Hello 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 live in St. Louis. 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 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 masters degree included, I had around $38,000 altogether when I graduated (these are now all paid off). I worked full-time the whole time during my undergraduate and graduate degrees as a manager and then as an analyst, yet I hardly put anything towards my student loans.
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 entrepreneur.
Since August of 2011, Making Sense of Cents has received several awards and mentions, such as:
- Blogger of the Month for the site Ready for Zero.
- Zillow’s Blog of the Week.
- Top 10 Personal Finance Blogs to Watch in 2015 by BadCredit.org
- Top Personal Finance Blog of 2012 Nominee (by One Smart Dollar and Ready for Zero)
- 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.
- Top College Blog
- Bloglovin’s Top Blogs, and Up and Coming Blogs
- Top 50 Money Saving Resources by Scratch Wireless
- Favorite Personal Finance Blogs for Millennials by XY Planning Network
- Top 27 Stories of ‘Life After Debt’ by ClearPoint
- Voted Top Finance Blog by Broadview Networks
- One of WiseBread’s Top Personal Finance Blogs
- eCollegeFinder’s Top Finance Blogs
- 14 GREAT bloggers that will boost your income in 2015 on Money Tuts
- 10 Best Inspirational Blogs for Debtors by BadCredit.org.
I have been featured on the websites below:
- Huffington Post Live (on-air interview);
- Huffington Post’s Can You Profit from Buying and Selling Websites? and Why I’ll Never Buy A Timeshare;
- Forbes (see here for one example);
- Kiplinger’s Proven Tactics to Overcome Big Debts;
- The Consumerist (twice – one time was here);
- Lifehacker (here’s one mention and here’s another);
- Yahoo! Finance (I am a regular contributor);
- Business Insider (How To Pay Off $40,000 in Student Loans);
- Get Rich Slowly (see my guest post here);
- Lifehack (regular contributor);
- US News (I was mentioned here);
- WiseBread (one mention is here – How One Young Entrepreneur Paid Off $40,000 in Student Debt By Age 24);
- Rockstar Finance;
- The Everygirl’s Starting Your Own Business? How to Prepare Financially;
- Mint.com (here is my interview);
- Learnvest (one of the times can be found here and in Real People Dish: The #1 Thing That Inspired Me to Get Out of Debt—and Stay Out);
- Small Business Trends’ 10 Online Business Tips Suggested By Our Community;
- Daily Finance;
- Ready for Zero (Article here, Blogger of the month here, and 17 All-Star Bloggers Share Their Best Fall Budgeting Tips);
- XY Planning Network (see here);
- GO Banking Rates (see here and here);
- ClearPoint (see here);
- Scratch Wireless (see here);
- Shoptathome.com (see here);
- Grasshopper’s article 5 Biggest Fears For Small Business Owners (And How To Fight Them);
- Smarterbucks (see here);
- Well Kept Wallet (here);
- The Debt Myth (here);
- HuffingtonPost (see here);
- BankRate.com’s article 5 true tales of crazy credit card rewards buys;
- The Centsible Life (here);
- The Work At Home Woman (here);
- “Goodbye Sallie Mae” – Round 1 on BrightCents;
- The Daily Interview (here);
- Debt Roundup’s article The 54 Best Personal Finance Tips of 2014;
- Money Under 30’s article The Best Personal Finance Writing Of 2014;
- CouponPal’s article Best Of The Web: Tips On Saving Money From The Pros and Interview With A Savings Expert;
- MSN Money and more.
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 8 years, and living together for over 7 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 have 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.