Over the past month of being debt-free, I’ve sat in amazement that I reached my destination. The journey was tough and a wild rollercoaster, but I made it. Sometimes it still doesn’t feel real.

Other times I laugh to myself, because I can see all those hard times as lessons now. They sure seemed tough at the time, but I was getting primed for self-employment. I was working my way from the bottom to the top and learning the hard lessons along the way.

When I think about my journey, I can’t ignore the influence of this blog and my readers on my success. I could have started this blog three years ago and wrote in silence. But I found others that pushed me. Encouraged me. Helped me.

My blogger friends helped me launch my new career. I got a chance to start over, work for myself and pay off my debt faster than I imagined.

Now, I want to give back and create my ideal position. In my fantasy, I’m a debt fairy godmother that helps encourage you, support you and helps you pay off your debt.

So my plan is to really give back to this community that gave so much to me. I plan on donating a portion of my blog income each month to a reader in debt. It’s not going to be a lot, or anything life changing, but as someone who was in debt for a long time, I know that every little bit helps. I don’t make a lot of money on this site, as I’ve carefully chosen to limit any ads or sponsored posts on my site.

Having a site about getting out of debt and constantly pushing people to buy just doesn’t make sense you know? But I’m determined to help others pay off their debt, even if it’s just a small chunk of change.

In addition to helping one reader each month with a small amount of money to put toward debt, I’ll also be giving away financial books, Starbucks cards and whatever I feel like will keep you motivated to keep going.

I know how hard it is to get out of debt and stay motivated which is why I want to be a debt fairy godmother (ha, I just like saying that). While paying off debt, I remember how a $10 Starbucks gift card changed my day or an unexpected $25 felt like $25 I didn’t have to come up with to put to my debt.

So, how can you be one of the lucky readers? Keep reading. Comment. Share a post if you feel like it. I’ll be choosing winners at my discretion each month.

This month it just felt appropriate to have my first winner be David from Brazil. He wrote a touching dear debt letter that I think resonated with a lot of people and gave us a new perspective on how people outside of the U.S. are dealing with debt.

I am so excited to give back to this community and have a little fun!

A lot of people have asked me if I am going to stop writing about debt or if I will change directions. For now, no. I’ll be right here cheering you on. Pushing you. Encouraging you.

While I will still be writing about debt, I may be writing less on this site for the next few months. In case you missed my Year in Review post, I am in the midst of working on a book(!). It’s exciting and exhausting trying to manage client work, my blog and this book. As much as I hate to say this, I’m not superwoman, so I have to cut back a little.

But don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. Heck, I’m writing a book BASED on this blog! Including some of the dear debt letters (score!).

Thanks again from the bottom of my heart for supporting me for the past three years.


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 DearDebt.com.

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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59 responses to “How I Plan to Help You Pay Off Your Debt”

  1. Congrats again on being debt free. I think this is a compelling gesture. To now have the opportunity to help others along the way with small tokens that are invaluable is amazing!
    Shirria @ GDTH recently posted…How to Accelerate the Debt Repayment ProcessMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I’m excited to provide a boost of motivation and fun for those paying off debt. I know my gesture won’t pay off people’s debt and won’t change their lives completely…but hopefully it helps inspire them to keep going.

  2. Tyler says:

    Melanie I’m so excited for all the work you are continuing to do to help those of use on the other side of debt. Your workshop (only one day in) has already changed the way I’m thinking about things. I have yet to get my first client (paying or otherwise) but I know that if I keep working at it, then it will happen. The more work I put towards my side hustles the quicker I can get out of debt and the quicker those side hustles can become my full time gig. Thanks so much for all you do you truly are an inspiration. (And whenever that book is available, or if you feel like early copies let me know)
    Tyler recently posted…What’s In A Name?My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks Tyler! You WILL get your first client. You started a blog, now you’re growing your skills. I’m so glad you are in the workshop and that you are enjoying it. Making more money helped me so much and expedited my debt payoff. I know it can do the same for you. Yes, I’ll have a launch of the book when it’s ready!

