Nwokedi and Joy Mbanugo before our baby in our old apartment in San Francisco where we sheltered in place.

Working From Home With My Husband Made Me a Better Finance Professional

I can’t remember the date exactly, but it was a Thursday, and I was in the office in Sunnyvale, California, when my then fiancé, now husband, pinged me — You should leave the office and tell your manager you can’t come in on Friday. I thought he was kidding. Unfortunately, he wasn’t. Coronavirus had made it to the Bay. I took my husband’s advice, packed up a bottle of wine I had at my desk, and headed home. Unbeknownst to me, I would not return to the office until 2022, that was in February 2020.

That was the beginning of our lockdown. My husband secured monitors and office equipment chairs, and our San Francisco apartment turned into our office. I learned so much during this time, and while maddening that we had to postpone our wedding twice and then not travel because I was pregnant, I had a great coworker in my husband with whom I could discuss Finance without judgment.

Hubby has been in the start-up space for over a decade. I’ve always worked at big corporates (still do), and I am a start-up outsider short of any free consulting I’ve done with friends or through 20% projects at work. During our lunch breaks, we would chat about funding and the different types and strategies. We’d also talk about modeling and valuations. We would joke and still do that. You can work on any finance team if you have a good model.

I encouraged him to venture away from his love of accounting and ASC 606 and consider trading as a hobby. During the hype of GameStop and AME, we dove back into investing. We both love crypto (ok, he introduced me), so we spent a lot of time discussing and buying crypto. Some coins are blue-chip tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and others. He took up aggressive options trading and loved MicroStrategy at the time. I played it a bit safer with pre-IPO investments and now angel investments. Some nights we would fall asleep to CNBC and our morning huddles were lively investment debates with coffee and donuts.

During this time, we both switched roles and challenged one another to move out of our nerdy accounting shells and venture into the scary world of FP&A. I moved from Controllership/ Systems to Cloud Partner Finance, from two unicorns to a soonicorn.

We have moved to a bigger space, I have a new last name (Joy Mbanugo), and we have a son (thank you, lockdown), so we have to be more intentional about our chats. I occasionally work from the office, and he is remote, so we don’t always have our morning huddles.

I am glad that things have opened up and that we finally had our wedding and can take our son outside. However, I will miss the time we spent focusing on finance. I’m glad we picked one another. We joke that combined are the perfect finance professional, almost like a finance Data from Star Trek. I love my husband!

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Joy Mbanugo

Joy Mbanugo is a California based Finance professional with over 19 years of finance experience. Find out more at www.joymbanugo.com.