78. How to Manage Inconsistent Income with Barbara Sloan

March 21, 2023

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The following article may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. This doesn’t cost you anything, and shopping or using our affiliate partners is a way to support our mission. I will never work with a brand or showcase a product that I don’t personally use or believe in.

Financial Advice for Tipped Workers with Barbara Sloan

If you’ve ever worked in a position where you receive tips or any sort of commission, you know how hard it is to create a budget and financial plan around the money you’re bringing in. Most personal finance advice is based on W-2 workers, but with the rise in side hustles, second jobs, and contract work, balancing your books every month might start to feel more precarious. 

For this episode of Financial Feminist, we sat down with Barbara Sloan, the author of Tipped: The life-changing guide to financial freedom for waitresses, bartenders, strippers, and all other service industry professionals, to talk about managing finances with inconsistent income. Here are a few takeaways from this episode.

Benefits of being a tipped worker

Working in tipped occupations isn’t for everyone, but overall, most tipped workers don’t want things to change –– noting that they enjoy the flexibility and the ability to pick up shifts or make more when they need to and pull back when they don’t. Tipped occupations can also be great for secondary jobs or side hustles when you’re working to make more income, pay off debt, or save more –– though many tipped workers are full-time. 

Downsides to being a tipped worker

One notable pitfall to working non-W-2 is the lack of benefits like health insurance and guaranteed paid time off. Barbara admits that this was something that took her a long time to figure out. “I went 10 years without any medical insurance, dental insurance of any kind.”

Barbara suggests taking advantage of tax incentives and programs like the Health Insurance Marketplace and seeing if there are local programs to help with primary care. She also recommends adding on specific insurances one at a time, so you’re not suddenly taking on multiple new costs.

How do I budget irregular income?

Most personal finance advice has you start budgeting with your income. When it’s irregular, however, that’s not always the best-case scenario. Barbara recommends starting with your expenses first:

“For people who are working on a tip-based income or a fluctuating income, most people think that you need to start by setting a budget against your income –– but you don’t need to,” Barbara shares. “If your income is wildly up and down, you can budget off your expenses. You only need one side of the equation to be able to start a budget.” 

She shares that she believes this method works because you can decide how you need to work to get to your minimum. She notes that some workers prefer to frontload months so they can relax towards the end, while others work more consistently. The flexibility allows you to decide what works best for you.

Barbara also discusses how you can think in broader terms, year-round vs. month-to-month. “If you’re somebody who’s a bartender who’s working on a patio, summers are gonna be amazing for you, right? And so you’re gonna lean harder into the summers and maybe build up your buffers then and save up for a slower winter.

“Every job, every environment has its own trends, and when you kind of step back and you’re able to track your income, you see those transforming, and then you’re going to make a guess and then look back and see if that guess was accurate and adjust.”

Learn more about managing inconsistent finances in the episode!

More resources:

Barbara’s Website
Tipped Book
Barbara’s Instagram

Meet Barbara

Barbara Sloan is the author of the book Tipped: The life changing guide to financial freedom for waitresses, bartenders, strippers, and all other service industry professionals. A homeless teen, who danced for dollars, and definitely did not graduate from college. She is now a personal finance expert and money coach that spent two decades working in every imaginable position in the Service Industry all over the country. In addition to owning and running a badass women owned Construction company in the heart of Manhattan, she helps Tipped workers achieve Financial Freedom, like she did. She is passionate about all of the amazing aspects of Tipped work and passionate about all of the terrible aspects of Tipped work. She lives in New York City with her wife of 10 years, an esteemed corporate finance exec, and together they are a couple of adorable money nerds who point out every dog they see.


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[00:00:00] Tori Dunlap: You’re in New York.

[00:00:01] Barbara Sloan: Yeah. Yeah. I’m

[00:00:02] Tori Dunlap: are you?

[00:00:03] Barbara Sloan: Harlem Light. I like to say

[00:00:05] Tori Dunlap: Is that like not fully in it?

[00:00:07] Barbara Sloan: it’s like south of one 10, but north of 96. So like, I’m from Detroit, I need a little vomit on the streets. I need a little graffiti, you know? But then I still like to be like one block away from Central Park, you know what I mean? Like I like a mix of it, so it’s right where I want.

[00:00:26] Tori Dunlap: you forget. I walked probably half of Central Park when I was living there in one day. I did like the, you know, on the, on the border. And you just don’t realize how big it is. Like, you know how big it is. And then you l like, it’s just nuts when you’re actually down there.

[00:00:41] Barbara Sloan: massive.

[00:00:42] Tori Dunlap: Oh, it’s massive. And I love looking at all the, like the talks of like the property on Central Park.

[00:00:48] Have you seen those where it’s like a $30 million apartment? because it has a view of Central Park. Have you seen these? They’re

[00:00:57] Barbara Sloan: we, we can talk about this, but the business, when people meet me, what they don’t know is that I own a women owned and operated construction company, and I focus on, I, I focus on high and residential. So like I work for those people. I’m building those

[00:01:11] Tori Dunlap: so you know.

[00:01:12] Barbara Sloan: know them very well,

[00:01:14] Tori Dunlap: It’s these. Yeah. Ridiculous. And if you haven’t seen them on TikTok, look ’em up people, but like it’s literally, yeah, these like ridiculously expensive apartments just because they have like sweeping views of Central Park

[00:01:25] Barbara Sloan: Yeah. If you’re into real estate porn, um, you can check out my construction company, manhattan renovations.com. So, and then yeah, the, the, yeah. So that’s how I spend most of my days now is, is in that.

[00:01:38] Tori Dunlap: That is fantastic. You started your career though as a paper.

[00:01:42] Barbara Sloan: Yep.

[00:01:43] Tori Dunlap: And then you were working for various tipped positions as a teen and then into adulthood. What do you think it is about jobs in the tipped industry that are so appealing or like easy to fall into?

[00:01:56] Barbara Sloan: Yeah. I mean, for me it was, I left, I left Michigan and moved to California and I was avoiding some creditors. I had gotten myself seriously in debt. I had just at 19, I had purchased a house. I had, uh, renovated it. It was the house I grew up in. I took out 10 credit cards, I maxed them out and just got myself into a really terrible financial situation like my dad had passed away.

[00:02:21] And that was my avenue for working through my grief, was to restore my childhood home at 19 with no money, no experience, you know, very, very smart stuff. Um, and so I took off to California kind of to dodge all of that, and I needed a job that paid cash and I needed something that. easy. Like my upbringing was a bit tough, and so finding the service industry was just like, ugh.

[00:02:45] It was people who. Understood. I, you know, I also came out at 15, so the service industry was a place where I really felt like I was able to be myself. I was celebrated for who I was. I was able to be a little bit extra. I was able to get cash on a daily basis. I was able to move around the country pretty easily, like location, independent.

[00:03:06] Um, it just, it felt, it felt.