  3. What a great way to help others! You’ll make a great debt fairy godmother. No better experience than living through it.
    Brian @DebtDiscipline recently posted…Doctor Evil MoneyMy Profile

  4. Catherine says:

    Melanie this is incredible. What a lovely gesture!
    Catherine recently posted…Why I’m No Longer Making Long-Term GoalsMy Profile

  5. Wow, what a great give-back plan. And congratulations David!

  6. I love your new role as debt fairy godmother… what an awesome and generous way to encourage people! As for the book, the blog and your client work, I’m pretty sure you are superwoman, and superwoman is just wise enough to know how to keep everything in balance.
    Gary @ Super Saving Tips recently posted…Simple Ways to Save Money on a WeddingMy Profile

  7. Wow, how generous of you! I have family members who have serious financial issues. It would be wonderful to help others, but we need to focus on fixing our own money problems first.

    Good luck with writing your book. I’m working on my own “Dear Debt” letter which will be coming your way soon 🙂
    Harmony @ CreatingMyKaleidoscope recently posted…Monday Medley: Bring It On 2016My Profile

  8. This is awesome. Congrats on being out of debt. I’m still dreaming about that day.
    Mr. Payingmylawschooldebt recently posted…Fun While Paying Down Debt: the Harvard ClassicsMy Profile

  9. leah says:

    You are such a sweetheart Melanie. I think your kind nature and vulnerability is just as inspiring to people as your tenacity paying off debt. The world needs more of this. Again, congratulations on your success, but also for hanging on to that openness through all the struggle. Wishing you everything you hope for in 2016!
    leah recently posted…Four Seasons Orlando Fabulous Food OptionsMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Wow, Leah, what a lovely comment! I hope in 2016 I can grow and help others. I’ve been selfish with my time and money because I had to be. Now, I’m ready for a change 🙂

  10. Stephanie says:

    Melanie, you are such an inspiration! I am new to the debt-free mindset, but I have made a commitment to getting debt free this year (I am currently taking your Money Management for Creatives course!) and I am SO happy I found you and this blog. I love that you are giving back, and it gets me excited to think that someday I could be in that position too. So empowering!

  11. This is such an amazing idea! I love it! What a great way to give back to your readers. 🙂
    Cat@BudgetBlonde recently posted…Would You Accept Money for Naming Your Baby?My Profile

  12. Oh my gosh, your life sounds so exciting now. You sound excited too : ) All the best in your new ventures, Melanie – and congratulations!
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted…How To Retire With Enough Money: And How To Know What Enough IsMy Profile

  13. I agree with what everyone else has said. Super amazing to give back to your readers like this! You’re so kind and supportive and I know that first-hand. =) You’re totally right that a “small” gift card here and there works wonders as a pick-me-up.

    None of us can be superwoman in the sense of getting everything done, BUT who said being a debt fairy godmother isn’t better? I love that name, haha.

    Good luck on getting the book done! I know you’ll knock it out of the park.

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks for your support! It’s been so tough managing it all and I hope I can get everything together. I think being a debt fairy godmother will be great and give me so much happiness.

  14. Pam says:

    I have come to realize that my debt, along with my weight, my disorganization and even my procrastination are all related and feed off each other.
    Thank you for your blog and your encouragement. I hope that in the future I am able to announce that I am debt free and living a life that is less stressful. And being skinny would be great too!

  15. Jennifer says:

    Congratulations on being debt-free and on working on a book!
    I fantasize about getting our mortgage paid off but I haven’t gone any further than that. Well, I pay a little bit of extra on the principal every month but haven’t gotten serious about it yet. I need to!
    Jennifer recently posted…Easy Garlic Lime Chicken RecipeMy Profile

  16. awe Melanie that’s so awesome of you! I remember when you sent me a little cash for my FU Steve fund, and that really made my day!! Can’t wait till you move here!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Addicted to Side HustlingMy Profile

  17. Mortimer says:

    What a touching post. And how generous of you! Every opportunity to provide a small, random act of kindness to a stranger is so special—and often leads to the biggest impact in someone’s day, or more. Thanks for keeping at it and cheering the rest of us on!
    Mortimer recently posted…The Complete Guide to Biking to School and Work with 3 KidsMy Profile

  18. Hannah says:

    I love this idea.

    It reminds me of the time when I was in the throws of post-partum depression, and money was as tight as it had ever been and Rob brought home leftover pizza and soda from something at school. I started bawling, of course, but it was one little thing that made me feel like the world wasn’t so bad.

  19. I love your idea of giving back to your readers now that you’re out of debt – that’s really great. I especially like the idea of financial books and Starbucks cards – some financial inspiration and a little caffeine pick-me-up. Very nice!
    Lindsey @ Cents & Sensibility recently posted…Darwin says, “That’s gonna cost ya!” (Volume 1)My Profile

  20. You know that I am a HUGE fan of this plan and I’m so proud of you for giving back and making a difference for others who are struggling with debt. So inspiring!

  21. Latoya Scott says:

    Debt Fairy Godmother – I love it! That’s so awesome and thoughtful of you:)
    Latoya Scott recently posted…3 Money Lies To Stop Telling Yourself In 2016My Profile

  22. What a lovely and generous gesture. You’ve inspired me to write about my personal finance and debt issues. I’m from a generation (late baby boomer) that talking about money and debt is considered in poor taste. I say screw that. Be up front of what got you in debt, learn how to get out of it and share your experiences.

    Today, I published my first post and thanks to your webinar, I plan to turn myself into a money making machine!

  23. Debtman says:

    What an awesome thing to do, Melanie! I remember appreciating those gift cards too when I was in debt, so I’m sure your readers who are still in debt will also.

    I’m happy that David was this month’s winner! It was a great story!
    Debtman recently posted…Weekly CheckinMy Profile

  24. Melanie, I am SO happy for you. I remember the early days when you thought you’d be paying off debt for forever, and when you were taking those first leaps into self-employment. They were scary times, but you kept at it, and now you’ve won! Terrific work. 🙂
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…Gardening for Self-Sufficiency – Our 2016 PlanMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Gosh, I remember it like it was yesterday. Feels like yesterday lol! I remember feeling like I’d never get out, but I kept trying. Being debt-free feels great and I want to help others!

  25. Chonce says:

    This is awesome Melanie! You’re so inspiring 🙂
    Chonce recently posted…How to Improve your Work-Life BalanceMy Profile

  26. Kristin says:

    Oh wow you are so kind!! The PF community has the best people and you are such an example. Cheers to an amazing year 🙂
    Kristin recently posted…The Ultimate Resource Guide is Now AvailableMy Profile

  27. Love it! I remember all too well about small gestures of kindness and how it’s helped me through rough times. I’ve also taken people out for coffee just to give them a reprieve. I think we forget somethings that the small things really do make a difference.

  28. Doria says:

    You are such an honest, talented hard-working person. Working with you brightens my day. Thanks for all your support. Lucy says hi!

  29. As a recent subscriber to your blog, I feel lucky to have come across your blog.

    By publishing your readers open letters to debt, you allow them to “put it out there”, and let your other readers like myself into their lives. By addressing the issue of debt in your blog you shine a light on it; address the issue, say what we want and move on implementing our plan.

    Ok I’m going to try it

    Dear Debt,

    I have allowed myself to be trapped in your web, all due to my fears. Fear of missing out, fear of not being liked and filling my fears with useless material things. I was taught that debt was just a necessary part of adult life ; although at 70 years old and 6 children my mother has no debt and has made it a part of her like to never owe anyone money. I assumed this was a generational thing, my generation just wasn’t made for debt free.

    But I was wrong, I don’t need you debt. I want you to leave, this is my eviction notice to you. Time to go , Bye, Bye, Adios.
    2016 I’m doing me debt free, baby.

    Zoraida E Cespedes

  30. A says:

    Congrats! I can’t wait to get there myself!

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