Verizon Wireless Prepaid Update

Verizon Update

Last year I gave a review on the Verizon Wireless prepaid phone plan. I switched from contract service to prepaid service to save money. Since my last post, Verizon Wireless has updated some updated their prepaid phone plans. They now have two smartphone plans.

The 1st one is a $45 per month plan that features unlimited talk and text plus 1 GB of data. The 2nd plan is $60 per month with unlimited talk & text plus 2.5 GB of data. I’ve been using the $45 plan since January. I haven’t had any problems with it. I haven’t gone over the 1 GB of data either. I use my wi-fi at home. The $45 plan has allowed me to save an extra $15 for the last 9 months. If I  do happen to get close to my GB limit Verizon does offer additional data packages for $5, $10 & $20.

If you don’t want or have a smartphone Verizon has prepaid plans for basic phones and tablets. The basic phone plan starts at $35. The tablet plans start out as low as $20 per month.

Their phone selection has gotten so much better. As of September, they have 18 different phones to choose from. Some of the phones that they offer are the Apple I-Phone, the Motorola Moto E, the Samsung Galaxy 5 S and the LG Transpyre. The prices vary for the phones. I’ve been a huge fan of LG phones for years so I decided to buy the LG Transpyre.


The LG Transpyre is an up to date smartphone. It was listed at $100 on the Verizon website. Being the frugal person that I am, I decided to see if I could find it for a cheaper price. After I did a little research I saw that Best Buy was selling it for $49. I jumped on that deal. After taxes, the total price came up to $54. That’s a damn good deal if you ask me.

I’ve had the phone for a little over a week. I haven’t had any problems with it. My contacts and pictures transferred with no problem. Also, the battery life has been outstanding so far. There are two main reasons why it was time for me to upgrade m phone. The 1st reason is that I needed a better camera. My previous phone (LG Optimus Zone) didn’t even have a flash. It used to be a toss up whether my picture would come out good or not. I list multiple items on eBay each month. I can’t afford to not have good pictures of those items. Clear and nice photos equal more money. I’ve taken a few pictures and can see a noticeable difference already.

The 2nd reason I upgraded my phone is because of Periscope. Periscope is an app where you can stream live footage to your followers. Periscope wasn’t compatible with my old phone. I think this app will be a game changer for me. There are so many bloggers and podcasters that I follow using it to help their brands grow. Periscope will give me the opportunity to connect more with my readers and followers.

As for network coverage, it’s 4G on Verizon. In my opinion, they are the best mobile provider out there. There is a reason that I’ve been with them for 13 years (Damn that’s a long time).

If you’re still paying over $100 for a single phone bill please check with your provider. I’m sure a better plan is out there. A lot of companies are getting rid of the 2 yr contract plans. Prepay may be a good option for you if you want to save money.

Are you still paying over $100 per month for your phone service? If so, why? Have you recently switched to a prepaid phone or pay as you go service?

Don’t forget to follow me on Periscope @Butler_Journal!

Money , , ,

5 Things to Do in Charlotte

5 Thing to Do in Charlote

A couple weeks ago I was in Charlotte for Fincon. I’ve been to the city a few times, but I never really had the chance to be a tourist and see what the city has to offer. Today’s post goes over 5 things that you can do in Charlotte. Hopefully, I get a chance to do a few of them during my next visit.



This is the one place on the list that I’ve actually been to. The hotel that I stayed at during Fincon was located there. The EpiCentre has a collection of restaurants, clubs, bars, retail shops, a bowling alley and a movie theater. I enjoyed that area a lot. Some of the restaurants to choose from are Wild Wing Cafe, Moe’s and Librettos Pizzeria.

Bank of America Stadium

If you are a football fan you have to check out Bank of America Stadium. That’s the home of the Carolina Panthers. Besides NFL games, Bank of America Stadium also hosts a few college football games including the “Belk Bowl”.

NASCAR Hall of Fame

The third item on this list is the NASCAR Hall of Fame. I’m not the biggest NASCAR fan, but the Hall of Fame looks legit. A quick search on their website showed that tickets are only #20 for adults. The HOF is also open 7 days a week.

