How Precious Metals Can Help Protect Your Wealth from Hackers

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By Stefan Gleason, Originally Published on Money Metals Exchange Could your wealth be hacked? It’s a threat most investors overlook. But they do so at their own peril. If elections can be hacked, then so can bank and brokerage accounts, as well as any online platforms for digital currencies. More than five months into Donald…

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The W’s of Buying Silver!

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The W’s of Buying Silver! Ray Becker “Renaissance Man” Audio in player below! Ray, also known as Renaissance Man takes some time to discuss buying Silver. When you think of Silver, try not to think of it as money. Silver and Gold are store of value. All we’re doing is converting our fiat Federal Reserve Notes … Continue reading The W’s of Buying Silver!

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Renaissance Man introductory show economy and more!

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Renaissance Man introductory show economy and more! Ray Becker “Renaissance Man” Audio in player below! On this, my first show with Prepper Broadcasting Network, I will start off with a brief introduction about me and some of the information that I will be covering. We will then look over some economic indexes and any key … Continue reading Renaissance Man introductory show economy and more!

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The Survival Entrepreneur!

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The Survival Entrepreneur! Jamea Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! There are lots of people out there making varying degrees of money from the survival niche. Whether its owning a blog, writing a book or even some level of training or consulting there is money to be made. There are even people making … Continue reading The Survival Entrepreneur!

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Are you prepared to be unemployed?

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Are you prepared to be unemployed? Bob Howkins “APN Report” Audio in player below! You prep for disaster, stock up and fortify. Gain the tools & talent to handle catastrophe. But what if, instead of a bad storm, earthquake, tidal wave, forest fire or zombie attack, disaster comes visiting in a totally unexpected form. What … Continue reading Are you prepared to be unemployed?

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Gold, Silver and Diversifying Income

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Gold, Silver and Diversifying Income James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! There was a time when your faithful host was just a scared newbie lost in a sea of articles about the impending economic collapse and the death of the US dollar. I knew my history so the idea of wheelbarrows of … Continue reading Gold, Silver and Diversifying Income

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IRA , 401K, Conspiracy, and Pizza Gate!

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IRA , 401K, Conspiracy, and Pizza Gate. Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Listen in player below! “The Prepping Academy.” This  show for Friday December 2nd, 2016 Forrest and Kyle have guest Ross Powell on the show. Ross operates Survival 401k and will be with us to discuss the condition of the economy. Also how … Continue reading IRA , 401K, Conspiracy, and Pizza Gate!

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Internet Money on I Am Liberty!

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Internet Money! James Walton “I Am Liberty” Listen to this show in player below! Its very rare we take the time to talk about income but lately I have been looking for ways to change that. The motivation behind this is two fold. One is the fact that I am looking to take control of my world … Continue reading Internet Money on I Am Liberty!

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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.

Conclusion

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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7 Tips to be a Great Panhandler

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7 Tips to be a Great Panhandler You never know when you will cause you to need a little money to survive. Whether you need money due to a personal financial crisis, or widespread financial collapse, panhandling could help you scrape together enough money to get by. It is an underrated skill that is often …

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Stack Silver Get Gold Book Review

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Do you invest in gold and silver?

If not, are you thinking about it?

Then you need to read Stack Silver Get Gold: How To Buy Gold And Silver Bullion Without Getting Ripped Off! By Hunter Riley III.

This short, easy to read and understand book about precious metals investing can be read and absorbed […]

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Making money and rural living!

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Making money and rural living
DJ Cooper “Surviving Dystopia

Making money and rural living HOMESTEADI hear it over and over. Always the same problem and the one big problem many homesteaders struggle to overcome. In a rural setting often times jobs can be scarce. How can you make money to pay for things like taxes and incidentals?

3-2-16 diggingThis is likely the number one issue faced by the self-sufficient aficionado and sometimes it is also the most difficult to navigate because it seems like the options are so limited. Does it seem like no matter what you do the options are so limited that you wonder if you will even make it? Have you tried things like sales or a farm stand and wonder why you end up spending more than you make?

Making money and rural livingThis episode on Surviving Dystopia we explore some of the usual avenues for home based earning but also some unconventional ideas and options as well. There are the usual working options also, like commuting, which is at the least time consuming and can be expensive. How about some kind of transportation that keeps you from home for sometimes weeks at a time? Do these both seem kind of pointless as your goal seems to conflict with the excessive away time these offer? So what is there to do?

