JimBob Got A Raise At Work

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JimBob got a raise at work. Not much, just $100 per month, but it’s a huge deal because JimBob and his family have been living paycheck to paycheck and have no money for anything extraneous. What does Jim-Bob do? (guest article by MSB contributor, ‘Lauren’)   As JimBob is a normal member of our society he dithers back and forth between paying off some of his credit card debt or buying that new bike he’s been wanting. He already pays for a gym membership, but he’s been wanting the bike, and staying in shape is important. At the bike store

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5 Kids, 40 Acres, And A $25,000 House

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5 Kids, 40 Acres, And A $25,000 House

If you are attracted to the idea of living off the grid, but you think there is no way you could do it with a large family, you need to meet Jeff and Rose and their five daughters.

With a strong desire to live an inexpensive and debt-free lifestyle, Jeff and Rose purchased 40 acres in Northern British Columbia, Canada in 2011.

Get Free Electricity — And Never Be Without Power!

There they built a 900-square foot house for less than $25,000. It features cedar posts that are sunk directly into the ground, log rafters, a living roof and wrapped plywood and foam insulation. They have no concrete foundation, no well and no septic system. Yet, after watching the video below, you will see they seem to have everything they need – plus the time to experience their surroundings and their independent way of life.

(Editor’s note: Listen to Off The Grid Radio’s interview with Jeff here.)

This homeschooling family enjoys beekeeping, gardening, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, baking and many other activities. Their location and lifestyle make “homeschooling both a requirement and our preference,” says Jeff. He explains that his daughters complete their academic studies in two to three hours each day and then are able to “learn in everything they do…We want them to have broad and varied life experiences.”

The girls also help with chores, including carrying water, emptying compost buckets and collecting firewood. During the winter, the family spends much of their time maintaining their road, since accumulations of five to six feet of snow are common.

“Electricity is no problem at all,” says Jeff. Their first solar panel generates 12-volt power for their lights and cell phones. The second 2.5-kilowatt system has a lithium ion battery bank that powers their full-sized refrigerator, a separate chest freezer, washing machine, as well as several small kitchen appliances. However, Jeff points out that their power-hungry toaster is off limits in the winter.

They have a backup generator, but Jeff says they only need it during extended cloudy or snowy periods.

The family collects rainwater from their shop and shed roofs and stores it in a 900-gallon tank located below the shop floor. They carry buckets of water into the house for cooking, dishes and showers. They use a Berkey passive water filter to clean the rainwater for drinking.

Jeff and Rose heat the family’s shower water on the centrally-located woodstove, which also provides most of their heat. The hot water is then pumped to the nearby shower on an as-needed basis. Grey water from the shower and the kitchen sink is pumped into a shallow field in the backyard. The family has two basic composting bucket toilets.

When you watch the video, you will see the beautiful location where this family lives and feel inspired to live their lifestyle yourself. “We can’t go back,” says Jeff. “Gridlessness is too good.”

Would you want to live off-grid in Canada? Share your thoughts in the section below: 


Prep for Hard Times: Why You Need an Offline Side-Gig Business Now!

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This is a guest post by Dare Tuitt

Are you earning enough money to pay for all your prepping needs?

Do you have enough money in your cash stash for a bug-out?

Do you have a mountain of debt that holds you back from (fill in the blank)?

Almost everyone I know needs more money to accomplish what they have to do, whether it be to pay for prepping items, pay down personal debt, purchase that getaway land in the American Redoubt areas or simply pay their monthly living expenses. With the escalating financial and political situation looking like it’s heating up as we head into the Mid-term elections, overcoming debt, getting personal finances in order and paying for those extra survival products should now be a priority.

To solve your personal cash crunch, you need a way to make some money as quickly as possible and I advise you do this offline as soon as possible. One of the fastest and easiest ways to earn extra money is by staring a part-time side-gig business.

Further Reading – Position Yourself for Financial SHTF – Practical Steps for Paying Down Debt and Saving Money!

Start a Side-Gig Business Now!

Why am I advising you start an offline business ASAP? Because the recent (and as of the date of this writing, ongoing) rollercoaster ride of the stock market may just be going through the start of a slow-motion tailspin, the effects of which will catch up to all of us in due time, as it ripples through the world economy. Also, the cost of living is not going down! Contrary to the good news about American energy independence due to vastly increased output from less regulation (thank you President Trump!) gasoline and other energy prices still tend to rise and fall based on demand and here in the USA we see them rise ahead of active travel days, like national holidays and due to seasonal weather variations in use. The cost of food is also not going down and there are seasonal price increases every winter just to get the food delivered by semi-trailer trucks and drivers working in extreme winter weather conditions. These are all good examples of reasons why you need an offline side gig business ASAP, to help you get more money NOW. But the real reason why is only beginning to be seen as politics plays an ever-increasing and unwelcome role in our personal economic lives.

Since 9/11, we have seen how technology has been used by the government to consolidate and control citizens. Our own NSA and Homeland Security have been given enormous powers of surveillance. Media of all kinds has also got on board and during the Obama years, we saw more of an unholy alliance begin to form between online Social Media corporations and government, specifically, Left-leaning governments. We see news reports about how, without much of a fight, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, ( all American-based corporations), have abandoned the rights guaranteed people under the American Constitution, when communist/socialist countries have made it a condition to limit their own citizen’s access to information provided by these online companies. They compromised free and open speech, in order to acquire access to new markets and/or acquire more market share in those respective nations. They sold out their “ideals” for market share.

More ominously here at home, Conservative and Christian Americans are under increasing unfair scrutiny, by social media “review committees” and “speech algorithm scrutiny”, the results of which are stripping out the so-called “objectionable” content in favor of a socially-engineered, exclusive Left-leaning content. The result is the elimination of Christian and Conservative viewpoints from the Internet, with the result (perhaps the intent?) of driving them out of business or greatly reducing their influence. This stuff seems straight out of George Orwell’s 1984, and it’s not going away.

The New World Order Doesn’t Like Your Privacy

New Internet-based technologies being brought to the market involve using your personal data, captured by social media with every keystroke you make on your computer. This information is being used to develop predictive models that ultimately could be used by a hostile government to determine what your political and religious beliefs are, and then treat you accordingly. When coupled with home electricity Smart Meters (now mandated nearly everywhere), automobile tracking devices, electronic surveillance via street cams, Smartphones, and in every HDTV, police and other government agencies can conceivably monitor your life both inside and outside your home 24/7/365. If this doesn’t bother you, it should. In 2018, we may see emerge the beginnings of an even greater Matrix of censorship, control and surveillance over our lives in ways we couldn’t even imagine just 3 years ago. There is research going on right now to weaponize our data using “predictive models” to determine if we are thinking “wrong” for the purposes of stopping crimes before they happen. What if this technology is used on political dissidents?

