Colleen Wysong, Office Manager at KHC Wealth Management, has packed a lot into her young life.  Looking back, she identified her three most important turning points, those big life changes that drastically altered her lifestyle as well as her financial situation.

Colleen grew up in a suburb of Kansas City and attended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.  She was drawn to the advertising industry and decided to major in mass communications.  As part of her education, Colleen spent a semester in Spain and came to an important realization: she loved the culinary arts, especially baking.  Upon graduation, the economy was bleak and the job market was worse, especially in advertising.  After much consideration, Colleen decided to follow her true passion and started over her studies in culinary school.  Unfortunately, this led to financial hardship for Colleen.  She was still paying student debt at Benedictine and now she had to fund more schooling.  But the trade-off was worth it – she was doing what she loved and Making Life Count!®

As part of her culinary education, Colleen was required to gain real-world experience.  She found a job in the kitchen at a country club in Kansas City and it was here she met her husband, Cecil.  Another big change!  She and Cecil decided to start a family right away, and after the birth of her first son, it became painfully evident that the demanding hours she kept as a chef were not conducive to raising a family.  Fortunately, the country club was looking for an event planner and with her degree in mass communications, Colleen was a perfect fit.  She made the transition to regular work hours and soon Colleen and Cecil welcomed a second son.

Over time, her position with the country club changed and Colleen found herself working 60 hours or more during the week and often the big club events often fell on holidays and weekends.  It broke her heart to hear her sons comment that “Mommy is never home” and once again, she faced a critical turning point.  Colleen made the decision to seek a less-demanding administrative position that would allow her to spend more time with her children.  This meant a salary reduction and delaying some of the family’s long-term goals such as moving to a bigger home.  But she found a job at KHC and has finally struck a healthy work/life balance.

Like many of us, Colleen’s major life experiences had a direct impact on her financial picture.  Happily, as her human capital changed, she is able to keep her financial capital in check – living well today and planning for her future.

Photo credit: Suus Wansink / Foter / CC BY