I would love to explore a number of options that require only internet. Others that you can use your creative nature and still more, that just require brute strength or simply some good ole’ fashioned ingenuity.

I want to share with you some ins and outs of a few of the options out there. The number one thing you need is desire. A desire to find a way to make your dreams work for you. After that some just run on sheer determination.
Surviving Dystopia Blog:www.survivingdystopia.com
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Why Sound Financial Planning?

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Why  Sound Financial Planning?

Financial PlanningThe number one lesson we have been taught by the economic crisis of 2008, is to be very careful with where we invest or what we do with our cash. It has likewise taught us that in times of uncertainty, consulting your counselor could be the best step to take. The economic collapse in 2008 likewise opened open doors for master financial planners and beginners who are looking for individuals and organizations to multiply their assets.

On the off chance that you are wondering why you or your business needs financial planning, here are some of the major advantages.

Minimizes Risks

Financial planning empowers organizations or people to assign the appropriate amount to the right area that needs change or more investment in a convenient way. This minimizes risks and wrong investment. Productive financial planning would then in the long run lead to better income and effective cost administration.

Enables You To Make Effective Decisions

Financial planning exhibits the expenses and revenues of an organization or individual in numbers, giving them a clearer perspective of what they will be putting resources into. This makes it easier for business leaders to go and stop an agreement or undertaking.

You Can Forecast Profits And Losses

A financial plan is made on a yearly basis. This financial conjecture clarifies how much expense and revenue the business or individual ought to anticipate and when to expect it. This not just shows to what extent the wait will be, additionally it also forecasts the amount of profit that can be expected. Each month, a financial plan is likewise made to contrast with the yearly plan and check whether the objective is being met, surpassed or something else. This cautions the entrepreneur or individual of potential outcomes and postured dangers in the speculation, and on the off chance that it’s an ideal opportunity to give up or not. In spite of the fact that it is not generally right, as there are such a variety of things that could influence the business’ financial status, financial planning and administration makes it simpler to see what is and what can be.

While a few individuals or entrepreneurs wouldn’t want or need a financial planner as they can do this all alone, there are some who might require a planner’s help to get the heap off their backs. In any case, when searching for a financial arranging organization to handle this task, here are the things you need to consider.

License

Locate an authorized or certified financial planner, which signifies their capacities and validity. Don’t simply bounce on the first firm that comes your way in an edgy move to discover one.

Pay structure

There are two noteworthy pay structures your planner might be using: expense based and commission-based. Nothing of the two is superior to the next; it is truly up to the organization or individual what he/she inclines toward. There are likewise planners who, similar to free-lancers, can be paid by the hour or when you just need them.

Advice Over Promises

Search for financial planners who can give you sound guidance about your endeavors and the issues it faces. Planners who over-guarantee productivity and profitability might just disappoint as a considerable measure of things can happen in the financial world that can influence its execution at whatever time.

Personal financial planning can help you in several ways. If you make a monthly budget and adhere to it strictly, you will know what exactly you’re spending where. This will give you greater decision making power, in turn helping you cut down unnecessary costs. If you’re one of those drowning in student loan repayments and credit card payments, you definitely need to try financial planning and budgeting.

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How To Get Your Own Free Silver Coins

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Did you know that you can get silver for free?

Well, not exactly free. It will cost you the face value of the coin.

While it does sound amazing, you can still find silver coins in general circulation. There could even be some silver in your pocket change right now.

Silver coins were minted in […]

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Zombie Apocalypse. Are You Financially Prepared?

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Zombie Apocalypse. Are You Financially Prepared?

The Importance of Cash

Cash, or the standard physical medium of exchange issued by our government, is used to convey a certain amount of value, or purchasing power, enabling you to purchase goods and services. But we live in a time when the need of having and holding currency in the physical form is diminishing due to the more prevalent use of debit cards and new smart banking apps. The checkout line seems to stop these days when someone pulls out dollar bills because now that unfortunate cashier has to go through the process of making change. If this trend of going digital continues, would you be prepared if an economic, biological, or natural disaster impacted your ability to purchase items needed in a crisis? Will your digital assets be available if there is no electricity? Previously, I wrote on the importance of accumulating good capital when taking the necessary steps to survive a zombie apocalypse. In it I discussed the importance of possessing physical currency in a post-apocalyptic world. This includes how much cash we should accumulate and where we should keep it. These are important questions that every prepper needs to consider.

