Why I Side Hustle?

why-i-side-hustleHappy Friday everyone! I hope y’all are doing well. I can’t believe it’s already December. If you’ve been reading The Butler Journal (TBJ) for a while, you know that I am a huge fan of side hustle. I’ve done things from selling stuff on eBay to freelance writing. Today, I want to share with you the reasons why I side hustle.

Extra Money

The first reason why I side hustle is because I like the extra money. One of the most important things that I’m doing right now is paying off debt. I’ve had it for far too long, and I refuse to have it for too much longer. I make a decent amount of money at my 9-5 job, but I want this debt to be gone sooner than later. The money that I make from side hustling allows me to pay it off faster.

Many people know that traveling is one of my favorite hobbies. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, life is all about experiences. I’ll take a trip over a BMW or some expensive clothing any day. Memories and creating new ones are so much more important than materialistic stuff. This is another place where my extra money goes. Without the extra money. I wouldn’t be to travel as much. This year alone the extra money had helped me pay for trips to Washington D.C, Costa Rica, and San Diego.

It’s Fun

Another reason why I side hustle is that it’s fun for the most part. Some side hustles are more fun than the others. For example, I love eBay. Selling items on the site is fun to me. I enjoy finding inventory and getting it ready to sell. It is a good feeling when you find an item for a low price and flip it for three times as much or more.

Learn New Skills

Five years ago, you couldn’t tell me that I’d be doing some of the side hustles that I’m doing now. Five years ago, I didn’t know anything about WordPress or freelance writing. Now, I’d like to say that I’m pretty good at both of them now. I’ve learned a lot of different skills since I’ve been side hustling. I believe that anyone can do the same thing. That leads me to the final reason why I side hustle.

New Opportunities

Side hustling can result in new opportunities. I know a few people who have side hustled their way to a new career. To me, that’s amazing. It shows me that anyone can change their career or life by working hard enough. Since I’ve been freelance writing, I’ve been able to write for several wonderful websites. This would not have happened if I never believed in myself.

Everyone is not going to side hustle. Some people are just lazy, or they are content with their situation. That’s not me. Side hustling is a way of life. It is helping me created extra income. If you are interested in side hustling, I want you to realize that you can do it. If you need any help or have a question about anything, email me at Jason@TheButlerJournal.com.

Do you have a side hustle? Why or why not?

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November 2016 Debt Update

november-2016-debt-updateWhat’s going on everyone? I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday. It’s time to get back to work now. Today I want to share with you my debt update for the month of November.

My total debt went from $67,509.80 to $67,197.55. That was a decrease of $312.25. That was better than October and September. Decembers update will be nice as well. I have an affiliate payment and a new client to add to the side hustle income.

The Numbers

Loan 2 – Down from $5800 to $5779

BOA Credit Card – Down from $750.15 to $569.78

Chase – Down from $1770 to $1745

Navient – Down from $24,326.40 to $24,244.25

Nelnet – Down from $34,862.45 to $34,859.32

My Bank of America credit card is the lowest that it’s been in 9 years. That right there is a huge accomplishment for me. By the time you read this post, it will probably be a little smaller. Not going out of town helped me out this month. I was able to put a lot of money towards the debt. I’m excited for December and the upcoming year.

Seeing my payments go toward interest sucks. I know that next year I may call Nelnet to get my payment raised. This loan isn’t going down at all because my monthly payment is very small.

Previous Debt Updates

January 2015 (The Beginning)

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

How is your debt repayment going? Are you having problems with anything?


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November Round up

novemberWhat’s going on everyone? If you’re like me, you’re not going to any stores today. I’m not a fan of Black Friday traffic. I’ve never went shopping on Black Friday and I never will. If you are at home relaxing, make sure that you check out today’s round up. I have 5 great posts that I know you will enjoy.

Michelle from The Shop My Closet Project has a guest post that tells us The Power of Hustling.

Grayson from Debt Round Up shares with us what’s happened since he Quit his Job One Year Ago.

David from Young Adult Money gives us the truth about why Blogging is the Ultimate Side Hustle.

Aja from Principles of Increase has a very motivating post that features 17 People Who Blogged Themselves Out of Debt.

Kim from Work Hard Travel Well gives us tips on How to Add to Your Travel Squad.

