2015 Year In Review

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2015 Year in ReviewWhere do I start? 2015 was an excellent year. I accomplished a lot more this year than I did in 2014. Since I had a full-time job the whole year, I was definitely able to make more money than I did the previous year. Unfortunately, I didn’t save nearly enough of it. That was one of the few things that went wrong this year. Keep reading to find out some of the other things that did not go as planned.

As I stated earlier, I didn’t save enough money this year. At one point I had a decent savings account, but car issues took about $500 – $600 of that away. I have yet to add all of that back to my account. That will change soon. Getting my emergency account back intact is a major goal for me. I also went over my budget in November. That was the 1st time that occurred since the beginning of the year. I can’t let it happen again.

Took longer to pay off one of my debts

I planned to have my credit union loan paid off by June. It didn’t get paid off until early December. I refuse to let that to happen with my other debts. I want them to be eliminated in a timely manner. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I have a 3-year deadline that I set to pay off this debt.

Still didn’t use my passport

Another year went by, and all my passport did was collect dust. Things happen for a reason, but I’m still a little disappointed about not using it. Since I didn’t save enough money this year a trip out of the country was basically out of the question. Next year I’m convinced it will happen. My best friend is having a destination wedding outside of the USA. I’ve already booked my hotel room. The flight will be booked within the next month or two.

Didn’t pay off my Wells Fargo loan

I also didn’t pay off my Wells Fargo loan this year like I planned to. The good thing is that it’s nearly half of what it was last year at this time. It is also currently my smallest debt. The debt snowball will allow me to pay it off by the end of next summer if not earlier. I’m shooting for earlier.

Only completed 50% of my goals

This year I only completed half of my goals. One goal that I didn’t complete was getting my FB page to 500 likes. With everything that has happened this year, I honestly forgot about it. I will probably add it to my 2016 goals list. That post will go live within a week or two. As a matter of fact click here to like The Butler Journal’s FB page if you haven’t already done so. Thanks!

Nothing tipped with Teespring

I had plans of making money off of a few t-shirt designs to speed this debt repayment up. Instead of using my own money to buy shirts and have them printed at a shop, I decided to use Teespring. Teespring is a website that allows you to create custom shirts and apparel. You make money by earning a percentage off of the shirts that were sold. I figured I could create a few designs and make a couple hundred off of them each month. Boy was I wrong. I tried selling three different designs in separate campaigns. None of them tipped. Tipping is when you sell the minimum amount of shirts you need for them to go into production. That was a minor setback, but I won’t quit. I have some new designs that I’m sure will tip next year. I also plan on outsourcing a couple of designs too. I have begun to realize that I can’t do everything.

Ok, enough about what went wrong. It’s time to discuss what went right this year. Like I stated earlier, 2015 was a damn good year for me. I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone a lot. Below are some of the major things that went right.

Made at least $200 extra per month

One of the goals that I set at the beginning of the year was to make at least $200 extra per month. I am happy to say that I did that nearly every month this year. I was able to make it happen by doing multiple side hustles such as selling things online and on craigslist.  I’m setting a higher online income goal for next year.

Started freelancing

I finally got the courage to try my hand at freelancing. I enjoy it. It’s amazing to see how my writing has progressed in 2+ years.  Getting freelance opportunities have helped me grow my income. I’ve only been freelancing for a couple months, but I’ve already seen an increase. None of this would have happened if I would have never started my blog.

If you’re interested in starting a blog check out my step by step guide on Creating a website with Bluehost.

Blogging has helped my writing get better. Potential clients are able to view my site and contact me if they are interested. The blog has turned into a small portfolio for me. If you are looking for a writer feel free to contact me here.

Paid off two debts this year

I paid off two debts this year. They were my capital one credit card and my credit union loan. The momentum from knocking those two off will carry over into 2016. My total debt went from $72,703.05 to $69,919.18.  That’s a difference of $2783.87. I will take that, but I know that I can do much better.

Increased my credit score

My credit score has increased by 168 points since January. I discussed this briefly in my August life update. It’s amazing how much my score went up once I became serious and started making on-time payments.

Went to my 1st Fincon

The final thing that went right for me was that I attended my first Fincon conference. I’ve talked about it a few times since I went, but I have to say this again… Fincon was a GAME CHANGER! Things have been so much better since then. I’ve been able to connect with a lot of like-minded individuals. I’ve turned into a human sponge these past few months learning from these people. I’m already planning on attending next year.

This year I also had a chance to visit another MLB stadium, see Jeezy in concert twice and connect with family members that I’ve never met before. I also learned that if you have a business or a hustle that you’re working on all of your family and friends will not support you. You shouldn’t worry about it, though. Most of the time they are not your target audience. Once you find that audience I promise that you will start to thrive.

You just read my 2015 year in review post. As you can see, 2015 was a hell of a year. 2016 will be better. I haven’t begun to reach the surface with what I’m about to do.

How was your 2015? Are you ready for 2016?


  1. Sounds like an amazing year! That’s amazing how your credit score increased by so much. I paid off my entire car loan this year, and my credit score has barely budged even when I was making extra payments on-time. If you have any credit tips, be sure to send them my way 🙂

    1. Thank you. Congrats on paying off your car loan. I will keep you posted on the tips.

  2. I still need to crunch the numbers to be exact, but we hit the main goal, which was to get at least $25,000 in our savings account for medical expenses next year. That meant needing $15,000. Granted, a big bonus helped push us over the finish line. But I’ll take it however I can get it.

    Like you, my goal is to grow my blog. Despite having a decent audience, my income is pretty low. Time to finally take making a profit seriously!

    1. Congrats. I know 2016 will be big for you!

  3. I think there is definitely more in the plus column, so kudos to you and with your resolve, 2016 will be an even better year! Merry Christmas Jason. 🙂

    1. Thank you! Merry Christmas to you as well!

  4. Sounds like a heck of a year, Jason! I was getting a bit worried at first as you went through all the things that didn’t quite pan out, but was relieved to see all the successes after that. I’m glad to hear that you had a good time at FinCon (perhaps that’s an understatement?). I already have my ticket for San Diego and look forward to meeting you and other bloggers there!

    1. This was definitely one of my better years. I look forward to meeting you at Fincon as well.

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