Can someone please explain to me how it is already October? Where has this year gone? Where did September go?

This year has been an epic whirlwind and so many good things have happened. It all feels surreal and weird and awesome at the same time. But it’s not all fun and games, that’s for sure. This past week, I’ve definitely felt some of the extreme lows that you can feel when you are your own boss.

Solopreneurship is so very rewarding when you can see an idea you had come to life β€” and be appreciated by others. But when things don’t go well, or when things feel overwhelming, you’re the only one to deal with it. But as Tess Vigeland from FinCon said, I’d rather be on a roller coaster than a merry-go-round.

I’m feeling better now but have had some mood swings lately. I’m blaming it on the moon.

In other news, September was my BEST debt repayment month yet. I’m in the home stretch!

Last month I put $3,946.92 to debt. My original goal was to put $2,000 a month to debt, so this is nearly double my original goal. My current numbers are:

Undergrad: $4,883.59
Grad: $12,322.92
Total: $17,206.51

I keep thinking about all the different scenarios of how I can reach debt freedom as soon as possible and to be honest, I’m not sure all of them are healthy. In the past week or two, I’ve thought about:

Like I said, I’m in full on problem-solving mode and I just want this gone, yesterday! I never imagined being this close. For so long, I was paying off debt at a snail’s pace. When you make $1300-$2,000 each month, it’s very hard to make any progress on a large balance of debt. I’m now putting more to debt than I ever made in a month and it’s kind of mind-blowing.

It’s crazy to me, because here’s the thing. This blog isn’t the most popular nor does it have a lot of traffic. I’m not the most talented writer out there. I don’t think many people would consider me traditionally successful. But I’m still doing the damn thing! What makes me different?

Taking a different approach has given me a new lease on life β€” and a shorter debt repayment. Soon, I’ll be saving and investing and will finally dump debt for good. I can’t wait.


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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36 responses to “That time I put $3,946.92 to debt”

  1. That is awesome Melanie! I’m still making baby payments but I get really excited when I think about the possibility of me being able to $500 or more a month and wouldn’t know what to do if I was able to pay thousands!
    Shirria @ GDTH recently posted…His Name is PrinceMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      As long as you are doing the best you can, that’s all that matters. A few years ago I was in your shoes. I never dreamed this was possible, but it is! (gosh, I sound like a cheesy commercial, huh?)

  2. Yay, Melanie! This is so awesome.

    I totally feel you… I’m also in the home stretch with my debt repayment and it feels like the closer I get to the finish line, the more obsessed I become with just having it gone already. I have also considered draining my (paltry) emergency fund, taking on more hours than I’m comfortable working and surviving solely on pasta to pay it off more quickly. Lately I’ve been trying to make self-care a priority, which helps to put things in perspective for me. Yes, being debt-free will be good for my mental and emotional well-being, but I also need to be careful not to burn myself out in the meantime.

    So happy for you! Your journey has inspired me so much.
    Lisa @ Broke and Fixing it recently posted…September Debt Repayment UpdateMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Girl, I know the struggle. It’s so hard to prioritize self-care and debt repayment. I’m trying, but I’m not doing super well. Trying to take little breaks, remember to eat, and remember that killing myself isn’t worth getting out of debt a tad sooner.

      I’m so glad my journey has inspired you! Keep going!

  3. Catherine says:

    So much like!!! I dropped over 3500 in sept and a week into October I’m going to spend another 1100 to pay off a loan. In a 3 week period we put almost 5,000 towards debt. Now we definitely have to focus on our er fund which has been ignored.
    Catherine recently posted…How to Stop Stressing Over MoneyMy Profile

  4. So inspiring, Melanie! You’re so close. And there’s nothing wrong with trying to find creative ways to finish off that last bit. I’d probably be thinking like you if I were that close, too. Putting nearly $4,000 to debt is a huge achievement. Congratulations!
    Kate @ Cashville Skyline recently posted…September Monthly Budget ReviewMy Profile

  5. Hannah says:

    Please don’t drain the e-fund or the self employment taxes! You’re absolutely killing it, and there’s no need to put yourself in a vulnerable position to pay this off 2-3 months sooner.

    (Can you imagine how horrible it would be to owe the IRS- they will probably make you fill out 32 forms a month!)

    Do sell your swag though!

    • Melanie says:

      I won’t touch the SE taxes, even though it’s sooooooo tempting. But yes, I’m owing more now that I make more, so I need to be careful. I might take out some from EF, but not all of it. I’m def going to try and sell some swag though πŸ™‚

  6. I would say with the things you listed you are rich in more ways than one. Plus you can add that you are a great friend! So proud of you and what you have accomplished!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Do You Sugarcoat Financial Advice?My Profile

  7. Kara says:

    I know EXACTLY how you feel. The last few months of my debt payoff I spent so much time trying to figure out the fastest way to get that money. I also thought about taking from my e-fund. I opted not to though and I recommend you do the same. Keep your e-fund for true emergencies!

