There are lot of metaphors in the world of personal finance. If you want to be a personal financial guru, you have to have one. Robert Kiyosaki has his Rich Dad, Poor Dad. David Bach has the Latte Factor. Dave Ramsey has his Debt Snowball.
David Bach’s Latte Factor is the practice of looking at the small things you spend your money on every day and see whether you could redirect that spending to yourself. A personal finance guy defined the “debt snowball” as when you pay off the smallest debt first to create the greatest momentum in your debt snowball. Recently Paid Twice has sparked a snowflake revolution with her snowflaking primer, originally taken from an iVillage Message Board. Paid Twice explains how she snowflakes as “I also try to collect up little bits of money wherever I can and I apply those as well to my top priority debt as immediately as possible.” If you think about it, the idea is simply the combination of the Latte Factor and the Debt Snowball. Why it’s not called a Latte Snowball mystifies me to this day – it must be due to copyright issues.
Yesterday, Brip Blap coined the term wealthstreaming – or snowflaking for income. (I think he should have gone with wealthflurrying to keep with the snow theme) His idea with wealthstreaming is to have multiple income streams. A bunch of small streams is better than one large one – diversification is the key. I didn’t have a fancy word for it, but the concept was similar to the first post I’ve written for Prosper’s Blog.
I realize that Lazy Man and Money is going to nowhere if I don’t coin a term and/or champion a cause. So today, I’d like to introduce you to snowforting. Snowforting is the practice of building an emergency fund from little bits of money (snowflakes) from savings wherever you may find them. The more snowflakes that you add to your emergency fund, the stronger your snowfort becomes. Get a strong enough snowfort and you can shelter yourself from nearly any emergency.
Over the last 20 months my wife and I have built an 8-month snowfort. We are looking to build that up to a year. How strong is your snowfort?
Photo Credit: your neighborhood librarian