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5 Ways to Save Money on Christmas Gifts

5-ways-tosave-money-on-christmas-giftCan you believe it? Christmas will be here in a few weeks. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. I get the chance to relax and spend some quality time with my family. We also get to exchange cool gifts with each other as well. Since I’m getting older, I’m just happy to still receive a few gifts here and there. Most of my family members feel the same way. We really enjoy this time together. Sometimes families can a go a little overboard with their Christmas gift purchases. They may get expensive gifts and they end up still paying for them come March. That’s not financially smart. In today’s post, I will be sharing a few tips that will help you save money while shopping for Christmas gifts.


The 1st thing that you can do is to create a budget for your Christmas shopping. The budget should depend on how much money you’re currently making.  Once you reach that budget you can’t buy any more gifts. That may take some discipline, but it can be done. The key is not to go broke or get in debt due to Christmas shopping. One of the worst things that you can do is start the new year in a hole.

Pick names

Some families are so large that they have to pick names. Picking names consist of writing the name of each family member on small separate sheets of paper. The pieces of paper are then put into a hat or bucket. Each member of the family then draws someone’s name and gets them a Christmas gift. Imagine having a family where you have 8 siblings. It could be tough financially trying to get them all nice gifts. By drawing names, you only have to worry about one or two people. That will be much better on your wallet.

Shop throughout the year

Some people shop throughout the year for Christmas. This is actually a great idea. Stores have many different sales through the year.  If you grab things during the year you won’t have to worry about dealing with Christmas crowds at many stores. That’s better than running around town and getting stressed out.

Ask people what they want

I will be the 1st to admit that I’ve wasted money in the past by just buying random gifts for people. I’m sure some of the things I purchased in the past are collecting dust in their closets. To save time and money, you can ask people what they want this year for Christmas. I actually did this last year. I’m usually a last-minute shopper, but I finished my shopping early and I still had a good amount of money left over. You may be surprised at some of the simple and inexpensive things that people want.

Buy 1 gift per person

If you really want to save money this Christmas, buy everyone one gift. This will make your shopping go much faster and quicker. This is what I plan to do this Christmas. Getting people one gift will save me a lot of money. Christmas shouldn’t be about gifts anyway. It should be about spending time with your loved ones.

How do you save money on Christmas shopping?

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5 Reasons Business Owners Opt for No Insurance

no-insuranceWhen newly-minted business owners are trying to get their startups off the ground, the three things at the forefront of their minds are financing, staff and product. If a business does not have a strong showing of all three, then it’s assumed the business will fail, and in truth, it ultimately will. But what if you have all of the ingredients to make up a successful business? Is there still cause to worry? Well yes, there is.

If you have children, you’re probably familiar with the Nick Jr. cartoon Dora the Explorer. For readers that aren’t familiar with the Spanish-speaking educational cartoon, the cartoon is centered around an exuberant girl child who sets off on daily adventures in search of various “treasures.” Are you still with me? Okay, as Dora and friends make their way along the trail, another character, a weasel named Swiper steals things that Dora needs to finish her quest. Kids can banish Swiper by saying, “Swiper no swiping.” In the adult world, Swiper represents all those who seem hell-bent on your livelihood.

Swiper is the obnoxious busy-body of a client who has filed a lawsuit against your business in the hopes of getting some extra cash, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra cash. The call “Swiper no swiping is Dora’s insurance that she’ll be able to finish her quest unimpeded. You have worked hard to build up your company, so why would you be so willing to let it all go?

Is it a Reason, or an Excuse?

There are a lot of reasons why business owners opt out of getting commercial business insurance, or so they think. They’re really not so much reasons as they are excuses. Here are 10 reasons, aka excuses, why business owners decide against getting business insurance. Are you guilty of making the same judgements?

Excuse 1: Business insurance is too expensive. False. Business insurance is not too expensive. Comparison websites like CoverHound can help you find cost-effective commercial business insurance packages without you breaking the bank.

Excuse 2: My company doesn’t need business insurance. False. Every business needs business insurance. An inexpensive coverage plan that will meet all of your needs is the business owner’s policy or BOP insurance. BOP insurance offers liability, crime, fleet and property insurance protection under one affordable bundle plan. And did you know that when you bundle, you automatically get an insurance discount?