[00:03:12] Tori Dunlap: Do you feel like, I think one of the, one of the common like benefits, there’s many, I think, downsides to, to being a tipped worker, but like you can just kind of pick up more. where the, I mean, it’s kind of bullshit capitalism where it’s just like work more. But like, I think one of the things people do love is the flexibility of like just being able to show up and be like, okay, I wanna make more money this week.

[00:03:32] I’m gonna show up and do another shift, or I’m gonna work over time, or I’m gonna pick up hours. Did you feel like that was your experience?

[00:03:38] Barbara Sloan: it’s one of the few industries where you can work more to make more. Absolutely. I think that’s one of the appeals to it. Um, you know, I think that gets harder and harder as you get along in your timeline and in your. You know, into the industry over decades. But yeah, it’s a, it’s a big appeal up front.

[00:03:57] Tori Dunlap: Do you remember those first few years of managing finances? Like what did that look like? So it’s a lot of credit card debt, right?

[00:04:03] Barbara Sloan: my God, I had so much credit cards debt. I, I feel like I truly tested the limit of the credit system. I, I didn’t know that the library could go after your credit, but they can. I.

[00:04:16] Tori Dunlap: did not know that either. How does that work?

[00:04:18] Barbara Sloan: If you , if you check out books or books on CD or t
hat’ll age me. Um, and you don’t return them,

[00:04:26] Tori Dunlap: I remember books on tape. You remember the ones on tape, and you would like open them and then it would be in a little portfolio

[00:04:31] Barbara Sloan: Mm-hmm.

[00:04:32] Tori Dunlap: have to Yeah, I listened to, what was it, old Yeller with my mom books on tape.

[00:04:36] Barbara Sloan: Oh yeah, I think I had had, um, like of mice cement, I was really into like of mice cement in, uh, 1984. I had both of those books on CD, checked out from like the Las Vegas library and I didn’t return them. And yeah, it hit my credit report

[00:04:52] Tori Dunlap: So that’s where you were at for

[00:04:54] Barbara Sloan: That’s where I was at. Um, I was payday loan. I was getting, using rent to center. I remember going to Jamaica and having medical debt go onto, I was like, you, they can hit your credit report from other countries. I had no idea. Um, so. In those first few years, it was a lot of learning, really, really hard lessons.

[00:05:14] I grew up without any financial literacy. The only thing that was modeled for me was a debt cycle, and luckily, home ownership. Home ownership was modeled for me, which would, which is what gave me the delusion that I could purchase a home at 19

[00:05:27] Tori Dunlap: Well, and it’s, I think a lot of people’s, uh, net worth, if it is positive, it’s tied up in the equity of a home, right? We know that from statistics of like, if you are an American who does have a positive net worth, it’s most likely because of your home’s equity, not because of like your liquid assets. And also, I wanted to call out something that I have talked about, so, Both on the podcast and in my book is payday loans.

[00:05:51] So the average payday loan interest rate in this country, and this is not a typo, this is not me screwing this up, is 400%, 400% the average, you know, credit card interest rate is I think like 18%. You know, we are probably gonna max out at about 30% for the really predatory cards. 400%. So what was that cycle like for you?

[00:06:11] Barbara Sloan: Yeah, it was working lots of shifts. Um, those first few years, it was avoiding creditors like I moved around. Based on how much mail I got, from creditors trying to seek, you know, getting any sort of money. And they would, they were relentless. That was before, I mean, I don’t know if it was before any laws told them that they couldn’t be harassing people, but it felt so heavy, so hard.

[00:06:34] Um, and yeah, I, I talk about , a lot of different debt management strategies and I was in ostrich mode. Um, so I had my head in the sand and I was just not looking at it. Um, and so, . It took a long time for me to clean up my financial situation, and yeah, it was, it was just tough. So I think that’s one of the things, one of the reasons that I like to talk about is because I know it’s so, it’s just, it’s hard.

[00:07:02] It’s hard when you’re in that position.

[00:07:06] Tori Dunlap: Well, and the scarcity mindset of it all. When it’s just you’re in survival mode and you can’t think of anything else. There’s no alternative.

[00:07:15] Barbara Sloan: You mentioned that home ownership is like the number one way that a lot of Americans hold their equity. Um, and yeah, it’s one of two ways. Um, the other way is a 401k. So most people build wealth in this country through their 401k and through home ownership. And both of those are things that are not available to people easily in the service

[00:07:36] Tori Dunlap: in the moment. Yeah.

[00:07:38] Barbara Sloan: And the other reason that life was so hard while I was working, you know, those first few years in the service industry. harder than I thought that they should be was because I didn’t have any safety nets in place. Like a lot of people, when they start a nine to five, you know, you’re given paid time off, you’re given health insurance, you’re given access to a 401k, you’re given pretext benefits, you’re given access to human resources.

[00:08:05] Human resources is such an important position and that person in human resources, I, in my, in my book, I call her HR Sharon, Sharon is our HR hero. And it’s this one person that tells you to check a box on a form that helps you to build that wealth through automation. And it’s the reason that most Americans are able to accumulate wealth.

[00:08:27] And it’s the biggest reason that people in the service industry are not able to build wealth. They don’t have access to those benefits, they don’t have safety nets. aren’t in a lot of situations claiming their income, and so they don’t have access to traditional lending. They don’t have access to social security, unemployment.

[00:08:45] I mean, you name it.

[00:08:47] Tori Dunlap: Let’s throw a global pandemic in there. Uh, I’m kind of jumping ahead a little bit, but it feels natural where, you know, you don’t have these on a good day. What happens then when businesses shutter and when you’re not able to work? Like what does happen then?

[00:09:02] Barbara Sloan: So for a lot of people who were relying on unemployment, the service industry, people were only getting that Covid booster portion of it, and I’m, I’m so thankful that that was there for a lot of people because without that, people in the service industry would’ve had nothing. Majority of currently retired service industry professionals rely solely only on social security.

[00:09:27] and you know that in 2020 the average social security for people who claim their income in full was $20,000. If you can’t, Ima imagine living on half that, then you’re, you’re in trouble. And it, when I started to research my book and when I started to research my community and the economics behind it to realize that they were twice as likely to experience poverty, to realize that the agent most economically disadvantaged people in the population, it was heartbreaking to me.

[00:09:57] and I dealt with imposter syndrome for a long time. I’m like, who the hell am I to talk about personal finance? Literally, I was like all steeped in shame from all of my past failures and financial mistakes. I’m like, who am I to talk to these people about

[00:10:11] Tori Dunlap: you’re actually the best person.

[00:10:13] Barbara Sloan: Well, thank you. I’m one person. I’m one

[00:10:16] Tori Dunlap: No, but like

[00:10:17] Barbara Sloan: look at.

