This is a guest post by Oldgeezer and entry for our non-fiction writing contest.
1. I claim no credit for coming up with the idea – Neal Boortz of WSB radio fame turned us onto it. The “it” is the dollar bill savings plan. It is really simple: when you get change back from buying things, put the dollar bills aside and don’t spend them. If you buy something that cost $3 and you get $2 in change, put the bills in a shoe box. You won’t really miss the money and you’d be surprised how fast the money adds up. My wife and I just took 6 months worth of ones to the bank and we had over $200! It may not sound like much but we look at it as “free” money. We didn’t miss the money while accumulating it and we treat it as fun money. We now has a couple of hundred to spend on anything we wish. Prepping is looking forward to the future and what is easier than a few bucks at a time?
2. The second method we use to accumulate a little extra is to throw state quarters into a bucket. They have no extra value above the twenty five cents but they are easy to sort out. When you get them in change, just throw them in a bucket. It is an easy way to teach kids how to save. You’ll never get rich doing it but they will be there when you need them. In about a year, we accumulated over $300. It translated into a Ruger 10-22 with no pain in the wallet.
3. Advertise in your local free newspaper that you recycle old desktop computers. Take anything anyone will give you because “there is gold in them thar computers”! Any add-in cards have gold fingers on the bottom where they plug into the motherboard. The memory also has gold fingers and the processor (CPU) is also gold. Save this up and after you get a few pounds, list it on ebay. Be honest about what you have and you’ll pick us a few bucks with no work. If you want to walk on the wild side, disassemble the actual hard drive and remove the platters. They are plated in platinum and can also be sold. You’ll probably never get rich but who wouldn’t like a few more bucks in the prep kitty?
4. If you are mechanically inclined, buy a pickup truck that needs some work for resale. Depending on where you live, a 2wd pickup can be found for about $1,500 – 4wd for about $2,500. Don’t be terrified of the mileage but make sure the mechanicals are sound. Spend some money on cleaning and tune up parts. Buy upholstery cleaner at the Dollar Store and do the seats, carpets, headliner, etc. Pressure wash the engine compartment, wash the truck, give it a tune up and dump in a couple of cans of gas treatment. Get it looking and driving as good as it can and list it for about $1,000 more than you have in it. When someone comes to look at it, if you need to, settle for $500 more than you have in it. Think quick turnover.
5. Guns are always good. Look for older 12ga pump shotguns. Many can still be bought for around $150 (JC Higgins, Wards, Savage, Stevens, Western Auto, etc). Again, advertise in your local free newspaper you are buying and put up a card at the local supermarket’s “listing” board. You’d be surprised how many little old ladies still have their husband’s old guns. Clean them up, refinish the stock, make them work. Get a table at your next gun show and sell them. If you play your cards right, you could make upwards of $200 each. Stay legal but don’t be afraid of making money.
6. Back to the local free newspaper – advertise you do small home repairs. Hang a screen door, fix a faucet, unplug a drain. Nothing large or needed a building permit. Widows and older couples are always looking for people that can fix a few things. If you are a member of a church, word of mouth with the members is a great way to get customers. Friends tell friends. If a job is too big, tell the customer and they will understand. Take on something too big and fail and your reputation is shot. $20 here and $20 there really adds up.
7. If anyone offers you anything for free – TAKE IT. You might not be able to use it but it can be anything can be sold or bartered for something. I remember as a kid reading a book about a street beggar in Algiers that amassed a fortune with the philosophy of “something for nothing”. I wish I could find the book again but I don’t remember the name or author. Nonetheless, it is a great motto for preppers to live by.
I hope this has given some of you some money making/accumulating ideas. Money isn’t everything but having a bit doesn’t hurt.
Prizes for this round in our non fiction writing contest include…
- First place winner will receive – A Volcano Grill courtesy of LPC Survival a $134.99 value, a $150 gift certificate for Remington ammunition courtesy of LuckyGunner, a 60 serving bucket of Wise Freeze Dried Food courtesy of EmergencyFoodWarehouse.com and a Wonder Junior Deluxe grain meal a $219.95 value courtesy of Kitchen Neads and a USB Portable VPN courtesy of unspyable a $275 value. Total prize value of $899.99.
- Second place winner will receive – A Sopakco Sure – Pak MRE – 12 Meals courtesy of Campingsurvival.com, a $98.95 value, a Tatsu360 Tenkara Rod a $72.00 value courtesy of Dragontail Tenkara and a one year subscription to Personal VPN service, a $100 value, courtesy of unspyable. Total prize value of $270.95.
- Third place winner will receive – a copy of my book ”31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“ courtesy of TheSurvivalistBlog.net and a copy of “The Survival Medicine Handbook” courtesy of www.doomandbloom.net.
Be sure to read the rules before entering… This contest will end on November 10 2013