9 Things to Do in Atlanta this May

9 thingsMay is a great time to be in Atlanta. The pollen isn’t as thick and it has finally stopped raining every day. Here is a list of 9 activities that take place in May.

May 2nd & 3rd

West Indian Heritage Celebration –  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

May 8th & 9th

Pick’n In Grant Part BBQ & Music Festival – Grant Park

May 8th – 10th

Sweet Auburn Springfest – Auburn Avenue, Downtown Atlanta

Shaky Knees Music Festival – Central Park

May 15th & 16th

Funk Fest Tour – Wolf Creek Amphitheater

May 16th

East Atlanta Beer Fest – Brownwood Park

Kirkwood Spring Fling – Bessie Branham Park

May 22nd – 24th

Atlanta Jazz Festival – Piedmont Park

May 23rd

Atlanta Caribbean Festival – Historic Fourth Ward Park

If there is a can’t miss event on this list it’s the Atlanta Jazz Festival. I’ve been a few times. You will have a great time out there.

 

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10 Colleges/Universities in the Philadelphia Area

10 college phillyGreetings everyone. This month I will profile colleges and universities that are in the Philadelphia area.

Temple University

Temple is a public university that was established in 1884. Their nickname is the Owls.

Drexel University

Drexel University offers over 70 undergraduate programs and degrees. Their motto is “Science, Industry, Art”.

La Salle University

La Salle University is a private institution that was established in 1863. They have 23 varsity sports teams.

The University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania was established in 1740. It is one of the original colonial colleges.

Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Joseph’s University was established in 1851. Their motto is “Spirit, Intellect, Purpose”.

 Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University is a private health sciences university. The university has almost 2900 students.

Moore College of Art & Design

Moore College of Art & Design offers 11 undergrad programs. They include fine arts, graphic design and illustration.

Philadelphia University

Philadelphia University is a private university that was established in 1884. Their motto is “Powered to do what’s now, powered to do what’s next”

Peirce College

Peirce College is a private college that focuses on non-traditional college students.

Villanova University

Villanova University is a private university that was established in 1842. Their colors are blue, light blue and white.

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April 2015 Debt Update

april 2015 debt

Yep, it’s that time of the month. It’s the time where I update my debt repayment plan. If you’re new to my site, I give a monthly update on my debt. I started this journey with over $72,000 worth of debt. I want to have it paid off by October 2018. I plan on doing that by making extra money with this website, selling t-shirts and selling items on eBay. Below is April’s update.

My total debt went down from $71,953.81 to $71,718.63. It decreased by $235.18. That’s $5 less than last month. I know that May’s update will be much better. By then I will have had a couple paychecks from the part time gig. Most of that money will be going to the debt.


Loan 2 – Down from $5990 to $5980

 

CU Loan – Down from $451.49 to $441.38

 

Wells Fargo Loan – Down from $1451.14 to $1402.02

 

Discover Card – Down from $101.65 to $36.44

 

Bank of America Credit Card – Down from $3319.10 to $3282.42

 

Navient (Formerly Sallie Mae) – Down from $26,051.29 to $25,953.34

 

Nelnet – UP from $34,589.14 to $34,623.05

So far so good. The debt snowball system seems to be working pretty good for me. HERE is a post explaining what the debt snowball is. I was able to add some extra money to the Discover card this month. It’s a good chance that by the time you’re reading this that the Discover card will be paid off. I made a couple sales on eBay, but haven’t been paid for them yet. Hopefully that money will come through before this week is over.

Check out my previous debt repayment post below:

January 2015 Debt Update

February 2015 Debt Update

March  2015 Debt Update

How is your debt repayment going? Have you ever heard of the debt snowball method before?

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April RoundUp

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This month’s round up features 5 wonderful post from around the web. You guys should check them out when you get a chance.

Erin from Young Adult Money gives us 7 Actions You Can Take to Pay Off Debt.