Once these control mechanisms are established, how long before the Mark of the Beast emerges? How will you earn money if you refuse the that Mark, without which you will not be allowed to “buy or sell?” (Revelation 13:16-17). Since people in the First World are already conditioned to just give away their personal information along with their freedoms and sense of privacy, Spielberg’s Minority Report doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

Having an Internet-based business is fine so far as it goes, but what would you do if “they” make it impossible for you to earn a living online based on your political and religious affiliations? If you do all your business online, what would you do if there’s a crash of the Internet system or a major security breach that steals your online proprietary information or your banking passwords? What can you do if North Korea or Iran attacks the USA with an EMP?

This is why you need an offline business and you need to start it now. You need to earn extra money now, to get yourself and your family more secure, but most importantly, you need a way to earn some income if these other avenues are denied you.

What is a Good Offline Business?

Having a skill you can do that you can earn an income or barter with is a good place to start.

Can you grow things? Are you a master gardener? Grow vegetables and sell them at the local Farmer’s Market. Grow heirloom varieties of vegetables. Consume some, preserve some by canning, and save the seeds to sell them. People pay money for quality heirloom vegetable seeds. This could be a nice side business.

Can you fix things? Appliance repair, home “honey do” projects, car repair are all great skills to have to start a business. Any of these skills can be used to barter for other goods and services.

Find a skill related to something you enjoy doing, such as hunting. Learning how to process game meat is related to hunting, and can be turned into an offline business. Many people enjoy hunting and fishing, but hate processing the meat! Many fishing charter businesses include gutting and processing what their customers catch, for an extra fee. Perhaps you could set up a booth nearby and offer the same service to charter boat captains for a percentage of your fee for each referral they send?

Mowing lawns, weeding, cutting down or pruning trees, going into the national forests (with permit) to harvest fallen trees and scrub, then cut it into firewood and sell by the cord or half-cord. Pick up free pinecones, clean them and resell them as fire starters, Christmas decorations or turn them into natural bird feeders and sell them.

Do you have a truck or van? Help people move things. I know guys who make an extra $300 per day on the weekends alone just by helping young singles move from one apartment to another. Or they help people get furniture or large appliances home after a purchase, so they don’t have to pay higher delivery fees of the stores. They charge extra for carting away the old furniture or appliance to the dump. Sometimes, they sell the appliances to a guy who repairs them and sells them – one side-gig business helping another side-gig business.

Can you cook or bake to perfection? Become a caterer. If you can’t cook, establish your own “roach coach” lunch wagon route and drive through light industrial areas during weekdays. Sell sandwiches, pop, bottled water and snacks. You can even sell someone else’s sandwiches!

These are just a few examples of offline business you can start. The possibilities are endless!

I hope this article has helped you see the importance of having a way to earn extra money, as detached as possible from the threat of the growing “Matrix.” Whether you work your offline business as your full-time job or a side gig – you need to start one NOW.

Further Reading – What Would You Do with More $$$ – Micro-Businesses for Extra Streams of Income

Author’s Bio: Dare Tuitt is a retiree whose own side business is researching and writing about offline side-gig businesses. Some of the businesses Dare writes about is from personal experience, having started several offline side-gigs which prospered – and some that did not. Dare has uncovered many unique and highly-lucrative offline businesses that one can do part-time, or as a short-term project, to raise money fast! Dare looks for businesses that require little or no experience to do, little or no money to start and are perfect for homeworkers, college students, retirees and those looking to generate a substantial second income. To get the latest Dare Tuitt free report & recommendations for a great offline side-gig, email Dare at goldenpagemedia@gmail.com.



Useful Strategies To Pay Down Debt

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Useful Strategies To Pay Down Debt Life is already hard for us preppers without having to deal with debt. If you add it up to our daily struggles, it can be something incredibly difficult to manage. Most survivalists are considered hoarders by the general public, all because they keep buying more supplies than the average …

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Don’t Move to These States; They’re in Serious Financial Trouble

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Maybe you’re looking for a fresh start. Or perhaps you’re looking to find a different job, or you’re trying to get out of the city. Whatever the case may be, when you’re looking for a new place to live there’s a lot to consider. And if you’re thinking of crossing state lines to find a new home, there’s one vitally important detail that you need to think about and research.

Most people don’t consider this, but you should really look into the financial stability of any state that you’re thinking about moving to. If worse comes to worse, and the economy collapses, you want to make sure that the state you live in is fiscally responsible. States that have high debts and low credit ratings are living on the edge. Any major economic event could push them into bankruptcy.

That means pensions could go unfunded. Public services like law enforcement and firefighting would be understaffed. The infrastructure of the state would crumble, and public education would be decimated. Taxes would likely be increased, which would only exacerbate the financial problems of the state because businesses would leave, leading to more unemployment and a smaller tax base. Obviously, all of these factors could contribute to the risk of civil unrest.

In other words, any financial calamity that occurs at the national level, would be magnified at the state level.  The economy of these states would fall into a tailspin, which would make life for the average person exceedingly difficult.

So which states should you avoid? There are three factors you should look out for. There’s the amount of debt as a percentage of the state’s GDP, the amount of debt per person (debt per capita), and the state’s current credit rating.

The 10 states with the worst debt to GDP ratios are:

  • New York-22.71%
  • South Carolina-21.31%
  • Rhode Island-19.40%
  • Washington-18.83%
  • Florida-18.65%
  • Kentucky-18.50%
  • Illinois-18.45%
  • Connecticut-17.52%
  • California-17.18%
  • Pennsylvania-17.17%

The 10 states with the most debt per person are:

  • Massachusetts-$11,337.63
  • Connecticut-$9,297.33
  • Rhode Island-$8,919.27
  • Alaska-$8,516.41
  • New Jersey-$7,517.15
  • New York-$7,040.97
  • Hawaii-$6,194.64
  • New Hampshire-$6,152.00
  • Delaware-$5,962.86
  • Vermont-$5,259.69

And perhaps the most important factor is the credit rating of any given state. This gives you a good idea of how investors think a state will fare financially in the future, as opposed to a state’s current financial woes. According to credit rating agencies like Standard and Poor’s, as of last year the states with the five worst credit ratings are:

  • Illinois-BBB
  • New Jersey-A
  • Kentucky-A+
  • California-AA-
  • Connecticut-AA-

Though those ratings don’t look too bad, it’s important to keep in mind that those states have had sub-par credit ratings for a long time. There’s no indication that they’re going to get their act together any time soon, because they’ve been teetering on the edge for years. When the next wave of the economic collapse hits, these states (along with states that topped the first two lists, such as New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Connecticut) are going to be the first to feel the pain.