Excuse 3: Business insurance isn’t mandatory, so that means it’s unnecessary. False. Did you know that there is a 12 percent chance on of your own staff members will sue your business? Did you also know that 36-53 percent of small businesses are involved in some form of litigation in any given year? Business insurance as seen in the general liability and professional liability policies will cover the cost of your litigation fees and damages. If an employee or client took your business to court tomorrow and the judge ruled in their favor, would you be able to pay restitution out of pocket? Would you be able to hire a decent lawyer? If your answer is no to either one of these (or you’re even just not sure) you absolutely must get business insurance.

Excuse 4: My business is in a stable financial position and I have a loyal customer base, nothing bad is going to happen. False. Even if you have ironclad contracts with your clients and employees that you think makes it impossible for them to take you to court, there is always a loophole. Ever hear of arbitration? Any capital you had can and will go to the costs of retaining legal counsel.

Excuse 5: I had business insurance and never used it, so I let it expire. While you may not have used your business insurance, (yet, at least) that doesn’t mean you won’t need to in the future. Renew your policy and ask about discounts or incentives, this will keep you in the green and happy with your coverage.

What is your business worth to you? If it’s worth anything, it’s worth protecting.


Side Hustle Series: Have You Considered Blogging?

side-hustle-seriesGood Morning everyone. Today’s post is the third installment of my side hustle series. In this series, I will be highlighting people who are making money via a side hustle or their own business. In today’s installment, I interviewed Choncè, who is the owner of My Debt Epiphany.

Choncè is a mom, newlywed, and 20-something Midwesterner who’s been on a journey to pay down her debt and enjoy life to its fullest along the way. She started actively paying off her debt at the end of 2014. She has paid off more than $10,000 on a salary less than $40,000 a year since she started her site. In 2016, Choncè quit her job to be a full-time freelance writer and blogger. She is continuing to work towards eliminating the remainder of her student loan balance and other debt that she and her husband shares.

What caused you to start My Debt Epiphany?

I wanted to share my story and document my journey to working my way out of debt. When I graduated college, I was pretty scared because I had student loan debt, a car loan, and no job leads. I started reading personal finance blogs for comfort and got slightly obsessed. Being a writer, I decided to share my journey by starting a blog that would allow me to build a community of like-minded people and be accountable.

How long has your site been around?

I started my blog at the end of 2014 so it just about two years old.

What do you want the goal of My Debt Epiphany to be?

I want it to be a safe place for people to come to learn about money and join in on the conversation. My main goal is to equip people with the knowledge and tools to pay off their debt but understand that life doesn’t stop after your debt is gone. I also want to help people manage their money better and use it as a tool to live their best lives. I share a lot of personal stories and life lessons because I’m still learning and experiencing things too. Plus, I want people to feel free to comment, offer feedback and feel like they’re apart of the community. The more we all talk about money together, the more we learn and grow.

Do you have a full-time job?

I quit my full-time job in the web design industry at the end of August this year. Now I’m self-employed, and I run my blog and provide freelance writing services for client’s full time.

Any advice for people thinking about starting a blog?

Narrow down a topic you are passionate about and won’t get tired of. No matter what you’re interested in, there will be an audience out there for you. That’s just the beauty of the internet. It’s important to narrow down your topic/theme because most bloggers quit within their first six months because they either get tired of talking about certain topics, get burned out/discouraged or any other reason.

It’s important to believe in your mission wholeheartedly. Map out a few content ideas, come up with a catchy name and then get started. The one thing I don’t regret is starting my blog when I did. Initially, I thought I should wait to start my blog until I paid off all my debt. I didn’t think I had the authority to speak in the personal finance space and I was afraid nobody would listen or care about what I had to say.

I’m so happy I put those fears aside and just started my blog because it’s completely changed my life. Ask yourself will you regret not starting now later in the future. If the answer is yes, get started today!

How can people get in contact with you?

People can get in touch with me by visiting my site, or they can connect with me on social media.

Facebook  : Pinterest : Twitter : Instagram

Other Side Hustle Series posts

Side Hustle Series: What Type of Camera Should You Buy?
Side Hustle Series: Selling Men’s Apparel
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What People Don’t Tell You About Freelancing

what-they-dont-tell-youLast week I wrote a post talking about my first year as a freelancer. I discussed a lot of the positives that has happened during the last year. Today, I want to talk about things that people might not tell you when it comes to freelancing, specifically, freelance writing. This post isn’t meant to scare you from freelancing. It’s intended to inform you about some things that could possibly happen once you take the leap.

