Welcome to Movers & Shakers, a series where we look deep into PNW life for people who are making moves, doing big things, and who are just - in general - being rad. Seattle is full of multi-talented and multi-faceted people, many at the intersection of technology and the arts. How do they find the time? What's their secret? Well, friends, we're here to find out. Meet Movers & Shakers; aka Seattle Refined attempting to capture the not-so-secret lives of impressive locals. Have a recommendation for us? Email email@example.com.
Tacoma native Tori Dunlap saved Her First $100K at the age of 25 and hasn't looked back. In 2019, she launched her own business, and now she's teaching others financial tools, working hard as a money educator, speaker and a leader in the financial feminism movement.
"Every woman already has power," said Dunlap, "but many of us just need the resources and tools to learn how to harness it."
Managing 10 employees and counting — Dunlap has built a community of more than 2 million women, educating them about financial freedom. But Dunlap actually never intended for this to be her career path.
"If you told me I'd be a financial educator when I was in college," she said, "I'd laugh in your face."
But a lot has changed since then.
"I graduated from the University of Portland about five months before Trump was elected with two degrees," said Dunlap. "I knew I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but when Trump was elected, it was a turning point for me. I was coming into a society realizing I was living in a different America than I thought I did."
"There's no equality for anyone until we have financial equality," she continued. "One of the biggest ways to shorten the equity gap is through education."
This call to action lit a fire for Dunlap. Her company offers a variety of services for people, not just women, at any financial point in their journey, making sure to provide free resources in addition to paid resources — "personal finance is exactly that, personal. I'm here to guide you."
"I'm coming from a place of privilege," Dunlap said. "Anyone who says that they have all the answers in running a cult. Don't just listen to me, listen to other financial leaders as well."
Dunlap learned about money from her parents at a young age.
"I thought learning about money as a kid was normal, then I realized I wasn't having the same experience as so many others."
She started her first business at 9 years old.
"I owned 15 vending machines in local businesses in the Tacoma area," said Dunlap. "By the time I graduated high school, after 11 years, I sold the business to another young entrepreneur who was only 10 years old at the time, and also named Tori."
These two look like they could be sisters!
Dunlap recognizes that she was raised with privilege, and having her parents guide her and educate her about money wasn't the norm. In return, she feels strongly that she should educate others and work to change the narrative around money.
"I want to make money a less intimidating concept," said Dunlap. "Women are taught that talking about money is impolite, but then others profit off of our silence."
If you're just getting started or interested in learning more about finances, here's three steps Dunlap suggests you take right away:
- Automate your savings – save something every month, even if it's only $20. Make it happen on autopilot like it's just another monthly bill.
- Have an emergency fund – have this in a high yield savings account. The goal is to save three months of living expenses.
- Stop spending money on things you don't care about – this doesn't mean skipping your daily lattes. It means you cut something else. Choose your value categories. Ask yourself, what do you truly love spending your money on?
Although Dunlap spends most of her time working on her business, she's human after all and still takes breaks.
So, what's next for Dunlap and her growing business?
"We have so many exciting things happening for Her First $100K," said Dunlap. "We're hiring and expanding our team. We'll have 13 team members by the end of the year. We're launching our new investing app and community in January and starting production on Season 2 of our podcast Financial Feminist."