2017 Year in Review

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2017 year in reviewIt’s that time of the year. It’s time to do a bit of reflection. 2017 was an interesting year. A lot of things happened in 2017. Some were good, while others were bad. I learned a lot from them. Overall, I am happy with my progress this year.

2017 Year in Review


This year I only accomplished 38% of my goals. That’s not good considering the fact that I finished over 50% of them the last two years. For next year I’m setting a smaller number of goals. They will be tougher though. I have to continue to push myself and get the hell out of my comfort zone. I will force myself and get out my comfort zone. I will get into more detail about my 2018 goals in January.

I shared two goals with y’all at the beginning of the year. They are listed below.

  1. Have a successful challenge
  2. Pay off $20,000 worth of debt

In May, I had the five-day thrifting challenge. This was my first time doing a solo challenge. I had over 70 people sign up for it. It was well received. The challenge did so good that new readers can sign up for it whenever they want to because it’s always available now.

As far as the second goal, I didn’t get anywhere near paying off that amount a debt. I just didn’t make enough money this year.

My Debt

My debt went from $66,495.50 to $61,428.64. That was a decrease of $5069.86. Before I calculated, the numbers a couple of days ago, I didn’t think I did so good, but I paid off the most debt since I’ve started the repayment journey. Last year, I only paid off $3423.68. I’m trending upwards. Next year, I will get closer to that $20,000 goal.

This year I eliminated my credit card debt only to get back in it a few months later. I ended up using my credit card to book a hotel stay a few months ago, but the majority of this new credit card debt is from medical bills (nothing serious) and state taxes. I hate that I had to add this back to the debt chart. I will make it a point to eliminate it sooner than later.


After using my passport twice last year, I didn’t get any stamps this year. I went to Miami, Detroit, Dallas and New Orleans. I did go to Canada for a few during my trip to Detroit, but the passport wasn’t stamped. I enjoyed all of the trips, but two of them stuck out, and they were Detroit and Dallas. It was my first time visiting Detroit. I had no expectations before visiting, but I had a blast. Check out this post I wrote about Detroit a few months ago.

It was also my first time going to Dallas. I was there for FinCon. I learned some new things that I can apply to my business. I also got a chance to network with my blogger buddies. I got to see a little bit of the city of Dallas as well. Other than all the Cowboys memorabilia, I liked what I saw. I have to make a return visit there within a year or two.

Freelance Situation

At the beginning of the year, I was doing well with freelancing. I had a few clients, and things were sweet. I was bringing in anywhere between $1000 – $1400 per month freelance writing. Then April happened. I lost all of my clients within a 6-week time frame.

At the time, I was a little frustrated because my main client let me go a couple of days before the next month started. The other clients let me know in advance so that I would be prepared. To be honest, I was beginning to have a love and hate relationship with freelancing. I loved the money, but I hated all the time it took. I wasn’t able to put as much time as I would have into my site and side hustles.

From May – September, I didn’t do much freelancing. I didn’t feel like pitching or anything. I took that time to work on my stuff. I am at the point where I feel like I have balance. I started freelancing (a little bit) again in November. I’m looking for a couple of clients that will allow me to work with them for the foreseeable future. I know that freelancing isn’t my end game, but I do enjoy writing. It will also help me eliminate my debt quicker.


This has been the best year ever for me in eBay sales. I became more serious about it. I joined a few eBay related Facebook groups and subscribed to a couple of eBay blogs and YouTube channels. I also started researching more items and visiting more thrift stores. Doing that helped me grow my eBay income.

Because I shared my success and tips of social media and my website, I began to get multiple questions about eBay. I put together a course titled The Beginner’s eBay Course to help new sellers out. For more info, you can check it out here.


Selling t-shirts on Teespring is something that I have been doing since 2015. I got my first sale last year. 2017 has by far been my best year selling shirts on Teespring. I came up with more designs and promoted them better. Because of that, I had more sales. By the time this post goes live, I will probably have sold another shirt or two. Check out my Teespring store here when you get a chance.

The Butler Journal

I started doing a website audit earlier this year. I deleted a 4th of the content. A lot of those posts were trash. They were 300 words or less, and they provided no value. I’m still working on the audit. I’m updating the images in a lot of my post. I’m also making sure that I’m using the best SEO practices.

I want TBJ to continue to grow and be an excellent resource for people. 2017 was a good year for my site. I do not doubt in my mind that 2018 will be better.

How was 2017 for you?


  1. Congrats on the side hustles! I’ve heard that eBay is really starting to pick up again in terms of seller’s making quite a bit of income. Glad it’s working out for you. Also, keep on trucking on with the debt payments! Seems like you’re working hard on getting it all eliminated!

    1. The eBay is picking it up. I’m taking it to another level next year.

  2. Jason! I’m loved reading this post. I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself. I think that the confidence you gained selling your own products will pay off (literally) in 2018. Keep up the good work and MARKET, MARKET, MARKET what you’re doing 🙂

    1. Thank you. I will make sure that I market more this year!

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