[00:10:18] Tori Dunlap: I think that, you know, for me, I, I’ve gone the, the completely opposite way where I was lucky enough to have a financial education and made smart financial choices, and so I feel like, okay, it’s my responsibility t
o pass that on. I do feel like for many people it’s actually really, really validating to hear from someone.

[00:10:34] Who financially struggled, who made bad decisions with money, who made this kind of decisions because those were the only decisions they had to make and, uh, you know, navigated the system to the best of their ability. I feel like, I mean, that’s part of why we’re having you on the show is I feel like a lot of people are gonna be listening and being like, yep, that was me, or it is me right now.

[00:10:53] And there’s something so validating about hearing that, you know, it can and hopefully does get.

[00:10:59] Barbara Sloan: Yeah, I think a. Pivot moment for me was, um, it was like 2013. I had just moved to New York City with my wife. I had like $700 in my pocket when I moved to New York and I got two jobs. The first job I got was, um, bartending at a bar called Coyote Ugly, which if you know it, you sing and dance on the bar, you whip your patrons, you get girls to take their bras off, it’s a damn good time and

[00:11:26] And then my second job was working on wall. in an unregulated market, um, for , these people doing part trading floor. US loan products, loan sharking, essentially. And that was a real education for me on the markets and on predatory lending and seeing the other side of it. And I was like, oh God, this is disgusting.

[00:11:49] I lasted about six months after the third trader got shipped off rehab, and I was like, I’m going back to bars in construction because this is toxic as fuck. And so I went and I got a job in construction working for the company that I now own. I was employed number. And I was set up, um, I was put in charge to build out the benefit system and an HR system.

[00:12:13] I had never had benefits before. I’d never had health insur, maybe I had health, had health insurance. Once, definitely didn’t have a 401k. Definitely didn’t have hr, definitely never had P T O. Um, and so I did a deep dive on all of those things and I was like, oh, this is the reason. These are the reasons.

[00:12:29] And then on the other side, like we were talking about, I deal with all of these really high net worth clients. I’m talking ariss people with what seem like unlimited resources and having conversations with them on a daily basis about how they viewed money, about the stops and systems that they put in place about their budgets.

[00:12:48] Seeing that people of that level of wealth budget was just eye-opening for me. and that was sort of when I was like, yeah, I, I need to take this information to the people.

[00:13:00] Tori Dunlap: right? Which, what a story to be working both of those at the same time and like a beautiful juxtaposition, of two very different environments. And also weirdly, the suffering in both. Right?

[00:13:13] Barbara Sloan: both incredibly toxic and like, I also kind of couldn’t see, I couldn’t see the problems. Fully while I was in both of them.

[00:13:25] Tori Dunlap: Oh, you never can. Right? It’s been like being in a bad relationship cuz you get out and you’re like, oh, that was, that was bad. And you don’t know it while you’re in it. Yeah, totally. Um, one of the things we came across in our research is how, of course systemic issues affect tipped workers, but specifically like, Attractive servers, and I’m putting this in quotes, right, like stereotypically attractive people make better money, but like women of color are tipped consistently poorer in comparison.

[00:13:53] So we struggle with how to make the system more equitable in every aspect of personal finance. Right. Have you found some answers to that specifically with Tipped in?

[00:14:06] Barbara Sloan: That’s like asking me to solve capitalism. Oh,

[00:14:09] Tori Dunlap: I get this question all the time too, but like

[00:14:11] Barbara Sloan: right? It’s, it’s a, it’s a really messed up system.

[00:14:16] Tori Dunlap: I don’t have an answer

[00:14:17] Barbara Sloan: So for me, I spend a lot of time talking to personal finance people. I spend a lot of time talking to people in the industry and I like to ask them what they want and what people in the service industry want.

[00:14:29] What I hear more than anything is that they wanna keep tipping. Tipping comes from a really problematic history. Um, it came about post-slavery. It. Popularized when employers post-slavery realized that they could continue to profit off their black, brown minority and uneducated workers. Most of those formerly enslaved people went and went to work in railroads and restaurants, and those were initially both tip positions.

[00:14:59] Railroad workers went on strike. and they eventually got benefits, the standard benefits and standard minimum wage, whereas service industry workers still today are the only sector of workers who have a different minimum wage. It’s called a sub minimum wage, which is federally $2 and 13 cents

[00:15:18] Tori Dunlap: right? Because in theory it’s supplemented with tips, but that’s in theory,

[00:15:22] Barbara Sloan: Yep. And so what people in the industry who work in the industry, Enjoy is they know that a portion of their wages is based on their performance. They like that risk versus reward aspect of it. They like to know that there is no cap to how much they can’t earn. They like to know that their skills, which people.

[00:15:46] Don’t often assume that there are skills in this industry, but these are highly skilled individuals. People with time management skills, with networking and social skills, they can bring up the energy of an establishment. They’re there to entertain, they are there to make you feel good about yourself. You might, they might be the only smile that you get.

[00:16:05] So they have all of these skills and they want to be they. They want and enjoy that. That subjective experience is. . What they don’t like is being part of that sub minimum wage, that $2 and 13 cents federally,

[00:16:19] Tori Dunlap: Right. Who

[00:16:20] Barbara Sloan: laughable. Laughable. Dollar 50, less than a gallon of milk.

[00:16:24] Tori Dunlap: Oh, it’s crazy. Um, you said something really interesting, which is like, they kind of enjoy the risk reward aspect and immediately my personal finance brain goes to, . We talk about risk a lot in terms of investing. Do you find that tipped workers, if they do start investing, are more likely to partake in the things that are riskier, like day trading or like trying to, you know, pick the hot stock as opposed to things that are more consistent?

[00:16:52] Barbara Sloan: I mean, I think that’s a lot of younger investors who just got started investing in the last two years because the,

[00:16:59] Tori Dunlap: That’s the sexy investing. It’s the Robinhood TikTok

[00:17:02] Barbara Sloan: which I’m so grateful cuz Robinhood at least democratized it got more people involved. I like to say, because your income has this level of volatility, you actually, as an investor need to be more stable in the investments that you select.

[00:17:18] And so when I’m talking to people, I’m, I’m saying, you already have this risky, fun side aspect to your overall financial picture. Lean into that, that’s great, but let’s make sure everything else. is pretty, is pretty secure.

[00:17:32] Tori Dunlap: that’s smart. What are some of the ways that tipped workers can better handle their finances that is not normally discussed in the personal finance advice?

[00:17:42] Barbara Sloan: Ooh, are we going? We’re going into budgeting. I’m so excited. Um, when I talk about budgeting, I always like to talk about my experience as a fetish and kink worker because the lessons that I learned as a fetish and kink worker I think apply perfectly to budgeting. The first lesson is only people who are into feet want to talk about feet. So if you are excited about getting into personal finance and getting into budgeting, find your people.

