APPLICANT #18: Cathrin Witt

Cathrin Witt is a mother of a two from Redmond, Washington.

Here is Cathrin's video application:

Here is Cathrin's current situation:

"This week I've been (re)learning how to make a video: script, camera, talent and editor. Now I remember why I love this medium so much.

Last week, I was preparing my kids to go to fulltime school for the first time. Lauren is just coming off of two years of homeschooling and Annika is starting K. After one week of school supply shopping and another of "staggered start", on Tuesday they both excitedly stepped aboard that yellow bus, their adorable selves, with their books and their warm lunches all tucked away in their backpacks. We were all smiles and kisses and waves, when suddenly, it hit me. I forgot to prepare myself for this moment when my little hearts would venture all alone (aka without me) into that big world.

The kids were great, but I had a minor emotional breakdown. It blindsided me, but I've got a lot of new adventures to enjoy: my job prospects, my video projects, driving with the volume cranked up on the stereo.

As well, I've been monitoring/observing/researching Annika's recent Epilepsy diagnosis and then the anti-seizure prescription. It's tricky to know if her behavioral changes are due to nerves about starting K (Kindergarten) or neurochemicals from starting the other K (Keppra), so I'm just doing some studies in the field before I make my final call on it, and I'm increasing her dosage slowly. So far, thank God, no more seizures.

If I may now define "lately" as 'the past 10 years', I'll say I've been up to Moms Club Leadership, Fundraising, and Community Service, and it has been an awesome ride. I started in 1999 at the Junior League of Calgary and when I moved to Redmond in 2003, I immediately joined the MOMS club here as well as my local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). I was the Administrative Vice President of MOMS for several years and a group leader with MOPS. All of these fabulous, mother-centered organizations allowed me to work with like minded moms while fundraising (I can brag about this further upon request) and serving many deserving and inspiring charities and non-profits."

Here is Cathrin's blog post:

"Moms and Money

My friends at the Woodinville Moms Club are mostly stay-at-home (or parttime working) moms, and we chat about many things. Our conversations most often involve our kids, like who's allergic to what, or who mastered the back stroke last week. We also talk about our husbands, our extended families, our hobbies, our dreams for the future... You know. We're women. We know how to chat. As if it isn't enough that we get together and shoot the breeze for hours at playdates, we have "ice breaker" games at our business meetings to find out even more details about each other.

We share a lot, yet with the exception of the topic of 529s, I cannot recall a conversation among us about our financial lives. So, I asked my Moms club via an email "survey" what they cared about in their personal financial lives and what they are doing with their money.

Not surprisingly, every Mom who responded to my "Money Survey" is putting aside monthly money for their children to participate in enriching activities, like music, arts or sports. And they all dream of being able to financially help their kids with some form of post-secondary education.

They (we) also dream of having enough money in retirement, so most have IRAs and/or 401ks.

As a club, we are certainly venerable fundraisers too. In fact, our chapter recently won the national club award having done the most community charity work and raising the most money.

But surprisingly, all the Moms who responded about their personal finances told me that they, like me, left most of the saving and investing up to their husbands. Our husbands' employers have 401Ks, and we have those or IRAs from before we became stay-at-home moms, but since it's mostly his employer now, we leave leave the investing "up to him".

Moms are the heart and soul of our communities. And our financial situation, if I may have some poetic licence here, is the blood that keeps that heart pumping. We benefit from a firm grasp on the many tools available to us to grow and use our money wisely. Can we get as excited over new financial products as a great new pair of shoes (for ourselves or our kids)? It's a tough call at first glance. I mean, you know how difficult it can be to find a really great pair of shoes. But, when I think on a deeper level about the importance of a healthy financial life, I become extremely curious to find out what makes credit unions better for our community, for example, or why one checking account has advantages over another. I guess these are stepping stones in my learning journey to to the day I can have an intelligent conversation about Amortizing and Annual Percentage Yields.

What do you think of these hot topics?

Cathrin"

The Verity Mom Team