Back to work today. Looks like things are slowly getting back to normal, though the roads are still a mess with giant piles of snow. I’m hoping the sun will help melt some of it over the week so I can get outside to run this weekend. I’ve got a ten mile run scheduled in my half-marathon preparation and I absolutely do not want to have to do it inside!
I realized over this storm that I could have been better prepared for the weather. Oh, I didn’t suffer at all. But after listening to some coworkers talking, I realize that there are few things I should have in my snowstorm arsenal.
First off, I need a snow shovel. No, I don’t have one. I live in an apartment. I have nothing to shovel. Unless I want to get my car out of the parking lot. I used to have one, but I got rid of it when I moved. I had friends who used baking trays and cutting boards and milk crates to dig out their cars. Clearly, we all could have used a shovel or two.
Second, I need better snow boots. I have a pair of sub-standard rain boots and a pair of warm winter boots, but the rain boots are not warm, nor are they particularly comfortable, and the winter boots are not waterproof enough (as I learned when my feet got wet from a slushy puddle). I found a great pair of boots in a catalog, boots designed for either rain or snow (lots of room for extra socks and tucking in pants when necessary). The problem? They’re $80. Compared to my current $20 boots, that’s a bit much to spend. However, the $20 boots clearly aren’t doing their job. So it’s something to ponder.
Third, when trapped at home, I need to be more productive. I think it was because I was fighting a cold, but I was such a sloth over the past week. There was so much more I could have accomplished. Instead I accomplished things like watching Netflix discs and clearing off the DVR. At least I didn’t spend the week shopping online. That could have been dangerous.
Really though, I did a lot of things right. I had plenty of candles and batteries for my flashlight. I had lots of food stocked up, including food I could eat if the power went out (lots of canned soups that could be heated on the gas stove). I had water and when the storm was coming, I made sure that all my pitchers were full. I had books to read and other things to occupy my time.
So just a few changes to make and I’ll be ready for the next historic storm. I just hope it waits for next season.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.