First, I will give the standard financial planning answer when considering emergency funds with or without a zombie apocalypse. It is highly recommended that each household should maintain at least three to six months’ worth of total monthly liabilities in liquid assets. In other words, total what you must have in order to pay all your monthly bills, and make a plan to accumulate three to six times that amount. Liquid assets means having your cash in a form that you can get access to quickly and easily.  This is just wise advice no matter what you think the future may hold. My recommendation is to put one third of your liquidity needs in short term CD’s/savings, one third in a checking account, and I recommend you put the last third in actual cash, in the form of bills and coins, locked in a safe or a secure hiding place in or around your home.

Why Holding Physical Cash Is Important

If there is ever a catastrophe that somehow launches us into a zombie apocalypse, having immediate access to at least some of our cash could be the difference between life and death. There is a reasonable likelihood that in the initial throes of a crisis electrical power generation could be sporadic. As a result, access to bank accounts or the use of credit cards most likely would be limited. Or, if a global pandemic has us all quarantined, where will the bank tellers be? Quarantined in their homes. In that moment when things go from bad to frantic confusion, having real dollars in hand might be the difference between getting a full tank of gas and getting to your bug out spot, or finding yourself standing there with an unusable credit card. If a customer can show the person at the gas station the greenbacks, there is a much higher probability that somebody will find the means of getting that petrol out of the tanks and into his car. I’ve been there. I’ve walked into a grocery store when the power was off with everyone just standing around not knowing what to do. Having cash in hand during an emergency provides the power to grab a manager and say, “Here is real money. Can I buy this?” With just a debit card the answer would undoubtedly be no!

Having physical cash in your hand grants you immediate purchasing power. During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, currency, along with its purchasing power, deflated due to numerous bank failures. These failures made cash under the mattress a very real concept to many of our parents or grandparents. In a digital world, an EMP burst could just as easily wipe out our bank balances, for a while anyway, but it cannot erase those coins under our beds.

A Simple Way to Start Saving Cash

Currency, in the more durable form of coinage, has been around for thousands of years. I actually purchased, for less than twenty-five dollars what would have monetarily been the equivalent of a Roman penny from the second century C.E. that still looks somewhat close to the way it looked the day it was minted. Since this Roman penny has survived almost 1,800 years, coins in particular seem to be durable vehicles to store and save your emergency cash.

Here is an easy idea to start our cash savings. Use a coin jar, what we all typically use to drop loose change into at the end of each day. When it’s full, don’t just go to a coin machine to exchange the coins into bills. These coins should continue to be accumulated until we find ourselves with a nice hefty collection of coins. Over several months fifty to a hundred dollars in loose change can be painlessly accumulated with little to no effort at all.

Why Would Having Coins Be Useful

As I said in my prior article, it’s my belief that a post-apocalyptic world would not be inflationary, but highly deflationary as the apocalyptic crisis causes the population to decline rapidly, eviscerating debt based assets due to defaults. A rapid die off means fewer people left to pay taxes, debts, and mortgages. When you can’t pay your debts, the underlying loan becomes bankrupt, or worthless. The result would be that the monetary value of that loan is lost and literally disappears from the money supply. That is deflation, a rapid decline in the money supply. So, if you think our collective ability to repay the trillions of dollars of government debt is at jeopardy, investing in treasuries or anything the government guarantees, even with Bank FDIC protection, is not a logical long term investment strategy.

This kind of dramatic deflation can be hard to grasp. It is the opposite of the slowly growing inflation to which we have all grown accustomed. As a child, I can remember going to the store with fifty cents in my pocket and being able to purchase what seemed like mountains of candy. Today, it would be rather difficult to even buy a single candy bar for fifty cents. This is what inflation has done over the last fifty years as we have watched the slow decline in the purchasing power of our currency. On the US Government web site of The Bureau of Labor Statistics there is an interesting calculator.  It shows that one dollar in 1965 had the same purchasing power as $7.55 does today. Looking back retroactively, this means that the candy bar that cost $1.00 today would have only cost 13 cents then. If we continue to experience inflation, along with our currencies correlative decline in purchasing power, it would be a total waste of time to save coins because those coins would buy less each year.

