When I started this blog, I didn’t know much about the personal finance information that was out there. Because I didn’t know much, I mistakenly assumed the little I did know must be common knowledge, and acted as such. But after several questions about “snowflaking” from visitors, readers, and commenters, I realized that just because the “Debt Snowball” popularized in recent times primarily by Dave Ramsey was known and understood by most people that came across my site, snowflaking as a related but slightly separate concept was not.
I learned about the concept of snowflaking from a Debt Support Messageboard at iVillage that I began to frequent when I decided to find a way, no matter what, to get rid of our credit card debt once and for all. I didn’t know who Dave Ramsey or what a debt snowball was, and I certainly had no idea what snowflaking meant. Through that board I learned about the idea of saving or earning small extra amounts of money and paying it directly to debt, and calling those extra-over-minimum payments snowflakes. I really embraced the concept and the method (and I don’t know the origination of the term, if it was coined by that messageboard or was adapted from somewhere else) and started challenging myself to find snowflakes whenever and wherever I could.
When I branched out to starting my own blog about debt reduction, I talked about snowflaking as if it was a commonly understood concept because, as I stated in the beginning of this post, I had no idea it wasn’t. Once I realized my constant reference to snowflaking wasn’t necessarily understood by my everyday visitors, I wrote my snowflaking primer. I continued to snowflake down my credit card debt, and a few weeks ago, as part of a 12 Days of Christmas – Personal Finance Style project, wrote my Five Golden Rules of Snowflaking.
And then something interesting happened. I submitted that post to the Carnival of Personal Finance, and the host that week, JD of Get Rich Slowly, chose it as one of his editor’s picks. Mrs. Micah: Finance for a Freelance Life had submitted her post asking for people’s choices for best personal finance practices of the year (in which she had chosen my snowflaking primer as her choice) to the same carnival, and her post was subsequently picked up by The Consumerist, which also mentioned my snowflaking primer. And people started visiting. And reading. And learning about snowflaking, and talking about it themselves.
The snowflake revolution has begun.
Every day it seems I get another notification of a link to one of my snowflaking posts, where someone is talking about it on their own blog or website. Both my Five Golden Rules and my Primer posts get dozens to hundreds of hits a day from visitors who saw the snowflaking concept referenced elsewhere and followed it here. And I can’t be more delighted.
I didn’t create the concept of snowflaking. I don’t claim to be the end-all of information about it either. All I am is a very enthusiastic follower of the concept and practicer of the ideals and principles behind it. And with it, I’ve been decimating my credit card debt at a fantastic rate. Find ways to save money and pay that saved money directly to debt. Find ways to earn more money and pay that earned money directly to debt. Someday in the future, instead of snowflaking to debt, I’ll be snowflaking to savings, and my future will greatly thank me for it.
The revolution has begun. Why don’t you join the revolution, too? There’s room for everyone on board.