BB&T Park


If you’re a fan of baseball you should try to attend a game at BB&T Ballpark. The stadium is the home of the Charlotte Knights which is a Triple-A minor league baseball team. I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures of the ballpark, but it is very nice. The first game took place there in April 2014.

Carowinds Theme Park

Carowinds is a theme park that is located on the borders of Charlotte, NC and Fort Mill, SC. The park has been open since 1973. It has a total of 64 rides. 13 of them are roller coasters. Carowinds is broken up into 8 themed areas. The themed areas are Carowinds Plaza, Planet Snoopy, County Fair, Carolina Boardwalk, Thrill Zone, Boomerang Bay, Carolina RFD and Carolina Showcase.

Bonus – Charlotte Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets are back! If you’re an NBA fan you can check out one of their games if they’re in town. The Hornets play in the Eastern Conference. Micheal Jordan is their owner.

Have you ever been to Charlotte? If so what did you think of the city? If you haven’t been, would you visit?

Travel , , , , ,

September Round Up

September Round UPThe last Friday of  each month I do a round up post. This post features articles that I enjoyed reading during the last month.  This months round up features 5 outstanding articles from around the blogosphere.

Michelle from The Shop My Closet Project shares with us “What is a Mastermind Group? And Why She Loves Hers!

Mr. and Mrs. Budgets from Mr. and Mrs. Budgets gives us 7 Steps to Get Your Finances From Good to GREAT!

Kristi from Young Adult Money gives us 10 Ways to Stay Busy When You’re Bored at Work.

Michelle from Making Sense of Cents explains to us Why you Should Never Have Unused Vacation Days?

Mr. 1500 from 1500 Days to Freedom tells us why Now is the Time!

Blogging , , , , , , ,

My Fincon 2015 Experience

My Fincon 2015ExperienceIf you’ve been reading my blog for the past few months you’ve heard me talk about Fincon. Fincon is a conference for digital content creators in personal finance and investing. Since I’m paying off my debt and getting my money right and blogging during this process, I figured that I would attend this year. This year’s conference was held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Below I discuss my how much I spent during the conference and my experiences.

Registration: FREE

By the time I had made enough side hustle money to pay for the conference registration the price was $399. In early August I applied for one of the free scholarships. If I didn’t win one of them at least I knew I had the money to pay for the registration. A few weeks after I applied I found out that I was one of the lucky bloggers. I had won one of the scholarships! The scholarship meant I could attend the conference for free. I was ecstatic! I still had to pay for my room and a way to Charlotte.

Hotel: $354.87

I originally had a room booked at the host hotel. The total price for that room was $535. About 2 weeks before the conference I decided to check Priceline to see if I could find something a little cheaper. I saw that Priceline had a 3 star express deal for $99 per night. The room would be in the same vicinity as the host hotel. If I booked it the price for the room would be $354.87. The only thing about the express deals is that you don’t know the name of the hotel until after it’s paid for. I’ve reserved a couple rooms using this feature before in the past so that didn’t bother me. I booked the deal and was pleasantly surprised to find out that I would be staying at the Aloft hotel. It was only 8 minutes in walking distance to the host hotel.

Getting to Charlotte: $45

With Charlotte only being 4 hours away from Atlanta I could drive there or catch the bus. I ultimately decided to catch the greyhound bus. The 1st reason is that I didn’t feel like driving my older model Toyota 4Runner up there. The car is in decent shape, but I don’t really trust it for a trip longer than 3 hours. The 2nd reason is that I found a round-trip ticket for $45. You can’t beat that price. $45 was cheaper than the MegaBus and renting a car.

Food & Snacks: $51

As you can see I didn’t have to spend that much money for food. They fed us pretty good at some of the conference events. The few times I did eat out I didn’t splurge. My hotel also gave its customers a $5 gift card every day they opted not to get new towels.  I was able to get 2 of those gift cards. I used them for breakfast sandwiches on Friday and Saturday mornings.