But, as in all things, we must remember not to overdo it. Having thousands of dollars in loose change in jars hidden under the bed may do nothing for us at all right now. Because of the effects of inflation, currency of all kinds is a wasting asset that will continue to depreciate. For this reason, I believe the prudent thing is to limit this emergency cash fund to one third of our three to six-month liquidity needs.

As an investment professional, my advice is to not only be prepared to survive a zombie apocalypse but to thrive financially after it is over. I believe, in financially difficult times, cash is king, and having available cash will be extremely important in surviving the beginning of a crisis. I also believe having cash even to the extent of accumulating loose change, just might provide some easily transferable capital allowing us to thrive after the crisis is over. Finally, the win-win here is we win from the benefit of having little to no debt and a nice emergency fund, so no matter what happens we will be prepared to face the normal challenges of life, or we win if we financially survive a zombie apocalypse.

Either way, you are prepared.

 

If you would like to follow Tom’s daily investment thought and links to interesting articles, Like his Facebook page Private Asset Management LLC.

 

This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license.  All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.

The post Zombie Apocalypse. Are You Financially Prepared? appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Managing Your Budget During Preparation

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Managing Your Budget During Preparation

Preparing for disasters of any kind can be expensive, especially on a budget. Getting food, fuel, medication, and other needs stockpiled in a safe, durable location requires a major investment. Philosophically, we know it’s worth it, but in practice, we still have to make the dollars and cents work out in a sustainable way.

The best way to save money is not to waste it. The very real urgency of threats can cause us to rush through the planning and execution of our preparation. But the things you do to prepare are the most important things you’ll ever do to provide for your family, because the whole goal is to be ready in case the world’s economic and transportation systems fail. You must be able to survive independently.

So how do we invest wisely? We must do things correctly and not get in a hurry. Think about the provision of power. If you have solar panels, is all the electrical work properly connected? Do you have spares for expendable things like fuses and light bulbs? Study your backup generators and other power sources. Make sure you have the knowledge, tools, and supplies to make repairs yourself.

What about construction projects? Do you have good drainage, proper footings, and well-built projects? Can you get by without outside contractors? Think of the full spectrum of disasters that may come, and consider how you rely on others to respond. If you have 24 inches of snow, you’ll need to be able to clear it yourself. If heavy rains bring mudslides or flooding, you’ll have to be self-sufficient. Investing in a Bobcat skid steer at Fastline will position you to handle these critical needs without waiting on someone else, and in the meantime, you can put it to work in your everyday activities.

So apart from the actual construction of storm shelters, bunkers, and so forth, how do you keep yourself financially afloat until disaster strikes if you’re on a budget? After all, it’s one thing to max out the credit cards and mortgage the farm if you know the financial system will collapse in six weeks. It’s another thing entirely to know that it will happen but not know when. It does you no good to have your house ready for an economic collapse if you are foreclosed on before it happens.

Keeping expenses in check without shorting yourself and your family largely centers on controlling the costs of expendables in your preparation activities.

Preparation stockpiles involve a number of non-perishable items, but others do have a shelf life. We know to try to keep plenty of medication on hand for ordinary aches and pains, stomach issues, and so forth. But over-the-counter drugs like these can’t be kept indefinitely. They should be replaced well ahead of their expiration. Simply rotate stock; keep your older medicine in the house for daily use, and place new purchases in your stockpile.

Gasoline is another example. While the goal is to reduce reliance on outside petroleum, there will nevertheless be a need for you to have at least some fuel on hand. And despite the fact that oil products were in the ground for millions of years without being hurt, they are still perishable and should be rotated periodically. That includes not just stockpiled fuel but also any that is already in the tanks of vehicles or equipment.

If you have gas-powered motors that haven’t been used in a while, start it and let it run for a while. It will help clean the engine and give you the chance to check on its function. Then drain the remaining fuel for use elsewhere, and put fresh gas back in the tank.

It can be a big waste of money to let these expensive items expire, but even more problematic is that you will be without them when you need them.

Being ready for disasters and other crises includes flashy things like weapons training and first aid. But the mundane things can be just as important. Make sure you manage your budget correctly.