[00:18:16] If you are going to be surrounded mostly by people who wanna talk about what they’re spending on and you know the experiences that they’re have, you’re not gonna be as successful. So you have to find your people. If you’re making changes, you need to find people that will support that. So that’s, that’s, that’s number one.

[00:18:31] Number two is the things that you want most should be a part of your budget. , you don’t have to be an entirely different person to budget your life and what you’re into and what you want are perfect to start right now. So if your budget, I think when most people think about budgets, they think about what they should have and not what they can have, and you can put what you can have into your budget.

[00:18:58] That may include substances, that may include toys, that may include a lot of things that. and aren’t a part of other people’s budgets, but

[00:19:07] Tori Dunlap: Well, and I always joke too that it, it’s not deprivation, right? You gave the example of like should as opposed to can I, in my work, people always say, oh, it’s shouldn’t, and I’m like, no. It’s what? It’s what you can purchase. Like a budget is the like gas gauge in your car, right? It’s like, okay, I’m gonna go out on a drive and I’d rather know that this is gonna be a fun drive because I know I have gas in my car.

[00:19:31] Like that’s what a budget is, is it’s just the permission slip. You need to actually be able to spend money while also knowing you’re taking care of yourself. Cuz the worst thing in the world is like a pina colada on a beach somewhere with a side of guilt . Like that’s not fun.

[00:19:45] Barbara Sloan: I also like to always break down what a budget is like. People are always like, Ugh. You know, like it’s just like it has this nega negative connotation. From the get go. And so I think some people in our space will try to fancy it up and call it a spending plan. But like my people, the people I’m talking to, they kind of see through that.

[00:20:00] They’re like, I’m calling bullshit on this spending plan. It’s really a budget. I’m like, yes, it’s a budget, but a budget is just an estimate of your income and your expenses. It’s just like a little bit, it’s information. There’s nothing inherently good or bad or moral that is attached to a budget. Now we can talk about budget culture, which is a very different thing than a budget.

[00:20:19] You know, I think a lot of people in the. Compare diets and diet, culture and budget and budget. Culture. A diet is the same thing. There’s nothing good or bad about a diet. A diet is just a list of the things that you’re eating, which is awesome, right? Diet, culture, super problematic budgets. There’s nothing wrong with the budget.

[00:20:37] It’s a

[00:20:38] Tori Dunlap: right? The actual definition of the word diet is what’s going in your body versus like what we have diet like as a verb now, right? The noun diet is fine. It’s literally like, yeah, what are you. Consuming

[00:20:50] Barbara Sloan: Mm-hmm.

[00:20:51] Tori Dunlap: dieting, right. Is the typically restriction of

[00:20:56] Barbara Sloan: Exactly, exactly. So I like to break that down because I think people have an automatic aversion to it when really it’s, it’s just the information about the things that are in your life. Um, the lesson number three that I like to share is boundaries. Boundaries are so important and they are your job to communicate.

[00:21:16] So, When you’re budgeting, you have to be able to say no in order to get your money to go where you want it to go. So boundaries are a big part of budgeting. And the last thing I like to point out is discretion. Discretion is encouraged. You don’t need to talk about your budget. You don’t need to talk about your spending.

[00:21:35] No one’s gonna watch you budget. You don’t need to feel judged. And so those are the four things I really like to point out before, like diving in into budgeting, I, I’m married to someone who does corporate finance. . I talk to her a lot about her job. She does financial planning analysis for public, publicly traded companies, and I always like to point out what her job is, which is they take data trends, then they make guesses, and then they look back to see if their guesses were right and if they make need to make changes.

[00:22:11] And that is

[00:22:11] Tori Dunlap: all respect to your, your partner, um, they’re typically wrong

[00:22:15] Barbara Sloan: Yes, because they’re guessing. So for people who are on a tipped income or working on a fluctuating income, you’re gonna be doing the same thing. There’s no magic here. You are going to be looking for trends. You’re gonna be making guesses, and then you’re gonna look back and see if your guesses are right and if you need to make some changes.

[00:22:38] So for people who are working on a tip based income or a fluctuating income, most people think that you need to start by setting a budget against your income. , but you don’t need to. If your income is wildly up and down, you can budget off your expenses. You only need one side of the equation to be able to start a budget.

[00:22:57] So if your expenses are more fixed than your income, you would start your budget based off your expenses, and you can build in buffers for anywhere that there’s some invariability. Most people don’t realize that they have somewhat of an intuitive plan in place already. For some people in the industry, you know, they will have their fixed expenses and they will either.

[00:23:20] hustle in the beginning of the month to make all of their money that they need for th
e month. And then maybe they’ll slow down their schedule in the, in the end, or maybe they’ll work these really hard hitting shifts and kind of like really not try super hard on their, on their lightweight shifts. So even if you think you’re operating off of a plan, you have a plan.

[00:23:37] When I ask people who say, right, but I have a fluctuating income, I’m like, oh, is it like $7 this week and 2 million next week? Are we talking that? And they’ll say, no, it’s a little bit tighter and we’ll keep going in from there. . I always tell people to start with tracking your income because there are trends.

[00:23:55] Even if you think there’s no trends, there’s trends, especially in the service industry. If you’re in a club environment, let’s say you’re a dancer, your summers are gonna be slow. Your sporting events are gonna be slow, and so for you, it’s gonna be important to build up your buffers and build up your savings in the winter.

[00:24:13] If you’re somebody who’s a bartender who’s working on a patio, summers are gonna be amazing for you, right? And so you’re gonna lean harder into the summers and maybe build up your buffers then and save up for a slower winter. Every job, every environment has its own trends, and when you kind of step back and you’re able to track your income, you see those transforming, and then you’re going to make a guess.

[00:24:37] and then look back and see if that guess was accurate and adjust. And so those are the big, there’s no, there’s no secret, there’s no mystery here for people. You have to be a more diligent budgeter than people who are on a W2 fixed nine to five income because of that, you know, volatility in your income.

[00:24:58] But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just means that you have to work a little bit harder, which, which sucks. But guess what? You know, there’s a. there’s a lot of perks to your flexibility and autonomy in these, in these positions as well.

[00:25:13] Tori Dunlap: what you just said was so brilliant, and if people like were just like casually listening, I need you to go back five minutes and listen again because it’s exactly right. No, it’s true. And the question I think I get asked a lot too is it’s not just like with tipped workers, but like I think freelance sometimes feels the same way, where it’s like it’s inconsistent or I don’t know what’s gonna happen, or like lack of access to health insurance and retirement. In terms of like managing the other things besides just income, do you have any advice or tips on how to manage that of like, how do you find affordable medical care slash therapy? How do you, I mean, we have episodes around, you know, saving for retirement as someone who isn’t, you know, making a W2 consistent income, there’s options out there, but what is your advice to those, those people?

[00:26:02] Barbara Sloan: Yeah, I went 10 years without any medical insurance, dental insurance of any kind. Right.