Getting around town: $0 ($12 in tips)

Everything was in walking distance from except for the greyhound station and the venue for the welcome party. I used Uber to get me to and from those places. Those rides didn’t cost me anything. You’re reading that correct, those rides were FREE. You may be wondering how was I able to make that happen. It’s pretty easy. Once you take Uber for the 1st time you’re given a referral code. Any 1st time rider that signs up with Uber using your code gets a free ride up to $20. You also get a free ride as well. The free rides expire after 90 days. I didn’t have to worry about my rides expiring because most of my sign ups happened in late July. (Note if you’re planning on going to Fincon in 2016 and using Uber you may want to do this. I would start promoting my code in July.) I did spend $12 in tips though. ($2 each ride.)

fincon1The Conference

The Conference was a hell of an experience. For me it was a game changer. Fincon was set up pretty good in my opinion. There were multiple sessions and events each day. A few times it was hard for me to figure out who I wanted to see speak because a lot of good sessions were going on at the same time.

I had the opportunity to hear people who I’ve been following for a while speak such as Bob from Seed Time, Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income and Tiffany “The Budgetnista“. I also got to meet some of my favorite bloggers and podcasters such as Michelle from Making Sense of Cents, Chonce from My Debt Epiphany, Michelle from Shop My Closet Project and Tai & Talaat from His and Hers Money. Everyone was cool.

The energy was freaking electric. I’ve never felt anything like it in my life. I’ve also never had such a fun time networking and talking with so many businessman, hustlers, grinders, etc. in my life. I’m still buzzing about the event. Fincon was such a good time that I have already registered for Fincon 2016 which will be in San Diego. I can’t wait.

*I damn sure won’t be on greyhound this time though :)

Do you like attending conferences? Have you ever been to Fincon? Will you be attending in 2016?

Blogging, Life, Motivation , , , , ,

8 eBay Buying Tips That You Can Use Today

ParisienneIt seems like once a week I get a question from someone who is thinking about buying something on eBay but didn’t do it for one reason of the other. There are all types of products that can be found on the site. Some people haven’t bought anything on there because they aren’t exactly sure how to. This article gives you 8 eBay buying tips that you can use today.

Add items that you’re interested in to your watch list

The eBay watch list is clutch. It is located to the right of the price of every item.  This feature is nice because it gives you the ability to add an item that you’re interested in to your watch list. Having all of your items in the list allows them to be in one place. It will be easy to purchase them from there when you’re ready. The items stay in the watch list until they are sold or expire.

Compare prices

When you’re looking for an item make sure you check around for different prices. Different sellers may sell items for different prices. Before you buy something search multiple listings. Don’t forget to look at the shipping price as well. You want to make sure you get the best deal. It would suck to buy an item for $0.99 but have to pay $10 for shipping when you could have found the same item selling for $5.99 including shipping.

Auction or Buy it now

Most items are sold in auction or buy it now format. An auction is when a seller lists an item and potential buyers bid on it. The person who bids the highest wins the auction. Buy it now is when the seller lists an item for a specific price. If the buyer wants the item they are agreeing to pay that price.  I like both formats.  Some items will be listed with both options while others won’t. It’s up to seller to decide how he or she wants to sell them. Again, make sure you research items so that you pay the best amount for them.

View pictures of the item

The next thing that you want to do is view the pictures of the item. Most items should have multiple pictures. If they don’t, feel free to ask the seller to provide some more of them. They should have no problem providing them.  I’ve read stories where a couple of sellers posted other people’s pictures on their listings to try to get top dollar. That’s not cool and it’s false advertising. If something doesn’t seem right don’t buy!

Read the entire item description

Before you buy an item make sure that you read the entire item description. You may think that you’re buying a new item, but it could be used or new with problems. The item description should tell you all of that information. If the item doesn’t have a good description, stay away from it.

Check sellers feedback

Before I make any purchases I take the time to view the sellers’ feedback. If a seller has a lot of negative or neutral feedback I don’t buy from them.  That means the seller isn’t doing something right. You may buy something from them and receive a broken item or something that you didn’t order. As long as a seller’s positive feedback is over 90% you should be fine.