Victor from Bold and Determined explains to us why Making Money Hurts People’s Feelings

Laurie from The Frugal Farmer asks Should You Consider a Liver Cleanse?

J. Money from Budgets are Sexy gives us Entrepreneur Tips from a 9 Year old.

Erin from Young Adult Money shares with us an excellent post on 5 Experiences Worth Spending Money On

 

 

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What Keeps Me Motivated?

what keeps me motivatedI am almost 5 months in on my debt repayment plan. It’s going pretty good so far. I see the balances on most of the debts going down which is honestly the only thing that matters. A couple of weeks ago one of the readers who completed my survey suggested that I do a post on things that keep me motivated during this debt repayment plan. That was a damn good idea. Today’s post will talk about 4 things that keep me motivated to eliminate this debt.

The 1st thing that keeps me motivated is that I know one day I will be able to tell Sallie Mae/Navient or whatever the hell she calls herself these days to kick rocks (kick rocks is slang for get out of here). If you have a student loan with Sallie Mae you know why I want her far, far away from me. That will be a wonderful day when I pay those loans off. I can visualize myself sending the last payment to them in pennies. I can’t wait until Sallie Mae is in my rear view.

The next thing that keeps me motivated is that I realize that I don’t want to be in debt forever. Plenty of people have large sums of debt their whole lives. I refuse to let that happen to me. Some people also only pay the minimum amount each month on their loans or credit card bills. Depending on how much you owe, only paying the minimum will keep you in debt for a very long time. Most of those payments are being applied towards the interest. The principle will take forever to go down. I don’t want to be in that situation.

The 3rd thing that keeps me motivated is the fact that I don’t want to live a regular life. Nothing is wrong with it, but for me going to work 9-5 for 40 years is not really living if you know what I mean. It’s boring and it can become very repetitive if you let it. I am glad that I took chances by quitting my previous job and then traveling across the country. It showed me that there is much more to life than the basic 9-5 lifestyle. Once my debt is eliminated I will be able to experience more of that.

The final thing that keeps me motivated is imagining the things that I will be able to do when I’m debt free. Investing more money, buying property and traveling more are some of the stuff that I will be able to do. One of my bucket list goals is to pay for a family vacation by myself. I will be able to make that happen much faster without having all this debt.

To summarize, the 4 things that keep me motivated is telling Sallie Mae to “kick rocks”, not wanting to be in debt forever, not wanting to have a “regular” life and imagining the things that I want to do when I’m debt free.

I have a question for you. What keeps you motivated to pursue a certain goal in life?

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Readers Survey Results!!!

survey

After seeing a couple of bloggers create a readers survey, I decided that it was my time to make one. I used survey monkey to create it. The survey consisted of 10 questions. I had 23 people answer the survey. That was great for me.  The answers are below.

Question 1. What is your gender?

Out of the 23 people who completed the survey 14 were females and 9 were male.

Question 2. What is your age?

I was kind of shocked that nobody between the ages of 18-24 answered the survey. That’s the prime age for most college students.

Question 3. How did you first find my blog?

8 people found out about my blog via Facebook. 6 people found out about the blog via LinkedIn. 4 people found out about it from a link on another blog. 4 more people found out about it another way. 1 person found out about the site via twitter. Surprisingly 0 people found it via google. I need to change that.

Question 4. Where do you live?

21 people who completed the survey live in the USA. 1 person lives in Canada and 1 in Europe.

Question 5. How long have you been reading my blog?

Question 6. Do you read my new blog posts?

10 people said that they usually read them. 6 people said they always read them. 5 people said they occasionally read the post. 1 person said they rarely read them :( . 1 person skipped the question.

Question 7. What topics do you enjoy the most? Please check all that apply.

I see that people enjoy my travel and debt/money posts a lot more than they like some of the other topics.  On the opposite end of the spectrum I see that only 3 people liked the college posts.

Question 8. What do you like most about my blog?