Think of it like this. If a storm arrived and threatened to flood a community, the homes that were built in low-lying areas are going to be underwater first. These states are like the houses near the river. So if you’re planning to move, look into the financial stability every state you’re considering, and seek higher ground.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Single Biggest Problem Lurking In Most Survival Preps

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The Single Biggest Problem Lurking In Most Survival Preps

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Prepping can easily become an all-encompassing activity, affecting every area of our lives. That’s why many preppers refer to it as a change in lifestyle, and not simply adding something to their already full plates. That actually makes sense, as the attitudes one needs to develop for prepping require looking at life in a different way and establishing a different set of priorities.

The basic concept of prepping is to make sure that you have everything you need to survive, no matter what comes your way. That’s a pretty broad concept, but one that is actually achievable. After all, our ancestors lived a prepping lifestyle as a matter of course, and they didn’t have as much available to them to work with as we do today.

But the problem with such a broad definition is that it’s easy to have blind spots — areas that we haven’t thought about which could affect our survival. Ultimately, we need to seek out and find solutions to those blind spots so that they don’t come up and bite us at the wrong moment.

One such blind spot is the area of debt. In our modern, materialistic society, we are accustomed to living in debt. In fact, I’d venture to say that there are many preppers who have built their prepping stockpile with credit cards. While that might be okay to get started, if someone doesn’t have the cash on hand, in the long run, it can be devastating.

Debt and Disasters

Here’s the problem, and it’s a problem which comes from a blind spot we all too easily have: The likelihood of a societal-ending event is much lower than is the likelihood of a regional natural disaster.

So, how is that a problem? Because many of us easily slip into the thought pattern of surviving such an event. As such, we don’t think of having to pay off that debt. After all, if an EMP attack were propagated against the United States, all the computers which house the records of our massive debt would be fried. Nobody could collect, because they wouldn’t be able to prove that we owe the money. And if the company is several states away, with no mail delivery, how could we pay anyway?

Emergency Seed Bank Provides THOUSANDS Of Pounds Of Food

The Single Biggest Problem Lurking In Most Survival Preps

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But a regional disaster isn’t going to do a thing to make those records disappear. So, in addition to trying to survive and rebuild our lives, we’ll have the problem of trying to pay for our homes, our cars and just about everything else we need, simply because we bought it on credit.

In such a situation, a family easily could lose their car or even their home if they didn’t have the cash reserves necessary to continue their monthly payments. Rather than helping them to survive, that would make their survival problem infinitely more difficult, as they would lose their shelter and probably a whole lot more.

A Potential Financial Collapse

But there’s another potential disaster that could prove even worse for those preppers who are in debt. That is, a financial collapse. The little hiccup we had in 2008 to 2009 caused millions of families to lose their homes. What would a nationwide depression do?

During the Great Depression, the unemployment rate hit a whopping 25 percent, meaning that one out of every four families had no income. Many of those families lost their homes, leaving them on the streets and searching for shelter. In the process of losing their homes, they lost many of their possessions, as well.

The same would happen again were we to be hit by another such depression. Considering that financial analysts have been predicting a collapse for years, we need to be ready for it. Perhaps the government and the financial community will be able to prevent such an event, but that’s not something that we can count on.

Your home is your single most important piece of survival equipment. It not only provides your family with shelter, but it is the place where you store your stockpile and other survival gear. When a disaster comes, it will be your home that will protect you. But as long as you owe money on it, there’s a chance you could lose it.

Getting Out of Debt

Granted, paying off a home – or even a car — is a difficult undertaking. This isn’t something that you can solve in a month or even a year. But it does need to be part of your survival planning. Until you own your home, free and clear, you will always have the risk of losing it. From a survival point of view, let alone any other, that’s unacceptable.

The Single Biggest Problem Lurking In Most Survival Preps

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Part of the problem is that most of us have more home and more everything than we can actually afford. The average American family lives off of 110 percent of their income, counting on credit to make up the difference. So, instead of getting out of debt, they’re actually getting more and more in debt.

The first step in getting out of debt is restructuring your finances. No, I’m not talking about restructuring your debt, but rather restructuring your budget. You’ve got to find a way to get to a positive monthly cash flow, rather than a negative one. That will probably mean cutting some things out of your life, and may even include downsizing to something that you can more easily afford.

Get The Essential Secrets Of The Most Savvy Survivalists In The World!

There are three major areas of debt that most of us have:

  • Credit card debt.
  • Vehicle debt.
  • Home mortgage debt.

Of the three, the credit card debt is the least important, although that’s the one that experts on debt reduction tell you to get out of first. Their reasoning is that it is smaller than the other two categories, and the interest rate is higher. But from a survival point of view, failing to pay off your credit card isn’t going to cost you anything, simply because there is no collateral for you to lose.

On the other hand, both vehicle debt and home mortgage debt do have collateral, the items you used the loan to buy. So, those are the ones you could lose the fastest. But even there, we can see a distinction between their relative importance, as you don’t necessarily need your car to live, but you do need your home.

So, the number one thing you need to come up with is a plan to pay off your mortgage. That may include paying off the other debt, as well, but the goal isn’t just paying off your cars or your credit cards; it’s paying off your home. Only then will you have the security of knowing it won’t be taken from you at your time of greatest need.

Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the section below:  

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Get Out of Debt and Survive With Less After TSHTF

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tv_impressionsOn TV the other day (I was streaming a news broadcast off the Internet – I don’t have cable TV) I saw a commercial that settled in my mind and it gnawed away at for me awhile. I didn’t realize until later why it bothered me so much. Here’s a synopsis of the commercial: Dude1 walks out of his house over to his neighbors house in a suburban neighborhood, where his friend (Dude2) is admiring a new car. “Nice car!” Dude1 says and Dude2 beams and starts to talk about its features. Dude1 listens politely, then hits the button on his key fob and the brand new ultra fancy pickup truck in his driveway chirps and he walks over to it with a look of smug satisfaction on his face while Dude2 with the car stands there with his mouth open, obviously wishing he had the fancy truck.

By Jarhead Survivor, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog

The American Dream is being forced down our throats, people.  Marketers know how we think and they target our desires to warp us into wanting more.  Not only do they convince us to want more, we need whatever “it” is to be bigger, faster, and more powerful! Buy, buy, buy!  It keeps the economy going and the markets inflated.

nice_house_elite“They” want us to consume so they can continue to make their Porsche payments and live in their fancy houses with body guards. Meanwhile, we’re stuck with five-hundred dollar a month truck payments we can’t afford because we’re suckered into The Dream.  I’ve noticed the same trend in prepping. Someone shows off the latest AR-15 or M4 with a super-scope or laser sites and there’s oooh’s and aaaah’s and people wanting to rush out and get one for their arsenal. Or maybe someone got the latest land rover, RV, or a hardened Hummer. Hey, if you can afford the stuff more power to you, but most people I know are in debt trying to keep up with their house payments and student loans, much less a hardened hummer with three new AR-15’s in it.

