So Money's Farnoosh Torabi doubled her salary and tells us how we can too

Farnoosh Torabi Instagram with white frame.png

 

Farnoosh Torabi was underpaid and overworked as a young journalist. But a key piece of information put her on the road- albeit a rocky road- to doubling her pay.  

In Farnoosh’s story you will learn:

-What to ask your HR department to find out if you are underpaid

-Strategies to use if your pay is at the low end of the salary range for your job

-When to know it is time to look for a job outside your current company

-How to handle the big question “How much do you want to make” during job interviews

-How to turn an employers promise of a future raise, into an immediate salary bump

In Farnoosh’s lesson you will learn:

-How to most effectively advocate for yourself

-How Farnoosh was able to persevere even when she faced pushback about her compensation

-The importance of getting the information in advance of negotiations

In Farnoosh’s money tip you will learn:

-Why she advocates checking your numbers every day

-What weight and wealth management have in common

-How she uses Mint

-How checking your finances can help catch financial fraud or hackers

In My Take you will learn:

-My mothers suprising negotiating technique

-How I got a salary above my ‘reach’  range by using it

-My dad’s philosophy on how companies show appreciation

-How to handle being offered a higher title and more responsibility- without a pay bump

Episode Links:

Find out more about Farnoosh’s course “Personal Finance for Grads” on Investopedia.com by going to academy.investopedia.com and look for Personal Finance for Grads. 

Be sure to use the code FARNOOSH20 to get 20% off the $99 course lifetime access. 

Farnoosh also mentions Mint, where you can also check out her columns.

You can learn more about Farnoosh Torabi on her website http://farnoosh.tv/

 

Follower her on social media:

Twitter: @FARNOOSH

Instagram @farnooshtorabi

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FarnooshTorabi

Listen to the So Money podcast on itunes

And check out  my episode from when How to be a Financial Grownup came out!

 

 

 
Farnoosh Torabi was underpaid and overworked as a young journalist. But a key piece of information put her on the road- albeit a rocky road- to doubling her pay. Listen to this Financial Grownup podcast to learn how she doubled her salary and how you can too. #Salary #SalaryIncrease

Farnoosh Torabi was underpaid and overworked as a young journalist. But a key piece of information put her on the road- albeit a rocky road- to doubling her pay. Listen to this Financial Grownup podcast to learn how she doubled her salary and how you can too. #Salary #SalaryIncrease

 

Transcription

Farnoosh Torabi:
I was in my mid 20s, wanting to get a raise at my job, kept asking over and over again to no avail. Finally, my father clued me in to this term that was really ground-breaking for me.

Bobbi Rebell:
You're listening to Financial Grownup. With me, certified financial planner, Bobbi Rebell, author of How to be a Financial Grownup. You know what? Being a grownup is really hard, especially when it comes to money. But it's okay. We're going to get there together. I'm going to bring you one money story from a financial grownup, one lesson, and then my take on how you can make it your own. We got this.

Bobbi Rebell:
So, what were the magic words my guest's father told her about? And no, they were not, "I quit," or anything like that. But I do promise you, friends, you will learn a lot about the harsh reality of trying to pry more money out of a current employer, emphasis on current.

Bobbi Rebell:
You're also going to learn a whole lot about the power of information. My guest is Farnoosh Torabi. She is a big name in the personal finance space. You probably know her as the host of the So Money podcast. She's also the author of a growing list of best-selling books, which began with the, You're So Money; Live Rich Even when You're Not, published in 2008, and her most recent, When She Makes More. She also has a red hot course on Investopedia on personal finance. What else? I'm going to ask her about it. Here is Farnoosh Torabi.

Bobbi Rebell:
Farnoosh Torabi, you are a financial grownup, and I am so excited to be chatting with you today.

Farnoosh Torabi:
I'm so glad that I earned this designation. Financial grownup, how great. Thank you for having me.

Bobbi Rebell:
I'm so happy you're here, and you're definitely a grownup, and by the way, I have you to thank for inspiring me to do this podcast. It was something that I was thinking about for a while, and we had a little conversation in the green room at the 92nd Street Y before a conference, and that was kind of the final push that I needed. So, I am forever grateful, so thank you.

Farnoosh Torabi:
Oh my gosh. Well, I'm glad to help. I'm happy to serve. I'm in. So wonderful that you're doing this. It makes a hundred thousand percent sense.

Bobbi Rebell:
Women podcasting about personal finance is a category that we want to grow, so we're all in this together. Speaking of growing, you are moving into courses. You have a really cool new thing happening with one of my favorite websites, Investopedia.

