Over the last 10 years, Beth Savino got married, had two daughters, traded living in the city for life in the suburbs, intentionally took on additional responsibilities at work so she could move closer to achieving her goal of becoming partner, made partner, and then had a third daughter.
Savino — who is a partner at a major accounting firm — says It's been a whirlwind decade of “craziness.” But she wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
How'd she prioritize her time without dropping the ball on something important? Here, Savino shares some of her tips for getting it all done.
LISTS ARE YOUR FRIEND
My day starts at 5 a.m. and doesn't stop until 10 at night. In between, every hour of every day requires a lot of preparation. I like to say the days of not studying for a test and still doing well are long gone. Whether it's preparing for a work meeting, figuring out the grocery list or arranging to get my oldest daughter to art class, I've come to accept that you've got to plan ahead. Even if you're smart, well-balanced and confident, you can't really wing it with so much on your plate.
So I make a lot of lists. That was the biggest factor in my success during those early years of motherhood when I was also focused on advancing my career. I'd make a list every day, every week and every month to keep my short-term and long-term goals clear and top of mind.
GET COMFORTABLE WITH TRADE-OFFS
My husband and I completely changed our lifestyle to make things work for our family. We couldn't afford full-time child care and preschool in New York City so we moved to Long Island, even though it meant we'd have hour-long commutes to work. We scaled way back on dining out, cut out Starbucks and started bringing our lunches to work so we could afford a nanny — mostly because we knew if one of the girls got sick and couldn't go to daycare, we'd be in trouble.
“It all boils down to being clear and honest about your priorities. Not your neighbor's priorities, your priorities.”
There have been times when I've stayed overnight in the city because my team would be working late. I’d FaceTime with our kids at dinner instead of sitting across the table from them. Trying to take my daughters to all of their gymnastics classes caused me so much angst that I’d cry about it. So I gave that up, and now we carpool (which they enjoy so much more!)
We've made all kinds of tradeoffs. The upside? It's given us the ability to focus on the things that matter.
BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR PRIORITIES
It all boils down to being clear and honest about your priorities. Not your neighbor's priorities, your priorities. For me, becoming partner has always been a priority, and it's a goal I achieved two years ago. Making it to that level was a validation of all the work I'd done, from studying like crazy through college and working overtime during my first few years at my firm, to passing my CPA exam and taking on added responsibilities at work during the years when my husband and I started our family.
Through all those different times of my life, I've tried to be as honest as I could about what I wanted to achieve. Having that focus helped me make decisions along the way that were right for me and my family. Plus, I'm showing my girls the value of having goals and working hard to achieve them.
Beth Savino is a client of Northwestern Mutual and works with Wealth Management Advisor Marissa Savino and Financial Advisor Mark Savino. She is their cousin.