February 1, 2011

Saga of the Snowball

People getting home before the storm hits= traffic.
Normally you can see the lake and Capitol building behind those trees.
Madison loves bikers.  Bikers love Madison.  Even in Winter.  Even in a blizzard.
I'm listening to This American Life's The Invention of Money which aired January 7th.  I love this show it regularly boggles my mind, makes me laugh, cry and challenges my thoughts and ideas.  The wind is whirling outside shaking the storm windows, the stove is keeping us toasty inside and I have Mama Soule's Carrot Tomato Soup (made from last year's garden veg) in my belly .  A perfect night to cozy up and listen to all of the noises, a TAL show and knit.  But money is on my mind.

As often happens when a new year begins and tax season is right around the corner I obsess over my financial situation.  Like many I find myself assessing my debt and spending habits and look to see where I can cut in order to save/pay off more debt.  Or as my financial guy, Dale, has said I should do: snowball my debt with all my spare $ (I wish it was $$$$) instead of spending or saving it (yes, I do have a small emergency fund set aside).  More infor on this idea of debt repayment is here.

I teeter between happiness at what I have accomplished financially and anger for the mountain I have caused myself and have yet to climb.  I realize now I didn't know much about how it all worked when I started college and was applying for grants, loans and scholarships.  Loans seemed like free money and history said the interest would be low in the repayment period.  Little did I or anyone else know that the interest rates would sky rocket and that I would graduate at a time when you are considered lucky to just have a job.

Luckily this little hardship (using 45% of my net income to pay off debt) has taught me a lot.  It's a strong driving force behind my love for gardening, creating, sewing and doing everything we can to be more efficient.  And so is my blog, the modest diary of my existence, outlining many little things that seem to go along way.

For now the snowball continues.

Note:  This is not meant to be financial advice for anyone other than myself.  If you need advice find a financial advisor in your area.  Or if you live in WI I strongly recommend Dale Carlson (djcarlson(at)wradvisors(dot)com) with Waddell and Reed.

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