July 2016 Debt Update




JulyHappy Tuesday everyone. Today’s post is my July debt update.

My total debt decreased from $68,105.91 to $67,921.84. It was a drop of $184.07. This month’s decrease was a little smaller than normal. As I stated last month, my best friend is getting married next month. He’s having a destination wedding. I had to pay for a few things such as flights and the wedding suit. I also had to put away money for the hotel. Since I’m paying my debt off I refused to use my credit card to pay for these items.  That means a lot of side hustle income was used. It’s fine, though. I should be able to add a little more money to the debt in August.

Below are the current numbers:

Loan 2 – Down from $5840 to $5830

Bank of America – Down from $897 to $800.11

Chase – Down from $1885 to $1860

Navient – Down from $24,611.30 to $24,561.15

Nelnet – Down from $34,872.61 to $34,870.58

The numbers are getting slower. I have been pitching to more clients so I should be bringing in more income very soon. I have the bullseye on my Bank of America credit card.

Previous Debt Updates

January 2015 (The Beginning)

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

How is your debt repayment going?

Random

Why I Enjoy Renting




RentingBefore I get to the nitty gritty of this post, I just want to say that everyone’s situation is different. There is no right or wrong answer. I know about home value appreciation and all the other so-called pros for owning a house, but I’m 100% for renting right now. Some people understand my take on the topic and others don’t.

In the past owning your home was a part of the American Dream. It’s 2016, and that dream has turned into a damn nightmare for a lot of people. With rising costs, a lot of folks just can’t afford their mortgages. Others can, but that’s about all they can afford. They don’t have enough to save for emergencies or vacations. At 32 years old, I’m content with renting for the next few years while I continue to get my finances in order. I want to share several reasons why I am.

I am in DEBT!

I’m currently still in debt. I’d have to be dumb as hell to add more debt to my situation right now. Some people say there is good and bad debt. I disagree. All debt is bad in my opinion. I honestly don’t give a damn what other people are doing. My primary goal right now is to eliminate my debt. Adding a mortgage to it won’t help me.

Why be tied down?

I’m single right now. Why should I be tied down to a house in a city that I may or may not be interested in living in a couple of years from now? I also haven’t found an area that I want to settle down for the long haul yet.

Costs

When I’m renting the only thing that I’m paying for is the deposit, rent, utilities and renters insurance. If I owned a home, I’d have to make a down payment, pay the mortgage, closing costs, property taxes, and deal with items that break on my own. Right now, I’d rather deal with the first one.

Convenience

I love convenience. Renting does that for me. If my refrigerator or AC breaks I call the maintenance and they fix it (My fridge stopped working two years ago. I had another within 24 hours.). If I owned my own house, I’d have to pay for everything. That would deplete my emergency fund. I’m trying to grow that fund, not make it smaller. I also don’t have to worry about cutting the lawn or doing any other type of yard work.

Travel

I’ve said this once, and I will say it again. Travel is my anti-drug. With a house, I wouldn’t be able to travel as much. For me, life is about experiences. Travel is one of the best experiences out there. I’m not trying to give that up.

As I get older, I’m sure my thoughts on renting may change. I will probably want to own when I decide to have a wife and kids. Also, as my income continues to grow, I may eventually want to buy. That is something that I will worry about a little later, though. As of right now, I’m happy with renting.

Do you rent or do you own? Which one do you like best?

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Mid Year Goal Update

Mid Year GoalCan you believe that July is almost over? Another month in 2016 is almost gone. I’ve been seeing bloggers all month post the mid-year goal updates. I figured that I might as well do mine.

I didn’t share many of my 2016 goals on this site. In fact, I only shared two of them. Goal number one was to be making $1000 per month online. The second goal was to have my Bank of America credit card under $1000 by November 15th. One goal has been reached, and one hasn’t. I will start off with the one that has been completed.

I was able to get my BOA credit card under $1000 much sooner than November by qualifying for a new balance transfer credit card. Last year that would not have been able to happen due to my credit. Since I was able to increase it by 168 points, I was approved for the new credit card. I was able to transfer nearly $2000 from my BOA credit card to my new one in March. Not only is my BOA balance under $1000, but I’m also saving $60 per month on interest now. If things keep going how they are going, there is a chance that the BOA card will be paid off by November.

Now to the next goal. Seven months into 2016 and I have not been able to crack the $1000 per month goal yet. I’ve been making $600-$800 the last couple of months. I have to reach $1k soon. I have some debt payoff goals that I really want to achieve this year.

How I plan on reaching my goal

More pitches

I have to send out more pitches. A few months ago I had a client stop answering my e-mails. That pissed me off a little bit, and I got content for a couple of months. I can’t afford to do that if I want to reach my goals. I have to send out more pitches if I expect this increase to happen. I realize that gigs won’t just fall into my lap.

Raise Rates

I have to raise my rates. While speaking with my mastermind group, I found out that I was shortchanging myself. I refuse to do that anymore. I understand that my writing provides value, so I should not have to settle for less.

Research more items for eBay

I have to start researching and figure out what other things sell besides my current items. I haven’t been able to find as many pairs of Jordan’s as I was in the past. I know that I’m leaving money in the thrift stores by not knowing what other items that I can sell for profit. Some of the things that I need to research on are dress shoes, books, women’s purses and ties. I’ve read on other blogs that those are popular items.

Get up earlier

A couple of weeks ago I started getting up 40 minutes earlier two days out of the week. I didn’t want to do it, but I’m glad I did. I’ve been able to knock out some work during that time. If it continues to go well, I may do this all five weekdays.

Learn more about affiliates

I’ve had very minimal success with affiliate marketing. I’ve had a couple of payouts, but that’s it. There are bloggers out there making thousands of dollars per month. I want in! For that to happen, I have to learn and implement the correct strategies of affiliate marketing.

I’ve already started working on these things. Hopefully, my July month in review post will show that I’ve made strides. If it doesn’t the August post definitely will.

How are you doing on your 2016 goals?



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Why You Should Prepay Your Student Loans

Why You Should PrepayYour Student LoansIf you’ve been following my debt journey for a while, you will know that student loans make up most of my debt. If I could go back in time and change some things I definitely would. I’m at the point of my life where I can’t even worry about the past anymore. If you’re a recent college graduate of you still have a lot of loans, I want you to consider seriously prepaying your student loans. Prepaying on your student loans means to put extra money towards your monthly payments. It’s something that I wish I would have done. I want to share with you four reasons why you should consider prepaying your student loans.

Eliminate the Loans Faster

The first reason why you should prepay your student loans is because you will help you to eliminate them faster. No one wants to have student loan debt following them for too many years. I will be the first person to tell you that it’s not fun having that payment every month. Seeing the numbers go down slowly isn’t exciting either. If you can afford to prepay them, I’d do it as soon as possible.

Save More Money

If you prepay on your student loans, you will save money. The faster your loans are paid, the less interest that you will see. My interest rates are decent, but since my loans are high, I’m still charged about $40 -$50 worth of it each month.

Using the prepayment calculator on this page, I was able to figure out that I would save $5944 amount of money if I prepaid my loans in 6  years. This is tons of money that could go a long way in your day-to-day spending, monthly budget and retirement fund.



Be Able to Do More

If you prepay your student loans, you will be able to do much more with your money. You will be able to save more, travel more or even purchase a house. Having the option to do more with your money is much better than spending $200 – $300 on student loans for years.

Less Stress

If you have a significant amount of student loan debt, it can be stressful for you. That stress could deteriorate your health if you let it. If you’re fresh out of college, or you’ve been out or a while, now is the time for you to come up with a plan to prepay your loans. Get a second job, start a side hustle, or cancel your cable. Whatever you need to do, just do it. The day that you no longer have to deal with student loans will be excellent. From what I hear a huge burden will be lifted. I’m getting excited just thinking about it. I can’t wait for the days where I won’t have to stress about student loans anymore.

You should prepay your loans because it will help you eliminate them faster, you will save more money, you’ll be able to do more with money and you will have less stress.

Do you prepay on your student loans?

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Things to do in Jacksonville, Alabama

Jacksonville, AlabamaLast month my job sent me to Jacksonville, Alabama for a conference. When I first heard found out, I thought it was a typo. The only Jacksonville that I had heard of is located in Florida. To my surprise Jacksonville, Alabama does indeed exist. It’s a college town located about 45 minutes from Birmingham.  After spending five days in Jacksonville, I wanted to create a post on things to do there. This isn’t the longest list, but there are some things you can do if you ever happen to visit Jacksonville, Alabama.

Jacksonville State University

I figured I’d start this list off with Jacksonville State University. The campus is very nice. About 9000 students attend the university. They have a state of the art football stadium. The football team went 12-2 during the 2015 season. The library is also unique. They have an observation deck where you can get a good view of the Appalachians and the campus.

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Brothers

Brothers was a bar that I checked out one of the nights after the sessions were over. The beer prices were decent. There were a few pool tables and other games in the building. They also have a stage for karaoke and other performances.