Check shipping terms & refund/return policies

When you’re buying something you want to check the terms and policies that the seller has. Some sellers offer same day shipping. Others ship items within a day or two. You also want to check the refund and return policies as well. Some sellers offer refunds and accept returns while others don’t. Depending on the item it may or may not be that big of a deal to you. Regardless, it’s always good to know what their policies are.

Ask a question

If you have a question about any item that you’re interested in don’t hesitate to ask the seller a question. Good sellers are there to help you. Heck, they want your business. Most of them will answer your questions in ample time.

To summarize, the 8 eBay tips were to add items to your watch list, compare prices, decide between auctions or buy it now, check pictures, read the entire item description, check the seller’s feedback, check shipping & return/refund policies and ask questions. These tips should help your eBay shopping experience be a great one.

Have you ever purchased something from eBay before? Did you have any problems?

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter HERE.

Ebay, Money , , , ,

September 2015 Debt Update

sept 2015It’s a little pass the middle of the month. You know what that means, another debt update. Today’s post is my monthly debt update. I decided last year that I wanted to pay off my debt sooner than later. Since January I have been keeping track of it. I started this journey with over $72,000 worth of debt. I plan to have it paid off by October 17th, 2018. I plan on making that happen  by creating multiple streams of income. Besides my job some of the other streams are money from this website, eBay & t-shirt sales. September’s update is below.

My total debt went down from $70,849.78 to $70,624.94. It decreased by $224.84. The credit union loan is less than $200. I’m focused on eliminating that one VERY soon.

Loan 2 – DOWN from $5940 to $5930



Credit Union Loan – DOWN from $244.36 to $188.39



Wells Fargo Loan – DOWN from $1179.14 to $1127.18



Bank of America CC – DOWN from $3141.58 to $3108.37



Navient – DOWN from $25,569.63 to $25,466.27



Nelnet – UP from $34,775.07 to $34,804.73

I like what I’m seeing so far, but I know that I can do much better. If I grind hard enough I can knock out 2 more of these debts before the year is over. It’s time to buckle down and make this sh*t happen!

Previous Debt Updates:

January 2015 Debt Update (The Beginning)

June 2015 Debt Update

July 2015 Debt Update

August 2015 Debt Update

If you’re paying off debt, how did your previous month go?

Debt, Money , , , ,

The Life of an Uber Driver

the life of an UBER driver

I’ve used Uber a few times as a rider. As of right now I don’t have any complaints. I’ve also thought about driving for them, but my vehicle doesn’t meet the requirements. I’ve wanted to know some of the things that the drivers go through.

One of my friends named T is a driver with Uber. She agreed to answer 10 questions about Uber for me. Below are the questions and answers.

How did you find out about Uber?

T: I found out about Uber through an advertisement on Facebook.

How did the hiring process go?

T: It wasn’t too bad. There are a few steps that you have to go through. First you have to fill out the online application. Next, you meet with an experienced driver. They examine your car; gather all important information (Driver’s license, registration, etc.). Then they run a brief background check. Once you’ve passed the background check you’re in.

How long have you been driving for Uber?

T: I’ve been driving for 6 months.

How much do you make during a typical week?

T: I usually work 6 days a week. I make between $600 – $800 per week.

How often do you get paid?

T: I get paid weekly.


Do you have any crazy stories?

T: I haven’t had anything that crazy. I’ve had a lot of drunk riders. That’s it.

What time of the day do you like driving and why?

T: I like driving early in the morning. Everybody is trying to get to work or to the airport.

What don’t you like about Uber?

T: I don’t like it when the rider cancels in the middle of me coming to get them.

Who are your typical customers?

T: My typical customers have been tourist, people going to the airport or students.

Anything else we should know?

T: If you have road rage and don’t like being stuck in traffic driving for Uber might not be for you. Driver should always keep in mind that they are being rated. Those ratings help out A LOT.

If you are interested in driving use T’s referral code: pnze8

Get your free ride HERE

Would you drive for Uber? Feel free to comment below.

Random , , ,