Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How To Study for the CFA with a Toddler

So I took the CFA exam on June 6. This is something I studied for over the course of 6 months. The recommended time spent on studying is 300 hours. Now that the exam is behind me, I'm having fun spending time with my family, avoiding chores, running errands, and catching up on TV and movies. When I took level 1 of the exam back in December 2012, it was difficult to make time to study. This past 6 months, with a toddler, studying has been more challenging than I could have imagined.

Every day I would study on the train in and the train home. After picking up my daughter, making dinner and spending some time with her, I would study again after she went to sleep. I think I slept 5-7 hours a night for 6 month straight.

Welcome to my every evening.

Sometimes Patsy wouldn't want to go to sleep so I'd have to study with her in my arms. Or sometimes she was sick and just needed her mommy.

Look at that face. How could I resist?

There were lots of Saturdays and Sundays that I spent at Starbucks while Patsy was out enjoying the weather with Daddy. (I started to know the shift changes, the barista terminology, the staff. It was getting embarrassing.)

Daddy loves the Star Wars hoodie
Despite knowing she needs to be a big girl and sleep in her crib, sometimes I just let her sleep in our bed because I wanted to spend any extra time with her that I could. Even if we were asleep.

Photo taken at about 1 am. Don't mind the tired eyes.

She spent extra time with both Grandmas when Daddy needed a break and Mommy still needed to study.

During the last week of exam prep, this is our dining room table

Was it worth it? I guess I can say yes. I'm showing my daughter the importance of a good work ethic and continued education. It was a struggle and if I do or don't pass, I don't know yet what I'm going to do when the time comes to take the next exam. Maybe I'll take a few years off and wait until we're done having kids... and I've finished that second marathon I keep talking about. Haha.

#Girlswithtoys. My financial calculator totally counts as a toy, right?

I got an email today that I find out my results on July 28. Let the countdown begin.


  1. You are incredible! My husband is a CFA charterholder, and I remember his marathon study sessions. I can't imagine juggling that with a toddler. Good luck!

  2. Thanks Molly! It was definitely a challenge and I wouldn't suggest it as a great idea for others, but it is what we did. Let's just hope it all paid off!

  3. Good luck! Glad the test is behind you! I've been seriously debating grad school, and I'm already concerned with how I'm going to find time to do that and everything else I enjoy. (Oh, and uh, pay tuition.) But if you can do this with a toddler and a full time job, I can surely manage 1-2 classes per term?

  4. There are always plenty of reasons NOT to do things. As a runner, I'm sure you understand where I'm coming from! If its something you really want to do, I say go for it!

  5. Awesome job at persevering on this testing! I can only imagine what somethign that intense is like with a child. I haven't been able to manage grad school + ironman training (even though I know several who do!) so put one goal on hold while I pursue another. Will be switching ships later this fall!

  6. It's an adjustment! I started (and managed) grad school on a basic (half marathon-level) running schedule, but things got hard when spring came along! I ended up deferring two semesters while I do Ironman training, and will be resuming in late fall this year! I think it's all about priorities, and I love Kelly's creative solutions to "getting it all done" - and what some of the drawbacks were.

  7. You're right. I put running on hold while all these other things have been going on. There are only so many hours in a day, right? It is all about priorities. Triathlon training is something I don't know if I could handle! Mad props to you for getting it done!