[00:26:08] Tori Dunlap: my entire body just like broke out into a sweat for you of just like, oh God. I’m so glad. I mean, maybe you did. Did you have any like big disasters during those 10 years?

[00:26:19] Barbara Sloan: I mean, I went out of the country for some stuff, um,

[00:26:23] Tori Dunlap: Because I’m thinking if you like get in a C Yeah. My brain immediately is like car accident cancer, brain tumor. Like, oh god.

[00:26:31] Barbara Sloan: lucky. But I’ll tell you that that first dentist appointment after 10 years was not pretty and it was not cheap. And it was, and my part, it was a lot of short-term thinking where if I had just planned for an out-of-pocket cleaning, , um, it would’ve been far less expensive and far less painful. And so some of it’s short-term thinking.

[00:26:55] Um, you also just get a little pissed off in this industry cuz you’re like, what the fuck? Everyone else gets these benefits and I don’t have them, I shouldn’t have to come out of pocket for this. But you’re only hurting yourself. Um, and so you have to, you say this beautifully, you have to, you can’t lose capitalism, you can’t lose.

[00:27:14] And so, for people. It’s not the, it’s not gonna be the easiest thing for them to manage their finances, but you can absolutely still get yourself set up with benefits and you can still not lose capitalism. So the first thing I tell people to do for health insurance is go to the marketplace. I didn’t have access to the marketplace and I know that prices are a lot, but it’s available and it’s a resource and, um,

[00:27:43] You know, I hope that things get cheaper, but it’s still, it’s still an option and I encourage it. So maybe health insurance doesn’t feel like something you can take on right now. Get that information, have it in the back of your head. A lot of the insurances you may need to layer in. If health insurance doesn’t feel like something you can tackle right now, maybe sign up for life insurance if you have kids.

[00:28:07] like a short, you know, a short a term policy obviously, but maybe that’s the, maybe that’s the first policy you put in place as you sort of make peace with this expense of healthcare and how it can come into your, your budget. You’re not gonna be able to just turn your whole financial life around at once.

[00:28:27] You layer these things in over time. Same thing goes with savings and retirement planning. Um, when I first heard of an emergency fund, I was aghast. I was like, I’m sorry, you want me to put how much in a savings account I live in New York City. You want that? Just sitting in a bank account? Not

[00:28:46] Tori Dunlap: of living expenses

[00:28:48] Barbara Sloan: like I.

[00:28:49] Not in a vacation va, not as a down payment, just sitting there rotting. Okay. Like I was pissed. And so I just spent months researching every single thing I could about emergency funds. Turned out he was totally right about that. It was the one, he was a financial advisor. It was the only thing he was right about.

[00:29:05] Um, and so, For emergency funds, the one thing I like to point out to tipped workers is that it’s the one thing that everyone else in the world has to do for themselves as well. No employer is setting up their employee with an emergency savings fund. So here is the one thing that you’re, you’re at the level.

[00:29:23] You’re at level playing field with everyone else. Everyone else has to save for this and so do you, especially in this industry, especially Covid environment and especially with the power imbalance of doing service. So when you are working in a service in the service industry, there’s a power imbalance for the people that are coming in.

[00:29:41] Every time you get a guest that comes in, they’re your miniature boss for an hour. And , which think about it, right? Like you have a new boss every hour they come in not knowing the rules,

[00:29:52] Tori Dunlap: Yep, yep. Yep.

[00:29:54] Barbara Sloan: they don’t know the rules, they do
n’t know the establishment, they don’t know anything, but they’re gonna tell you how it’s gonna be and, and you’re gonna do your best.

[00:30:00] And so, When you have an emergency fund, it gives you a little bit more power in that dynamic, which is really important to make sure that you can stay safe and that you can say no to problematic or unsafe situations. So emergency funds are super important and you know, people who are working on a fluctuating income tip income, or even consultant gig workers, it’s super important for.

[00:30:25] I love to gamify the emergency fund for people who work in the service industry. Um, if you are, let’s say you’re a server working at a, at a, at a restaurant, and you have a five table section. Pick one of those tables to be your emergency savings tables so that you can gamify it a little bit.

[00:30:43] It, you will realize that you will treat those people so much more different than all the rest of your guests, cuz those people are the, that’s your emergency fund section. Or if you’re at a bar, pick out a couple of seats. This is all of the tips that I get from these people are going to my emergency savings fund.

[00:30:58] You could also do this by a saving shift per week. Like maybe your Tuesday shifts are gonna go towards your emergency savings. Maybe if you’re a. All of the people wearing yellow shirts, all of their money goes to your, there’s ways for you to make it fun so it doesn’t feel like such a slog to get there.

[00:31:15] Um, and then for retirement accounts, it’s, again, it’s, it’s not as sexy for people in the nine to five who get to, oh, they get the pre-tax benefit. They, they get their employers picking all of these plans for them, their employers paying for it. It’s, it’s not gonna. as great as that. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still create retirement funds and have a successful and enjoyable retirement.

[00:31:43] And so for people who are technically W2 in the service industry, what you’re gonna start off with is an ira. You still have access to an IRA when that bucket is full. And, and this is an important thing for people who work in the tipped industry, you have to claim. enough in earned income in order to invest into a ira.

[00:32:07] This is very important for my tipped workers to know this, um, that if you do not claim for a, for example, $6,000 in income, you cannot invest $6,000 into a Roth or traditional ira. Um, but once you do, and that’s, and that’s taken care of and that bucket is full, then you move on to a brokerage account. If you are a 10 99 or off.

[00:32:30] Worker. Um, and I will also say that if your job is making you be on a 10 99 or paying you under the table, yes, fuck them. Um, but also use this to your advantage. This means that you are a entrepreneur and you have access to a bunch more things. You have access to write off a ton of your expenses. So like, honestly, kind of take it, I always like to say, let them fuck you the whole way and.

[00:32:58] Tori Dunlap: Back front every

[00:32:59] Barbara Sloan: everywhere, right? Like, all right, I don’t need your $2 and 13 cents, because on the other side of that, I can open up a step ira, which I can max

[00:33:09] Tori Dunlap: my gas and my mileage every time I drive to work

[00:33:12] Barbara Sloan: and my health insurance and my cell phone bill

[00:33:15] Tori Dunlap: also the accountant who is filing my complicated taxes every year.

[00:33:20] Barbara Sloan: mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . So, um,

[00:33:23] Tori Dunlap: And if part of your business or business is that you work from home, well cool. You get to write off part of your rent.

[00:33:29] Barbara Sloan: Yeah. Yeah. So I absolutely love when the employers of this industry are like, just, just stay off the books. And then I feel bad because sometimes we have, we’re not educated in this, and so we’ll say, no, I’m, I’m entitled to my $2 and 13 cents. And it’s like, no, just . Let them keep that. Let them keep.

