July Round Up

july rupThe last Friday of each month I do a round-up post. This post features articles that I enjoyed reading during that particular month. July’s round up features 5 great posts from around the internet. Enjoy

Laurie from The Frugal Farmer explains to us How She Makes Money for Writing Blogs.

Lenie from Frugal for Everyone shares with us August Sales.

Glen from Monster Piggy Bank shows up 7 Ways to Save While Studying.

Mike from Debt Round Up shares with us Finding Time for a Side Gig and Making More Money.

Steven with a guest post on Budgets are Sexy tells us How he Paid off $46,500 of Student Loans in 2 Years.

 

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2015 HBCU Football Classics Schedule

2015 hbcu classicsTime to schedule even more road trips during the fall. The 2015 HBCU Football Classics schedule is out.

9/5/15

Battle of the First

Cheyney vs. Lincoln (PA)  @ Cheyney, PA   1:00pm ET

 

Palmetto Capital City Classic  

Benedict vs. Livingstone @ Columbia, SC   Charlie Johnson Stadium   5:00pm ET

 

Tiger Bowl

West Alabama vs. Stillman @ Livingston, AL 6:00pm CT

 

31st Labor Day Classic  

Texas Southern vs. Prairie View A&M @ Houston, TX BBVA Compass Stadium TBA

 

9/6/15

11th MEAC/SWAC Challenge

Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. SC State @ Orlando, FL Florida Citrus Bowl 3:30pm ET

 

Labor Day Golden Classic

Miles vs.North Alabama @ Birmingham, AL Legion Field 6:00pm CT

 

John Merritt Classic

Tennessee State vs. Alabama State @ Nashville, TN  Nissan Stadium (LP Field) 6:00pm CT

 

9/12/15

2nd White Water Classic

Albany State vs.Tuskegee  @ Phenix City AL  3:00pm ET

 

26th Southern Heritage Classic

Jackson State vs.Tennessee State @ Memphis, TN Liberty Bowl 6:00pm CT

 

Two Rivers Classic

Fayetteville State vs. UNC Pembroke @ Fayetteville, NC  Nick Jeralds Stadium 6:00pm ET

 

9/18/15

AT&T Nation’s Football Classic

Howard vs. Hampton @ Washington, DC RFK Stadium7:00pm ET

 

9/19/15

West End Classic

Livingstone vs. Redemption Christian @ Salisbury, NC 1:00pm ET

 

Prince Hall Masons Americanism Football Classic

Alabama State vs. Grambling State @ Montgomery, AL  ASU Stadium 6:00pm CT

9/26/15

Lucille Brown Youth Bowl

Virginia Union vs. Johnson C. Smith @ Richmond, VA Hovey Field 1:00pm ET

 

32nd Circle City Classic 

Central State vs.Kentucky State @ Indianapolis, IN Lucas Oil Stadium 3:00pm CT

 

18th Chicago Football Classic 

Howard vs.Morgan State @ Chicago, IL Soldier Field 3:00pm CT

 

State Fair Classic

Grambling State vs. Prairie View A&M @ Dallas, TX Cotton Bowl 4:00pm CT

 

18th Down East Viking Football Classic 

Elizabeth City State vs. Winston-Salem State @ Rocky Mount, NC  4:00pm ET

 

Battle of the Bay 

Norfolk State vs.Hampton @ Norfolk, VA. Dick Price Stadium  4:00pm ET

 

WC Gorden Classic

Jackson State vs.Texas Southern @ Jackson, MS  Veteran Memorial Stadium 6:00pm CT

 

10/10/15

Augusta Classic

Benedict vs. Lane @ Augusta, Ga. 2:00pm ET

 

80th Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic 

Morehouse vs.Tuskegee @ Columbus, GA A. J. McClung Memorial Stadium 2:00pm ET

 

10/17/15

Jacksonville Football Classic

Jacksonville (FL) vs. Edward Waters @ Jacksonville, FL  D.B. Milne Field 1:00pm ET

 

10/31/15

74th Magic City Classic

Alabama State vs. Alabama A&M @ Birmingham, AL  Legion Field 2:30pm CT

 

11/7/15

Commemorative Classic

Livingstone vs. Johnson C. Smith @ Salisbury, NC 1:00pm ET

 

Red River Classic   

Grambling State vs. Texas Southern @ Shreveport, LA Independence Stadium 2:00pm CT

 

26th Fountain City Classic

Albany State vs.Fort Valley State @ Columbus, GA  2:00pm ET

 

11/21/15

Turkey Day Classic

Alabama State vs.Miles @ Montgomery, AL  ASU Stadium 2:00pm CT

 

Florida Blue Florida Classic 

Bethune-Cookman vs.Florida A&M @ Orlando, FL  Florida Citrus Bowl 2:30pm ET

 

11/28/15

42nd Bayou Classic 

Grambling State vs.Southern @ New Orleans, LA Mercedes-Benz Superdome1:30pm CT

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10 More Things Every College Freshman Should Have In Their Dorm Room

10 moreLast year I wrote a post titled “10 Things Every College Freshman Should Have In Their Dorm Room“. Almost immediately my readers along with myself thought of some other items that could have made the list. Those items are a part of this new list.