Farnoosh Torabi:
Investopedia.com basically brought my dreams to life. I've always wanted to do a money course, but as you know, as people listening know, a course is a big project. It's not just the teaching of the course, but it's the marketing, the infrastructure, the sales, the production, and frankly, all that just made me get dizzy and not feel like at all interested. I just wanted to show up and teach.

Bobbi Rebell:
But this is where you say, "It was worth it, though."

Farnoosh Torabi:
It was worth it. Well, they came to me and they're like, "We'll do all the back end stuff if you can just show up and teach," and that was music to my ears. So, together in collaboration, we created a nine-module money course, catered to graduates, people who are just recently out of college, young adults. They're getting their first paycheck, their first real paycheck, and they want to learn how to maximize it, how to make the most of that weekly/monthly paycheck.

Farnoosh Torabi:
So, you're going to learn about how to budget, how to save, how to invest properly, how to earn more, as salaries have been stagnant for a long time, so really excited about that.

Farnoosh Torabi:
If you go to academy.investopedia.com, and you look for Personal Finance for Grads, that's the new name of the course. We ended up switching it, because we wanted it to be really specific about who we were targeting. Personal Finance for Grads. And if you use the code, FARNOOSH20, you'll get 20% off. It's just 99 bucks, but you'll get another 20 bucks off with that code, FARNOOSH20.

Bobbi Rebell:
And also, maybe a good graduation present. Just a couple of months from now, people will be graduating. It's a really good thing, even if you're not a graduate, to think about gifting to someone.

Farnoosh Torabi:
Great idea. Yeah, thank you. Thank you for that plug. It's lifetime access, so whether you buy it now, or in six months, or today, you'll have it forever.

Bobbi Rebell:
Good stuff, and by the way, when I was studying for my CFP, Investopedia was my go-to destination when you're looking for some arcane financial term, they have it all there, so that's my nod to Investopedia.

Farnoosh Torabi:
Well, they're the largest resource for financial information, so makes sense that you were able to bank on their definitions.

Bobbi Rebell:
Right, no one would have some of these terms, but they have everything there, so they're a good place to check out, and get your course.

Bobbi Rebell:
But I also want to talk to you about the money story that you have brought today, because it has something that I would love to do, which is that it doubled your salary. So, tell me. How exactly did you double your salary?

Farnoosh Torabi:
I was in my mid 20s, wanting to get a raise at my job, kept asking, over and over again, to no avail. Finally, my father clued me in to this term that was really ground-breaking for me. It was what's known as your salary range or your salary band. It's information that human resources typically has at the ready to give you. They're not going to voluntarily give this to you, but it is your right to know.

Farnoosh Torabi:
So, I went to HR, because what this salary band essentially tells you, is what your employer has budgeted for your job, for your post. At the time, I was a producer. I discovered through HR that the salary band for my job at this particular new station, was anywhere from $44,000 up to $85,000/$90,000.

Bobbi Rebell:
That's a big range.

Farnoosh Torabi:
That's a big range, and guess what? I was on the very low end of that range, despite having been there going on three years, doing multiple jobs that were above and beyond my original job requirements-

Bobbi Rebell:
And they didn't just come to you and say, "You're working really hard. Let's just give you [crosstalk 00:06:09]-

Farnoosh Torabi:
No.

Bobbi Rebell:
No, really? That's shocking.

Farnoosh Torabi:
When did that ever happen? So, I was taking all the right steps, but this was gold, you know, learning actually what my company at the most, valued me at, was gold. Now, I will say that I used that in my next meeting with my boss, "Since I have some updates, I discovered that I actually can make up to, you know, $90,000 in this role. I've been here for three years. I'm still at the very low end. I'm like in the fifth percentile of this range, so I'm not saying I want to make $90,000, but I do think we could bump me up like five or ten K." And it was, "Okay, maybe when we review budgets." It wasn't like a done deal.

Farnoosh Torabi:
So, then I started to really see the handwriting on the wall, started to look outside for a new job. When I got interviews, I never forgot that salary range, and when I finally got close to a deal at this new employer, and they were talking money, they said, "How much do you want to make?" And I remembered that range, because that range was not ... Look, remember that's not just a range probably for your employer, but it's industry norms.

Bobbi Rebell:
Right, companies know what's going on in their sector.

Farnoosh Torabi:
They know what's going on, and this new job that I was interviewing for, was a step up for me, and it was a more senior position, so that range was probably not even valid, but I used it as a baseline. So I said, "I would like to make $100,000." They said, "Well, we don't have a hundred, but we can give you 80."

Bobbi Rebell:
That sounds good.

Farnoosh Torabi:
I said, "Okay, well, you know what? I really, really want a hundred," and they said, "Well, why don't we start at 80, and then in six months we'll review where you're at, and we'll discuss maybe giving you a hundred at that point."