[00:33:49] Tori Dunlap: there was so many things she just said that were so impactful. First, I will admit, uh, a little vulnerably. Um, I just went to the dentist last month for the first time in three years. And I have health insurance. Now it’s shit health insurance because I am young and healthy. And also I own my own business.

[00:34:05] And also when you’re a woman, health insurance is more expensive because they expect you to get pregnant at any time. Fun fact about that. Um, but, uh, I now have to do what’s called a deep cleaning because I did not go around for a really long time because the dentist scares. And now I have a higher bill than if I were to just go in and do my cleanings and pay my copay and whatever.

[00:34:27] So, yep. Echoing that. I also know, um, a lot of my friends who are lower income or who are business owners who can’t afford or, you know, don’t have the benefits, they’re sliding scale therapy in a lot of major cities. , you know, you can say, work with a therapist who you know would normally charge $200 an hour, but is just charging 75 or 65 an hour.

[00:34:49] Um, so that’s a resource that’s really impactful. And then, yeah, could not agree more with like if you’re, if you get to get paid under the table, use it to your advantage. Like there are so many things you can write off. There are so many tax breaks that you can get. You just need to understand how to navigate that.

[00:35:07] And I would. That’s where you like get a good accountant. And again, you get to write that off because they will teach you all of this. Back in 2016, I used my parents’ accountant, shout out Bill. And good old Bill sat down with me and was like, here’s everything you can write off. And that was like a masterclass in understanding how to navigate all of this.

[00:35:28] Barbara Sloan: Yeah. Hundred, a hundred, a hundred percent. Oh my gosh. Ugh. Yeah. So also with retirement, the other thing I like to point out for people, because I feel like a lot of people, when you. Dollar bills as your income, it can feel really hard to get to a million dollars. It can feel really hard to get to 500,000.

[00:35:47] It can re get, feel really hard to get to these other amounts that people are talking about

[00:35:52] Tori Dunlap: Right. These like milestone amounts.

[00:35:54] Barbara Sloan: Exactly. The first thing I always like to say is you’re not saving that amount, you’re investing that amount, and it’s gonna double a bunch of times because of compound interest. So you’re not saving for retirement, you are investing for retirement.

[00:36:07] The second thing I also like to point out is that you are middle or lower income. You don’t have as much to save for. Like if you’re comparing yourself to somebody else who’s high income, they are having to save for this huge lifestyle, this six figure l
ifestyle that they have to maintain if you’re lower and middle income, not that it’s gonna be easier, but you have a lot less to that you have to invest for your retirement.

[00:36:30] So it’s not you, you don’t, don’t compare yourself to other people. It’s totally possible for you. Um, and. You know, you may not have access to a retirement account, but the only thing that makes it a retirement account is that there’s slight tax advantages you can retire with a brokerage account. I always like to say this to people in personal finance space because, um, I think the analogy is, is the same, but a, a brokerage account is technically any account that they have at a brokerage firm.

[00:37:02] Um, and so. When we in the personal finance space are talking about a brokerage account, we are talking about an after tax account, and so anyone can have access to that and you can absolutely use that as your vehicle to save and invest for your retirement.

[00:37:18] Tori Dunlap: Yeah, I. Out my retirement accounts, the ones that are available to me like the IRA or the, you know, solo 401k. And then because, you know, I make enough, I max those out and then I put everything else in a general brokerage account. Which again is just a general account that’s investing not for a particular purpose, right?

[00:37:38] It’s not like retirement or a 5 29 for your kid’s college. It’s just a general investing account. So yeah, everyone has access to those. I also love what you said earlier about like gamifying it. And even if you’re not a tipped worker, I feel like you can do this too, of like, uh, it would’ve been so fun for me to like sit in my nine to five job and be like, for every bullshit meeting, My hourly rate gets to get saved, or, you know, it gets to be like put in a, a vacation fund.

[00:38:03] So every meeting I have to spend being mansplain too gets to go somewhere and it’s like, okay, that was probably at least three meetings a week.

[00:38:11] Barbara Sloan: Yeah. For, for me, it was anyone who was a dick, I took their tip and put. Investment account. And then I was, because I was like,

[00:38:17] Tori Dunlap: the ultimate fuck you.

[00:38:18] Barbara Sloan: exactly, I’m gonna be living off of this and you’re gonna have your golden handcuffs and still be working and I’m gonna be retired on your money because it’s gonna double a thousand different times.

[00:38:27] So, and, and shitty tips. You can take your shitty tips and invest those cuz you’re like, you know what? You don’t wanna gimme 20%. I’ll make it into 20%. Right. So

[00:38:36] Tori Dunlap: I love that so much.

[00:38:38] Barbara Sloan: um, an another tip I have for budgeting and retirement planning, um, is. You know, people talk a lot about the envelope system. I think the envelope system for the graduated people is just having a few different bank accounts.

[00:38:51] So I, I like to have . Yeah, I like to have a few

[00:38:55] Tori Dunlap: Don’t, I’m like, again, if we’re talking about like using the money you have and making it work harder for you, just letting it sit in cash. Just like high yield savings accounts are like 4% and like 4% is nothing to sneeze at right

[00:39:09] Barbara Sloan: Uhuh. So good. So good. Yeah. So high yield savings accounts for sure. Instead of using the envelope system, we have like a graduated system of like using multiple bank accounts, which I think is really great when you have different. Priorities. I also like it for people in the service industry, becau or gig workers.

[00:39:25] This is a, this is a great, great hack for gig workers or tipped workers, and especially for spicy entertainers. So if you are a spicy entertainer, um, and you put all of your money into your business account, you can pay yourself equal installments, which will make it easier for you to budget. This does double duty for spicy accountants in the event that one of your bank accounts gets shut down.

[00:39:50] which can happen. So it’s really good for you to have multiple bank accounts at different institutions. Um, and this also helps if you wanna have one with like a high yield savings account and you want to like pay yourself in equal installments, put yourself on a regular, regular income

[00:40:05] Tori Dunlap: Smart. They shut bank accounts down. This is my own naivete.

[00:40:10] Barbara Sloan: they can Yeah.

[00:40:12] Tori Dunlap: Cool.

[00:40:12] Barbara Sloan: I just read that somebody got a business bank account shut down because they used their debit card at a, like a weed establishment in New York City.

[00:40:23] Tori Dunlap: Which shit’s legal. Yes.

[00:40:25] Barbara Sloan: Yes. But banks are federal and since it’s not federally legal, then the institution can.

[00:40:34] Tori Dunlap: I’m here in Seattle, in Washington where the shit’s been legal for, oh God, probably eight years at this point. And so it’s just like, I’m like,

[00:40:41] Barbara Sloan: Yes, but you forget how fucked up the rest of the country is. Like your state, Washington is awesome because they, um, they did away with the sub minimum wage and there’s only 13 states that have done away with the sub minimum wage. And so you realize that there’s all of these other places in the country that are still really messed up and that we have a long way to go for tipped workers.