 

 

This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license.  All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.

The post Managing Your Budget During Preparation appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Co-ops and buying clubs!

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Co-ops and buying clubs
D.J. Cooper “Surviving Dystopia

Co-ops and buying clubsLast week we talked about pinching pennies and ways to save with projects aimed at reducing the costs of some of the things we need.  Another way to save money and make those pennies last is to buy in bulk, Co-ops and buying clubs.  If in the long run you can reduce the expenses of your household wouldn’t this be something you would choose to do?

Co-ops and buying clubsBuying items in bulk can be a fantastic way to save a few pennies but we also need to remember these things must be stored.  When buying in bulk a few things need some special care, for example; Perishible items.  Taking care to establish safe methods of storage for such items is critical, so you can be sure you are saving those extra pennies.

There are a few ways to purchase in bulk:

  • Co-ops and buying clubs products-bulk-buyingThere are ways such as buying clubs;  The big box bulk buying clubs like Sams or Costco.  One thing with these is you must pay a membership fee and be aware that the prices may or may not be less.  Another kind of buying club might be a social group buying in large quanitities together and splitting up into shares.  You can create your own buying club easily with friends and family.
  • There is what is known as as CSA or “Community Supported Agriculture”,with this you deal directly with the grower. Often times being a local farmer a definition of such might be; According to one I found called the “Barking Cat Farm” they discribe it as: “In essence, it is a mutually beneficial arrangement, where in exchange for your commitment to buy a share in our farm’s harvest, we commit to grow exceptionally high quality vegetables and herbs, and deliver a bountiful portion of it to you every week of the subscription term. Become a member of our CSA program and every week throughout the subscription term you will receive a share of fresh, naturally grown, in-season produce and herbs.” barkingcatfarm.com
  • The Co-Op is another, this I am sometimes confused with as it can seem like a buying club, except when you buy your membership like a big box chain you kind of own into it… it also differes from smaller buysing clubs because often times they are simply buying wholesale and there is little connection to the place where the product originated.

This week I would like to explore some opportunities and ways we can make these things work for us and ways we can store all these extra goodies.

Next Week: Join me and my Guest,  Russ Michaud from Homespun Environmental … Lets talk Water.
Surviving Dystopia Get The Book HERE!
Blog:www.survivingdystopia.com

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52 Weeks Savings Plan: November is full of deals

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52 weeks savingsIf you are a bargain shopper, then November is probably your favorite month. The month begins and ends with holiday deals and it features a weekend dedicated to sales – Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday.

November’s main holiday is Thanksgiving (Nov. 26), but also features Election Day (3), Veterans Day (11), Children’s Day (20) and the start of advent (Nov. 29).

Take some time at the beginning of this month to set aside a holiday gift plan and budget. Then, if you see some deals on gifts you want to buy, you can save money.

Grocery and food deals

At the beginning of November, you can stock up on candy for the entire year for cheap as Halloween items go on sale. As stores stock up for the Thanksgiving holidays, you should be able to find deals on turkey, baking supplies (sugar, flour, baker’s chocolate, chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk), pie crusts and ready-made dough, frozen pies, marshmallows, nuts, cheese, butter and turkey. You can also find deals on gravy, stuffing, potato and cranberry mixes .There will be deals both before and after the holiday on these items, so think about stocking up for your Christmas and New Year’s festivities when you find these items on sale. Spices, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal and soup are also November food deals and these items are great for stocking up on for food storage.

In November, produce in season are: apples, artichokes, arugula, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, clementines, cranberries, garlic, kale, lettuce, onions, pears, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, squash, sweet potatoes, turnips. Many of these items can be frozen, canned or dehydrated. For the Survival Mom’s tips on long-term food storage here are instructions for doing that.

Thrive Life’s Black Friday Sale

One event that thousands of people look forward to ever  year are the huge savings that Thrive Life offers during their famous Black Friday sale. I’ve seen a preview of their biggest discounts and you won’t want to miss it!

Get to know Thrive Life at this link.

And, if you want to receive an alert and sales flyer with information about this event, just email your request to thrivelife@thesurvivalmom.com, and you won’t miss a thing!

Household items

To go along with the holiday cooking sales, items like aluminum foil, plastic wrap and disposable baking pans and liners should be on sale. Cookware also goes on sale in November. These can be a great item to stock up on for presents.

