Today we present another article in our non-fiction writing contest – By S from WI
In preparation for making this post I reread Mr. Creekmore’s book, “Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat-One Man’s Solution,” Paladin Press, 2011. It was my 3rd reading/my husband bought the book when it came out in 2011. Next I read the previous entries on the topic, and they were all worth reading.
I have been a life long saver. My first job was as a counter waitress, (high school-summers)…I spent the tips, but saved the paychecks. I got a small allowance for school expenses and amortized the tips as a supplement over the school year, still not cashing the pay checks.
The second year the all checks went into a bank savings account. Good start, but I had to learn other lessons the hard way. But learn I did. Financial “sacrifice” is not a painful thing at all. In fact, prioritizing spending, and living below one’s means is just fabulous. It is a way to free oneself from debt, and save for the things you need, and want.
I must at least mention now that we are living in an “up-side-down” world. Nothing is “normal.” The topics of financial collapse, impending (and actual) war-wars, treason of politicians, corporate malfeasance, civil unrest, gov. spying….(etc. ad nauseam) are common and ubiquitous. These are all so miserable to contemplate that it is no wonder some people are in denial, or refuse to “wake up.” Will these problems go away? Not too likely.
They will get worse. Exactly what or when are topics of vast speculation. I do know one thing…there will be a crisis or two or three, and an aware person’s challenge is to prepare for the eventuality of a disruption in “normal” commerce. That means one has to stock up on some necessities of life ahead of time. Period. You could say we are in a state of emergency.
It is this “state of emergency” awareness that may move one to make some changes. These changes will probably result in a complete reevaluation of ones lifestyle and spending habits.
Where to start? I, for one, could never “budget.” Sorry. Although I did focus on money to the point of obsession, at times. What I did do was very simple. I kept track of all money coming in and all money going out.
For example, I got those mini-yellow pads and devoted a page to each month. Every expenditure gets documented. One outcome is you know exactly where your money gets spent. The second outcome is the ability you have to save ahead for bigger expenditures such as annual taxes or insurance costs. Above all, you learn what your fixed costs are and exactly how much discretionary money is left after meeting those obligations.
What have I accomplished using this method? I put myself through college and paid off the small loans I had. Those were eight difficult years (full and part-time) including changing my major from education (no jobs) to nursing. I paid off two mortgages early.
I paid cash for two new cars. There certainly were no home equity loans or credit card debts. I managed to take my younger child (2 boys) to the Disney Parks twice. And, I paid cash for our country house and the improvements before we sold our city house.
Mistakes? Too many to list. I married a dud at age 20. I walked out of that with the clothes on my back and my young son. I literally lost everything. Then I married a “good” man, but we managed to goof that up, got divorced…but remarried a decade later. You can imagine what all that false pride cost. Remarried now for 15 years.
That man is my best friend and the love of my life. I am at our retreat full-time and my Mr. has a year before he retires. Ode to Mr. Creekmore; we started with a travel trailer parked/rented space on land owned by an acquaintance. It took us two years to find a house, with a stream, with a wood stove, and a basement…our criterion.
The emergency: It looms. You need to prepare yourself/family with a store of supplies to survive a financial depression. Other scenarios? I don’t know, but you have to start somewhere. The time for going into debt for appearances sake is over.
Shopping for recreation is in the past. Cut unnecessary expenditures, and then use that money for your preparations. There are countless resources outlining what to acquire and how to proceed. Start with Mr. Creekmore’s book noted above. The Mr. and I did!!
I simply must include some basic tenets of success for emotional and financial well-being. The concepts of spiritual well-being are actually paramount…but not within the scope of this piece. In no particular order:
- honor your spouse! Your goal is to foster trust, show respect, and above all, be kind.
- choose the person who will handle the money, pay the bills, ensure the savings
- settle on the greater house hold allowance and stick to it/work within it
- have separate checking accounts as people need some financial autonomy
- never ever get a divorce unless your partner is abusive/a dud….spend some money
- on dispassionate counseling if you reach an impasse
- be grateful for what you have and be thankful to your spouse for their efforts
- please turn the idiot box off and become a reader/educate yourself
- every day is a beautiful gift so make the most of it/enjoy the day
- do at least one thing every day to prepare yourself and your family for the future.
Thank you and good luck…
Prizes For This Round (Ends December 21 2015) In Our Non Fiction Writing Contest Include…
- First place winner will receive – A gift certificate for $150 off of any bulk ammo at Lucky Gunner, three bottles of Fish Cillin – Ampicillin 250mg (100 Count) courtesy of Camping Survival, and a WonderMill Electric Grain Mill courtesy of Chef Brad Revolution.
- Second Place Winner will receive – 30 Day Food Storage All-in-One Pail courtesy of Augason Farms.com.
- Third place winner will receive – A copy of my book “31 Days to Survival” and a copy of “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat“.
Please read the rules that are listed below BEFORE emailing me your entry… my email address can be found here – please include “writing contest entry” in the subject line.