Hike

The next thing that you can do in Jacksonville is to go hiking. Since Jacksonville is located in the foothills of the Appalachians. You have numerous hills that you can choose from.  The hills are located a few short minutes from JSU. Many people were hiking and biking the five days that I was there.



Pelham’s

Pelham’s seems like the best bar in town. The bar looked like an old house from the outside, but it was pretty cool. They had a DJ inside and outside as well as two bars. I can tell that Pelhams is the go-to spot during football season. Me and the people that I went with enjoyed the outside bar area a little more than the inside.

The Mall

Quintard Mall is located about 25 minutes from Jacksonville in a small city called Oxford. If you’re in Jacksonville for an extended time, you might as well visit because there isn’t much else to do. When I went there, the mall was silent.

As you have read, Jacksonville is a pretty small town. Visiting the school, going to Brothers and Pelham, hiking the mountains and going to the mall are a few things to do in the city. There may be more things to do, but honestly, I didn’t see it.

Have you ever been to Jacksonville? Alabama? If so, what did you do?

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Month in Review: June 2016

Month In ReviewHello, everyone. I hope everyone has a great June. It went well for me. The debt repayment is going pretty good.  As you can see in my June debt update, I only have five debts to go. I want to start paying more on them, but that might be a little tricky for the next couple of months. In August I’m in a destination wedding, and I want to pay for the hotel with cash, not credit. I also want to do the same thing for my hotel for Fincon. I believe that I will be able to make it happen.

The side hustling is still going well. I started doing more work for a client. My eBay sales also rebound in June too. I was able to sell six Starbucks mugs for $86. The crazy thing is that I only paid $3.60 for them. I’m working on a post to show y’all how I did that in detail.

I would have never started making money freelancing if it wasn’t for my blog. If you’re interested in starting a blog of your own, check out my step by step guide creating a website with Bluehost.

Top Posts of June

Four Things to do in Orlando (Not Disney)

What Financial Health Means to Me

June 2016 Debt Update

How I Got Here and How I’m Fixing It

10 Great Wedding Gifts

Late last month I had the chance to attend The Road to Financial Wellness Atlanta event. Jason Vitug put together an awesome event that featured great speakers. After the event, I heard several people state that they were ready to finances in order and have a better life. If the tour hasn’t reached your city yet make sure you check it out.

I am also still selling a couple of designs on TeeSpring. Below is one of my latest fans. Atlanta Braves fans will love it!

Braves name

How was your June?




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Atlanta Summer Date Ideas

Atlanta Summer Date IdeasSummertime is a great time to be in Atlanta. There are a lot of things to do in the city. Whether you’re casually dating or in a serious relationship with someone, you could make this a summer you won’t forget in Atlanta. Today, I want to share with you five summer date ideas.

Atlanta Braves Game

The Atlanta Braves aren’t that good right now, but you shouldn’t let that deter you. The games are still fun to visit. Even though this is the last season at Turner Field, it is still a solid park to watch a baseball game at. Since the Braves aren’t good, tickets to the games are very affordable. They’ve had $5 and $7 specials. I’m pretty sure they will have some more this summer.

Amusement Parks

The Atlanta area is home to two popular theme parks which are Six Flags over Georgia and Six Flags White Water. Six Flags over Georgia is split up into several sections. It features rides such as The Georgia Scorcher, The Georgia Cyclone, and The Mind Bender. Six Flags White Water is a water park that offers rides, shopping, and dining.

The Drive-In

The Starlight Drive-In movie theater is damn near iconic in Atlanta. It is a great place to watch a movie. With it being the only drive-in movie theater in the city it can get pretty packed some nights. The movies cost $9 per person. You can see two movies with admission if you choose to. That is the best deal in the city. Their concessions are very affordable, too.

Atlantic Station

Atlantic Station is an entertainment district in Midtown. It’s a great place to bring a date. There is a movie theater, as well as retail and restaurants. They also have events out there such as Wellness Wednesdays, which is when people go out there to do yoga for an hour.

WNBA Game

The next summer date idea in Atlanta is to attend a WNBA game. The Atlanta Dream is one of the best teams in the WNBA. The season runs from June until early October. They play their games downtown at Philips Arena.

Piedmont Park

The final date idea is to go to Piedmont Park. There is always something going on at Piedmont Park. They have numerous concerts and festivals throughout the summer. You can also exercise of just enjoy the scenery out there.

Do you have a favorite summer date location in Atlanta?




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