Halloween costumes, decoration, paper goods and baking sets will be on sale the first few days of the month. Costumes make for great presents for children who like to dress up. Some Halloween items can be used very creatively – read more here. Holiday gift sets and candles are some other gift ideas you can find deals on this month.

You’ll start seeing deals on baby products and toys in November, along with leftover summer shoes and wedding gear. Tools, carpeting and flooring will see discounts as people think about indoor home improvement projects.

Large appliances and kitchen items will be on sale since cooking is a big theme for the upcoming holidays and the stores are hoping to draw you in with sales on those items.

For electronics, camcorders, GPS navigation systems, TVs, DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs are on sale. Camcorders can be great for providing an inventory of your home’s items for insurance purposes (make sure the time/date stamp is correct). DVDs and Blu-Rays can make for great presents if you find great deals.

Outdoor items on sale

November can be a great time to plant trees in some locations and you can find trees, shrubs and bulbs on sale, along with some gardening gear if stores have any left. Outdoor furniture can be on deep discount, too.

Gas and charcoal grills are on sale and are a great way to cook if you lose power. Make sure to keep a propane tank full or have charcoal on hand if you do plan to use that in an emergency situation.

You can find discounts on bicycles, and they are a great way to bug out if your vehicle or the roads are disabled. They are on sale this month. See if you can find bike trailers to help hold supplies to take with you.

Black Friday Deals and Tips

You can’t talk about November without talking about Black Friday. Look for many gift items being marked down the weekend of Black Friday. Some of the main items that you will see every year are video games, movies, TVs, gift sets, clothing, winter gear and kitchen appliances. Stores will often have items that are on a deep discount for certain hours of the day.

It is not smart to go out shopping on Black Friday without a plan. If you do plan to go out, check the ads out online or in the newspaper on Thanksgiving, compare the ads with things you already know you want to buy and make a list of where you want to go. Set a budget and a time constraint. Try not to buy something you don’t need just because it’s a great deal.

Black Friday deals can be great for preparedness supplies on top of household items and gifts. If you take the time to take stock of what you have on hand and what you still need to be prepared for emergencies, you can add those items to your list of things to look for on sale.

If you don’t feel like going out on Black Friday, there is also Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday where you can support local business or shop from home in your pajamas and still find great deals.

November outings

Travel is only going to get more expensive as each day passes now. At some point, if you want to travel over the holidays, you may decide a road trip is more feasible for your budget. Here are 13 Tips to Survive Family Road Trips  and things to think about if you were to get stuck in your car for a while. One big way to save money on a road trip is to pack your own food and stock back up at grocery stores instead of eating at restaurants.

Weddings get cheaper in the fall and winter as most people try to have spring and summer weddings. We personally got a great deal for our honeymoon stay at a 5-star resort because it was a few days before Christmas and it was their slow season.

Fourth graders and their families can benefit from a free pass to any National Park by visiting www.everykidinapark.gov. The pass is good until Aug. 31, 2016.

November events

November is Child Safety Month, National Adoption Awareness Month, National Novel Writing Month and Peanut Butter Lovers Month.

Some stores and restaurants like to participate in specific special days, so keep an eye out for deals on the following days:

Nov. 2 – Deviled Egg Day

Nov. 3 – Sandwich Day

Nov. 7 – Book Lovers Day

Nov. 15 – America Recycles Day

Nov. 17 – Homemade Bread Day

Nov. 19 – Great American Smokeout

Nov. 25 – National Parfait Day

Winter tips

This is also the time of year when food and toy drives kick off. There are many people in need around us. If you find a good deal, it can be a good idea to pass it along to someone who needs it more.

As we move into winter, it’s a good time to do a walk around of your house and look for any repairs that need to be done before it gets too cold. Check on insulation, heating fuel for winter and a furnace tune-up. Consider hanging up hooks for Christmas decorations and Christmas lights (you don’t have to turn them on yet) before the temperatures get bitter cold. There are two months left to make deposits in retirement accounts, decide how to spend health savings account money and make donations for a tax write-off.

