Make Sense of Cents blogger shares personal finance tips and advice
We admire women who are smart, successful, funny, honest and love coupons as much as we do. Michelle, from Making Sense of Cents, is one of those women. Her blog acts as a mentoring program where she enlightens us about getting out of debt, best practices on how to save money, what to do in Hawaii and all the other things a good mentor shares. Meet Michelle — and be prepared to take notes …
Where you’re based: St. Louis, Mo.
How long you’ve been blogging: I started blogging back in August of 2011, and have been in love with blogging since.
Blog basics: I talk about a lot of different topics on my blog, but a lot of it revolves around personal finance (my student loans, paying off my house, making more money, side hustles and so on). I also talk a lot about my life in general, traveling and my love for having fun and enjoying life.
Other blogs I love: I love a ton of blogs so that would be hard to say. I love The Happy Homeowner, My Alternate Life, Our Freaking Budget, Money Life and More, Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, Club Thrifty, From Shopping to Saving, Girl Meets Debt, Mo Money Mo Houses, Plunged In Debt and 1,000 more.
Guilty pleasure: My guilty pleasures consist of a lot of different things: “reality” TV shows, Hawaiian bread rolls, lots of candy and so on.
Last thing I bought: I honestly can’t remember. Probably Olive Garden a week ago. I just realized that I haven’t bought anything in over a week. How awesome of me!
Where are your favorite places to shop? I’m definitely a big shopper. I love J.Crew, Banana Republic, Forever 21 and tons of other stores.
Do you ever splurge? Yes, I splurge a lot, but that’s where my side hustles come in. I work extra hard to make extra money so that I can splurge on nice vacations every so often. In April alone, I made nearly $8,000 in extra income.
After graduating with two business degrees and a MBA how are you getting out of your student loan debt? I am actually almost done with all of my student loans, which is really awesome since I just graduated with my MBA in August of 2012. I am working hard with my extra income, and it’s like a full-time job on top of my job in the financial services industry as an analyst. I throw a lot of my extra income towards my student loans and this helps me pay off my debt extremely fast.
What tactics have you implemented that is helping you save? I always look for coupons before I buy something. Buying something at full price hardly ever happens anymore.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn about saving money? This is a hard one. Maybe trying not to keep up with the Joneses, because life should be about what makes you happy, not what makes others happy.
What’s your ultimate goal? My ultimate goal is to be financially independent. I would like to retire early, in the sense that I would work with things that I love (such as blogging or photography). I don’t see myself ever fully retiring, as I like to keep busy and keep on improving myself. I would like to pay off my house early, as well, so that we have one less thing to worry about.
So you like Hawaii, huh? Yes, I love Hawaii. I would love to live there one day, but I would prefer to be near family for now. Family is so important. I would like to be able to take annual trips to Hawaii though. Kauai was just so awesome and beautiful.