    Are you expecting any holiday or end of year money? Count that towards debt. I also used one month spending bans to boost me in my final couple months and it made a big difference!

    • Melanie says:

      I’m thinking of just taking 2 out of the 3k from my EF — leaving me with 1k. I’d only do this at the very end, so I could replenish quickly. We’ll see. I’m not expecting any holiday or any extra money. I’m working on cutting out little spending here and there too…I’ve been going over my $100 Spending Diet, which isn’t good. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Chonce says:

    You are literally killing your debt payoff goal! I’m so excited for you πŸ™‚ Like you said , pretty soon you’ll be debt free, investing and moving on to bigger and better goals. Oh and don’t sell your FinCon stuff, haha.
    Chonce recently posted…September Online Income ReportMy Profile

  9. You’re getting so close! That has to feel great!
    Kara @ The Daily Whisk recently posted…Is a Costco Membership Worth It?My Profile

  10. Jason B says:

    That’s awesome that you were able to pay nearly $4000 on debt. I’m working on ways to increase my income to pay my debt off quicker as well. It’s funny that you mentioned selling a selfie stick. I’ve been debating on listing mine one eBay the last 2 weeks lol.
    Jason B recently posted…October 2015 Life Update (Thrifting Challenge #2 Results)My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      It feels good! Making more money has been a gamechanger. You can only cut back so far. Ha, glad I wasn’t the only one thinking of selling a selfie stick.

  11. Amanda says:

    You are rocking it. And you are one of the best examples of making genuine connections.
    Amanda recently posted…My Top Five Financial RegretsMy Profile

  12. Nichole says:

    Congrats Melanie on the INCREDIBLE debt payment in September!!! I am so thrilled for you! How exciting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! You have truly hustled your way to get there. You’re an inspiration to so many of us battling to get out of debt! πŸ™‚

  13. Amazing!!! I’m so excited for you πŸ™‚ I really need to work on cutting things too. I got a couple new clients in September and even though I did cut 2 clients, the ones I took on are way more work (but way higher paying) than the two I let go. I probably need to cut a couple more, but it’s super hard! I loved Tess’ speech too and I already devoured her book.
    Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore recently posted…5 Things I’d Cut From My Budget to Keep Working From HomeMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      It’s so hard to know exactly when to cut people. Especially when you enjoy everyone. There are a lot of difficult decisions to be made by being your own boss. I wish you luck girl. You can do it!

  14. I can sympathize with that deep emotional longing to just get rid of debt ASAP! We are nearing mortgage payoff, hoping to pull it off this year, and we plan to throw about half our emergency fund at it at the very end. After all, with no mortgage expense we won’t need as much to life off.

    It’s intriguing to hear you speak so humbly about yourself & your blog after winning a Plutus Award!
    Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor recently posted…What Seeing Real Poverty Showed Me About Pretending to Be PoorMy Profile

  15. Hey Melanie,

    My favorite part of your post is that you’ve learned to say no and you’ve learned to be bold. I have been working SO hard on both of these things lately. Why are we just now figuring this out as adults?! Congrats on getting so close to paying off your debt. You’re so close to success. Keep going!
    Vanessa @ Cash Cow Couple recently posted…Betterment Review – Now Offering Tax Loss Harvesting and Retirement AdviceMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Learning to say no and being bold have been gamechangers. It’s tough to learn for sure, but just takes practice! Thanks for the encouragement πŸ™‚

  16. Wow almost $4k on debt in a month, nicely done! You’re in the home stretch, we had the same feeling as we got close we just wanted it done. Hang in there it will be here sooner than you know.
    Brian @DebtDiscipline recently posted…Ultimate Side Hustle UpdateMy Profile

  17. That is such amazing progress! Congrats! Very inspiring!
    Currentlylovingsimplicity recently posted…Frugality: Greed vs. GenerosityMy Profile

  18. Holy sh&t!! I am SO freaking proud of you!!! I know you want to get this debt gone yesterday, but you are SO close and you can absolutely do it the healthy way and before you know it $3,400 is going to go toward building your wealth rather than paying off debt.

  19. That’s awesome! Seeing how much progress you’ve made is so encouraging to me. (Also, note to self: actively trying to make more money is key…)
    Congratulations on your progress!
    Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless recently posted…October Challenge: Week Three Complete!My Profile

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