 

By the end of November, you should have $1,128 saved if you’re following the 52 Weeks Savings Plan (47 weeks). Don’t get discouraged if you’re not there yet. Putting away anything you have extra is an accomplishment in itself. Compare what you have now to what you have when you got started and be proud! Keep focusing every day on the things you can do and enjoy while keeping your long-term goal in sight.

Take advantage of November’s deals and enjoy summer. Come back next month to see what deals December offers to help you save AND prepare!

Penny Pinching Projects!

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Penny Pinching Projects for Preppers…
D.J. Cooper “Surviving Dystopia

Penny Pinching Projects for Preppers Hold PennyWell now isn’t that a tongue twister? But seriously, a great topic I think. After last week’s chat about others around us not agreeing with why we prep. It seems only fitting that we discuss some things to help us prep without breaking the bank.

There are many ways that we can increase productivity or create our own products, gadgets and doodads that will assist us in being prepared. After all, there was once a time when our grandparents did everything this way. They milked the cow then churned butter by hand with a churn they built themselves or pressed the curds into cheese on a press they built.

Penny Pinching Projects for Preppers windmillI have found a few things that I really liked from hidden storage ideas to a homemade windmill generator. Thinking about this not only can you save money on your preps by means of DIY and ingenuity but also save money on everyday things and bring that scoffer into the fold by showing them just how much it can help.

10-28-2015 doodadThere are so many things and ways that we can do things to not only aleviate the cost of preparing but also help with costs for everyday items. An example of this might be soaps (especially laundry soap), go to the grocery store and check out the price of some laundry soap… Some soap can be upwards of twenty bucks!!! When you can make laundry soap that not only costs a fraction of that for more product but it works better at cleaning the laundry! You are now the hero for saving the family roughly sixty bucks per month!!

Stop in at prepperbroadcasting.com and join us in the chat to discuss your penny pinching ideas. Call in and be part of the show!
Up Next week: What about co-op or buying clubs?
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Surviving a Government Debt Crisis

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Introduction / The Greeks – Summer of 2015

The Greek government has been teetering on the brink for a while now, and we’ll find out within the next few days what direction the country is going to head — slash spending and take more bailout money or drive themselves further down the path of economic ruin.

First up, Greece is only a very small part of the world’s economy (44th highest GDP), and investors have had a long period of advanced warning to pull money out or otherwise game plan for a government collapse. At this point, the risk of a Greek government default and subsequent troubles has been largely priced into the market. Thus, there is little risk of a Greek default triggering economic meltdowns across the world. Some bad days on the market, yes, but nothing apocalyptic.
It is, though, instructive to watch how events have led up to the current situation and watch how they will unfold in the next few weeks. Government defaults follow similar progression and if you know the signs and eventual progression, you can prepare for them that much better.
Also keep in mind though that the U.S. government is a very different beast from the average mid-sized country. U.S. government debt is considered to be the gold standard for investment, so much so that it the rate of return (interest rate) on its debt is often referred to as the “risk free rate.” Thus, in worldwide economic crisis, there is often a flight to purchase more and more U.S. debt (a flight to so-called quality) — investors dumping riskier investments (stocks) and rolling their cash into something lower risk.
The Progression of Government Financial Crisis
At their simplest, you can think of a government budget similarly to your personal or household budget. They’ve got money coming in (taxes, mostly) and money going out (paying for the bureaucracy itself, retirement, military, etc.). The vast majority of governments spend more than they take in, which results in a shortfall. When you spend more than you’ve got in your budget, you likely charge it to a credit card or might take out a loan to cover the excess costs. Governments do the exact same thing — they take out loans; sometimes big, sometimes small.
Because governments are fairly stable things (similar to a person with a good credit rating), there are usually plenty of investors willing to provide those loans.
But, like an individual, if a government chronically spends too much and takes on too much debt, they can run into troubles. The way to resolve those troubles is by cutting spending, raising more money, or both.
That is basically the situation that Greece finds itself in–they’ve been spending more than they can afford for a long time and don’t want to cut government spending. The economy has been struggling, which decreases tax revenue, which further puts the squeeze on the country’s finances.
So–that’s the first stage of progression; the government has budgeting/financial issues and unsustainable levels of debt.
That situation will worsen. The government will call on allies for some extra money to help pay bills or weather the tough times–similar to how you might call your rich uncle or parents if you needed money in a bad way. Creditors start to worry about the government meeting its debt payments, and either start to demand a higher rate of return or stop given them loans at all.
As the government teeters on the brink, it will begin to take measures to avoid default and/or stabilize the economy. Those often include:
  • Currency controls – limiting withdrawals and wire transfers, especially out of the country
  • Limitations on banking, including forced closure of branches
  • Intentionally inflating and revaluing currency
  • Raising tax rates in an attempt to bring in more revenue
  • Furloughing or laying off government employees
  • Stopping payouts for programs like welfare, food aid and retirement
  • Seizing assets allocated to retirement (i.e. social security)
  • Closing government departments/offices
  • Otherwise slashing spending
And the above often leads to:
  • Flight of business, investors, and wealthy or educated citizens to more stable countries
  • Currency dumping — people do whatever they can to get out of a collapsing currency; buy tangibles, foreign currency, etc. 
  • Supply chain chaos
  • Civil unrest / rioting
  • Sky rocketing crime rates
  • Government change or collapse
  • Economic collapse and widescale unemployment
  • Civil war (less frequent)
How to Prepare
The above bullet points provide an idea of the impacts of a government economic meltdown, and understanding these risks can help you develop a sound game plan for mitigating them.
Financial
A big step that I advocate is assembling a diversified financial safety net, which I wrote about back in 2013 — see Part 1 and Part 2
That safety net should include cash for short term use–about 1 month worth of expenses is a good goal. Last week, Greece restricted ATM withdrawals to the equivalent of $66 USD per day. Folks were lined up for hours to get access to an ATM.
Yes, the cash might quickly become fairly worthless, but that’s why you use it in the earlier days of the crisis.
The safety net should also include some tangibles that will retain or increase in value in the event of a currency collapse. Precious metals are the go to here, due to their portability and liquidity (easy to convert into cash). There are other options, of course, from Rolexes to guns and ammo.
The above will help you weather the financial troubles better than the average person, and allow you to take advantage of opportunities that may present themselves.