Get By With Less

car-refill-transportation-transportIt’s ok to plan on getting by with less. As a matter of fact that’s exactly what we’ll need to do if and when TSHTF. The more knowledge and experience you have about survival and getting by with less the better off you’ll be. Once the balloon goes up finding gas for that thirsty Hummer will be a chore and way more expensive to boot – if you can even find any. There’s been a movement lately about getting by with less called minimalism. I’ve done a little reading and decided that it’s perfectly fine to cut down on the amount of stuff in my life that takes up valuable space and time thinking about it. I went from fifteen dress shirts to six. A whole pile of t-shirts to five. A huge pile of camping gear to just what I need for me and my family. What good is five packs full of gear if I can only use one at a time?

I wound up selling a bunch of stuff on Craigslist and Facebook marketplace (one of the few things Facebook is good for) and haven’t regretted it at all.  How do you decide what stuff to get rid of? That was actually the easy part for me. I went through my gear and if I hadn’t touched it in the last six months or a year I put it in a pile mentally labeled “Sell or Donate.” If you decide to give it a try you’ll be surprised at how fast that pile will grow.

Letting Go

I admit that at first it’s a little hard getting rid of stuff that you love, but after awhile you realize it’s not the stuff you love, but the idea of it. You buy junk you don’t need because it makes you happy. It gives you a little dopamine hit when you walk out of the store with a new item. Pretty soon you have twenty-five pairs of shoes you don’t wear and two closets worth of clothing that just hangs there.

I probably had two or three hundred movie DVD’s sitting in my basement collecting dust. Now I’m down to about twenty of my favorite all time movies that I watch over and over again (Billy Jack for example), but are hard to find online.

book_shelfAnd books. If you love books like I do this was a hard one, but I went through my books and if I hadn’t read it in a year or ten and it didn’t make my heart bump in that special way it went in the pile. My goal was to cut back to one bookshelf (about five shelves from floor to ceiling two feet wide) instead of books taking over every available space in the house. This was actually way easier than I thought it would be. First to go were all the books I’d picked up at lawn sales or had given to me. You know what I’m talking about; you pick up a book on a hot summer day and it marginally grabs your interest, but hey! It’s only a quarter, so you pick up seven or eight because you have a few extra bucks on you and throw them into the back of your car. They ride around there for a week or so until you carry them in the house and try to cram them into that bookshelf that’s already overflowing and then you forget about them.

Where I notice it the most is on my dresser. It used to be covered with cameras, computer gear, pieces of paper, change, flashlights, knives… you get the idea. I have one of those that opens up like an armoire, so there are actually three shelves where I could keep stuff. In the morning I’d go crazy trying to find my EDC.

Now it’s clean. All the extra books are gone, I’m down to a couple of cameras I actually use, change goes into a special place in the kitchen where it can be used.  How did my wife react to this new mode of thinking? She was ecstatic! By nature she’s always been a minimalist, so when I started getting rid of extra junk she was happy as could be.  So how does that carry over to prepping? For one thing it allows you to focus on those things that are really important such as good quality food.

Instead of opting for ten guns how about buying one or two that will really get the job done?  Instead of a brand new sixty thousand dollar range rover how about taking care of the vehicle you already have? Treat your vehicles right and they’ll treat you right. People are so willing to throw something away today instead of taking care of it that it blows my mind.

I see people treating trucks like computer tablets these days. Once it’s a couple of years old they’ll trade it in for a new one instead of taking care of the one they have. Of course a tablet goes for a hundred dollars these days and a truck costs anywhere from twenty-five to seventy-five thousand depending on what kind you get. Friends of mine who didn’t have the money went out and bought an expensive SUV, but didn’t have the money to pay for it. Now they’re stuck with a huge vehicle payment and regret it.

Avoid Debt

Today my wife and I avoid debt like the plague, which is a great thing to be in agreement on.  If we can’t afford to pay cash for something we don’t buy it. And living as minimalists we typically don’t want it anyway, which makes it far easier to cope with those emotions that spring up when we see some shiny new car or gizmo that would be wicked awesome to have, but can’t afford or will never use.

money_debtYears ago my phone was ringing off the hook with companies wanting their money and I finally did this to get out of debt.  It’s hard to do, but so worth it in the end!  Don’t get me wrong, I still see stuff I want and think, “Ooooh! I’d love to have that!” But I’ll sit on it for a week and if the feeling goes away I know it was just a passing fancy. (That Korean era officer’s military mess kit I saw this summer for $300 springs to mind.) I thought about it for awhile and decided I didn’t want it because of its authenticity, but because it would be fun to whip something like that out at the campground and actually use it. I then decided that if I wanted something like that it would be far easier and cheaper to build one myself. It’s still on the back burner, but if I decide to move forward it will be a fun project and one that will really mean something to me.


I’m not saying to sell all your stuff and live in a tent or a yurt (although a yurt might be kinda cool when I think about it.)  What I’m suggesting is to take a look at your lifestyle and possessions and see if there’s anything you can cut back on or things you can sell.  Almost everybody has extra stuff and the average American has tons of extra stuff they don’t use.

If you have debt, selling some of that extra stuff and not buying more can help you drive that debt down a little. Thoreau said to “Simplify!” and if you take that advice to heart you can live a rich life while staying out of debt.  Let go of the stuff you don’t need and take a good hard look at the stuff you have.  You’ll be a happier person because of it.  Questions?  Comments? Sound off below!

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The Importance of Paying Off Debt and Building An Emergency Fund

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Every ounce of critical financial planning can go to waste if you don’t have an emergency fund to back it up, which can really be a lifesaver when unforeseen expenses crop up. There are emergencies that need immediate attention, such as a daily-use home appliance breaking down or car repairs demanding early intervention. Since these

Emergency Fund: Your Strongest Financial Asset

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Every ounce of critical financial planning can go to waste if you don’t have an emergency fund to back it up.  Emergency funds are a lifesaver when unforeseen expenses crop up. There are emergencies that need immediate attention such as a daily-use home appliance breaking down or car repairs demanding early intervention. Because these emergencies

Cancer Patient Sentenced To 90 Days In Jail For Something Most Of Us Have Done

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Cancer Patient Sentenced To 90 Days In Jail For Writing $200 in Bad Checks

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A judge sentenced a cancer patient to 90 days in jail for writing merely $200 worth of bad checks in what critics are calling an unconstitutional debtors prison.

