As a child my father did a great job of teaching me about and getting me excited about finances. I started babysitting at the age of 11 and from there I didn’t stop working, or saving. During high school and college I moved through lifeguarding, onto waitressing and working at the golf course. I purchased a car at 16 and my first piece of real estate at 19. I was my own off-campus landlord. I felt financially confident and strong!
After college I made my way up to the DC area. I joined some of my college buddies at a booming mortgage brokerage and continued on a trajectory of financial comfort and independence.
Next up, the Great Recession! It was the kind of major financial speed bump my younger self had never anticipated. I saw how some of the earlier financially focused decisions I had made in my life helped me to weather the storm. I refocused my career. At 26 I moved away from the deflated mortgage industry and got married.
I started working in the Wealth Management arena with a company and job I enjoyed. My husband and I settled into married life and welcomed two children. After I returned to work after our second child was born we started to discuss me taking some time away from the workforce. I couldn’t have imagined making the decision to be a stay at home mom as my earlier self but there I was, handing in my notice to my employer. This time I was the decision maker, but my personal financial picture had changed once again.
Taking three and a half years to stay at home with my children was without a doubt one of the best decisions of my life but it was a multi layered and difficult decision. It is extremely hard and frightening to give up your financial independence, even for a short time. You change not only the financial dynamic of your household but the personal dynamic of your relationship with your partner. I think it was important during that time to still manage the household finances, to be engaged and an active participant in my financial picture even when not generating an income.
Now I am back to work! Back to contributing financially to my family and back to a more balanced parental partnership with my husband. I hope to have the opportunity to help other women establish the type of financial security that affords them the ability to comfortably move through professional and personal cycles in their lives.
Janine graduated from the College of William & Mary with a BBA in Finance. She is actively involved in her local M.O.M.s club chapter and Girl Scout Troop.