Don’t talk about your safety net or flash your cash. Stash it somewhere safe, out of sight and readily accessible.

Food and Fuels
Food storage is another safety net to have in place, along with back ups to other day to day necessities (toilet paper). Trading a wheelbarrow full of cash for a loaf of bread sucks.
Supply chain crunches may make it tough to get a hold of specific foods, or any decent food at all, though widespread/long term starvation is not usually a result of a government collapse. Lots of shortages, though.
Similarly, medications, fuels and utilities could also see disruptions or big price increases. Backups here would also be helpful.
Crime and Civil Unrest
Rampant crime, civil unrest or worse, civil war, are the big concerns in my book. Scraping by with barebones food, bad utilities and no money are inconvenient, but they’re survivable and how much of the world lives. Having a mob of angry people burning down half your city can get quite fatal, quite fast.
Widespread rioting is quite common during economic troubles — lots of people very mad at the government and for good reason. Combine that with short staffed and underpaid police forces, sky high unemployment rates and desperation to spare and you’ve got a bad combo for public safety.
The knee jerk reaction is to round of the neighborhood watch and start passing out ARs and 12 gauges. The best approach is to not be there in the first place. Get out of dodge before the troubles start.
Your destination doesn’t need to be some uber-survival compound deep in the boonies, though that’d be nice. It just needs to be somewhere safer than your present location.

That could be a smaller town, another part of the country or another country all together. Today, the resort towns in Mexico are a lot safer than Juarez, and a small town in Nebraska is probably even safer still.

Having a financial safety net helps facilitate that move, if needed.

If flight isn’t an option, that’s when peace through superior firepower comes into play. Apocalyptic fiction is rife with tales of mobs of cannibals overrunning suburbia, but the fact is that much of American suburbia is armed to the teeth, and most people are pretty decent and want law and order. If fragmented citizen militias can help bring a measure order to places like Afghanistan, I’d wager we’d do a lot better here in the good ol’ US of A…if it came to that.
Further Reading
For more homework, there are books and historical examples a plenty out there. FerFAL’s The Modern Survivalist: Surviving an Economic Collapse is a well-rated, first hand account of surviving the Argentine economic collapse. FerFAL’s “modern survival” take on this is reasonable, and well grounded. His follow-up Bugging Out and Relocating focuses on the ‘flight to safety’ strategy, whether short or long term.