Student Loan Update and $805 in Extra Income

Hey everyone! Happy Monday. I’m still dreaming of my trip to St. Thomas and wish we were both still there! Last week I was super sick. Not sure what happened but I was pretty much just crying in pain for 5 days straight. Of course it was a perfect weekend with awesome weather and I…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 25, 2023

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Student Loan Update and $805 in Extra IncomeHey everyone! Happy Monday. I’m still dreaming of my trip to St. Thomas and wish we were both still there!

Last week I was super sick. Not sure what happened but I was pretty much just crying in pain for 5 days straight. Of course it was a perfect weekend with awesome weather and I had to miss most of that because I didn’t start to feel better until Sunday afternoon! Oh well, just glad that I’m feeling better.

Yesterday was W’s mom’s birthday and we had a BBQ and it was a lot of fun. And tomorrow is my birthday 🙂

We would love to buy a house in his parents’ historic neighborhood, but they never go for sale. The house to the left went up for sale the other day and we have been seriously thinking about it. We drove by and took this picture and can’t stop looking at it. It’s over 100 years old but completely renovated on the inside and looks very nice. Oh if only we were ready to buy right now… Our current house is still awesome and we don’t feel like going through the process of selling it right now.

I announced the winner to my Novica giveaway but never heard from her. I announced a new winner and already sent her the certificate code. Congrats to Cat at Budget Blonde!

Student Loan Update

I know, I know, around a month ago, I said that my student loans would be done in either April or May. Then recently I said May for sure. Well, it looks like the official date will be June. We have the money saved, but it would drain our emergency fund, so we have decided not to. We don’t want to touch any retirement accounts or drain our EF.

Why will we not reach the May goal? Well, we came across some good investment opportunities and dived into that. W has been wanting to start a side hustle for quite some time, but I’ve always said no and that we need to SAVE SAVE SAVE. Well, that’s not very fair of me, so the other day he took some cash and started a side hustle with his dad in an area where they have expertise. I think it’ll work out great! The return is higher than what my interest rates on my student loans are, so I figured it was still a good value.

Have you slowed any debt repayment to take advantage of something like this? A good investment, a new house purchase, etc.? Tell me all about it!


We did some spending last week. I spent around $100 on clothes (hey, I need some summer clothes!) and W spent around $150 because he needed new work slacks. He must be growing because his pants have all become high-waters. So yes, we spent around $250 on clothes. Other than that, I don’t believe we spent any money.

Student Loan Update and $805 in Extra Income

Extra Income (does not include income from our main jobs)

Extra income was a little low last week (but I’m not complaining!) mainly because I was playing catch up after my vacation and I was sick for 5 days last week. UGH that’s what sickness does to you! Still though, $805 (not including my office job) is still a good week. I have a lot of playing catch up this week since I didn’t get much done last week. I’m expecting a couple of payments this week also which will make up for it.

Affiliate income is still doing great but I’m thinking about getting into more areas so that I can ramp this up. I have been thinking about my extra income a lot lately and where I want to take it. I would like to keep diversifying so that I can rely on my side hustle income more and maybe even dive into self-employment entirely. Any tips?


Being healthy

I have not been doing the best with this in the past week. I was very sick last week, and could hardly eat anything. I definitely plan on changing that this week! Also, I didn’t work out at all since I was sick. Even just sitting down felt like I was killing myself!

Have you been doing well with your extra income, spending and being healthy?


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence

    Happy early bday! Hope you feel better now to celebrate. I have been on wine and cheese for two weeks so not very healthy, although I am pretty sure this is my soul food so my body is happy ๐Ÿ™‚
    My recent post Defining my dream, little guest house in Guatemala

    1. Thanks Pauline. And haha sounds like good food ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Happy (early) Bday! I think delaying some student loan repayment can be a good choice. If we waited until we had ours completely paid off to buy a house, we wouldn't have had a house for five+ years while now we are able to have one that we can put sweat equity into, build some equity through mortgage repayment, and have a go at being a landlord with our basement rental. I'm happy with the choice : )
    My recent post How to Prepare for a Garage Sale: Garage Sale To-Do List [With Download]

  3. John S @ Frugal Rules

    Thanks so much for the mention Michelle, I really appreciate it! I say that with the way you're rocking the side income you should totally consider taking the leap. Of course…I am not the most objective person when it comes to that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Happy early Birthday!

    1. Welcome John! And yes hopefully someday soon ๐Ÿ™‚
      My recent post Student Loan Update and $805 in Extra Income

  4. Thanks! And that's tough. I would probably wait to buy so that I would know what fits perfectly ๐Ÿ™‚
    My recent post Student Loan Update and $805 in Extra Income

  5. Holly@ClubThrifty

    Thanks for the mention and I'm glad you're feeling better!

  6. The student loans (apart from the mortgage and the credit card) was the last thing that got paid off in our pursuit of financial independence. It was SO EASY to just let it sit on the side, gradually accruing interest – as they don't go away, and I found that you can't bargain to get them paid down. I'm sorry about your being sick – I'm hoping that everything gets better, but I think that you're doing pretty spiff if you have some passive income side hustles going. ๐Ÿ™‚
    My recent post Using a Gift as Part of Your Down Payment + MORE

  7. debtroundup

    I am glad you are feeling better Michelle. If I don't catch you tomorrow, then I will say Happy Birthday now! I appreciate the mention and glad to hear that you would do the same thing.

  8. Glad you are feeling better, Michelle! And, that house? It's gorgeous!!!!! I think $805 in side hustle income is great! Ours is still small, but steady at least. Have a great day!
    My recent post Why You Should Choose to Start Your Journey to Debt Free TODAY

    1. I know! We are in love with the house! Could it be any cuter?

  9. And how much would that gorgeous house cost in the Midwest? $200,000? That'd probably be a million dollar house here, lol.

    1. Haha you are close – it is $280K. A really good price! And the inside of it is NICER than the outside. I am in love.

  10. SavvyFinancialLatina

    Gorgeous house! Love the exterior!
    Sucks you were sick last week.I know being sick really slows one down. I'm glad you are feeling better.

  11. plantingourpennies

    So glad you are feeling better- take care of yourself!

    1. Thanks! And yes, I need to start taking better care of myself.
      My recent post Student Loan Update and $805 in Extra Income

  12. BrokeMillennial

    I plan to charge my potential, future kids rent too! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much for including me!!
    My recent post Frugal Find Friday: Extreme Couponing, The Online Edition

  13. Yes these are my favorite types of homes! ๐Ÿ™‚

    And oh no ๐Ÿ™ I hope you can find room in your budget soon.
    My recent post Student Loan Update and $805 in Extra Income

  14. Glad you're feeling a bit better, and happy early birthday! Leslie and I have put off paying debts a couple times in order to invest in something else we felt was more important. Mainly having to do with our side business. So far what we've gotten out of our investments have been totally worth it.
    My recent post The “Official” Spilling of the Beans

    1. That's good to know Kyle. Investing is always important too!

  15. What is your side hustle income from? I really need to get my side income up to pay off these debts! I mystery shop but it makes nowhere near what you are getting. Is that all blog income from ads and freelance writing?

    1. My side hustle income is from my blog (ads and affiliate income), staff writing, consulting and a couple of other things ๐Ÿ™‚

      Check out this page on my blog if you haven't yet

  16. Ree Klein

    Hi Michelle ~ Being a little off on meeting your financial goals isn't as important as HAVING financial goals. Cheers to you in advance for being so close to torching your student debt! As for the house, my motherly advice would be to wait until you had enough for a sufficient down payment to avoid having to pay MI; however, that's not what I did when I purchased my home. I bought my small single-family home 20 years ago when the market was down. I've lived in it all this time and paid it off in 15 years. I had debt, stretched my finances to the limit and worried that I might lose my job and then lose the house. While that didn't happen, it could have. We live in a very different time now so being careful and not putting yourself in a high-risk position is important.

    1. Hi Ree! Thanks for stopping by my blog today ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for the advice. We definitely plan on waiting. We aren't really in a rush since we already have a house (and a mortgage!) and don't feel like going through the process of selling it right now.

  17. debtperception

    Looks like a gorgeous home! Early congrats on kicking your student loans to the curb ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, happy early birthday!
    My recent post You’ve Got to be Kidding Me

  18. Pretired Nick

    Wow, $805 is killer income. You should be feeling great about that!

  19. Keren

    Gorgeous House! Although, I would have made the same decision. We live in a perma-fixer-upper that was built in the mid 1800's. It's not a house you would dream of, but if the Mr. or I would lose our job, we could still afford the payments. That's important to us. With every choice, there is a trade-off.

    Oh, and happy almost birthday! I used to just celebrate my birthday on that day, but it's turned into more of a birthday week! ๐Ÿ™‚
    My recent post Fifty Free Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer

    1. MakingSenseofCents


  20. I'm glad you are feeling better!! This house sounds great, maybe you need to weigh your options ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. MakingSenseofCents

      Haha yes we will have to think about it.

  21. I LOVE this house also ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. MakingSenseofCents

    Haha thanks! Glad you are feeling better also.

  23. Canadianbudgetbinder

    Sure, we've put off buying a house so I could go back to school that way we weren't forced to worry about a mortgage and me finding a job. I can probably think of many things but at the end of it all, there was a plan. Even if we don't pay something off by a goal date as long as there is a plan in place and an understanding as to why we came to that decision we are happy with that. We are the only judges of our finances, no one else. Glad you are better mate.
    My recent post What are Realistic Investment Returns

  24. $805 seems pretty great considering you have been sick all week. Hope you feel better ๐Ÿ™‚ I think the amount you spent on clothing isn't very much, it's justifiable. You have to treat yourself every once in awhile!
    My recent post Budgets, Work, and Deals (Life Update)

  25. Anne – Unique Gifter

    Boo sickness!! I hope that you are feeling a lot better this week. That's one of the scary parts about being self-employed, often the dollars are 100% tied to your own health.
    Thanks so much for the link ๐Ÿ™‚
    We've put off things before, like we reduced our mortgage overpayments so that we could pay cash for our share of the wedding costs. We recently delayed paying the mortgage off by two or three months so that we could take advantage of a really low stock price on something we wanted to buy.

    1. Glad I'm not alone when it comes to taking up investment offers! ๐Ÿ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  26. In that case I would definitely just pay it off, I agree.
    My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money