1994-01-01 Woozle writes to Rebekah

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Dear Rebekah,

I'm typing this just because I think better with a keyboard than in pencil, and hopefully it's easier to read as well. Livia has mentioned the Thai sauce -- it is, of course, utterly delish, and we've discovered it's actually available locally (Publix has it) so we won't have to beg for more when we use it up! The camera I'm still working on; the built-in light meter actually does respond, though I presume one must actually know something about photography in order to figure out if it's saying there's enough light or not (i.e. it doesn't change when the f-stop & exposure are adjusted), so I'll no doubt end up using the external light meter you provided. Once I figure it out.

Finally, I wanted to discuss the financial stuff briefly. Livia says you admonished her to use (part or all of?) the money we owe you to start up her own savings account, and put a small portion of each paycheck into it. I am more than familiar with the concept of saving incrementally, and it is certainly something I plan to do -- once we have paid off our high-interest debts. Right now, if I take $20 each week and put it into savings, we might earn 3-4% on it; if I use it to pay the Visa bill, it effectively earns 17.8%. While one could argue the virtues of always having "a little saved for a rainy day", the credit we regain by paying off that debt serves exactly the same function -- and it's less tempting to use it. Once it's paid off, we then start saving actual cash money much sooner than we would have by trying to save it before paying off the cards.

As for paying off the cards (which is our true top priority), the trick is that we need to keep as much money actually in the bank as possible until both of our cars are fixed. Once that happens, we will have a stable financial situation; until then, we need to avoid not having enough to cover the latest set of repairs. Right now, we're trying to figure out just how much we've spent on each car over the last few years (and recently) and whether maybe we need to look at replacing Livia's (hopefully not; I prefer cars that are already paid for).

Anyway, all that given, I feel as though we are beginning to get the situation under control, and I much prefer to have one large debt than many small ones. I allowed Livia to accept the return of the $200 check because we had agreed earlier on nothing larger than $100 at a time; so here is the proper amount, $100, and I do hope you will accept it.

Happy new year from both of us, and we hope to see you sometime soon.