Julie’s Story…

When my senior year of high school began, I eagerly anticipated what the next year of my life would bring. However, while I was busy planning to attend college, things took a sudden turn in a different direction…

I became pregnant.

Now, instead of applying for college and scholarships, I was applying for a marriage certificate and starting a family. Two years later—and right after Christmas—when I was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with our second child, my 21-year-old husband decided he wanted to be single.

The shock didn’t fully set in until a few weeks later, as I lay awake in the hospital after just giving birth to my daughter. My family had left for the evening and my soon-to-be ex-husband, who was present for the birth, had gone forever. With my daughter in the nursery, the room was quiet for the first time.

And I was alone.

Weighted with every financial fear I could imagine, I started crying without knowing. A nurse passed my open door and stopped to ask if I was okay. “No,” was all I could manage to say.

In that moment, I had to face the truth: I was a statistic. I was a divorced woman and single mother of two at age 20. No, I wasn’t okay—I was frustrated at where I was in life. And although I was now a statistic, from that point forward, I became determined that my children would not be.

A Way Forward

Shortly after leaving the hospital, I drew a line in the sand and declared that I would find a way to better my life and give my children everything they needed to be successful adults. I knew college was my best chance, so I began taking classes. As a single mom, I could only manage two classes at a time in the evenings, but I was moving forward. After nearly 10 years of work, I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Accounting — and then I stayed an extra year to get my Master of Taxation. I became a CPA immediately afterward, and within a few years, I became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM (CFP™) professional and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™). The more I learned about the financial world, the more passionate I became.

The truth is, I have always been a “numbers girl.” I have always been comfortable with budgeting, managing investments, and financial planning–it’s the very reason I was able to face the otherwise debilitating statistics of “teenage pregnancy” and “divorced single mother at 20” and methodically tear down and conquer them.

My love of numbers saved me…and now my love of numbers can save others like me.

I know the questions women ask themselves about money, such as:

• Am I financially secure?
• Will I have money to visit my grandchildren several times a year?
• Will I be able to support myself if I need to?
• Will I become a financial burden to my children?

I know these questions—and so many more—because I asked them of myself.

In my life, I have struggled to put groceries on the table and gas in the car while raising my children. I have cried over my checkbook register—not sure how I would make the mortgage payment. I have worried about saving enough. And I came out on top. Now I have the opportunity, the honor, to help other women confidently manage their own wealth.

Life is too short to spend energy worrying about money and living in lack of it.

The moment in which you had to face all of your financial fears probably didn’t happen as you lay in a hospital bed, alone, after just giving birth at 20 years old. But let me assure you, no matter where–no matter how—if that moment ever comes, and a caring person asks if you’re okay, my mission is to ensure you can confidently answer, “I will be.”

I am passionate about making sure that no woman suffers for lack of a good plan for her future. I’m passionate about being there for the woman who fears becoming a statistic.