Biz Mama: Carrie Houchins-Witt

Biz Mama Carrie Houchins-Witt Biz Mama columnCarrie Houchins-Witt of Carrie Houchins-Witt Tax & Financial Services provides honest, affordable, and timely tax preparation and financial planning to ordinary families. Carrie is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM Practitioner (CFPTM) with nearly ten years of professional tax preparation experience and an extensive background in business and finance operations. Carrie earned her B.S. in theatre and performed professionally as an actor and musician. She always loved numbers, and honed this skill while working in revenue management. She found a way to combine her varied interests when she began preparing tax returns for her actor friends. When she realized what an invaluable service this was, she took an extensive tax preparation education program and opened up shop. Carrie’s own journey with personal finance has taken her through many common financial milestones. She knows what it is like to struggle financially, to save for a house, and to put away money for her children’s education. She explains taxes and personal finances in a simple, thorough way that anyone can understand [editor’s note: I can attest to that!] She wants you to be in control of your own life, and wants to help you reach your goals. Carrie was born in West Virginia and grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. She currently lives in Coralville, Iowa with her husband, Corey and two young sons, Waylon and Carter Birch. Carrie and I met in guitar class at the Old Town School of Folk Music. For the last several years, she has been preparing my business and personal tax returns—not to mention, making tax-time more stress-free! I also recently designed Carrie’s logo.

Carrie Houchins-Witt

Tell us a little about your business/job responsibilities.

During tax season, I prepare and file tax returns for individuals and small businesses. During the off-season, I create comprehensive financial plans for individuals. I also do a small amount of bookkeeping, business planning, and payroll.

What are the ages/genders of your children?

2 boys – Waylon is 6 and Carter Birch is 5.

Did you start your business before or after having children?

At the same time!  Years ago, before children, I realized I wanted to be a business owner. I knew I would enjoy the flexibility, and I wanted to benefit from my hard work.  I found out I was pregnant while I was taking my first tax preparation training courses. I sat for the CFP test (intense 2-day exam) while 8 months pregnant with my 2ndchild.

How did your business life change after having children?

My business has grown naturally as my family has grown. I chose to stay home with my children, so I worked from home during naptimes, nighttimes, and weekends. As the boys got older, I got a few extra hours a week to work while they were in preschool. My clients understand this arrangement, and I think they respect the my work/life balance. Starting this fall, both boys will be in elementary school, so I will have 6 solid hours per day to work!

Describe a typical workday.

For the past year, my days have looked like this: Wake up at 7 am. Get myself and the boys fed and dressed. Drive boys to their schools, and back to my office. Settle in for 2.5 hours of work, then go pick up the little one from preschool. Play and take care of him until we pick up the kindergartener a few hours later. Run errands, take care of the house, and start to make dinner. Husband comes home—eat dinner and get the boys to bed. Then my husband and I will have some down time. Although, during tax season, I spend most evenings working at the kitchen table, and most weekends in my office.

What is one tip you can share with other Biz Mamas?

Try to find the balance that will work for your family, and understand that it will change from day to day, from month to month, and from year to year. One of the main advantages of being a Biz Mama is that you really do control your time and your life—don’t miss out on the important moments for your family.
Carrie Houchins-Witt Tax & Financial Services
Coralville, IA twitter @carriefinancial Facebook: carriehouchinswitttaxandfinancialservices