Hangers

This one speaks for itself. You need hangers for a lot of your clothes such as jeans, coats and suits.

Sheets

The beds in your dorm don’t come with sheets. I think the beds in most dorms are twin or full size. The size of the bed should be listed in your welcome packet. Make sure you read it because you will definitely need those sheets.

Flip Flops

Flip flops will come in handy. If you are in a dorm where multiple people use the shower the flip flops can protect you from germs.

Detergent

Make sure you have some detergent to wash your clothes with. Depending on where you go to college you won’t have the chance to go to your parents house and wash your clothes every other weekend. Also, make sure you never use bleach on your colored clothes :) .

Laundry Bag

A laundry bag is the easiest way for you to get your clothes to and from the campus laundromat. Having one of those will keep you from making multiple trips. You can only put so many clothes in a pillowcase. Laundry bags vary in price. You get what you pay for.

Ear Plugs

If you are a light sleeper you just might want to look into purchasing some ear plugs. There are other reasons that you might need them as well. For example you could have disrespectful roommates that play their music until 4 am or they could be early risers when you’re not.

Air Freshener

This is an item that everyone definitely needs. With so many people living in one place dorms can have all types of smells. To make sure that your area smells nice make sure you have a can of air freshener with you.

Mini – Fridge

A mini-fridge is another item that freshmen should bring. Not all colleges allow students to bring them. Check with your residence hall to sell if they are allowed. Every person that you live with is not always honest. During my sophomore year I was living in an apartment style dorm that had 4 bedrooms. We shared the living room and kitchen spaces. There were a few times where a certain roommate or his friends stole some of my food. (Don’t worry I got them back). You don’t want to be in that situation.

Toiletries

I can’t believe I left this item off the first list. Toiletries are a must have. They include items such as soap, tissue and toothpaste. They are things that you use every day. You definitely don’t want to leave home without them.

Printer

Campuses usually have labs where you can print items. From my experience the printers don’t always work or you may have to pay to print. To be safe I would make sure to have a printer just in case. That way you shouldn’t have to worry about the problems that I previously mentioned.

That concludes this list. Don’t forget to check out Part 1!

 

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What Would You Do Different Financially In Your 20’s?

what would 20

Most of my 20’s were a wonderful time. Some years were better than others depending on the situation I was in. I graduated from college (Savannah State University) at the age of 24. I also had the chance to live in wonderful cities such as Savannah, GA and Orlando, FL. I did a lot of things right during that time. One thing that I didn’t do right was take good care of my finances. I made a couple mistakes financially that I wish I didn’t. Below are a few things that I would do differently.

Save More

I always had a job or a side hustle during my time in college. I never really experienced being a broke college student. I saved a little money here and there, but looking back I could have easily saved a couple thousand dollars for a “rainy day”. Once I graduated from college a couple “rainy days” happened.  Having a decent savings account could have helped me struggle less during those times.

Pay Attention to Interest Rates

I didn’t fully understand what interest rates were until it was too late. I could have saved myself some money by taking the time to read my statements and get a true understanding of interest. I could have chosen a credit card or a student loan with much better rates than the ones that I have now.

If Traveling With People For The 1st Time, Get Money Upfront!

I’ve had a couple situations where I’ve had to pay extra money on a trip because people canceled at the last minute. It’s not a good feeling having to pay an extra $200 for a hotel room when you didn’t budget for it. Fortunately this hasn’t happened to me since 2007, but I can still remember that extra charge to the credit card like it was yesterday. I’ve made sure that will never happen again by getting money from people in advance.

Invest

I would have did more investing. I had a 401 K with one of my jobs, but in my opinion that wasn’t enough. Even if I would have put some money in a mutual fund that would have been better than nothing. I refuse to let my 30’s be like that. Once the majority of my debt is paid off I will start actively investing.

Paying on Student Loans

I promise for at least 2 years I was the king of deferments and forbearance’s. I thought I was doing it by not paying on my student loans. Fast forward to today. Not only was that not the smartest idea, but the amount that I owe to my lenders (especially Sallie Mae) has damn near doubled. Even though I didn’t have the best paying jobs immediately after graduation I should have at least paid $50 per month on the loans. My situation would be a little better than it is right now.

Using Credit When I Had Cash

My credit card debt isn’t the worst ($3200). It could have been even less though. I could have paid for a couple trips from back in the day with my debit card. Also, I could have relaxed on a few of those Irish Car Bombs for me and my friends.

Now that I’m in my 30’s I refuse to let those things happen again. Over the past couple years I’ve gotten much better with my finances. I know this is a struggle for many people. There are a few places online that can help you get organized. Personal Capital is a website that has a free tool that shows you your net worth among other things.

What would you do different financially in your 20’? What is one thing that you would tell anybody in their 20’s to do today?

 

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10 Colleges/Universities in the Miami, FL Area

miaimicollThis month I will be profiling colleges and universities in the Miami, FL area.

University of Miami

The University of Miami is a private school that was established in 1925. Their colors are green, orange and white.