17 out of 23 people responded to this question. A lot of the responses were similar. Guess what 4 people said they liked the most? My travel articles :) .

I really enjoy writing about my travels and I will be writing a lot more of them once the debt is paid off. Here are a few more responses of what people like about my blog.

“Originality”

“Authentic voice”

“Articles about debt and money because it applies to everyone”

“Personal Experiences”

Question 9. What could I do to improve The Butler Journal?

This is the question that I was very interested in to see what the answers would be. Only 13 people answered it. There were some good recommendations. Below are a few of them.

“More info about life after college/trade school & info on what students could do in college to help prepare them for the real world”

“Some of the college info posts that just list colleges with a few sentences of description aren’t overly informative”

“Keep a rotation of all the articles to expand your audience”

“More travel & food posts”

“Honestly write longer posts. They typically seem to be relatively short and adding a bit more meat to them would be great.”

“Some post that most intelligent people would view as common sense could be condescending.”

I like the fact that people took the time to answer that question. I’m the type of person who doesn’t want people to say things are perfect when they are not. I like to hear the truth. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. These suggestions will only help The Butler Journal continue to get better.

I’ve been thinking about writing longer posts for a while now, but I don’t want them to be full of fluff. I actually like to keep a lot of them between 300-350 words on purpose because some people don’t have long attention spans. I like to get straight to the point.

Question 10. If you could have me create one product or discuss one topic that would best meet your needs, what would that be?

This question received 16 responses.  Some of the responses are as follows:

“Discussion, Startup businesses”

“Mentoring young African-American kids”

“Discuss the area where I live: the good & the bad”

“How to pay off student loan debt”

“Traveling on a tight budget

The replies to this question were GREAT. I’ve read and thought about each and every one for them. Y’all have helped me with future content ideas and possible side projects.

The survey turned out better than I could have imagined. I want to thank everyone who participated. I’m glad that you enjoy what I write. I plan to continue putting out great content and sharing my journey to becoming debt free.

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5 Things Students Should Do Before The Spring Semester Is Over

5thingsstudents

Can you believe it? Another semester is almost complete. Summer break is almost here for you college students. You guys and girls will finally get the chance to relax if you want to. I’ve put together a short list of 5 things that students should do before the semester is officially over.

Renew your FAFSA

If you’re not graduating in May, make sure you renew your FAFSA. If you’re a college student you should know what the FAFSA is. Just in case you don’t remember, the FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It determines your eligibility for federal student aid. Here is a post that I wrote on the FAFSA. You want to make sure that you renew your it before the Fall semester starts. If it’s not complete you may end up having to pay for your classes out of pocket.

Pre-register for fall classes

Your school allows you to pre-register for classes. You should take the initiative and do it. Pre-registering will save you so much time. It’s one less thing that you have to worry about doing in the fall. Another reason you should pre-register is because your classes may be full by the time August comes around. If your classes are full you may have to take them the next semester unless you get an approval from your academic advisor. If you’re not approved for the classes your graduation date could be delayed.

Finalize internships

If you have an internship, now is the time to make sure everything is finalized with it. Make sure you know who you’re reporting to. You also want to check your starting date and find out the dress code. If you have any questions get in touch your point of contact for the internship.

Find summer employment

If you plan on working this summer now is the perfect time to find employment. Many companies are hiring right now to fill up positions. The summer is the perfect time to stack some money up. Here is a list of summer jobs that you can apply to.

Finish the semester off in a good way

Make sure you finish this semester off strong. Pass all of your classes. This isn’t the time to be playing around and not taking them serious. I know students tend to get lazy near the end of the semester. Don’t do it. There is nothing worse than spending your money to retake a class or 2 because you didn’t pass them.

To summarize this post, the 5 things students should do before the Spring semester is over is to renew the FAFSA, pre-register for Fall, finalize internship details, find summer employment and finish the semester off in a good way.

Is there anything else that could be added to this list?

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