The man, Lee Robertson, was unable to pay the checks because chemotherapy made him too weak to work, and in jail he didn’t get his medicine, a lawsuit alleges.

Robertson was a victim of a court in Sherwood, Arkansas, that teams up with local businesses to exploit the poor and make money for the city, according to a lawsuit filed by the Arkansas Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He was one of only hundreds of people who were jailed and forced to pay money to the courts because of small checks.

The court has collected about $12 million in five years, comprising about 12 percent of the city’s budget, according to The Huffington Post.

People are arrested for “failure to pay” or “failure to appear” in court, and even the smallest of overdrawn checks can bring fines of $400.

Discover How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

“This is a broken court system that disregards due process rights at every turn,” said Kristen Clarke, the executive director of the Lawyers Committee.

The suit alleges that the Hot Check Division of the Sherwood municipal court orders people to pay large fines to avoid time behind bars.

“People are doomed for failure when they appear before the court, and most significantly trapped in this never-ending cycle of expanding debt,” Clarke told The Post.

According to the suit, bailiffs tell defendants that family and friends are not allowed inside the court. Defendants are forced to sign a waiver of counsel, meaning they forfeit their right to have a lawyer present, The Post reported.

Another defendant, Nikki Petree, was arrested seven times for a $28.93 bad check. She served 25 days in jail and had to pay the city $640.

Another man, Richard Green Sr., was still paying fines of $200 a month on a bad check he wrote for $58 in 1998, The Arkansas Times reported. Green claims to have spent 405 days in jail because of the check.

“I’ve probably paid thousands and thousands of dollars,” Green said. “I have lost everything because of this. … It’s just a revolving cycle I’m on. You never know when you’re going to get it paid off. It’ll seem like you’re going to get it paid off, but you don’t get it paid off. You think it’s going down, but then it’s going back up on you. You never get through paying.”

Debtors’ prisons have been making a comeback in America even though the US Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional in 1983. In 2014, National Public Radio uncovered evidence of people being jailed for debt all over the nation.

Do you believe people should be jailed for debt? Share your thoughts in the section below:

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

6 Quick Tips for Managing Student Loan Debt

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Statistics show that about 33% of all Americans age 25 and older have college degrees and those numbers are rising  over time.  Unfortunately, many Americans use loans to finance this higher education.  Nothing welcomes your adulthood like getting the first student loan bill in the mail.  These bills can control your life if you’re careful.  And, while we don’t recommend taking loans in the first place, following these six steps will help you steer clear of trouble and manage your debt in a responsible manner:

1. Don’t Ignore Your Student Loan

Most of us would agree that student loans are no fun to pay back.  Completely ignoring them, however, will lead to serious consequences in both your credit rating and financial future. Make sure you start paying them off right after finishing college.  

Editor’s Note: College loans typically give you a six month grace period from graduation before you have to start paying them off.

2. Set Up A Budget

Your lifestyle completely changes after college.  You’ll need to start paying attention more to your financial surroundings and managing the flow of money through your accounts.  Part of managing your income and expenses will involve tackling your student loans.

Monitor all your incomes (pay checks mostly) and expenses (rent, food, utilities, student loan payments, etc.) and create a budget off this information.  It will help you determine your repayment strategy and show you where you can and cannot spend money.

There are apps and programs that can help. Third Party phone applications like You Need A Budget (YNAB), Mvelopes, and Mint as well as software programs like Zilchworks and Quicken can help you get on track.

3. Set An Affordable Monthly Payment

There is no one solution for everyone. Once you’ve set up your budget you’ll be able to get a clearer picture of what you’re capable of committing to pay each month – no less than the minimum of course so you don’t default.  If you can’t handle the minimum for whatever reason, it is best to talk to the loan manager as they are usually willing to work with you.  It is much better to set up smaller monthly payments over a longer time than default on your loan.

You will get rid of your loan sooner (and pay less interest) if you pay a higher amount than the monthly minimum.  This approach should be a goal, however.  Minimum payments should be considered mandatory for the reasons we’ve listed above.  Side note – if you have a lot of debt, consider looking into the debt snowball payment method as a way of getting out of debt faster.  It won’t be easier, but it works..

The recently created Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE) also aims to make paying off student loans more manageable.  

Editor’s Note: I have no experience with this plan so please check with consultants to see if your loan and circumstances qualify you for the program.

4. Research Forgiveness Options

There are some lawful ways to have your student loans dismissed.  There are also certain criteria you must meet to qualify for a student loan forgiveness program. Research available student loan forgiveness programs at the state and federal levels to see if there is a student loan forgiveness program that suits your situation.  In the meantime, make sure you’re keeping up with your minimum payments.

5. Set Up Automatic Payment Options

One of the best solutions for student loan repayment is to opt for an automatic payment option.  These programs will automatically deduct a preset amount each month from your account to pay off the loan.  You will not have to worry about writing a check each month as it will be deducted automatically on a certain date.

Typically, you have the option of picking which day of the month you pay the loan.  This option allows you to do helpful things like schedule your payment for the day after your paycheck is credited to your account.

This approach takes the responsibility of remembering to write a check and mail it (or even just log-in and process payment) each month out of your hands and keeps your credit and status in good standing.

6. Make Extra Payments Whenever Possible

We touched on this item in Step 2, but the best tip for managing your student loans (after not taking them) is to pay them off as early as possible.  You can do this by making extra payments whenever you have a few dollars in your pocket.

When making extra payments, make sure it is explicitly clear that the extra money in your payment is to be put against the principle of the loan and not against the next future payment.  Also, if you have multiple student loans, always apply any extra payments to the loan with the highest interest level first.  This approach will reduce the amount of interest you pay and reduce the total cost of your loan over time.


Student loans are beastly things that are best avoided.  That being said, if you have them, it’s best to service them as much as possible.  We recommend following these six steps and also consulting with the most experienced, informed and active student debt consultants you can find in order to resolve your debt the most beneficial way possible to your current situation. Student loans can be trying but they are survivable.

manage your student loan


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Paying For College Tuition Podcast

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Paying For College Tuition Podcast

“One of the main driving forces behind the democratic, socialism movement in America today is the high cost of college tuition and student loans. In this podcast we explore solutions to getting a college education without incurring student debt or relying on the government. We also discuss possible ways to pay off debt and earn additional income while pursuing your desired career field.” ~ Galtstrike

In this video podcast Tom Martin and Bobby discuss how loans began to put our economy in debt by causing tuition’s to sky rocket . When government money became available for people to go to college the tuition more than doubled in a ten year period. To put it into perspective, in a ten year period 50% of students went from having zero percent debt to 40-80 thousand dollars in student loan debt.

