Sorry for the radio silence, folks. After last week’s successful Twitter chat, I was blown over with illness. I have a pretty strong immune system, and this thing just hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to cancel work in some cases, had to ask for extensions, and just lay around and nap and watch movies. As fun as that sounds, it seriously cramps my workaholic style.

After 6 days of only feeling worse and not better, I finally went to the doctor. Apparently, I didn’t have the flu like I thought, but two separate infections. Fun times!

I am telling you this because I had plans last week to tell you about WHY I want to be debt free — I wanted to share things with you about my dreams of travel, moving, and giving back. I wanted to regale you with talk of a life I don’t have yet, but aspire to have once all this debt is gone.

But let’s have some real talk and deal with this unproductive misery of an illness I’ve dealt with for the past week.

First — being sick is expensive.

At one point, my boyfriend and I were both sick, and despite having food in the house, we both had zero energy to make it. So, we went out. Then, I tried to cure this thing on my own and stock up on cold medicine at the drugstore and bought new toothbrushes. After that didn’t really help, I decided to go to urgent care. I was desperate for relief. I hate when anything comes in between me and my work, and let’s face it, I don’t wear sick well. I can’t relax, I feel like I’m being lazy, and I’m quite frankly, pretty bored. Yeah, I’m the worst.

After paying my co-pay and the fee for the tests to determine what this is, that was a cool $50. After I got my prescriptions, that was another $50. Of course, this is all money I had no intention of spending, but I had to.

I can’t wait to be debt free, so that I don’t have to think twice about canceling work when I’m sick. I can’t wait to be debt free, so that spending $100 on health seems reasonable, instead of something that stresses me out.

I can’t wait to have my money be my own, so that I am truly in charge of what I do and where my money goes.

I know that in situations like this, I should be trying to recover and be grateful for my overall health. But when stuff like this happens, it just exacerbates my money woes and reminds me of my WHY.

Money should never come between you and your health — yet for people in debt, it can be a struggle to pick the right answer, even though it’s obvious.

So, my WHY of getting out of debt still includes traveling and a better lifestyle — but on a more practical level, it means a lot less worry.

Worry is a poison on the soul and I’m so done with it.

What is your WHY? Why do you want to get out of debt?

This post is part of the #DebtIsNotForever series by Jackie Beck over at the Share your WHY on social media using the hashtag #DebtIsNotForever


Melanie is a freelance writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy, and empowering people to take control of their finances. She writes about breaking up with debt, freelancing, and side hustle adventures at

Currently she puts more than 50% of her income towards debt, while living a frugal, fun life. In addition to her love of personal finance, art and music, she is also a karaoke master. Follow the adventure @DearDebtBlog.

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41 responses to “Why I Can’t Wait to Get Out Of Debt”

  1. Brooke says:

    I want to get out of debt so that I never have to worry about being able to pay for my expenses. Sure, financial independence would be amazing. But first, getting out of debt with a nice emergency fund would mean that we could survive job loss or my husband could switch out of his super draining, high-income job. Right now we are very fortunate to have high-income jobs, but we are also locked into these high-earning jobs because we want to make fast progress on our 169K of student loan, mortgage and car debt.

    More and more, I see that we will also need to hustle and earn money on top of this as well. As the person who contributed the 116k of student loans to our family balance sheet, I feel like I have a responsibility to increase my income to pay them down even faster. Especially before we have kids, or our cars wear out or if we experience job loss.

    Thankfully we have excellent health care and we put money into a FSA for out-of-pocket health expenses. But for me, there are other budget busters such as eating out and higher groceries– my vices– when I am sick as well.
    Brooke recently posted…Do What You Want With Your Life Sooner Rather Than Later: New Road Maps for Quitting the Rat RaceMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, there is so much to save up for! I can imagine feeling locked in with high incomes — conversely, I was able to leave my old job, because it wasn’t very well paid. I imagine if it was, I’d have a hard time leaving too. We’ll get there. We just gotta keep going!

  2. MJ says:

    ALL good reasons. Debt is such a stressor.
    MJ recently posted…The February “Squeeze Your Budget” ChallengeMy Profile

  3. As my financial position has improved I’ve definitely become a better caretaker of myself. I remember once when I was a young freelancer I went to work when I still had pneumonia! (I wasn’t contagious, but I was really weak and coughing like crazy, but it was $150 for the day and I hadn’t worked in something like a month at that point and I really needed the cash.) I’d never do that now. Anyway: I’m really sorry you were that sick! Hope you’re feeling better soon if not already.
    C@thesingledollar recently posted…Tax TimeMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Ugh, that sounds awful. I’ve had to miss out on some money this past weekend, but I couldn’t be serving food like this. I can’t wait to be debt free, so I don’t even have to worry about it.

  4. Michelle says:

    You have basically summed it up. I hate the constant stress. Feel better chica!
    Michelle recently posted…Is The City You Live In Messing Up Your American Dream?My Profile

  5. I think life without debt will be much simpler mentally and then I can use my brain for more exciting/rewarding things 🙂

    Debt can create a lot of unnecessary stress.
    Brittany @ Fun on a Budget Blog recently posted…Weekend Survival Guide for the Girl on a BudgetMy Profile

  6. Aww I’m sorry you were sick. 🙁 Hope you are feeling better now. Sometimes shit just comes up. I had an emergency with Pepe where I had to take him to the vet and that was $400 gone in one hour. But to resist what is only hurts worse. Know what I mean? I try to think of moments like that as just a tiny blip on the grand scheme of life. You’ll be back on your feet in no time!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…The PlanMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Starting to feel much better! I’m sorry to hear about Pepe. I know in the grand scheme of things, this will be nothing, but it feels like a big deal now, you know? Once I’m debt free, I’ll be able to have more of that long-term vision.

