Celebrating It All! 2017 Broke on Purpose® Year-End Debt Payoff Report

 From the Desk of Mrs. Broke on Purpose®

Today is the last day of 2017. Looking back this year has been for the most part a great one. I wrote and successfully defended my Ph.D. dissertation; graduated from my Ph.D. program, and was featured in Glamour Magazine as one of the New Money Experts alongside amazing women like The Budgetnista and The Fiscal Femme. I  also started a new job which I thought was going to be my dream career but turned out not to be the best fit for me, and now I’m going into 2018 unemployed trying to figure out “what’s next.”

Choosing to be what Mr. Broke on Purpose considers to be “self-employed” was a hard decision for me to make. I struggled with how I would share this news as it’s not something I leaped into happily. This will be the first time since I started working at the age of 14, that I am not employed by someone else. Most of my friends will tell you that I am a workaholic. It was not unheard of for me to have more than one job. This transition has been one where I’ve had to take a step back and mentally wrap my head around everything that was occurring as it was happening so fast. Even though I was the one who ultimately decided to walk away from my job, I felt like a failure. I felt like by choosing to leave that I was letting everyone, including my readers, down. In my head, all I could see was the meme of Tyra Banks yelling “WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU.” I finally had a job making enough money to help knock out our debt, and here I wanted to walk away. The guilt was destroying me and yet I felt like no one was taking me seriously when I talked about what I was feeling. Maybe they figured I would just figure it out. This is why it’s so important to check on your strong friends and pay attention to things they may not be saying.

For those wondering why I left my job without going into too much detail; the final decision ultimately came down to my sanity and health. The company restructured my position changed. Stress kills, and my body was not so subtly letting me know that it could not sustain that lifestyle for much longer. I became depressed and stopped eating. On the outside I was smiling and on the inside I was barely hanging on.  Later, I’ll share more on the events that took place, but for right what you need to know is that I chose me and I’m reminding myself that it’s not always my plan, but God’s Plan.

Broke On Purpose Money Envelope Date Night www.livebrokeonpurpose.com

As I mentioned earlier this mentally took its toll on me. Luckily, I have a fantastic husband and immediate family who rallied behind me when I needed them most. Mr. Broke on Purpose was quick to remind me of why we started living Broke on Purpose in the first place. It was the jolt I needed to bring me out of my fog. I’d become so focused on paying off all our debt as quickly as possible that I completely forgot that one of the reasons why we started Broke on Purpose®, which we wrote in our first post back in 2015.  One of the main reasons for starting Broke on Purpose was to not only get out of debt but also just in case I graduated without the next transition in place. What would we do if I wasn’t bringing in income?

This is what he said to me.

“We’ve been training for this for the past 31 months; now it’s Go Time.”

(Read: “How My Broke On Purpose Journey Began”)

Our New Plan

Beefing Up our Emergency Fund

With this big life change, we’ve also had to make changes to our financial plan. After taking a good hard look at the budget, we both agreed that we needed to pause paying off debt and beef up our emergency fund. I don’t believe that $1000 is enough to have for an emergency fund unless you’re a college student, and I can’t give you a solid number of what you should have. I always tell people to choose an amount that allows them to sleep well at night. We’ve decided to increase our Emergency Fund to $10,000. Moving forward any extra income that comes in that is not needed for the household budget will go straight to our savings account. Once that $10,000 goal is met we will go back to paying down our debt. Currently, we have $7500 in our emergency fund. I’ve set a personal goal (because I can’t help but challenge myself) to reach $10K by the end of March.

Reconfiguring the Household Budget

With the loss of income, it’s always important to revisit your budget and see where changes can be made. We’ve paid down enough debt that we can almost maintain our same lifestyle on one income. After crunching numbers, Marcus and I realized that only $318 of my monthly salary was needed to sustain the household budget. It also helped that Marcus received a promotion that came with a raise. Since I never completely walked away from my side hustles we are confident that I can at least contribute that much. Also, I am not above getting a part-time job in the meantime.  To give us a bit of cushion in our budget we decided to cut back on a few categories.

-Monthly allowance has now dropped from $600 t0 $500

-Groceries dropped from  $525 to $450

-Diners and Drive-Thrus dropped from $200 to $100

-Petcare dropped from $250 to $125

-We will only pay the minimum amount due on our student loans.