The system is set up to keep you reliant on them instead of progressing in your life as you should. Why? Because then they are not making any money off of you. They discuss ways we can change this and get our education without starting life in serious debt because of loans. They produce wonderful ideas that will boost you way ahead of everyone else in your chosen career. From everything to getting out of debt you already have to making your car an income source and a tax write off.

Listen to special guest that call in with great information questions, answers and ideas.

The post Paying For College Tuition Podcast appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Preparing for Economic Collapse

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downturnPeople prepare for many reasons, be it a zombie apocalypse, EMP, nuclear war just to name a few. Personally I think the most common forms are disaster are weather related, such as floods, hurricanes and such and financially related, such as a full blown economic collapse to a personal financial crisis. This is why I […]

The post Preparing for Economic Collapse appeared first on Vigil Prudence.

5 ‘Overlooked Preps’ You Better Get Before Disaster Strikes

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5 ‘Overlooked Preps’ You Better Get Before Disaster Strikes

Image source: Pixabay.com


If you believe in the value of being ready for a disaster, then you probably understand that the time to prepare is now.

Since the type of disaster or crisis may vary, it can be difficult to prioritize exactly where you should be putting your efforts. Below are five things you can do to better prepare yourself for a variety of challenges.

1. Get fit. This is far from easy, I know. Like most people, I prefer to eat more food, choose less healthy options, and engage in less activity than is optimal for my health.

But it is important not to lose sight of the future. The reason for preparedness is to increase the chance of survival, and to maximize the quality of life after catastrophe happens.

Consider how much more you’ll be able to contribute to the well-being of your family and community if you are capable and strong. If you are morbidly obese or frail and don’t have the capacity for endurance, you will not be able to play as big a part in protecting yourself as you would like to.

It is possible you could even place loved ones in additional danger. If you are unhealthy and go knocking on a dear one’s door when the world is in chaos, they are likely to take you in despite what it will cost them.

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Better for you to pay the price now. And when you think about it, it’s hardly much of a price. By eating right, exercising, taking steps to lower your blood pressure and blood sugar, and building cardiac strength, you will most likely feel much better and be glad you made the lifestyle changes.

2. Get out of debt. Nobody knows for sure what will happen. Will the economy collapse? Will Wall Street crash? Will the value of the dollar suddenly plummet due to offshore circumstances beyond our control?

Some permutations of apocalyptic predictions say that lending institutions will cease to exist. Loans and mortgages will implode, leaving homeowners and borrowers to live by the adage “possession is nine-tenths of the law.”

But there are no guarantees it will work that way. It is possible there will still be enough enforcement in place to repossess your belongings and put you out of your home. Even barring anything being hauled off by creditors, nobody needs the added stress of financial ruin in times of emergency. It is better to own free and clear as much as you can.

Another fact to consider is that debt is costly due to interest costs. The less of your income that is committed to monthly payments, the more money you can devote to investing in preparedness.

3. Get skills. Telling yourself that you can easily take up gardening or learn to use a cross-cut saw for firewood when the time comes is folly. Investing in supplies and equipment ahead of time is not enough.

5 ‘Overlooked Preps’ You Better Get Before Disaster Strikes

Image source: Pixabay.com

Saying you will learn to use your stuff after disaster strikes is like saying you will learn to drive your car after you need to rush someone to the hospital. It might be possible, but it is certainly not the best way.

If you think your post-apocalyptic life could include hunting animals, living in the forest, raising livestock, sharpshooting, collecting mushrooms, canning vegetables, starting fires without matches, or living on the move – then get good at it while you can afford to make mistakes.

4. Get organized. None of your preps will do you any good if you can’t locate them easily and access them when you need them.

If disaster happens suddenly, those of us trying to survive will have to react with speed and confidence. There may not be time to wonder where you stashed those batteries or whether the latest 300 pounds of livestock grain ever made it into the barn.

In addition, it is harder to know for sure what you have on hand without organization. Lists and specific routines help, as does making sure there is a place for everything and everything is in its place.

5. Get real. Do not worry about zombies. Instead, concern yourself with laws that don’t make sense or with politicians who don’t have America’s best interests at heart. Worry about our nation’s enemies, natural disasters, the state of the planet’s resources and the economy.

You do not want to become so consumed with having a massive stockpile of every kind of weapon and ammunition known to humankind that you neglect to gain real independence. Having the ability to take care of yourself in a wide variety of situations, and knowing you will not perish while waiting to be rescued, is far more worthwhile.

Rather than holding mandatory all-day weekend sessions teaching your kids how to pick a lock using a secret pocket gadget cleverly disguised as a credit card, try teaching them potentially universal skills. Skills like finding their way without using GPS, preparing vegetables for cooking, and steering clear of poison ivy can be far more useful.

There has never been a time when the Latin phrase “carpe diem” – meaning “seize the day” – has been more important. By focusing on the above, you can improve your chances of surviving when disaster strikes.

What would you add to our list? Share your ideas in the section below:

Are You Prepared For A Downed Grid? Read More Here.

Homesteading And The Debt Free Lifestyle

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It’s difficult being an urban homesteader. In order to make it, you need to be independent.  Independence can mean many things, but a lot of people think of owning a good amount of land.  So what is a poor city inhabitant who longs for the country life supposed to do? Become debt free!

Going Debt Free

Homesteading and independence go hand-in-hand with being debt free. The tips below will allow to homestead anywhere.  They will also show you how to cut expenses and save cash.  The culmination of this effort can result in a debt free lifestyle.  The same kind of lifestyle that might see you own that real estate in the country.

Container Gardening

Think you need a patch of earth to grow vegetables? Reconsider. You can grow tomatoes, lettuce, squash and potatoes in simple containers.  Items such as barrels, pots or hay bundles will do.

Even better, container gardening is perfect for those new to planting. You have fewer plants to manage, less weeding and less immediate cost and time.  You can grow a significant number of crops in minimal space, even if all you have is a small balcony.  All you need is a little planning.

Zucchini and strawberries can grow in hanging wicker bins.  Similarly, tomatoes can grown in little tubs.

Gardening and growing vegetables doesn’t require large machinery or planting equipment. All you have to do is make use of the things available to you.

Make and Use a Solar Oven

One of your biggest expense can be your utilities.  Have you thought about how you can continue on the debt free path and cook for free? A Solar Oven is simple to make and can completely reduce your utility costs.

Keep Some Chickens

A friend of mine hatched chicks from prepared eggs utilizing an electric skillet set on low.  They used some water to keep the air inside the skillet soggy and a towel to pad the eggs. Five of the eggs hatched and three of the birds made it to adulthood. She now keeps these three hens in her lawn. When they are mature enough, these animals will supply her with eggs once a day.

The cost of feed will most likely be offset by the amount of money you spend on eggs.  You can take the savings and put it towards your debt free goals.

