Danika (she/her) is our Founder and Lead Planner.
From early on, I would sit down with my dad and a stack of bills once per month. I would write out all the checks (he signed them) and then balance his checkbook. I loved being involved in the process and seeing where our family’s money went. Even more, I appreciated my dad’s willingness to “pull back the curtain” and give me a front row seat into how our budget worked. I am a firm believer in removing the stigma we have around money conversations, even with our closest family and friends.
I went on to get a BA in Mathematics but had no idea how I planned to use it. I spent roughly 15 years after college in various accounting roles, slowly working my way up to be a Controller. I loved the order and problem solving, but there was virtually no human interaction and I was increasingly bored with helping the company bottom line. Finally, in 2012, after much research and consideration, I decided to pursue the CFP® designation and change careers. At long last, in my late 30s, I found my passion; putting together the problem-solving and technical side with client relationships and interpersonal dynamics. I find the work deeply satisfying.
In 2020, I founded Xena Financial Planning. While I enjoyed the role at my prior firm, I felt called to be bold and create something from the ground up. Starting my own practice allows me to be more nimble and innovative, while specializing in a particular niche. Women are so often left out of the conversation when it comes to their finances and investing. I have many years of experience with equity compensation: going back to my husband’s years of working at Amazon.com in the early 2000s, when I first learned about RSUs and had to figure out what the heck to do with them. Since becoming a CFP®, I’ve worked with clients at many of the big tech companies and know my way around ISOs, NQSOs and ESPP.
While originally from Western New York, I’ve lived in Seattle for 20 years. Along with my husband, our chaotic household includes our two daughters plus two cats and a puppy. We’re huge travelers and are happiest when we’re planning our next overseas adventure. In 2022 we have trips to Antigua, Guatemala and Scotland on the calendar. When we’re not traveling, we also love being in the mountains (skiing, running) and throwing a frisbee.