March, is that you? Could it really be? So soon? I feel like yesterday was Christmas, yet in no time it is now March and so many things have happened.

I survived February, which was kind of nutty. After having a three-month dry spell of work from November – January, I am now working my little booty off in February and March. I worked every single weekend in February, and will do so in March (on top of my full-time job) as well. I’m also trying to not fall off the face of the planet here on the blog, as you guys seriously keep me going. I love your thought-provoking comments and encouragement.

February was awesome work wise — however, those checks won’t hit till this month, so it seemed like I worked a ton with little pay. I also went out to eat far too much because I was exhausted and lazy. I can get into this really destructive workaholic mindset, where I just stop caring about money, and I need to eat, so why not go out? I need a balance between cooking, cleaning, working, and eating out. This month it was all out of whack and luckily my partner helped a bit. We both have irregular, crazy schedules, so it’s something we are constantly working on. I’m determined to be better in March!

I must say though, I’m pretty tired. Coffee is no longer working like it used to. Sleep is but a short reprieve of my daily hustles. This weekend, I worked till 3am both Friday and Saturday, which means I was in bed by 4am. For the first time in my life, I woke up at 1pm on Saturday. It felt good. Now that I’m back to the 9-5, I feel unbalanced. Going back and forth is definitely affecting my circadian rhythms. But I know it’s temporary and once these checks start coming in (got my first one today!), I will be reminded why I do this.

So, enough of my semi-incoherent blabbering. On to the numbers!

I paid off $1,100 in debt in February. Once again, not my $1,300 goal, but I think I’ll be happy from now on if it is over a grand. I’m paying my taxes this month, so we’ll see how that shakes out. Baby steps.

Current Numbers:

Grad loan: $34,500.48

Undergrad loan: $7,860.31

Total: $42, 360.79

I feel like I’ve been lingering in the 40’s forevah. Seriously. I’m so eager to see it under 40, so hopefully I can throw a nice chunk of change at my debt this month and keep going. I’m about halfway into my journey and sometimes it feels overwhelming, exciting, and boring. Going through the motions, but it’s not going as fast as I want.

Ask my mom, or my boyfriend: I am not a patient person, and it’s something I try to work on everyday 🙂

I guess debt is a great test for that!

What are you looking forward to in March? I’m excited about a Mardi Gras party at my job! Free food and fun!



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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29 responses to “Hello, March! Goodbye Failure February”

  1. The amount you hustle is insane in the membrane lady!!! I’m extremely inpatient with this debt repayment as well but when I feel that way I just look back to my first post ever and see how much I used to owe!
    Girl Meets Debt recently posted…Paying off Debt is Sexy and Saving Money is SafeMy Profile

  2. Please make sure to take care of yourself though! I know it’s only temporary but I hate to see you killing yourself too much! But I can totally understand why. I need to pick up my side hustles this month too and already started so I can get back on track with my projected income. I really think I need a full time job…hope this month is great for both of us!

  3. I am not a patient person either. I have never really stuck with anything in my life before. But, I am determined to this time around. I WILL stick with my debt payoff plans and I will follow through. I will be happy that I’m making progress, even if it’s not going as fast as I thought it would, damn interest! It is also a will-power issue and being able to say “no” to myself, which I’ve never been good at either. (This is why I pay a higher gym membership fee to go to a set class so the instructor can yell at me (nicely) to motivate me.) But I’m working on it and that’s all you can ask right?
    Shoeaholicnomore recently posted…Fighting with MyselfMy Profile

  4. Morgaine says:

    Wow, working until 3am, that’s hardcore! It did seem to me too that it takes forever to get out of certain “decade” of debt, kind of like plateauing when trying to lose weight. But you’ll be there soon and it’ll feel great! 🙂
    Morgaine recently posted…Budget Update: February 2014My Profile

  5. I bet you’ll be under 40 before you know it – it’s SO close!! And way to side hustle. I feel like I sucked at that this month AND I got hit with a ton of extra bills, so I’m familiar with that frustrating feeling of just treading water.