Florida International University

Florida International University is a public university that has over 50,000 students. Their motto is “Hope, knowledge, opportunity”.

Miami-Dade College

Miami-Dade College was founded in 1959. It is the largest institution of higher education in Florida.

Barry University

Barry University is a private, Catholic University. Barry offers business, nursing, health sciences, teacher education and liberal arts programs.

Florida Memorial University

Florida Memorial University is an HBCU that was established in 1879. Their motto is “Leadership, character, service”.

Johnson and Wales University

Johnson and Wales University was founded in 1914 in Providence, Rhode Island. They opened a campus in Miami in 1992.

Keiser University

Keiser University is a private school that was established in 1977. Their motto is “Purity, truth, wisdom”.

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University was established in 1964. Their colors are navy blue and gray.

St. Thomas University

St. Thomas University is a private, Roman Catholic university. Their motto is “Developing leaders for life”.

Miami International University of Art & Design

Miami International University of Art & Design is private school that was established in 1965. They offer associate, bachelors and masters degrees.

 

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July 2015 Debt Update

julyupdate

Today’s post is my July 2015 debt update. I’m still on it. I’ve been making payments each month on each of my debts. I started this journey with over $72,000 worth of debt. My plan is to have it paid off by October 2018. I have a little over 3 years to make this goal attainable. I plan on doing that with money that I make from my website, my job and other side hustles.  Below is the update for July:

My total debt went from $71,289.73 to $71,078.81.  That was a decrease of $210.92. I’m slowly making strides.

Loan 2 – DOWN from $5960 to $5950

 

Credit Union Loan – DOWN from $361.09 to $298.45

 

Wells Fargo Loan – DOWN from $1299.23 to $1250.58

 

Bank of America Credit Card – DOWN from $3214.01 to $3179.22

 

Navient – DOWN from $25,760 to $25,666.48

 

Nelnet – UP from $34,694.45 to $34,734.08

As with almost anything in life, this debt repayment will take some time. I’m fine with that. Below are a few of my previous updates.

April 2015 Debt Update

May 2015 Debt Update

June 2015 Debt Update    




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7 Months Into My Debt Repayment

7 months

It’s been a little over 7 months since I officially restarted my debt repayment plan. It’s been going alright so far. At this moment there have been more ups than downs. Hopefully it stays that way. I want to share with you a few of my thoughts about this process so far.

The Debt Snowball Works

First things first, the debt snowball works. I’m on pace to pay off my second debt much sooner than I thought. It’s because of the debt snowball method. The debt snowball is where you pay your debts from smallest to largest.  You make the minimum payment for all of the debts except for the smallest. With the smallest debt you pay the minimum and anything extra that you can afford. Once that debt is paid off you add the old minimum payment from the first debt to the second debt along with its regular payment. As you continue this step with all your bills, you will notice that you are applying more and more to each debt. The snowball allows you to get out of debt quicker.

Distractions

I will be the first to tell you that distractions will come. I stated at the beginning of the year that traveling is the only thing that I wasn’t giving up on. Let me tell you what happened next. By the middle February I had 5 friends ask me to go out of town with them somewhere. As tough as it was I had to decline each trip. For me to complete this debt repayment plan I can’t afford to go everywhere. I have to pick and choose my trips very wisely.

Another distraction that I have faced is that I know a lot of people and because of that it seems like twice a month someone is coming in town and wants to link up or chill. It sucks that I can’t link up with everyone. Some people will understand some don’t. If I do go out I’ve been making sure that I eat before I leave the house or get something that is not too expensive.

Everybody Won’t Understand

Piggybacking off my last paragraph I’ve come to the terms that everyone won’t understand what you’re doing. Some will even tell you that debt is a part of life and that you can’t be free from it. I’ve gotten to the point where I ignore the people that don’t understand what I’m trying to do. You have to do that with some folks. You can try to explain things to some people but they just won’t get it. They honestly may not believe that what you’re doing will happen.

Something Might Will Go Wrong

Unfortunately something will go wrong. In March I had to replace the windshield on my truck. I also have a ticket that has to be paid by July 21st. Sh$t happens. For situations like those two occurrences it is always good to have an emergency fund.

More Income > Lowering Expenses

More income is always better than lowering expenses. You can only lower your expenses so much. Your income growth has no ceiling. You just have to find the side hustle that will get you to the next level. Have faith! This year I’m starting to see growth with a few of the side hustles including my blog. As it continues to grow I know more financial opportunities will come.

It’s Not An Easy Task

Paying off a large amount of debt is no easy task. I wish I was further along in the process, but it’s all good. I realize that things take time. I’m focused to make this happen sooner than later.

Stay Motivated

Staying motivated is easy for me. I look at my first 6 years after college and realized I messed up by not getting serious about these debt payments. That won’t happen again. I am 100% in this to eliminate the debt.

I also have the end game in mind. I can’t wait to make that final student loan payment. After that I will be able to invest money and TRAVEL more. I can’t wait for the day when I’m able to call a friend on a Thursday morning and ask them to go to Las Vegas or Cancun for a quick weekend getaway.

If you’re paying off debt how is it going for you? Did you have any hiccups at the beginning of the process?

 

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