[00:41:02] Tori Dunlap: Well, let’s talk about that. It’s a perfect transition of what thoughts do you have on legislation to better regulate tipped industries, better supports individuals. What are your thoughts on all of that?

[00:41:15] Barbara Sloan: So I think when I first thought about this book, um, I didn’t graduate college. I don’t have any credentials. I don’t know anyone who works for government. I don’t have good language. Um, you know, like, I don’t know how to. Talk to lobbyists. And so for me, the other industry that I’ve been a part of, as long as the service industry is construction.

[00:41:39] And what is interesting about the construction industry is that there’s, or this organization called osha, and OSHA is designed by the federal government, government to educate workers and work and, and employers to reduce the number of workplace injuries and deaths. Once they educated the workforce, they changed the industry from within.

[00:41:59] And so that’s my. , right? Like I wanna educate the workforce and change the industry from within. And I think that the professionals who work in this industry have the ability to change the industry from within. It may start with them controlling what they can control within their own finances, but eventually, once you have that, then t
he power imbalance changes a lot.

[00:42:20] You can have more active conversations with your managers, you can have more active conversations with maybe the owners of the company. You can have more active convers. with, and, and that was a part of writing this book, is like, I wanted to give language to people to be able to advocate for themselves.

[00:42:35] I don’t know what the answer is. I know that the sub minimum wage needs to change and that the, even that is not enough. There’s an organization called One Fair Wage that is working towards legislation, right? They’re making, they’re putting things on state ballots. They’re trying to get things changed and I’m fully in support of that.

[00:42:53] Initially, they. , they wanted to do away with tipping altogether, but they also talked to the workforce and realized that that’s not what the workers wanted. And so we have to start with removing the, the, the sub minimum wage and go from there.

[00:43:09] Tori Dunlap: are there things that tipped workers can do as individuals to better advocate for themselves and for their pay?

[00:43:15] Barbara Sloan: I mean, the first thing I would recommend is getting yourself an emergency fund, because once you have that, you are going to be able to speak up for yourself and others much more easily. You have to protect yourself.

[00:43:25] Tori Dunlap: you want. Yep.

[00:43:27] Barbara Sloan: Exactly. You, you can set an example by walking out of a toxic environment, um, when you have, when, when you’re taken care of, when you use this example beautifully, when your cup is full.

[00:43:38] Um, and so you have to, you

[00:43:40] Tori Dunlap: you read my book? It sounds like you’ve read my

[00:43:42] Barbara Sloan: Yeah, I just got it this week. I started skimming it. I’ve, I’ve started to like, um,

[00:43:47] Tori Dunlap: said it a couple times and I’m like, oh, I think she’s read the book,

[00:43:50] Barbara Sloan: yes, I just got it. I’m very, I’m very

[00:43:52] Tori Dunlap: I got your book too. And I have, I’ve been purposely not reading personal finance books as I’ve like launched the books.

[00:43:58] I don’t wanna be like, influenced. Um, and so yeah, I’m sitting down probably this year to read it and so

[00:44:03] Barbara Sloan: yes, that’s kind of where I’m at. I’m just, I writing this book was really challenging.

[00:44:10] Tori Dunlap: Oh, I feel the same way. Dude, , I have talked on this podcast. People are probably sick of hearing about it, but like this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done professionally, and I’m like, oh my

[00:44:19] Barbara Sloan: ugh. So I launched in August of last year and, and yes, I’ve bought a number of personal finance books, but have not been able to like re read through them. I, I,

[00:44:29] Tori Dunlap: And it also, like, I love everybody in this industry, but it feels like work. Like it’s not like a fun thing for me to sit down and do. And again, I’m sure your book’s great. There’s books that are great. Like I buy people’s books that I love and wanna support and like, but I’m also like, this is work for me.

[00:44:44] When I sit down and read these books. Like this feels like work because this is what I do every day.

[00:44:48] Barbara Sloan: And, and it’s also like, no offense to any of us, but we’re, we’re all talking about the same seven concepts in a different way, you know? And so like, it’s. For me, like that’s the whole thing about my book is I took all of the basic pillars of personal finance and I adapted them to work for people who work in the industry.

[00:45:07] Now, what’s

[00:45:07] Tori Dunlap: And I took the same basics about personal finance and adapted them to have a Feminist intersectional lens. That’s the hope. At least

[00:45:15] Barbara Sloan: And so the only thing that’s different about mine is I have a chapter that bookends about mindset. And the first chapter

[00:45:21] Tori Dunlap: Yep. Mine too.

[00:45:22] Barbara Sloan: all the things that people are left outta and how their, how their environment is different because environment.

[00:45:27] Tori Dunlap: thing for my book is the first half of every chapter is what I call the patriarchal bullshit it all, which is what I talk about like, here are all of the systemic issues that are, that are barring us from building wealth. Okay. Here’s what we can do about it. Yeah.

[00:45:40] Barbara Sloan: you. And you know what, I love the overlap for your, your message and my message and, and this goes back to kind of like why we haven’t seen much change in this sub minimum wage is that two thirds of people who, over two thirds of people who work in the service industry are women. Women. And so in care taking roles in, in other roles when it’s mostly women, you are not seeing any, any advocacy for increased wages, childcare, teaching, healthcare.

[00:46:14] Anywhere you find women, you are not finding a whole lot of people.

[00:46:18] Tori Dunlap: Sex work.

[00:46:19] Barbara Sloan: Sex work. There’s a, I talk about this a lot in the book. There’s a huge overlap and I have overlapped in both sex work and the service industry. And yeah, so there’s, there’s not a lot of protection for, for women.

[00:46:31] Tori Dunlap: Yep.

[00:46:32] Barbara Sloan: It’s sad.

[00:46:38] Tori Dunlap: I just hate it. I hate it here.

[00:46:40] Barbara Sloan: I hate it here

[00:46:41] Tori Dunlap: I hate it here, but we’re doing what we can. We’re doing what we

[00:46:45] Barbara Sloan: And hopefully this information can, To change things like that is literally my goal is to,

[00:46:52] Tori Dunlap: Right?

[00:46:53] Barbara Sloan: I, I wrote the book I wish I had had at 20

[00:46:58] Tori Dunlap: I did, I, yep. I did the same thing.

[00:47:01] Barbara Sloan: because if I had had this at 20, because I was always like, I was like into self-help pretty early on, e
ven as a kid. Like I remember

[00:47:10] Tori Dunlap: I feel like again, women are

[00:47:12] Barbara Sloan: Yeah, we have

[00:47:13] Tori Dunlap: because we’ve been told constantly better yourself and guys are out here just slobs. But it’s something with girls where it’s like better yourself constantly. Never be satisfied with who you are. Ever,

[00:47:24] Barbara Sloan: Chicken Soup for the Teenage

[00:47:26] Tori Dunlap: Oh dude, I re, oh God, yes. You remember those books?

