Recently, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s The Well website, a ministry for graduate and professional women, sat down with Christian banker Patricia Snyder to talk about how she serves God in her family and professional life. She described early influences on her calling:
My father was a banker, and I always found it appealing that he knew everybody in our hometown. He knew all that was going on in the community. My first banking job, while in college, was stuffing bank statements one Christmas holiday. Once I took banking classes, I thoroughly enjoyed them, and I decided to be a banker as well.
Snyder also struggled with how to balance work and family:
I’ve been in banking since ’83 but I did take about seven years off to stay at home with my young children. When I was in grad school, I thought I could do everything. I thought I could have a full-time career, raise a wonderful family, be involved in my church and serve the Lord. I thought I could do all of it. And then I found out that I couldn’t do it all as well as I wanted to. When my kids were young, our two oldest were four and two, I did stay home with them, did some part-time consulting work from the house, but I arranged my schedule around their preschool days. I went back to work about nine, almost ten years ago. I do want to add that I know many wonderful Christian families where both parents work and families where only one parent works. I believe each family must make a prayerful decision that is right for their family. Our decision was right for us and I don’t regret a thing.
First of all, you need to sit down and make a budget, including all of your categories. As mundane as they are, you need to put in those lattes and midnight pizza deliveries. And that needs to be in the form of entertainment or food, but you have to group those into broader categories, being careful not to kill yourself with details. I learned to give up my budget category of Hallmark cards as the detail drove me crazy. You have to give yourself a little bit of grace…… It takes tremendous discipline, but starting out with the math is always very helpful: how much do you have to live on?
You can read more, including her struggles with getting back into the workforce and three important rules to guide your financial life, by checking out the full article. (Hint: maybe you shouldn’t buy a house as soon as you think.) And as a bonus, check out the links that conclude the article for great resources on making a budget of your own.