top of page
  • Writer's pictureJill Medeiros

How to Save $100K: Bite Into the Salary Negotiation Sandwich

August’s Together Digital Seattle Meetup was sponsored by Rational, a women-founded and -led creative agency passionate about partnering with clients to transform customer experience and drive business value.

Do you want to save $100K by the time you're 25? Has that ship already sailed (🙋)? Even if you're (well) beyond 25, it's never too late to get your finances in order and live your best fiscal life. Tori Dunlap, founder of and finance extraordinaire at Her First $100K, graced the Seattle chapter of Together Digital with her wisdom, laying out exactly how she’s on track to save $100K by 25 years old and giving women actionable resources to reach their first six figures too.

Now, there are a few privileges that Tori has been graced with to get to this level of savings at this particularly “early” point of her life — some that many of us may not have the luxury of having — and she acknowledges this at the beginning of her workshop. But with those privileges lessons are still learned and Tori provided incredible tools, exercises, and myth-busting of our perceived limitations.

So, how'd she get to $100K in savings? To start: with every job she has ever held, she’s negotiated at least 10% more.


  • Budgeted and saved according to her values, and stuck to a plan

  • Negotiated salary every time

  • Started investing (by opening a Roth IRA) at age 21

  • Side hustled

  • Privilege

But how does this help you? Tori broke out these elements via the following systems and exercises.

  • The Money Diary

  • Three Value Category

  • The Three Bucket Budget

  • Money Dates

  • The Financial Priority List

  • Investing 101A (The Toe Dip into Investing)

  • Salary Negotiation

  • Defining Your Goals

Now, while it’d be marvelous to share each and every secret Tori unveiled to attendees at the meetup, we’re not about to blow up her entire job, so let’s dive into the big career takeaway. Salary negotiation and the gratitude sandwich.

(You can learn more about all her other money-saving tips listed above by visiting her blog at



While this context mainly applies to women, guys can listen in too. Did you know women perform better in negotiations if they pretend they’re doing it on behalf of someone they love? When it comes to negotiations, it can be easier to convince that gym studio to throw in a free water bottle than it is to ask a potential employer for more vacation days if they can’t meet your salary expectations.

So how do we get not only what we want, but what we need or deserve?

The Gratitude Sandwich.

According to Tori, women have to be perceived as grateful, not pushy. So we use this to our advantage. Here’s how to construct your sandwich (or quesadilla or gyro – whichever your ‘wich) for optimum satiation.

Bread: Gratitude

After you’ve received your offer letter and you’ve done your market research (Glassdoor, PayScale, and having conversations with your colleagues), always thank them first. “Thank you so much for this opportunity, I felt right at home and I can’t wait to start work!”

Meat: Data + The Ask

Remember: negotiations are collaborations, not conflicts.

“Based on my skills, experience, and the market salary data – in order to be fairly compensated, I’m looking for a range of $X-Y.” If you know that $70K is your market rate, ask for $75-78K.

Condiment: Collaborative Statements

When in doubt, or if you get flustered, keep coming back to these statements: “I want to work together to come to an agreement on this.” “I want to get to a number we can collaboratively agree on.”

Bread: Gratitude

Now it’s time to wrap it up with gratitude again!

“I’m so excited to start work and am really looking forward to it, thank you!”

Lettuce: Negotiating a Raise (Between Condiment + Bread)

If you’re negotiating a raise, you want to have two sheets of paper.

First sheet: the original role you were hired on listing out all the expectations of the job and duties. You’re going to have bullets on how you knocked that out of the park.

Second sheet: what you’ve been doing beyond the expectations of the job description that added value to the company. “Here’s everything I’ve done that’s added value to the company. Here are all the people I managed that wasn’t in my original job description, etc.”

**Keep a running list during your time in the role to best prepare for this conversation when the time comes!**

Then there's how this sandwich is served, and for that you'll want to head on over to


Negotiating can be intimidating—and also carries a lot of connotations when it's ultimately just a conversation—but just remember to come to the table prepared and with these phrases and tools in your back pocket and you’re bound for success. But we're really just skimming the surface here. Be confident and unstoppable at your next negotiation and join Tori for a live, online negotiation workshop or work with her one-on-one with private negotiation coaching. She's even offering up her 10% off discount to readers of this article! Use the code "TOGETHERDIGITAL" to invest in yourself.

And if you want to save that $100K, there’s a plan for that, too. Tori’s got the resources to get you started at

707 views0 comments


bottom of page