to manage money and develop healthy financial habits, so they have never had a good relationship with money. 

As Tori says, many of her clients had frozen their credit card in a block of ice in the freezer because of an unhealthy relationship with money or growing up in a first gen household where you are not only expected to supply your own finances and also your mental and physical health. Tori says that there's many things to unpack in terms of the shame and judgment and the money psychology that we see cemented very, very early on. 

One of the things that she likes doing with her clients that she recommends is to journal about your first money memory. What is the first time you remember thinking about money? She says that asking yourself this question will probably reveal a lot about your relationship towards money. Then ask yourself: How did that potentially alter or impact your future relationship with money?

The Money Scarcity Mindset 

So when we look at that fear of, you know, what if it all goes away one day, how do you turn that fear around and just shine some light on it together for folks who might be feeling this fear themselves of why they feel so scarce when it comes to their money?

Tori says that the first thing to do is find people who are going to be able to give you actionable tips around money that make you feel good about your life. That makes you feel inspired and like you can make a positive change. The second thing to do is address the narrative of fear and of talking about money as taboo, and all narratives that get promoted by the patriarchy.

 “ So the patriarchy, and these old straight white men who are already rich are telling you that you're not good with money because guess what? It keeps them in power. Right? So the more we don't talk about money, the more we don't radically talk about pay and investing and saving and debt and all of these things... The more our shame lives in the shadows and the more the patriarchy benefits, the more they benefit from your silence. The more they benefit from you not being financially educated and from not having conversations about money. There is a direct correlation.” - Tori Dunlap

Tori shares that she thinks it is really important to not only see your personal finance decisions as something that's going to affect your life, but as something that can actually have a larger impact on the world around you and your financial education. She shares that your financial education is your best form of protest because it means you can donate to causes you believe and you can support your causes and businesses because you have enough money to do so..

When you build your financial literacy, when you work this muscle and build it up, it can change your life. Finally, I ask Tori how building her financial literacy and starting her business has changed hers..

“I mean, that'll take me hours to unpack. I probably get a message a day, but now it's almost a message an hour, which is pretty amazing of women who are like this. This has changed everything. I've gotten out of debt or have negotiated ten thousand dollars more in my salary or have started investing and made their first dollar when they were asleep, you know, and that is the coolest. That's what I was put on this earth to do. So in terms of my own personal finances. Yeah, I mean, it's changed everything. I have so much privilege and I'm the first to acknowledge, like, I'm white, I'm cis-gendered, I'm able bodied. I was born in the United States. There's so much here. I also grew up with parents who, you know, really struggled financially. And that's not something I talk about a lot for my own parents privacy. They're very private people, but they struggled. They were really you know, they were really in that financial scarcity mode with their parents, my grandparents.  And so when I think about the opportunities that they gave me in order to, you know, do something that I really love, and little did they know the impact it would have. 

And not only that, but my own personal finance, the change of my own personal finances have changed. But everybody else is in this. @HerFirst100k community, their finances have changed, too. So It's the coolest. And I've just realized the impact that not only your education around money has, of course, on your day to day finances, but your confidence in general. And everybody says stuff like, it's so cheesy, but like as soon as you figure out this part of your life that's really difficult, you realize you could do anything. But yes, you realize everything that is hard. You can do it. It's going to suck. It's going to be hard, but you can do it. And I feel so confident in myself. I feel so confident in my own abilities because I provide for myself. I am able to build this community of other women who are providing for themselves too.”

Thank you so much for catching up on my conversation with Tori! To hear us talk about more, tune into the episode by clicking the links at the top of this page! ✨ 

To download this week’s journal prompts and reflect about your earliest money memory click here. 👇🏼 

To download this week’s wallpaper, click here as well!