Constructive Criticism

As a freelance writer, you have to be able to handle constructive criticism. Everyone is not going to like everything that you write. I found that out about two months after I started freelancing. People may not like your “voice” or writing style. That’s perfectly fine. I have no problem with the constructive criticism. I take it for what it’s worth and use it to help me become a better writer. If you’re the type of person who’s super sensitive, you may have to toughen up just a bit. It a client doesn’t like something you write, realize that in 95% of the case that it’s not personal. You may have to edit some posts 2-3 times before they like it. You also won’t get every freelance job that you apply for. It’s all good, though. The sooner that you realize that constructive criticism isn’t the end of the world, the better off you will be.

Late Payments

Ina perfect world, you would get paid on time for every assignment. As you can see, we don’t live in a perfect world. Some clients pay late. When that happens, you will have to make the decision on if you want to work with them again. If a client is a couple of days late, I typically wouldn’t worry about that. If they are a week or more later, then there may be a problem. I understand that people are busy, but if a client is supposed to pay you in a particular time, they should do it unless they have contacted you and made previous arrangements. Luckily, I’ve only dealt with late payments twice. The first time a client went on vacation. As much as I love to travel, I totally understood. Everyone needs a getaway every once in a while. The second time a client paid me late, they were procrastinating. After a quick email where I politely let them know how unprofessional it was to play with other people’s money, I got paid.

Low Pay

When starting out as a freelancer, you may have to take some low paying jobs at the beginning. Those jobs can be used for your portfolio, but you shouldn’t stay with them forever. As you get better, you will make more money. I struggled for a while with pricing and which jobs to take in the beginning. I’ve gotten better over time. I don’t have to take low priced gigs anymore.

Writers Block

You will not be able to write every day. You will have writer’s block from time to time. I’ve been able to combat that by doing a few things. I do a lot of my writing on the weekend mornings. I’ve noticed that my creativity is on another level during the morning and early afternoon hours. I also switch up locations. Sometimes, I write at home. Other times, I write at the library or a coffee shop. Finally, I have a folder full of topics that I can write about. Those three things help me avoid writer’s block. If I still have trouble writing, I try again the next day.

More research than expected

When you agree to do freelance work for someone, some of the topics may require more research than you expected. Keep that in mind when you’re going over your rates. I had a job a few weeks ago where I wrote a how-to guide for someone. Initially, I asked for a certain amount to do it. I started working on it and had to do a little more research. I was able to request a little more money from the client because of the research. Thankfully, I was lucky. Not every client will pay more. When you start freelancing be ready to factor in research when it comes to your rate for some topics.

Time Consuming

Freelancing can be time-consuming. I don’t have too many clients, but I will be the first one to tell you that I don’t what the hell a work/life balance is at the moment. Sometimes I wrote a lot, other times I don’t. The more clients that you have, the more work that you will need to do. There are times where I want to just be lazy and watch the games on Saturday’s & Sunday’s. The way that this debt looks, doesn’t make being lazy an option. I’m not complaining about the work either. Since I’ve been freelancing, my life has gotten better. I have a schedule for the most part when I do the majority of my writing so it’s not too time consuming,

You may neglect your website

Some freelancers may neglect their own websites when they are complete articles for clients. The money could be so good that they simply forget to make the time to work on theirs. I’ve known a few bloggers that done that, Hell, I’ve done it before. I know the freelance money can be GREAT, but don’t forget about your site. Schedule some time to work on it each week as well.


The last thing that people don’t tell you about freelancing is that you will have to sacrifice something. If you want to be a success and make decent money doing it, you will have to change something. A couple of years ago, I used to be a big partier. I loved the night life (still do), but I had to calm down. I stopped going out as much because I’d rather wake up at 8 am fresh the next morning instead of at noon with a hangover. When you start freelancing you will have figure out what you need to give up to be a success.

I hope I didn’t ramble for too long, but I figured that I needed to get in depth with this post. These days a lot of people saying that they want to freelance. I don’t want them to the false idea that it is going to be 100% easy, because it’s not. You can do it, though, if you work hard and remember the things I went over in this post, you will be fine.



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