ChooseFI Logo

From 90K of Debt to 6-figure Side Hustle | Timika | Ep 102

Blogger and podcaster Tamika Downes reveals how she went from $94K of debt to owning a six-figure income-earning side hustle while continuing her job as a school nurse and raising three children.

  • Timika’s early financial experiences came through immigrant parents, from Barbados, hustling and saving.
  • Having a side hustle was common place in Timika’s family.
  • Despite her family’s habit of saving, Timika finished her education with $94K of debt.
    • After her undergraduate Timika had $24K in debt.
    • Student loans for her master’s cost $35K
    • A second, nursing degree, cost another $30K
  • Choosing to pursue something that you’re not quite ready for can often lead someone to pay more than necessary.
  • Nursing degrees don’t have to cost $30K; immediately after high school students can become qualified Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) working in hospitals or nursing homes while starting at a community college and finishing through a bridge program at a 4-year school.
  • Nursing is a trade; find the most efficient way to get qualified.
  • Many universities offer tuition assistant to the children of faculty/staff, often including tuition at other universities.
  • What options did Timika consider in order to decrease her student loan debt?
  • Timika’s mindset changed when she started to own her life circumstances; taking responsibility for her finances was a natural result.
  • Instead of buying a $20K car, Timika bought a $20K business – a lice clinic.
  • Timika spoke with out-of-state clinic owners and did her homework before deciding to invest in the set up for her clinic.
  • Since opening the business, Timika has increased her talentstack to include:
    • Securing a business lease
    • Blogging
    • Website management
    • Business finance management
  • Timika went to coding bootcamp, for 75% discount as a female minority.
  • The lice clinic is now almost passive income: Timika only devotes three hours a week and has hired employees who manage the rest.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Reluctant Frugalist

Saving Sherpa

The Road to Retirement: (Re)Learning to Love Work
Subscribe To The FI Weekly

Action, accountability, inspiration, and community. Join the movement. Get started on your Path to FI

More To Explore