20 Degrees never seemed better!
Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Still cold here. Not much has changed in that regard. It’s not getting out of the 20’s here in Chicago, and there’s a coating of an inch or so of snow on the ground that’s not leaving anytime soon.
Despite that, I feel great about the conditions here, after a phone call I had this week with a friend of mine from near South Bend, Indiana. That’s a city about 2 hours from the Chicago suburbs, and is best known for being the home of The University of Notre Dame. Well, despite being so close by, they have had drastically different weather conditions. From 1/8 to 1/9, South Bend recorded an offical 38.6 inches of snow.
Yep – just an inch or two here, but over 3 feet of snow just 2 hours away. With 20 degree weather and just a bit of snow instead, Chicago winter weather seems great by comparison!
Before talking to my friend, I had no idea that South Bend got hit so hard. It’s all about lake effect snow, where one side of the lake may get little snow, but the opposite side gets hammered. Such is the case with Lake Michigan in Winter. You can go from calm weather to a blizzard within a minute by driving into lake effect bands.
Taking this a different direction, it’s another example of how when things may seem gloomy for your own situation, be thankful that you’re not in the position of certain others. You may not realize it, but they may be dealing with an avalanche of problems that makes your life look like a picnic. Just another way of getting at the concept of being thankful for what you have, even if it may not be ideal.
This can apply to personal finance too, where you might not ever know that your neighbor is eyeballs deep in debt while you’re worried about saving more. While you’re worried, the other person would trade place in a second and would be so thankful.
Yes, I must be thinking about personal finance a lot, if I’m finding ways to relate it to weather:) But think about it…
Free National Park Visits
OK, now that I got done talking about cold, this might not be the time that seems the most interesting to visit many of the great national parks here in the U.S. However, in case you’re interested, they’re free this weekend!
The National Parks Service has announced their list of free admission days to the the parks:
- January 15-17
- April 16-24
- June 21
- September 24
- November 11-13
While I won’t be exploring any of the parks nearby this weekend, the other dates provide a chance to go for free! What a nice opportunity to check out some amazing places.
Personally, I’ve been to a number of parks that were amazing. My favorites that I have visited:
- Yosemite (CA)
- Zion (UT)
- Rocky Mountain (CO)
- Grand Canyon (AZ)
- Olympic (WA)
I’ve been to others, but these were my favorites. All were a great time, though many years ago. Would love to go back and show kids these wonders.
If I had to pick a new park that I would really like to visit, it would be a tie between Yellowstone and Acadia (Maine). Something about both of those places has always been enticing to me, ever since reading about them as a kid. With warmer weather, I’d love to check one of those two out sometime soon.
What’s been your favorite national park to visit? Which one would you most like to see for the first time?
This week, Squirrelers was included in several carnivals:
- 5 Rules for Achieving Debt-Free Living was included in the Carnival of Personal Finance, at Wallet Blog.
- 6 Key Personal Finance Lessons was included in the Carnival of Wealth, at Personal Dividends
- The Role of Money in Our Life was included in the Yakezie Carnival at Well Heeled Blog
- The Importance of Sleep for Wealth Creation was included in the very first edition of the Totally Money Blog Carnival, at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
Also, Squirrelers had the honor of having a post being named one the “Best Posts of 2010”, at Political Calculations: On the Moneyed Midways. There were 16 posts on this list, and Squirreling Gone Wild #16 – The Crafty Waitress made the cut.
This list closed out a great 5 year run for On the Moneyed Midways, and it was great to be a part of it. What a nice surprise – thank you.
Recommended Reading from the Personal Finance Blogosphere
Here are some articles that caught my eye this week, which I recommend:
- The Snowball of Savings and Health Benefits From Eliminating Soda/Pop, at Everyday Tips and Thoughts. I can attest to how much better one can feel when going from regular consumption to minimal consumption – or zero, in my case of late.
- Nature vs. Nurture: How Important are Parents to our Success, at Financial Samurai. Engaging topic, one that resonates on some level with me as a parent.
- Free Money Finance: Top 10 Excerpts of 2010., at Free Money Finance. Solid list that was pulled from all book quotes published on the site from the past year
- Don’t Get Rich any Slower than You Have To, at Get Rich Slowly. It’s smart to analyze and evaluate what happened retrospectively, rather than just charging ahead; we can learn from our immediate past.
- Centavos Portfolio Update and Allocation Strategy, at 101 Centavos. It’s often interesting to read other bloggers talk about their portfolios and financial activity. This one was particularly interesting to me in that it included quite a few penny mining stocks. Not an area I’m particularly experienced with, which is what got my attention here.
- Waxing, Screaming, and The Bucket List, at Yes I am Cheap. Even though I’ll never really personally “get” the topic at hand (you can read for more details), it still made me laugh.
- Going Carless: Does it Make Sense, at Invest it Wisely. I can totally see it making sense for some folks, and think it’s a good idea if you can do it. For me: not a chance. I need my car.
- When Enough Really is Enough, at PF Firewall. Kudos to you, Jesse, for you handled that situation. You did the classy thing by not being an Extractor:)
- 100 Words on: Why A Penny Saved is More than a Penny Earned, at LenPenzo.com. Who knew 100 words about a penny could be interesting? Ben Frankin might have been really proud of this, Len!
- 10 Money Quotes Worth Remembering, at Free From Broke. Nice group of quotes, and good responses. Wisdom is a great thing.