March 7, 2015

Life is expensive.
Life is hard.
Life is a work in progress.

This is what feels true for me right now. It feels like this past week, with the wild full moon, that everything has been out of whack (anyone else?).

It seems every day there was something new. An unexpected expense, a miscommunication, a misunderstanding, or something else to add to the pile.

All in all, each frustrating moment was small in and of itself β€” but compounded over time, these things have added up and have chipped away at my strength.

I don’t want to write a total Debbie Downer post, but you know I’m never one to put on a front. I’m a pretty emotional creature that wears my heart on my sleeve (for better or worse). And this week has been tough. I’m actively taking steps to take care of myself and put myself first. But in the process of doing so, I have to wrap up several things and hustle to make things happen. Change doesn’t happen overnight.

This was the first week since being self-employed that I felt like giving up. It was the first time that I thought maybe going back to a real job would be easier and I could just work 9-5 and call it a day. I also thought about giving up on debt. Looking at my repayments, I see that so much is going to interest, it feels so pointless.

But I have to remember the wisdom of my friends: hard work sucks, but quitting sucks harder. I’m just going through some growing pains. It’s like I’ve grown 6 inches in 6 months and I’m in that awkward, clumsy phase.

Life is also changing so quickly. We were notified that our month-to-month lease would go up $120 per month if we didn’t sign another 6 or 12 month lease. So we signed a 6 month lease, paying $60 more each month, and then we’ll probably move. Back to LA or NYC? Somewhere else? We’re not sure yet, but we’re 98% certain we’re not staying here. I’m ready for a change. But I’m beyond stressed about the financial part of it, as we need to boost our income significantly to make this happen. Luckily, I can move anywhere and make money, but my income still needs to grow.

So, that’s what’s going on with me. I apologize for the silence here and will be posting some more debt updates soon. Even though I’ve felt like giving up, this community keeps me going. I haven’t been as active as I want to be, but I’m so inspired by bloggers and readers alike. Keep rockin’ the journey. I guess this is part of the adventure.

For some further reading/listening:

The Privilege Of Pursuing Financial Independence by the FrugalWoods (a super important part that is often glaringly missing from conversations).

Why Are We Deferring Our College Loans? by the brilliant satirists at the Onion.

If you saw me at FinCon, you know I LOVE dancing. So this story about a group of women that are throwing a party for a man who was body shamed while dancing, completely warmed my heart and made my day.

I was featured in this article about weird jobs that can help you pay off debt, talking about my experience walking invisible dogs as a brand ambassador.

I sat down with my friend Eric and talked about quitting my job to pursue my dream. Listen to the podcast.

I also set down with my gal pals in the PF world for a hilarious happy hour. Listen to me talk about my cheap ex-boyfriend.

I hope you have a great weekend!




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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32 responses to “Such is Life”

  1. Don’t give up! Not only are you repaying debt, but you are inspiring others to do the same. I understand the frustration of continually rising living expenses – seems to be happening everywhere. Keep your head up! You’ll be past this rough spot before you know it.
    Kate @ Cashville Skyline recently posted…The Gender Gap in Investing Needs To GoMy Profile

  2. as you know I totally get it and we’ve talked about it. I’m right there with ya lady!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Girl Power!My Profile

  3. Hang in there, Melanie! I’m so sorry to hear you’re in a tough spot right now. Bad stuff has a way of piling on and making us forget about all of the awesome in our lives. I’m impressed that you’re powering through it and staying positive.

    And thanks for mentioning my post–I appreciate it!
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…Weekly Woot & Grumble: Mornings Are For WinnersMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      You are right. I still do have a lot of awesome in my life: my apartment, my love, and my health! And of course, I’m happy to share your post. It’s something I feel strongly about!

  4. Oh man, that sounds like a super tough week πŸ™ It’s so frustrating when you feel like you’re working insanely hard and getting nowhere. I hope you get some time to breathe deeply this weekend and just re-set — I hope things seem a little better by Monday.
    C@thesingledollar recently posted…The Bare Bones Budget + How Big of an E-Fund Do I Need, Part 898678050My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I meditated this morning and it felt good. I’m going to start doing that daily and hope it helps. I think it will! Thanks for your kind words, friend.

  5. Sending good vibes your way! “Such is life” is right sometimes…we had to lock ourselves into another year lease as well, as anything shorter would have been hundreds more. Thankfully there seems to be a way out (as long as there’s no catch), and we got our increase down to $20 more a month, but it still sucks. Hang in there girl, I know you won’t give up! You’ll get through this stronger than ever.
    Erin @ Journey to Saving recently posted…Being Grateful: Fifty-Ninth EditionMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks, love! I won’t give up, just gotta suck it up and keep on trying. It’s a work in progress as I said. I’m sorry your rent went up too. It’s happening everywhere!

  6. CBuggle says:

    I always love reading what you have to say, even if it’s not all unicorns and rainbows. It is refreshing and comforting to hear that others have the same struggles I do. I was having a really shitty week, then bam. My period started and I had completely forgotten about the phenomenon of menstruation. I was so relieved. Maybe it was also the full moon. Usually when I feel discouraged and down, something great is just around the corner, and the crappy phase is just a step in getting there. Keep at it, Melanie! You are great πŸ™‚

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks for the kind words! I know things will settle and get good again. It’s just tough to feel so stressed and be in the thick of it. But I started meditating again and already feel a little better.

  7. Sorry to hear you are going through some tough times. I know you will pull through stronger and better than ever! Wishing you the very best and how exciting to know you will most likely be moving and have a new adventure this year! Thank you for sharing Frugalwoods post, it was a great read! πŸ™‚
    Nichole @ Budget Loving Military Wife recently posted…Friday Freebie from Saving StarMy Profile

  8. I think every self-employed person has days like that. And debt repayment sucks- that is why the vast majority of people just stay in debt their whole lives! If it was easy, everyone would do it. You’re doing awesoem =)
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…How We Booked a Jamaican Spring Break for Four On PointsMy Profile

  9. Well, you know how I feel about this subject. πŸ™‚ You just need to allow yourself to feel the pain and once you get through it (because that always happens) you will appreciate the joy that much more. If there was a voting process, you know I would throw my hat in for NY vs. LA. Just saying. πŸ™‚
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Music Mondays – SugarMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yep! I felt like I went through a lot of emotions in the past weeks…things are stabilizing. Currently LA and NYC are pretty tied, but for different reasons. We’ll see…

  10. The nice thing about life is that it gets better! I am freelance for the most part. The beginning is not easy, but you will get to a point where it feels comfortable. And fully appreciate the advantages. Good luck!
    Julie @ HappinessSavouredHot recently posted…The Less is More project: Week 10 – The happiest time of your lifeMy Profile

  11. I don’t think talking about challenges (emotional and otherwise) is being a Debbie Downer. I actually kind of hate that in this society you have to worry about being anything less than cheerful.

    Sounds like there’s a lot of stress in your life right now. Pat your back for not hiding under the covers. Or, if you did, for emerging to write the post.
    Abigail @ipickuppennies recently posted…Home repair? The cheapest bid may be the worst oneMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, I hate feeling like being that “depressed girl.” I do struggle with it from time to time and it’s hard. Things are feeling better, I’m starting to take care of myself and try to focus on one thing at a time.

  12. Ben Luthi says:

    Sometimes you’ve just got to work through the suck. I’m sure there will be more times like this to come, but all the rock stars are powering through them these days. You should be fine πŸ™‚
    Ben Luthi recently posted…Why I Have $1.5 Million in Life InsuranceMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Freelance is definitely a roller coaster! I’m just going through growing pains…in good news, March might be my highest income yet. Now the goal is to grow the income, lessen the work, and attempt to find balance. πŸ™‚ Should be easy, right? Haha.

  13. Michelle says:

    I am so confused-I thought I left a comment LOL! So, I will leave another one πŸ™‚ 1.) I’ve noticed that a lot of people are expressing similar levels of frustration via the blogosphere. I think it’s a mix of the end of winter blues compounded with life. 2.) You’ve paid off THOUSANDS of dollars in debt-you’re a Rock Star! 3.) You know how to hustle and will be able to do that anywhere because you already know the process. 4.) If you moved to NYC or LA you will be able to dive right in and make your money because you know the business “landscape” 5.) Don’t over think your move. There is a point where you just have to decide and own your decision. 6.) Trust your gut. It’s clear your gut is saying move. So, that’s easy. The next piece is “where?” I think you already know where but just need a sign from the Universe. Yep, I just typed “sign from the Universe.” To confirm your choice. Trust yourself! You’ll be fine.
    Michelle recently posted…Shop Your Closet With My Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Look Book and Save Money!My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, I feel the exhaustion and stress are palpable. So many people are not posting either! Thanks so much for your encouragement, Michelle! You are such a good friend! I am feeling better, just trying to take everything day by day. And you’re right, I do need to trust myself.

  14. Your post reminds me of what I just read over at Budget and the Beach. It HAS been a weird time. Maybe the moon as you say. Or the “can’t stand it anymore” end of winter? Spring is just around the corner. Here’s to our hope for a fresh blossoming of energy and life!
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted…Dad’s Frugal-Intense vs. Mom’s Frugal-LiteMy Profile

  15. Carly says:

    Amen to this! I feel like March is always a month of growing pains. I also feel like everyone wants to have a great summer ahead, so people get stressed about setting everything up for a perfect summer season and stress all spring. I also think the potential of moving is Stressful (capital S for a reason). I’m sending you good vibes to get over this speed bump and I feel like great things are on your horizon.
    Carly recently posted…The BMO Credit Card Story…My Profile

  16. Just as what you have said, “Hard work sucks, but quitting sucks harder!”. You’ve already conquered most of your battles by not giving up πŸ™‚

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