Raising chickens isn’t for everyone.  Make sure you check the rules and regulations of your city.  Also, make sure you are onboard with raising livestock.  It’s a full-time commitment.

Live Simply

A smart thought for anybody, yet key for a trying homesteader. Figure out how to curtail costs now, keeping in mind you are busy.  Dispose of the extra costs in your life. A homesteading lifestyle requires that you figure out how to deal with what you have as opposed to rushing to the store for something new.

Do you need those three TV sets? What about that vast closet of clothes? Learn to get by with what you have now.  Heading to the store when you’ve ‘made it’ might not be as easy as you think.


Living simply also means curtailing any extra costs that you might be incurring.  Doing things like paying off any loans that you have taken as soon as possible can lead to a debt free lifestyle. Do not to buy items on credit. The simple life may be what’s needed to get you to your debt free goals.

Homesteading & Debt Free Lifestyle

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Prepping: 7 Reasonable Things You Should Do

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Riots, EMP threats, NASA’s megadrought, clashes between religious fanatics, the U.S. debt increasing and the coming elections – all of these situations point to the same thing: the world may go down south at any time. I’m not saying they will – I hope they won’t – but are we really crazy for prepping for them?

Our minds are running in overdrive about prepping while the Government’s telling us everything is fine and we don’t need to worry. Sometimes they call us crazy… even though preppers are some of the nicest and friendliest people you’ll ever meet.

I wrote this piece to give you tips on how to prepare without appearing crazy or freaked out about what’s to come. You’ll find my prepping suggestions reasonable. Acting on them will make you feel safer and I can almost guarantee you’ll sleep sounder knowing you’re ready for what might come.

Seven Reasonable Prepping Tips

#1. Get Into Shape

Bad situations bring out the worst in people.  When push comes to shove, people will start thinking they have more of a right to something than you and you may need to fight one or more thugs one on one. You may need to jump, crawl, climb and run to save your life. You may need to pull or carry an injured loved one to safety. All of these require strength, flexibility, speed and stamina.

Fortunately, it’s easy to improve all of them. The easiest thing you can do is just walk more! I, for one, love walking and I always find excuses to leave my car in the garage and run errands on foot. Jogging, hiking and going to the gym will all improve your fitness levels and work your muscles. I suggest you focus on tactical fitness exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, jumping jacks and so on.  Remember, prepping is just as much about gaining skills as it is gathering gear.

#2. Get Out Of Debt

I don’t know if an economic collapse will come before the next major natural disaster or if it’s going to be the other way around. What I do know is that, in case of either one, you don’t want to be owing money to banks or to anyone else.

We’ve always said that you should start of prepping by paying off your debts right now even if that means more effort or not eating out every day. You know what they say, the more you sweat, the less you bleed…

#3. Move Out Of The City

What usually happens during riots is that the downtown area of a city turns into a battlefield. That’s the last place you want to live because you can’t get in, you can’t get out meaning you might get stuck inside for days, even weeks. Even worse, you might get yourself injured trying to get home.

Try to find cheaper housing in the suburbs. You’ll have to be careful about the location, though, to avoid high-crime neighborhoods. You want to be safe before and after a riot, not just during, when those low-income rioters who also live in the suburbs decide to take justice into their own hands. You’ll also want a quick way out of the city if need be.

Fortunately, you needn’t go further than this website to learn about life in the suburbs.

#4. Start Stockpiling

No, you don’t have to fill an entire room with toilet paper.  You should, however, have a pantry full of foods with a long shelf life such as canned veggies, jams, peanut butter and honey. All you need to do is buy a little more food than usual with each time you go to the supermarket.  Make sure you’re paying attention to nutritional content of your stored food as well.  A healthy you is a stronger you.

Buy the things you like to eat so you can easily incorporate them in your diet. Food rotation is important because you don’t want to end up with a spoiled pantry. Of course, you can get other things in bulk such as the aforementioned toilet paper, floss, soap and other hygiene products. You should never run out of any of them – catastrophe or not.

#5. Find New Hobbies and Passions

Hiking, camping, fishing, woodworking, gardening, crafts – these can all make you better prepared without anyone suspecting the real reason why you’re doing them. If you thought about finding a new hobby, maybe now’s the time.

Who says you have to start a hobby on your own? You can do many of these things with your kids (and bond with them) or with your spouse (and possibly bring back the romance into your marriage). Hobbies are great bonding opportunities. Who knows, maybe one of them will turn into a passion.

#6. Prepping Your Car

Engine oil, transmission fluid, a toolbox, a spare tire, a shovel, these are things every driver should have in an emergency. To go the extra mile, why not add water and even a few snacks in your trunk? Not just for SHTF events but also in case you get stuck in traffic for longer periods of time. Add an AM/FM radio and a few blankets, too. If you’re stuck in heavy snow for hours, you don’t want to use fuel and your car’s battery to stay warm and hear the latest news.

Last but not least, make sure you have a good first aid kit. Not the basic one that came with the car, of course. You can make your own from scratch to make sure you have everything you need.  Keep an eye open for sales on first aid equipment and you should be able to do this step on the cheap.  For example, I bought some Ibuprofen last night and they had a “buy one get one free” promotion. Now, I can keep the extra pack with the other in my bug out bag or I can add it to my car’s survival kit.

#7. Start a Medicine Cabinet

Keeping in mind that I’m not a doctor and that you should only use my advice for information purposes only, I want you to build on the previous idea of assembling a custom first aid kit. You can take it even further by buying things such as:

Note: You shouldn’t store your medicine in your bathroom. Keep them in a dark, cool place because the heat and moisture from your shower will decrease their shelf life.

Final Word

Truth be told, I could write another five articles with all the basic prepping actions you could take and not look crazy. This one should give you a great head start in tackling all sorts of scenarios, including a natural disaster, riots or an economic collapse.


*** Consider letting folks know about this article at TopPrepperWebsites.com ***

Guest Poster: Dan Sullivan
His dad was military. His grandfather was a cop. They served their country well. But Dan doesn’t take orders from anyone. He’s taking matters into his own hands. He’s not just preparing, he’s going to friggin’ war!

The Hidden Cost Of Credit

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The Hidden Cost Of Credit

As a participant with American Preppers, I’ve learned about long-term survival tactics, food and food storage, bugging out, and some of the special equipment that would improve your chances at survival success. But, I know that some of you who want to do what is necessary to protect self and family are not able to do as much as you’d like. The reason comes down to one word – Debt.

Just as our country’s debt could plunge us into chaos, personal debt is at the critical stage. When I released my book, THE CREDIT DIET back in 2002, personal debt was just over a trillion dollars. Today that number is $11.4 Trillion or a 10 fold increase. And it’s what you can’t see about debt that really costs.

credit dietThis column would like to share the benefits as well as the methods of eliminating debt without risk. Without disguising what you owe as a single payment stretched over 30 years. What you’ll find here are some easy to follow tips regarding credit, debt, and the elimination of monthly payments from your life.

