Saturday, January 11, 2020

The NEW Financial Tips for Preppers and Survivalists

By Timothy Gamble

Dystopia is rising, and we need to prepare ourselves and our families to survive it. There will be no quick collapse followed by a quick reset (a survivalist fantasy). Instead, expect decades, generations, of growing government and shrinking middle class. Expect a continuing loss of personal liberties, economic freedoms, and privacy rights. Expect an over growing underclass living wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives with little hope of Earthly relief.

Sounds grim. But there is hope if we realize what we are facing, and we prepare ourselves and our families accordingly. One important area to prepare is our personal and family economics. Here is my list of financial tips for success for preppers and survivalists in the emerging dystopian future. Some of these tips may be controversial.*
  • Avoid personal debt at all costs. Except for perhaps a home mortgage, debt is never a good idea. Especially consumer debt like credit cards, car loans, student loans, and payday loans. The saying that debt makes the debtor slave to the lender is very true. Don't do it, even if it means doing without. If you already have a debt problem, see my two debt busting ideas near the bottom of this article.
  • Do not go into debt to buy your prepper supplies and gear.  Some folks seem to have the idea that they can go into debt now, and not have to pay off that debt after a collapse. What if the collapse doesn't happen as soon as you expect? A complete political and economic collapse that would wipe out all debt  might be many years away, if it happens at all.
  • Spend less than you make, and make savings a regular part of your life. This will mean making some personal sacrifices.
  • Have a well-funded emergency account in a safe, well-established credit union or small bank. How much? You'll have to decide that for yourself based on your own circumstances and concerns. However, Dave Ramsey suggests that even folks who are trying hard to pay off their debt put aside at least $1,000 in a beginner emergency fund as their very first step. You can, and should, then work up from there.  
  • Reduce your home energy use. The progressives are dead set on fighting "climate change" by raising energy taxes, taxing carbon emissions, banning coal, and other measures that will dramatically raise energy costs and disproportionately hurt the poor and middle class (the wealthy elites will always be able to afford their energy). Check out my article Prepare for an Unreliable Power Grid and Higher Energy Prices for how I reduced my home's energy use by about 60% on a month-by-month basis compared to the same month of the previous year. This means electricity costs could double, and I will still be paying less each month then I was paying before I took the steps outlined in that article.
  • Learn to be entertained without having to spend a lot of money.
  • Avoid participating in fads and joining in fashionable trends.
  • Avoid impulse purchases.
  • Be cautious about investing in the stock market. If you do so, be a value investor, and only invest in well-established companies for the long-term. Short-term investing is called speculation, and is akin to gambling. Both speculators and gamblers are convinced that they can beat the system that is rigged against them. They can't, not over the long-run. 
  • Do invest in precious metals. Within reason, of course. Never put all your eggs in one basket, even if those eggs are golden. Also, I am talking about physical gold and silver, not paper certificates saying you own x-amount of gold or silver. Those certificates will likely be unenforceable and worthless in and after a collapse. See my article Prepper's Guide to Junk Silver.
  • Avoid financial gimmicks and get-rich-quick schemes.
  • Avoid Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.  I know Bitcoin is very popular with many because they see it as a non-government controlled currency. But governments can and are starting to regulate cryptocurrencies. These regulations will only increase dramatically in the future. Governments also have the power to ban financial transactions that use Bitcoin or any other currency they don't like or can't control. Never underestimate the government's desire to control everything. Second, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have proved vulnerable to hacking and other forms of fraud & manipulation, resulting in wild swings in valuation. Third, Bitcoin is not backed by physical assets. It can fall permanently to zero in value. Finally, in a grid-down scenario (such as a CME or EMP event), the use of Bitcoin will be problematic at best - the Average Joe or Jane will not be able to trade or use Bitcoin, even if it is still trading in a remote area of the world unaffected by the event.
  • Learn accounting to really understand the language of business.
  • Learn some basic economics. I highly recommend Richard J. Maybury's book Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?
  • A homestead and productive land is a great investment. It doesn't have to be in a remote location far away from civilization. My personal preference is on the outskirts of a small town in a rural part of the country, in a red state, away from mega-cities.
  • Insurance is a good thing. Have enough, and make sure your insurance company is sound. There are a variety of rating services that you can check with to discover the financial soundness of insurance companies, banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. Also, pay attention to the news and to the financial reports of your institutions. Again, learning accounting will help.
  • Get and stay employable. You may have to change jobs, even industries, several times in the coming years as dystopia unfolds. Don't wait around until you get fired to prepare for that fact. Be proactive. See my articles Fifteen Commandments for Keeping Your Job and What To Do BEFORE Losing Your Job for some ideas.
  • College is no longer a good idea for many people. "If you want to get ahead in life, you have to go to college" is old advice that is no longer valid in many cases. Its simply is not worth going into tens of thousands of dollars of debt to get a degree in gender studies or 18th century French poetry. Education is a good thing. Massive debt is not. Besides, colleges and universities are cesspools of political correctness, anti-capitalism, and anti-Americanism. Instead, consider vocational training at a local community college (much more affordable and useful) while working a real job. If you do have your heart set on a career requiring a college degree, make sure it is a good-paying career (accountant, doctor, lawyer, veterinarian, etc.) and get your degree as cheaply as possible without going into debt. This probably means going to a local community college to get the general curriculum courses, then transferring to a relatively affordable state university to finish your major. It may even mean taking some time of from your studies to work a real and save money to pay for your studies.
Debt Busting Idea #1 - Making payments on your vehicle? Sell it and buy a more affordable vehicle with cash. Downsizing your vehicle to get out from under the loan is an idea Dave Ramsey often suggests to his listeners. If you can't get enough for your vehicle to pay off the entire loan, you will need to raise some extra cash using other ideas from this article.

Debt Busting Idea #2 - If you own any "adult toys" such as ATVs, boats, sports cars, RVs, pool tables, dune buggies, hot tubs, motorcycles, or other big ticket items that you use only for recreation and entertainment, consider selling them and dedicating the proceeds to debt repayment. Same goes for any home gyms and exercise equipment that you don't really use. Depending on what you have to sell, you may be able to raise anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. That's a lot of debt you can pay off.

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http://amzn.to/2GjTpe5Prepper's Financial Guide - Strategies to Invest, Stockpile and Build Security for Today and the Post-Collapse Marketplace, by Jim Cobb. You’re prepared for hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, but are you ready for the inevitable man-made disasters to come? This book teaches you the other half of disaster planning―how to survive the economic turmoil that hits regions and nations after the storm has passed.


http://amzn.to/2GoOA35Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? by Richard J. Maybury. Short (about 190 pages), easy-to-read (aimed at high school level), and NOT boring (written as a series of letters from an uncle to his nephew), this is the perfect book for someone wanting to learn about real economics, but finds most economic books intimidating or boring. A great place to start your economics education.
  


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*Full disclosure: Although I do have a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting, I am not currently employed as a financial professional, nor am I involved in selling financial instruments of any sort. The tips presented in this article are not meant as professional advice, but are intended as "food for thought" from a long-time prepper and survivalist. I don't expect everyone to agree with every tip, and in fact expect several of these tips to be "controversial." Please carefully consider each tip and its applicability to your own particular circumstances and concerns. 
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