More about Mrs. Need2Save (the right brained one):
In contrast to Mr. Need2Save, I attended a small liberal arts college in the mid-90s. Like him, I was also the first one in my family to go to college. I felt lucky to be awarded a partial scholarship. My mom was incredibly proud and supportive but looking back I know it was a serious strain on her to take out loans to help me pay for this education while raising 3 other kids. I did my part by working part-time jobs and taking loans of my own.
My Alma Matter was one of those rare, small college campuses (all women, no less) where literally everyone on campus knew you by name. If you skipped a morning class, your professor hunted you down by lunchtime to be sure you had not contracted the bubonic plague. Although my hubby likes to somewhat diss my liberal arts education, this is where I learned to be accountable and where I found the power in my own voice. The over-achiever in me was cultivated during this time and I finished enough credits to graduate Cum Laude with my B.A. in Business and Economics after only 3.5 years! Can we say saving serious money already at age 21! I later completed MBA classes at our state university (on my employer’s dime), but I was unable to finish due to evolving family priorities. This was before the era of online degrees. I have no regrets about not finishing my MBA and I did meet a lot of interesting and smart people during this time.
After college, I fell into a career in Human Resources. The majority of my HR career has been specialized in benefits and I am currently a senior level manager responsible for corporate benefits at a large company. There is a lot of painful, tedious and even boring work involved in managing a benefits platform for over 5,000 employees. However, it has nurtured a passion in educating and helping others. The great thing about working in HR and benefits, is you see both the individual experience and the business side of running multi-million dollar programs. You share in the company’s responsibility to nudge employees into behaviors to help themselves (I’m talking about budgeting, savings for retirement, taking care of your family’s health, planning for your kid’s college, and general career development) all while trying to achieve my own work-life balance and financial independence. The concept of talking frankly and openly about my thoughts in these areas is appealing to me rather than through the constant PC filter I must apply in my day job.
I have found this work rewarding both financially and on a personal fulfillment level, but I’m also ready to apply myself to new adventures in the near future. The lure of financial independence is powerful and contagious really. I’m blessed that I have a similarly minded partner on this journey. Sometimes we disagree about how to get there, but we ultimately agree on the big stuff. Through careful planning and working hard, we can have anything and everything we want in life. How amazing!