Like any child I received money for Christmas, Birthdays,graduations, etc. But I for some strange reason I was more interested in saving money than spending it. So, my dad opened my first savings account when I was in elementary school which introduced me to the concept of interest.
My family would always ask me to borrow money. Which I had no problem doing if they signed my contract:
“I (Borrower)am borrowing $xxx from Tia Uzzell on mm/dd/yy. I agree to pay the money back on mm/dd/yy. I agree to pay $1 for every day late.”
Looking back, I wonder, WHOSE CHILD IS THIS…Lol, what kid charges their family $1 for late payments? A kid that wants her money that’s who.
What!? TWO JOBS?!? And in school. My parents must be crazy!!
Okay, I admit, maybe it wasn’t exactly two jobs.But I did earn money in two different ways so in my mind I had two jobs. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
In Middle school, my dad and I entered a contract(as you can see, I love contracts) to earn money for grades. While it wasn’t a real job, I had to work hard in school to earn a living wage for a grade schooler.
When I turned 16, I started working at Party City. Working and hourly position for minimum wage taught me 2 things:
LISTEN!! Your girl was completely in the dark about taxes until my first paycheck hit and I’m sitting by my calculator trying to do the math. Taxes were not really taught in school and I didn’t expect to work 40 hours a week only to make $100 take home. Okay, I may be exaggerating but we all know that’s how it feels.
In high school, I developed a shoe fetish. Working at party city supported my shoe habits and my spending money with friends. But shoes aren’t cheap, and as a minor I couldn’t work more than 30 hours a week outside of school, plus I played basketball limiting the number of hours I could work. I made a decent wage for a high school student but if had to learn how to manage my money to do all that I wanted to do.
I was a student in the IB program at Coral Reef Senior High School. At orientation, we were told that a percentage of us would not finish the program with the rest of our class. I just knew that I would not be a part of that statistic.
Oh how wrong I was.
In the 10th grade, I decided to leave the IB program and attend a full-time dual enrollment program. One of the greatest decisions of my life. In this program, I earned my Associate’s Degree for free, setting the tone for my next degrees.
Since I had already completed 2 years of college, I only had to pay for the next 2 years. I applied for every scholarship I could find. The Awarded scholarships coupled with my dad’s military educational benefits, I was able to complete my Bachelor’s degree for free. Only taking out student loans to cover housing.
After receiving my BS in Accounting, from the University of South Florida. I entered the workforce and continued to pursue my MBA.
Since I only had enough benefits left over to cover 1 year of graduate school, I found a 1 year program and became a full time student. I took advantage of my employer tuition reimbursement program and was able to cover the total cost of my graduate degree. I did take out a loan to cover a study abroad but that’s about it.
I was tired of renting.
I had far too many encounters with the leasing office and I just did not want to deal with that stress any more.
Plus, why keep renting when I can put that money toward purchasing a home that I would own.
I set my mind to it, put together a budget and was on the road to home ownership.
I practiced great discipline and delayed gratification. I lived below my means so my living expenses were covered by my salary. I had a roommate to cut the cost of housing and put any extra income toward savings fora home.
June 30, 2016 at the age of 22 I purchased my first townhome.
And so I did…
It was paying of my student loans that I realized the power in budgeting.
I rented the extra room to a friend of mind and continued to live below my means. And paid off approximately $13.5K in 7 months.
Since then I’ve switched to a higher paying job, sold my car for a car with no payments, had my daughter, rented out my townhome and purchased a second home.
All without feeling stressed about money.
Well, I am an accountant by profession but strive to be so much more. In my heart of hearts, I've always known that corporate accounting was not for me. Don't get me wrong I love the number crunching and I can reconcile the hell out of some accounts, but it doesn't feed my soul. It doesn't excite me. Working in the accounting department of somebody's corporate office puts me in a box. Clocking in every day doing the same thing over and over preparing for month end, quarter end, year-end etc. Truth be told I have far too much personality to be put in anyone's box. I love numbers but working in a corporate office I’m missing something.... YOU!
In my line of work, there's minimal client interaction.Outside of email it's just me and the numbers all day. Your girl is BORED and unfulfilled. Once I began to work toward and meet my own financial goals, I started to sense some fulfillment. It wasn't until people started to question HOW that I realized what was out there for me. How was I paying off debt and buying houses at such a young? As I started to explain and teach those around me, I felt that spark inside. I was helping friends and family take the stress out of money and reach their financial goals. At that point I knew I wasn't going to miss this calling. I started searching for positions like this in the Tampa Bay area but of course there were none. So here we are... the birth of Sky's the Limit Financials
That's not guaranteed. But I will help you...