Meet Raven Simon,CPA: Going For Wealth
I was born a hustler. I always had a knack for getting my way without saying too much. In fact, I didn’t utter a single word until the age of 5 and my first word was mac and cheese (which to this day remains my favorite dish).
At an early age, my parents discovered that my brain processed numbers and words at a speed abnormal for kids my age. I could add, multiply, subtract and divided in my head by just looking up at the sky. It was like the sky was my chalkboard. Because of this, my mom would love to “test” me and show off my skills at the neighborhood stores. When we approached the counter, she would state the subtotal to me out aloud and tell the cashier that I would calculate the sales tax. And I always did.
I thought my gift with numbers were normal until I started doing tax returns at the age of 16, by hand. I didn’t like using the computer software I felt closer to the to the figures when I wrote them out. I charged $75 per return for every return I processed. Completing a tax return took me roughly 25 minutes and I used the IRS tax tables to manually calculate the tax due. Along with my afterschool job, my savings account started growing. It was then that I realized that I had a knack for numbers and finding clever ways to save money.
Fast forward to today. I am a Certified Public Accountant(CPA), Financial Coach and business owner. I co-own 16 rental properties, my accounting firm grosses well over 6-figures and my side hustle in Corporate America pays me in the high hundreds of thousands of dollars. About 2 weeks ago, on my 28th birthday, my net worth entered the millions. This however was not always my story.
During college I took out student loans even though I had a scholarship that paid for all of my tuition and with my dad being a veteran, the United States Army paid for my housing and books, as well as a monthly stipend of $800. Like an idiot, I still took out student loans. I graduated and enrolled in graduate school and continued the process. By the time the dust settled, I was roughly $120K in student loan debt, $50k in credit card debt, and $20k in car debt; but I was ‘living my best life.’ I thought it was normal to have student loans and no one brought cars for cash unless it was a tut-tut.
After moving to Cincinnati for work and starting my own accounting firm, things took a turn for the worse. I realized how much debt I was in and how dumb I’ve been over the years. I did what I do best, I started writing the numbers down and came up with a way to pay it all off by the age of 30. At this time, my rental properties were losing money, my accounting firm as well, and my corporate job paid me roughly $60K annually; but I had approx.. $200K in debt. That is 3 times my salary BEFORE taxes.
I made the plan, set dates, and started grinding. Late nights. Early mornings. No sleep. No partying. No travel Nothing. Because I hated the situation I allowed myself to now be in. I started coming up with clever way to save money, so I could begin going to at least 1 brunch, travel during my birthday or buying my favorite fragrance because you can only use Bath and Body Works for so long. I started to thrive. My business started to make money and my rental properties did too.
During my 28th birthday, my investment partners decided they were ready to retire from real estate and GIFTED me all 16 properties plus 12 more. Their goal was to give me 28 properties on my 28th birthday. I planned to be in Thailand for my birthday but decided last minute that I wanted to pay off debt instead. I saved all year, and at 12:01am on September 27, 2018, I logged into my Nelnet student loan account and made a $51,000 principal only payment. I didn’t stop there, I logged into my bank and paid off my Kia Optima for $6,000 and made a payment to American Express in the amount of $19,978.33 to COMPLETELY pay off my credit card debt. That was the happiest I have ever been, and I am ultimately on track to completely paying off my student loans by the age of 30.
So, what will I bring to the Secret Life of 20 Something blog you wonder? I will bring resources and knowledge from someone who’s been where you are, motivation for where you might be desiring to go, and a kick in the butt if you ever decide to slow down or give up altogether. I don’t believe that we should have to fall into a deep depression and sit in the house and stare at the walls, while we get out of debt. Life is meant to be enjoyed and you can do so while in debt, if you have a plan and the right resources.
We were not created to be mediocre but to be great and do great things. We all are building a legacy and literally changing the financial history of our families. So, no, it’s won’t be easy. You will miss out on some things, but if you get it right the first time, it won’t be many.
Iam super excited about sharing my experiences and knowledge with all of you and my prayer is because you read this blog, your twenties are a little easier to navigate and your thirties are a breeze.
Wealth. Health. And Joy!
Raven Simon, CPA
Follow me on Instagram: @ravensimon_cpa @simonaccounting
Like me on Facebook: @RavenSymoneSimon @Simonaccounting