With these changes, we have a remainder of  $396 leftover to budget. We do not do a zero-based budget because we like a to have some cushion. Whatever is left over at the end of the month in addition to this $396 will be transferred to savings.

Year-End Debt Payoff Report

Broke on Purpose 2017 Year End Debt Payoff Report

Many of you noticed that we did not post a November Debt Payoff Report, but hopefully, the explanation above will give you understanding why. To recap, we successfully paid off our $9071 student loan and began work on next loan of $6769.69

Amount towards debt: $4721.00

Remaining Balance of $6769.69 loan $4668.14

Amount paid since living Broke on Purpose (32 months): $106,366.92

During December, we only paid the minimums on all our student loans. Of the three student loan groups remaining, we pay a total of $701 in minimum payments.

Broke on Purpose Total Debt Pay off

We’re both very optimistic about 2018. We have proven to ourselves that even when living Paycheck to Paycheck and one emergency away from having to file bankruptcy we could buckle down and make things work. We’ve powered through these last 32 months and paid off over $106,000 of our debt and we’ve lived a good life while doing so! Here’s to another year of moving forward in our financial journey, destroying debt, and building a life with options! We’re going to continue to budget, and use the Broke on Purpose® Money Envelopes proudly Since I can’t help myself  I’m setting the goal of paying off another $40,000 of our debt during 2018.

(Read: “We’ve Paid Off $100,000 in Debt”)

How was your year living Broke on Purpose®? We’d love for you to share in the comments below! Also be sure to follow us via our various social media channels where we share a lot more information and video content!

Visit the Broke on Purpose Facebook Page

Like Broke on Purpose on Instagram

Grab the Broke on Purpose Ebook and the Broke on Purpose Money Envelopes




  1. Jolene Martin
    January 4, 2018 / 8:59 am

    What makes this testimony so amazing is the transparency shared and truly your heart to live out loud…unapologetically.. Too often on social media a picture of perfection is painted but the earth is hungry for those who share their truth of both the strive and the struggle.

    Your journey shared has changed my approach to how I manage my own money. You’ve helped me to take a practical look at my dollars and make adjustments where needed. I didn’t start seriously until October 2017 while I am not the greatest when it comes to really “tracking” my progress I can say after reading your journey I was able to payoff 1 of 3 of my credit cards (Amount $900). It was one of the best feelings in the world! Like you, I started a goal meter and to see it move every two weeks was the best motivator and I became hungry to see where and if I could be more aggressive with paying down my credit card debt.

    So, to you Miss Melody…congratulations on all of your milestones accomplished! God will surely show who He really is and what He is really capable of doing during this time. I have no doubt God is going to keep you in awe of Him during this leg of your race.

    Always remember God has treasures stored up in the earth for us….so all I can say is it’s harvest time for you! You have planted seeds in millions of people over the past 32 months…there is definitely a harvest just for you sunshine! I was thinking about the number of lives you’ve reached and changed over these past 32 months compared to the debt you’ve paid off….girl you are a millionaire in the spirit, that’s the fruit that remains and that’s the plan for our lives.

    I noticed you have Habakkuk 2:2 “Write the Vision” on your page which is one of my favorite verses when it comes to purpose. On Tuesday I read it and read further to v. 3 and that gave me a fresh breathe of wind because He simply Fortifies our faith in His plan for our lives and even in the visions that He gives us (v.2).

    Miss Melody….we are still all rooting for you! Love on God’s love for you and the pillars that He has placed in your life (your hubby) to remind you of your why…it’s go time girl!!!

    Sorry for the length but after I read this I got excited about your 2018 and felt the need to share what I was hearing and seeing 🙂

    Love you and thank you for changing lives simply by sharing your journey…that’s the goldmine (a job could never produce that kind of wealth).

  2. Fatima Lambert
    January 4, 2018 / 10:02 am

    Melanie, THANK YOU so much for your honesty and transparency!! When your mind and body reveal to you that its time to go… its time go ! Thank you for demonstrating courage and faith! Annddd thank god for the support of “Mr. Broke on Purpose”. God bless, keep the faith, and you’ll never know how much encouragement this blog gives me!

  3. Jacqui
    January 5, 2018 / 6:53 pm

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. As a reformed shopaholic to stores such as Target tj maxx, Forever 21 and Ulta, you have allowed me to make better choices that I plan carry forward forever. Thank you again for sharing. Life is a journey. All we can do is take one day and a time as it unfolds for the better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *