February 2015 Debt Repayment Update (+ My Birthday Gift to Myself)

At the beginning of the year I was $8,164.97 in debt (just see the widget in the sidebar for proof!). After spending the entirety of 2014 trying to pay back debt from my home renovation and failing in every possible way, I decided to come clean about my struggle with credit card debt.

And to keep myself accountable and motivated, I committed to my readers that I was going to pay off all of it by the end of Q1 2015. Yes, I committed to paying off in 90 days what I could not do in 365. 

To do this, I calculated that I need to pay off $1200 every two weeks, or $2400 a month.

If I was able to save $400 from each paycheck for debt ($800 each month) I only needed to come up with an additional $1600 in side hustle money to hit my goal.

January was an incredible month for me in terms of side hustle income and paying off debt. (Read the full update here.) All told I paid off 48% of my debt for a total of $3,451.89 extra toward my debt in January alone.

So, how did I do in February?

To recap, I took home (after expenses/quarterly taxes) $2,928.92 in February.

And I put $2400 of that away for paying back credit cards after setting aside money to pay the accountant for prepping my taxes, and additional money for a 2014 tax overage (on top of quarterly freelancer taxes I was paying, I also owe an extra $1400…yeouch!)

Total put toward debt in February $2400 or 29% of the original balance.

Not as outstanding as January, but the end is in sight. Based on numbers for March the question is no longer “if” I'm going to make the goal and deadline, but when. This is really happening people, and I can't wait to hit publish on the final, final, final debt repayment update later this month.

But Wait…That Isn't All.. Here's How my Debt Repayment Challenge Turned Into a Great Birthday Gift

Paying off debt hasn't been the only transformation in the last few months. Ramping up my side hustle has not only allowed me to pay down debt, but I've also been actively contributing to my emergency fund (for why you should build up an EF before you pay down debt, see here.)

Having an influx of work has made me see, once and for all, that I can work for myself and make a living doing it.

Within this “debt journey” I've also been able to see the support of the community, and feel the power of my own voice. I want to put more time and effort into building this blog into a force within the industry.

So with those things in mind, and my debt payoff target and emergency fund targets on the horizon, I did it.

I put in notice at my full time job.

My friend Paula always advocates “Set a goal and then set a damn deadline.”

So I did,  and come mid-April I'll be mastering my own destiny and my own days. I can't wait to share aspects of that journey with you all as well.


My favorite side hustle is blogging and online writing. If you’re thinking about starting a blog of your own, you’ll need to get self-hosting in order to make money.  Click here to get your own self-hosted blog with HostGator for just $2.75 per month using my special link, and then come back here for step-by-step tutorial on installation.

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  • Michelle
    March 17, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Am so proud of you!! You will rock this and are more than prepared. Can’t wait to hear more about your journey 🙂

  • Alice @ Earning My Two Cents
    March 13, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Wow! Congratulations!! Your massive debt payoff dedication is so inspiring, and congratulations in quitting to win at your dreams!

  • Holly Johnson
    March 13, 2015 at 8:38 am


  • Cashville Skyline
    March 12, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Wow, amazing! Congratulations, Lauren.

  • Stefanie @ brokeandbeau
    March 12, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Woohooo, major congrats!

  • Jessica
    March 12, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Wow! That’s amazing! I look forward to seeing what’s in store for you. Congratulations and best wishes!

  • Michelle
    March 12, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    LOVE this. Congrats! About time to become your own boss 🙂

  • BrokeMillennial
    March 12, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    AHHHH!!! AMAZING! I can’t wait to see what happens once you’re full-time on your blog and freelance work.

  • Dear Debt
    March 12, 2015 at 11:32 am

    So happy for you! Congrats on the debt repayment as well as being your OWN BOSS! Get it, girl!

  • Kendal
    March 12, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Amazing! This is exciting news and serves as an inspiration. Congratulations on your debt repayment and side hustle success. I wish you continued growth and happiness! And THANK YOU for access to your spreadsheets. I’m going to check them out tonight!

  • Jordann
    March 12, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Woohoo! Another one goes for full time freelancing. It seems like this is the result that most personal finance hustlers end up with, and I’m so happy that you’re able to take this leap! Seems like only yesterday I discovered your blog, so happy to see it growing and your career along with it. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

  • Jane
    March 12, 2015 at 9:54 am

    This is so exciting! Congratulations! I can’t wait to hear about your next journey and where that will take you.

  • Taylor Lee @ Engineer Cents
    March 12, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Oh my gosh that’s so exciting Lauren! Good luck with your last debt payment and your transition to a full-time entrepreneur.