[00:47:31] Remember those fucking books? Yep. Yep.

[00:47:34] Barbara Sloan: Mm-hmm. . So I think with that,

[00:47:36] Tori Dunlap: the Karen keeping of you. Do you remember that one? Did you have that one? Can, can I ask how old you.

[00:47:41] Barbara Sloan: Yeah. I’m almost 40. I’ll be 40

[00:47:43] Tori Dunlap: so I may have, yeah, so I’m 28. There was people listening, they might remember, maybe Kristen, our podcast producer, will also remember there was an American girl book and I loved it.

[00:47:52] And it was about like, it was not even self-help, it was just like, How to deal with your growing and changing body. And it was like so helpful where it was like, here’s what pubic hair is and here’s how to put in a tampon. And like when you’re mad at your mom, for seemingly no reason, that’s completely normal and like, anyway,

[00:48:10] Barbara Sloan: Can, can I, can I, can I like tail end that with my new favorite adult version book of that.

[00:48:15] Tori Dunlap: Talk to me.

[00:48:16] Barbara Sloan: Come as you are

[00:48:18] Tori Dunlap: Oh, I’ve heard about this.

[00:48:19] Barbara Sloan: my God. I feel like this is another book that’s gonna just like, help us dismantle the

[00:48:25] Tori Dunlap: Isn’t it come c u M?

[00:48:27] Barbara Sloan: No, I, she’s a doc. No, she’s a, she’s a doctor. She’s super fucking credentialed. It, I think. I think she went c o e.

[00:48:35] She’s a

[00:48:35] Tori Dunlap: In my head, I thought is isn’t it about sexual health or am I thinking of a completely different book?

[00:48:40] Kristen, our producer, popped in to let us know that it is basically insinuated, um, and that there is a vulva esque drawing on the cover. I’m literally Googling it right now.

[00:48:51] Barbara Sloan: Yeah, so I think the three mandatory books that everyone should be reading is Tipped Financial. Feminist and come as You are,

[00:48:58] Tori Dunlap: Hey, thanks. Yeah, definitely a, um, definitely. Oh, it’s a zipper. That looks like a vulva. Yes. Yes, yes. Okay. Well, great. I’m excited to read it.

[00:49:07] Barbara Sloan: Yeah. It’s the adult version of your Burke.

[00:49:11] Tori Dunlap: Of, of, yeah. of, of the Karen keeping of you the American Girl Book. Um, cool. I will check it out. Um, my last question for you, what do you.

[00:49:20] For the tipping industry, like what are your hopes for the industry? What are your hopes for workers?

[00:49:25] Barbara Sloan: Yeah, obviously dismantling the sub minimum wage. Um, 90% of people who work in the service industry work for small mom and pop type establishments that don’t have hr, that don’t have any types of benefits, and my hope is that we get these. businesses, some hr. Now I am aware that. These employers are not the employers from the post Civil War era, right?

[00:49:53] These are good people who took their passion and love for food and beverage and service and sunk their savings into a, a very difficult business with slim margins. And it’s gonna take a while for those businesses, especially post covid, to catch up, to be able to provide those types of benefits. Um, but I think also as consumers.

[00:50:15] we need to remember that service industry props up not only our communities, but our real estate values and, and so much of the other businesses in our communities.

[00:50:26] Tori Dunlap: And the just experience of being in a city like I. The biggest foodie and like that was one of, you know, besides, you know, obviously the death and the suffering. The hardest thing personally for me in the pandemic was like the lack of experience of going into a restaurant and having a good meal and talking to people.

[00:50:46] And you know, for the places that did survive, I think it is so important for. As individuals who don’t work in the service industry to support the people that do, um, not only for their livelihoods, but also just for the joy and the vibrancy and the culture of a city or of a place. Um, yeah, I couldn’t agree more.

[00:51:06] Barbara Sloan: Yeah. I think it’s, we need these establishments for our mental health. Who do we tell our secrets to? Our hairstylists, our bartenders, our, you know, like our, our sex workers. Those are the people that we’re telling everything to. Those are the, the underpaid therapists of our. Our world and they are, they’re struggling, right?

[00:51:25] Tori Dunlap: Yeah, totally. Um, we will link a bunch more resources in the show notes as well. Thank you for being here. Uh, thank you for your expertise in your work. Where can people find you?

[00:51:35] Barbara Sloan: Thank you so much for asking. Um, people can find me on the socials at Tipped Finance. I hang out mostly on Instagram. I’m starting on TikTok, but Oof. That’s a youngest person game. That’s tough. Um, I just did some standup, so I do standup here in New York City and I just

[00:51:51] Tori Dunlap: You know Farish. Sharabi does stand up in New York

[00:51:54] Barbara Sloan: She and I have talked about this many

[00:51:55] Tori Dunlap: I love it. Yep.

[00:51:57] Barbara Sloan: Yep. She and I went to the same comedy school.

[00:52:00] Tori Dunlap: Cool.

[00:52:01] Barbara Sloan: And so we actually both did our performance at Gotham Comedy Club.

[00:52:05] Tori Dunlap: I love it. That’s so cool.

[00:52:07] Barbara Sloan: small world in New York.

[00:52:08] Tori Dunlap: So yeah, if you’re in New York, go see, go see the financial experts do Stand up.

[00:52:13] Barbara Sloan: apparently we’re just hilarious.

[00:52:15] Tori Dunlap: There’s also like weirdly with theater too, I joke there’s a ton of us who have theater backgrounds, like myself, Aaron Lowry, uh, Stephanie O’Connell Rodriguez. Like there is a lot of people doing what we do with like theater or performance backgrounds, which is just so random to me, but.

[00:52:32] Barbara Sloan: because we’re exposed to so much pain and we have to turn it into art.

[00:52:37] Tori Dunlap: I like to think it’s because I’m good at public speaking, but sure. We’ll go with the pain as well.

[00:52:41] Barbara Sloan: that’s a better answer. steal that.

[00:52:45] Tori Dunlap: Oh my God, I love it. Thanks for being here.

[00:52:47] Barbara Sloan: Thanks.

Tori Dunlap

Tori Dunlap is an internationally-recognized money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money. She has helped over one million women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest.

Tori’s work has been featured on Good Morning America, the New York Times, BBC, TIME, PEOPLE, CNN, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, BuzzFeed, and more.

With a dedicated following of almost 250,000 on Instagram and more than 1.6 million on TikTok —and multiple instances of her story going viral—Tori’s unique take on financial advice has made her the go-to voice for ambitious millennial women. CNBC called Tori “the voice of financial confidence for women.”

An honors graduate of the University of Portland, Tori currently lives in Seattle, where she enjoys eating fried chicken, going to barre classes, and attempting to naturally work John Mulaney bits into conversation.

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