PictureofusHello and welcome to my personal finance and lifestyle blog! I created this blog in order to help me improve my finances (one example – due to this, I was able to pay off $38,000 in student loans in 7 months), keep track of my progress, and to help readers improve their finances along the way.

My name is Michelle and I currently live in Fruita, Colorado (just moved here from St. Louis in 2015). I am a young adult who graduated from an expensive private university in May of 2010 with a lot of student loan debt. I graduated from college after 2.5 years with two undergraduate business degrees, honors, and around $20,000 worth of student loan debt.

I then graduated again in August of 2012 with my Finance MBA with even more student loan debt. 

With my master’s degree included, I had around $38,000 altogether when I graduated (these are now all paid off).

My student loan debt was a big reason for why I started this blog.

Anyway, I used to work in the financial services industry as a financial analyst, but now I am fully self-employed as an online freelancer and serial solopreneur. I publish monthly income updates where I discuss how I earn over $20,000 a month online, which you can find here.


Since August of 2011, Making Sense of Cents has received several awards and mentions, such as:

  1. Blogger of the Month for the site Ready for Zero.
  2. Zillow’s Blog of the Week.
  3. Top 10 Personal Finance Blogs to Watch in 2015 by BadCredit.org
  4. Top Personal Finance Blog of 2012 Nominee (by One Smart Dollar and Ready for Zero)
  5. I have been nominated by the Plutus Awards in both 2013 and 2014 for: Best Personal Finance Blog for Young Adults, Best Blog Contributor/Freelance Writer and Blog of the Year. For 2015, I have been nominated for Best Personal Finance Blog for Millennials as well as Blog of the Year.
  6. Top College Blog
  7. Bloglovin’s Top Blogs, and Up and Coming Blogs
  8. Top 50 Money Saving Resources by Scratch Wireless
  9. Favorite Personal Finance Blogs for Millennials by XY Planning Network
  10. Top 27 Stories of ‘Life After Debt’ by ClearPoint
  11. Voted Top Finance Blog by Broadview Networks
  12. One of WiseBread’s Top Personal Finance Blogs
  13. eCollegeFinder’s Top Finance Blogs
  14. 14 GREAT bloggers that will boost your income in 2015 on Money Tuts
  15. 10 Best Inspirational Blogs for Debtors by BadCredit.org
  16. 5 Blogs That Inspired Me to Pay Off My Debt by Dream Beyond Debt
  17. 10 Personal Finance Blogs You Should Be Reading by The Frugal Cottage


I have been featured on the websites below:



I have no credit card debt, and I never have.

I do have credit cards, but I pay my balances completely off every month.  The thought of credit card debt scares me honestly. I do love the rewards I get from them, and that is the main reason why I have them.

I have published a few articles about earning free or super cheap vacations because of credit card rewards. If you know how to correctly use credit cards, I recommend you check out my articles below:

My father passed away in 2008, after around a 6 month battle with brain and lung cancer.  I was definitely a daddy’s girl and it still hurts to this day.  If anyone has anything they’d like to share with me regarding a family member/loss, my ears are open. Just contact me please, and don’t be afraid, many others have already shared their stories with me.

We bought our first house in 2009 (while still in college, read more about how I bought a house at the age of 20).  I live with my husband (together for over 9 years, and living together for over 8 years) and our two fur-children.

My sister also lives with us, and I’ve been “raising” her since my dad passed away. She’s a great sister and in a way kind of like a daughter to us since we’ve been the ones raising her.

I really enjoy reading finance and life articles/blogs and I also enjoying reading the comments and discussions that other people have. I hope to use this blog to educate and inform others and myself about finance, frugality, saving and the like.