Farnoosh Torabi:
And I'm like, "Okay. This is the time to take all the money you can." When you're in negotiations. In six months, they're not even going to remember what they said about some meeting they wanted to have with you.

Farnoosh Torabi:
So, I said, "Look, can I have 90, and then I won't bother you in six months."

Bobbi Rebell:
I like that.

Farnoosh Torabi:
And they said, "Sure," nice and clean. And you know, so effectively, I doubled my salary. I went from 45 to 90, and I owe credit to knowing that salary range.

Bobbi Rebell:
So, Farnoosh, what is the lesson from your Financial Grownup money story?

Farnoosh Torabi:
The lesson is, you have to be your biggest advocate. You have to continually be curious about what it is you're after. So, I was not going to take "No," for an answer from my boss, and I just kept exploring, and digging, and questioning, "How can I make more money?"

Farnoosh Torabi:
And I talked to my family about it. It ended up my dad was the one who told me about this salary band thing, which I had no idea about. If I hadn't told him about it, I probably wouldn't have walked into HR, and asked them for the number, so don't give up. You know, a "No," is one step closer to a "Yes." As long as you stay curious, and determined.

Bobbi Rebell:
So, let me ask you. Do you have a day-to-day money tip, an everyday thing that you can recommend to people that they can implement right away?

Farnoosh Torabi:
Implement right away. I would say check your numbers every day. Look, I don't do this all the time, but I do step on a scale quite frequently, because I want to make sure that, you know, if I had a pretty crazy weekend of eating, I can check in with myself. I keep myself accountable. Like I'm, "Okay, I've gained a few pounds. I need to be mindful of what I'm putting in my mouth this week."

Farnoosh Torabi:
Your money's the same thing. Like you might have a week or a month where you overspend. It's important to know where you're at at all times, so that you can adjust. You can continually readjust and adjust and fine-tune your finances, but you're never going to be able to do that unless you have the knowledge of where you are financially.

Farnoosh Torabi:
So, on my phone, I am constantly checking my bank balance, my credit card balance. I check my Mint app, just to see am I over-spending, under-spending? I set budget limits for myself. This maybe isn't an every-hour or an every-day thing, but it certainly should be a regular, maybe twice to five times a week kind of thing.

Bobbi Rebell:
Well, it's also smart to check in because there's so much hacking and fraud, that this way you spot it.

Farnoosh Torabi:
Absolutely, right. For that reason alone, you should be checking your bank account.

Bobbi Rebell:
Awesome. Thank you for all the amazing advice, and thank you for being part of this new program. We really appreciate it.

Farnoosh Torabi:
My pleasure. Thank you.

Bobbi Rebell:
Here's my take, guys. Part of being a financial grownup is taking advice from your parents. I'm not always the best negotiator. I'm going to toss this one to my parents, and share some advice that they have given me over the years.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup negotiating strategy number one, courtesy of Adele Rebell, the Just Keep Your Mouth Shut technique, meaning let the other person say the first number.

Bobbi Rebell:
True story, I once had a number in mind as a reach for a job. I didn't think I was going to get anywhere near that kind of money, but I kept my mouth shut, let them make the first move, and the offer came in $10,000 higher than that reach number.

Bobbi Rebell:
Then, I sat there. I was calm, cool, collected, pretended it wasn't enough money, asked for more, and you know what? I got another $5,000.

Bobbi Rebell:
Bonus tip, by the way, from my mother, the Keep Your Mouth Shut strategy can also work for losing weight. I'm a CFP, not a nutritionist, but guys, it does work, because of course you eat less food.

Bobbi Rebell:
Okay, back to our focus on money. Financial Grownup strategy number two, comes from my father, Arthur Rebell. Companies show love and appreciation with money. Companies may try to distract you with a fancy new title and lots of new responsibilities, but then they don't give you a meaningful raise.

Bobbi Rebell:
Imagine if you tried to pay your Visa bill by saying, "Well, my budget's tight, but I'm going to call you my Senior Global Credit Card. Yeah, not so much. Take the higher title, and say "Yes," to moving up in terms of responsibilities. That's all good, but just know, it is not the same as a raise. Companies show love through compensation, aka money. So try to keep the focus on the money.

Bobbi Rebell:
Thank you all for the amazing feedback that we have already been getting on the program. It is truly appreciated. Please subscribe, download, share, review, rate, all that good stuff. We need it. We are a brand new podcast. All of your support means the world to us.

Bobbi Rebell:
I hope everyone enjoyed the show, and that we all got one step closer to being financial grownups.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup with Bobbi Rebell is edited and produced by Steve Stewart and is a BRK Media Production.