How I Saved My First $100K
Last fall — after over 3 years of work — I successfully completed my goal of saving $100K at 25.
Saving money has always been one of my biggest priorities. I owe that mindset to my parents, who made sure I had strong financial education at a young age. I started my first business when I was just 9 years old and I put all the profits into my college tuition fund. Starting to learn how to save at such a young age gave me the foundation to meet such an ambitious goal of saving $100k by age 25.
I’ve been very lucky and I’ve also worked really hard. I graduated college without student debt by paying for large chunks of it with my own money and merit based scholarships, and also having parental assistance. When I wasn’t in class or studying, I was working.
When I started my first corporate job after school, I was also growing my then side hustle – and now full-time business — Her First 100K. My goal was to save $100k before I turned 26 years old, after reading about someone who had done something similar. I wanted the freedom and security that kind of money allowed — and knowing I wanted to eventually be my own boss, the money was my ticket to quitting my steady job to run my business full-time.
When I made the goal, I wasn’t 100% confident that I could actually accomplish it. And when I had to quit a toxic job in early 2018 — without another one lined up — I thought it might be over. Not only was I not able to save money during my 3 months of unemployment, I was also spending my emergency fund.
But I rallied back, getting a job I loved and growing my side hustle into a business. I was able to hit that goal 9 months early, largely due to consistent investing into my tax-advantaged retirement accounts and being able to track my investing progress through Personal Capital’s free tools.
It takes a lot of sacrifice, hard work, and responsibility to maximize earnings. Being able to graduate without student debt gave me the confidence and drive to meet my savings goal on time.
Now, as a money coach and speaker, I constantly tell my clients to invest towards their future selves for retirement and visualize their finances to help them along the way. According to research, 33% of people are more likely to reach their goals if they write them down. It’s nice to see your hard work paying off and to get a complete picture of your personal finances. Personal Capital is the tool that I used daily to keep track of my journey to my first $100k.
If You Can See It, You Can Do It
It’s true that Personal Capital tracks your net-worth. However you can use this tool to help visualize your monthly savings goals. It allows you to set goals and cross reference whether or not that works with your monthly budget and recommends how much money you should be setting aside.
Until becoming a full time entrepreneur, I always had side hustle. While my 9-5 salary was decent it would not have allowed me to reach my $100k savings goal. Having a visual tool such as Personal Capital, I was able to understand how much more I needed to be earning to meet my goal. I had to work an extra 15 hours a week, earning on average between $20-40 per hour.
Saving at Least 10% of What You Earn for Retirement = Less Stress
I invested tens of thousands of dollars from my side hustle into different retirement accounts and an additional percentage from my 9-5 paycheck. Investing for retirement can be confusing, especially when there are so many options out there. If your employer offers financial consulting, take advantage of it. But if not, Personal Capital’s free tools can help you, too.
Personal Capital has a retirement tool that can help forecast how much money you’ll need in retirement and adjusts accordingly based on your goals. And a bonus? It also estimates how much money you’ll pay in fees over a lifetime. Now that’s what I call service.
Tori Dunlap is a millennial money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori founded Her First $100K* to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money. A Plutus award winner, her work has been featured on Good Morning America, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, and more.