    At least if you’re treading water, you’re not sinking though, right? Good luck!!
    Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted…A Day in the Life of a Cruise Ship Stage ManagerMy Profile

  6. ” I can get into this really destructive workaholic mindset, where I just stop caring about money, and I need to eat, so why not go out? ” I can tell you right now you are not alone! I think it’s because of this that my wife does most of our cooking. I get so busy with side work and whatnot that when dinner rolls around I would rather just pick up a pizza than make something from scratch :0
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…My Little Bathroom DIYMy Profile

  7. anna says:

    Girl, I’m tired just reading about your hustles. 😉 Way to work it, literally!! And I don’t think $1k is a Failure at all – that’s a Fantastic February in my book! You’ll be in the Dirty 30’s debt-wise in no time, I just know it! 🙂
    anna recently posted…Wedding Highlights and Teachable MomentsMy Profile

  8. What? I wouldn’t say February was a failure! Nice hustle, lady 🙂

    I’ve been cooking a ton lately and actually enjoying it. We’re saving up to pay our taxes, so eating out is a rarity. Honestly, I’m kinda rocking it in the kitchen and don’t miss it TOO much.
    Erin @ Red Debted Stepchild recently posted…February 2014 Recap & March 2014 GoalsMy Profile

  9. You’re making great progress! $1,100 is awesome, even if it didn’t meet your goal!
    Kasey @ Debt Perception recently posted…Weekly ReviewMy Profile

  10. E.M. says:

    Great job, and I think learning to be happy with $1,000 is a good thing. I can imagine it’s a little cumbersome to work so much and not see the reward for a month, but at least you got one paycheck! It will all pay off soon. Your determination is seriously amazing. I don’t think I could work that many hours or even stay up until 3.
    E.M. recently posted…February Budget ReviewMy Profile

    • deardebt says:

      Staying up until 3am is new for me. Well, I’ve been going to bed by 4 on those days. Usually I go to bed at midnight, but this is pushing it. I have to say it’s kind of fun and adventurous….except when I feel like I can’t catch up on sleep.

  11. OMG Melanie, I was reading your post and I felt like I was reading my own debt repayment update! Although I don’t side hustle at all, I am halfway through the challenge too! I was also going to mention in my post that it feels like it was Christmas yesterday – I cannot believe it is March already! Good luck in March and yay about getting under 40k mark soon! 😛
    Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…February 2014 Debt Repayment UpdateMy Profile

  12. Great job on your progress! Make sure to take some time for yourself after the busy season! You’ll really deserve it!

  13. That is a huge total!!! Great job Melanie!!
    La Tejana @ Debt Free Tejana recently posted…How to Tip at a RestaurantMy Profile

  14. Adam Kamerer says:

    You paid off $1100! That’s fantastic. All that hustling is paying off. But remember to take some time to care for yourself, too, though. Like you told me — rest helps you get back into the swing of things. 😀
    Adam Kamerer recently posted…Day 4 – Get A FREE Financial EducationMy Profile

  15. Dang February did go by fast. I can’t BELIEVE it is March already! Congratulations on the big debt payoff! You rock!

  16. That’s awesome that you’re getting so close to seeing that number drop below 40k! I’m probably not one to talk, but remember to take a break every now and then- it certainly sounds like you deserve it. 🙂 And yes, please bring on March and warm weather!
    Ryan @ Impersonal Finance recently posted…travel is historically cheap, but you can still save on itMy Profile

    • deardebt says:

      So close. I think I’ll get a boost in motivation once I’m in the 30’s. I do need to take my own advice sometimes and take a break more often. I’ve been more lax on some of the smaller things, knowing that it will get done in time.

  17. Nice job, Melanie! I think we set way too high standards on ourselves sometimes. $1,100 is great progress.
    Alicia @ Financial Diffraction recently posted…Financial Update – February 2014.My Profile

  18. Mackenzie says:

    Keep up the good work with your side hustles!! 🙂 You are doing AWESOME!
    Mackenzie recently posted…No More Strength To The ConquerorMy Profile

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