For example, how long would it take to pay for a set of furniture costing $2,000 if you charged it using a store credit card making just the minimum payments? Some of you would be shocked to learn that it would take over 30 years. Others would shrug it off as the cost of getting what you want. However, let me share what you probably wouldn’t know.

The minimum payment on a charge like that would be about $38. (In all examples we will not be compounding rates, calculating tax consequences, or quoting specific interest charges. We will use worst case or best case examples to share the point. Every situation is different but principles are universal.) Taking that same $38 and investing it in silver, gold or for preppers, coins of real value (silver and gold) could be the difference in being able to trade with others.

If your metal investments earn 8% over 30 years you would earn a total of about $55,000 at $38 a month. If you found a way to earn 10%, just 2% more, you would end up with $85,000. At a rate of 12% your final total would be $132,000. And gold and silver go through the roof at 18% the total after 30 years would be $536,000. Folks, that’s a half a million dollars in the future for a couch you had to have today.

This is what I mean by the hidden cost of credit. It’s not what you see that can hurt you. It’s what you don’t see. Credit has two costs that can alter your future and neither of them is really talked about. You just saw an example of future cost for today’s comfort. You’ll never see these numbers on a financial disclosure of any loan document. They’re important numbers that you need to see and understand before you make a buying decision.

The second one is what I call the net payback. What that term means is that your payments are made in net dollars (earnings after all tax and other deductions). What you need to look at is how many hours you have to work to “net” enough to pay for a particular purchase. (To see if you’re in potential trouble with debt, email dealerresourcegroup@gmail.com and we’ll send you a free debt quiz. 7 simple questions to see if you’re in trouble.) In this case, let’s say your mortgage payment (not including tax and insurance) is $1,000 a month. If we assume that one third of your earnings are deducted for taxes (I know some are higher depending on state and local deductions) you would have to earn $1,500 to make that payment.

Since banks and other sources advertise the effective yield of potential earnings, you should calculate the “effective” interest rate you’re paying. To do that, find out what rate of interest you would be paying if your mortgage payment was at your gross earnings. For example, if $1,000 a month was reflective of a 7% mortgage and you had to earn $1,500 to make that payment, calculate what the rate would be on the same amount borrowed to reflect a $1,500 payment. In this case, the effective rate would be approximately 11.5%.

I’m being extreme to share what you may not have been considering when it comes to borrowing. After learning the hard way about the consequences of debt, I can conclude that all you do when you borrow is travel to your future earnings to pay for your past pleasures. Unfortunately, you can’t relive the past but you will have to live in your future.

John Fuhrman is the best-selling author of “THE CREDIT DIET – HOW TO SHED UNWANTED DEBT AND ACHIEVE FISCAL FITNESS” and is the founder of THE CREDIT DIET WEALTH CENTER. You can also visit John at www.creditdietwealthcenter.com.

The post The Hidden Cost Of Credit appeared first on American Preppers Network.

The Triumph Of Materialism: The Average American Will Spend 830 Dollars On Christmas In 2015

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Christmas Gift - Public Domain

By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse Blog

Has there ever been a major holiday more focused on materialism than the modern American Christmas?  This year, Americans are planning to spend an average of 830 dollars on Christmas gifts, which represents a jump of 110 dollars over the average of 720 dollars last year.  But have our incomes gone up accordingly?  Of course not.  In fact, real median household income in the United States has been experiencing a steady long-term decline.  So in order to fund all of our Christmas spending, we have got to go into even more debt.  We love to pull out our credit cards and spend money that we do not have on lots of cheap, useless stuff made on the other side of the world by workers making slave labor wages.  We do the same thing year after year, and most of us have grown accustomed to the endless cycle of growing debt.  In fact, one Pew survey found that approximately 70 percent of all Americans believe that “debt is a necessity in their lives”.  But then we have to work our fingers to the bone to try to make the payments on all of that debt, not realizing that debt systematically impoverishes us.  It may be hard to believe, but if you have a single dollar in your pocket and no debt, you have a greater net worth than 25 percent of all Americans.  I know that sounds crazy, but it is true.

Overall, when you add up all forms of debt (consumer, business, local government, state government and federal government), Americans are more than 60 trillion dollars in debt.

Let that sink in for a bit.

40 years ago, that number was sitting at about 3 trillion dollars.

We have been on the greatest debt binge in the history of the world.  Even though we were “the wealthiest, most prosperous nation on the entire planet”, we always had to have more.  We just kept on borrowing and borrowing and borrowing from the future until we completely destroyed it.

And we still haven’t learned anything.  Instead, this Christmas season we will be partying like it’s 2007

Americans are planning on celebrating Christmas like it’s 2007.

A November survey by Gallup found that US adults are planning on spending about $830 on average on Christmas gifts this year.

That’s a huge jump from last year’s $720 average.

Notably, American consumers haven’t suggested a number that high since November 2007, when they were planning on spending $866 on average.

Sadly, our incomes simply do not justify this kind of extravagance.  As Zero Hedge has pointed out, household incomes “actually peaked at least 15 years ago in 81% of U.S. counties.”

So why can’t we adjust our lifestyles to match?

Why must we always have more?

Continue reading at The Economic Collapse Blog: The Triumph Of Materialism: The Average American Will Spend 830 Dollars On Christmas In 2015

About the author:

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

Read his new book The Beginning of the End

Filed under: Economy, News/ Current Events

Episode 76 Debt Is Slavery

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Debt is Slavery

Debt is Slavery



Debt is Slavery

This week we tackle the issue of Debt. How debt enslaves you. How freeing it can be to escape from under debt. Mike and I both have become debt free at fairly young ages.

We share some tips on how to get free. How to stay free from debt. Also we talk about some frugal tips.




Deadly DIY Guns Hit Sydney Streets

Bills To Legalize Weed

Slavery Of Debt


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America is fed up with Obama’s lies: American puts boots on ground in Syria as predicted by LMS

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It should come as no shock to our readers that the Third Iraq War President Obama initiated has already faltered.  As predicted, the strategy (or lack thereof see: http://www.blackboxwire.com/2014/10/11/islamic-extremism-and-what-lies-ahead-part-ii-the-war-on-isis-and-syria/) did

…and we’re back…News from Rich and SurvivalRing…

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Hi folks, It’s been a while since my last post, although I’ve been in the backroom of SurvivalRing every day for months, keeping things tuned, tight, backed up, and secure. I’ve thought about posting a lot of things, and often I was poised and ready to add my thoughts to the blog, and at the […]