  7. Chonce says:

    I’m so glad you are feeling better. Being sick is no fun. I totally agree with you that your health should always be a priority but when you’re in debt it can certainly change some things and make you worry. Luckily where I work, my company’s mentality is ‘take care of yourself first’. But when I lost my voice for a whole week in October, I continued to show up at work because I needed the money. I can’t wait to pay off my debt either and feel free again. I imagine it will be one of the best feelings ever to own my money again and take back control over my life.
    Chonce recently posted…The 2015 Budget Challenge: How to Tackle it Head-on and Map Your FutureMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I’m glad you work somewhere that supports putting you first! It’s still tough though because of the money situation. This is a great reason to work towards being debt free.

  8. Less worrying will be so wonderful! I can’t wait! I hope you feel better soon!
    Nichole @ Budget Loving Military Wife recently posted…Military Life & Money: Financial Success Story of Jennifer & MichaelMy Profile

  9. I hope you are on the mend!! I HATE getting sick but caught a cold my son had at the end of the year. Fortunately it only lasted a few days and didn’t completely wipe me out.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Music Mondays – 9 to 5My Profile

  10. Debt Hater says:

    Peace of mind is a huge reason why I want to get out of debt. I have an emergency fund but right now to cover things, but there’s always that thought in the back of your mind. That $50 that I had to spend at the dentist could have went to my debt, etc!
    Debt Hater recently posted…Free Community CollegeMy Profile

  11. Ben Luthi says:

    I hear ya! Every unexpected expense somehow sets off a flood of anxiety. It’s especially hard when a lot of your income is variable, because you don’t know if or when you’ll get a bad month, so every expense counts!
    Ben Luthi recently posted…Are You Eligible For Student Loan Forgiveness?My Profile

  12. Alexis says:

    Sorry to hear you’re sick and I hope you and your boyfriend feel better soon! This post really spoke to me because lately I’ve been reminded, in little and big ways of what I want out of debt quickly. A friend booked a trip to Hawaii recently and mentioned a couple trips she has planned (using vacation time) to go overseas. If I didn’t have debt I’d do that. Same way that I’d be getting a better wardrobe, donating to local organizations and not feeling guilty for spending money on things out of my carefully laid plans.
    Alexis recently posted…Twas an unexpectedly Quiet SundayMy Profile

  13. Glad you’re feeling better. The intensity of that chat definitely added to it.
    Jason @ Phroogal recently posted…7 Financial Things You Can Do While Stuck Indoors During a SnowstormMy Profile

  14. These are all excellent reasons to want to be debt-free!!! One day, you’ll be able to be sick and miserable without worrying how it will affect your earnings. Being sick sucks enough on its own.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…In All Matters, You Have to Start SomewhereMy Profile

  15. dojo says:

    My biggest issue was that I was close to blowing off the biggest opportunity in my lifetime: spending 18 months in NYC. I am happy to be debt free, it does allow more ‘wiggle’ room, that’s true 😉
    dojo recently posted…The True Cost of Being in Debt – Wasted OpportunitiesMy Profile

  16. Debt is totally a stress and a fun suck too. I can’t wait to be debt free so I can enjoy some of my money worry free. I still try to have some “fun money” but I still feel guilty when I spend it even though I’ve budgeted for it.
    Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore recently posted…Office Project RecapMy Profile

  17. I totally get this! When you have debt, it can also feel make you feel guilty for spending money on things you don’t “need” like travel, going out and buying fun things like new clothes or makeup. You’re right – $50 isn’t “alot” to spend on medicine or a doctor’s visit, but it’s also $50 you can put toward your loans.
    Zina at Debt Free After Three recently posted…Debt is not foreverMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      It’s actually terrible — I often don’t feel bad about spending $50 on travel, but I HATE spending it on things like medicine or other necessities that are unexpected!

  18. I can totally relate not wanting to walk away from ANY amount of work — I have a really, really hard time not taking on as much as I can possibly do, no matter what, because all I can think about is “well it’s making me money..” So that’s my why for setting a goal of financial independence, so I can quit worrying about what if and have an easier time doing work I love because I want to do it, instead of being driven by the fear of somehow, some day, not being able to make enough. Here’s to us as we work toward our kickass financial goals! 🙂
    Kali @ XY Planning Network recently posted…Launching Your Own Financial Planning Firm: Erik O. Klumpp of Chessie AdvisorsMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Exactly! I have a hard time turning down money, even for self-care purposes. But I’m getting better. Yes, here’s to us reaching our financial goals! 🙂

  19. My dear friend, hope you are feeling better!! Being sick is the worst. Like you said, it makes one just want to spend/do whatever they need to so that they can feel better. Our why is simple: the freedom from worry, as you mentioned. Can’t WAIT for that to be gone. 🙂
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…6 Mistakes Broke People MakeMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I am feeling much better! As much as I hate antibiotics, I needed them this time. I’m all better! Being sick does feel awful — I love your why! It’s all about the freedom!

  20. I like when you said worry is poison to the soul, very good line. I guess it all depends on your personality because I have met people who could care less about debt and others who detest it. I am more of a detest loans person. But we all make mistakes sometimes, and the secret is to learn from mistakes.
    EL @ Moneywatch101 recently posted…Don’t Invest all Money into Index FundsMy Profile

  21. Larry Serano says:

    Am a freelancer earning about $7500 dollars a month sitting at home. I remember paying off a $120 debt even by taking up projects worth $25 a page!
    Larry Serano recently posted…By: Rules to Follow When Searching for the Best Debt Settlement Companies | GoldenFS.orgMy Profile

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