Smart Spending for Preppers Looking for Financial Freedom

by Jerry M – – this is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest.

Using your money wisely can pay many dividends for you over time. Learning to spend your money wisely is a habit most people must learn through discipline, it is usually not inbred into a person’s lifestyle. All, or at least most, of today’s advertising is focused on emotional appeal for your money, not logic and common sense. If we can think logically instead of emotionally we will be far better off in almost every situation we find ourselves in, especially financial ones.

We got serious about a self-reliant lifestyle several years ago and this article is designed to give the reader some food for thought, some direction and glimpses of things that worked for us.

One of the first things we had to adapt to was determining a “want” from a “need”, it took a while to develop that mindset, It was not easy and it took discipline, lots of discipline.

The ability to purchase things you need is governed by your own personal cash flow. Remember that cash flows both ways, in and out just like the tide. Our goal was to plug the money leaks in our cash flow pot. We are retired, so we are on a fixed income. Increasing inflation over time has eroded the buying power of everyone’s dollars. This really hits home when you are on a fixed income.

Let’s look at food purchase of a few items that just about everyone uses. We buy larger quantities of food where and when we can. We buy 5-gallon food grade buckets and gamma lids for daily use and buckets and solid lids for long term storage. Don’t forget at least one lid wrench for the solid lids. A bucket and gamma lid cost us $ 11.00 and a bucket with solid lid about $6.50. If you stack buckets, put a 15”x15” piece of plywood between the buckets to avoid cracking the bottom lid because of weight. We don’t stack them more than 3 buckets high.

We recently bought table salt in a 50# bag for $12.50 which is $.25 a pound and it fills 2 buckets. Buying salt in the convenient 1# containers at $.85 each is far more convenient but cost considerably more money. Another example is white flour in a 50# bag for $11.97 or $.24 per pound. Buying flour in a 5# bag for $3.19makes it $.64 per pound.
We buy a 50# bag of sugar for$27.61 or $.55 a pound or a 32 oz. bag for $2.29 which is $1.14 per pound.

Learn to look at your cost per pound or per ounce when buying food and also know the storage life of the food. We shop at WINCO and Cash & Carry in our area for large quantity items in bulk.
We also cruise through the thrift stores and find lots of “bargains” on a variety of things. We are seniors and a veteran so we receive a 20% discount at our Good Will thrift store.

Most of us carry insurance of some type. Our experience has shown that we get the best coverage and the best price by dealing with an independent insurance agent. The independent agent will have several companies to choose from, they are not locked into one company. We stay away from “company” agents such as State Farm, Safeco, Farmers, etc. and have always done better.

We will never purchase a new car again. The purchase of a new vehicle is probably the worst investment that you can make. As soon as you drive off the lot you have lost at least 10% of the value of what you just paid for the vehicle. We will purchase a vehicle about 2 years old and preferably one from a rental car agency. They will have had a regular service schedule and not a lot of miles on them. We have had good experiences doing this over the years.

We think having a cash stash in a safe place is of paramount importance. Unexpected emergencies will happen from time to time. A safe deposit box is not a safe place, the banks are closed weekends and holidays and every evening too, giving you limited access to your cash. Even though there is lots of talk of eliminating cash in favor of a totally digital system, we think and hope that is a far off future thing. Our goal is to have enough cash to pay 1 year’s taxes, utilities, and make small purchases for a while. Beyond that, if things get that bad, who knows? We keep a cash stash in a small fireproof box that is easily hidden as well as transportable. You can find these at Walmart and other retailers. We also keep another fireproof box with our important papers in it.

Some folks are in favor of having precious metals stashed away. We feel that is fine if you have everything else that you need in place. Keep in mind however that in the 1930’s gold was confiscated by the federal government. The use of gold and silver may also be made illegal under a martial law situation.

You can save money by eliminating cable TV, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, dining out, unnecessary car trips, cigarettes, and perhaps other areas as well. Grow as much of your own food as possible and learn to preserve it. Getting out of debt and staying out is one of the first steps toward financial freedom. Financial freedom is a big stepping stone to self-reliance. Reevaluate your finances from time to time to help you keep on a sound financial pathway.

Remember, these are things we have done that over the years have worked well for us. Your situation may differ a little, but the same principles apply: common sense over nonsense, needs vs. wants and logic over emotion.

Enjoy the journey.

Prizes For This Round (Ends on June 7, 2017) In Our Non-Fiction Writing Contest Include…

First Prize a $999 value:

  1. Numanna Organic Family Pack Bucket a $399 value from LPC Survival Ltd.
  2. CampingSurvival Gear Pack a $400 value from Camping Survival.com.
  3. A $200 gift certificate of prepper books from Prepper Press.

Second Prize a $650+ value:

  1. A case of .308 ammo or $300 off Ammo selection of your choice from LuckyGunner.
  2. A Wonder Junior Deluxe Hand Mill with the Masa/Nut Butter Auger, Drill Bit Attachment, and Bicycle Sprocket Kit a $325 value from ChefBrad.com

Third Prize a $310+ value:

  1. $300 gift certificate from GunMag Warehouse.
  2. A copy of The Prepper’s Guide to Surviving the End of the World, as We Know It: Gear, Skills, and Related Know-How
About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.

Comments

  1. Over the years, my wife & I have been in debt up to our necks, & after 10 yrs of living modestly, we were able to pay off our last debts & experience financial freedom. It is a great experience, to be completely free of one’s debts. Liberating & exhilerating! Now, we carry a mortgage & small car loan. THis article has many good ideas that will help many people. Part of financial peace is having an emergency fund of at least $1000 & preferably 3-6 months of expenses. Thank you, Jerry M, for a very good article.

    • We started early paying off the house, cars and bills. We either paid cash or waited til we could buy with no interest for 6 months when having to buy new appliances. And if we could find them, we bought secondhand and reconditioned and never regretted it. We waited until we retired and moved to small town, and paid cash for a great house. We are driving a truck that is really old, just doing repairs as needed. Recently we had to buy a new car. Second hand ones weren’t but a few thousand dollars less. Got a good deal, paid cash and will drive it for many years.
      When we finished raising the kids, we started putting any raises straight into savings or investments. Was easy because we never got used to having it. We lived and continue to live a very full and interesting life, just used common sense and didn’t try to keep up with our friends. They are still working to pay off homes and vacations from last year. And they question how we became financially so well off because most of them have more education and make more money than we ever made while we worked.
      We do use a credit card for almost all of our purchases now, but the card is paid off every month, so we never pay interest. We can check over the bill and see exactly where our money is going each month. And we get a check every year from the credit card company as a pat on the back for using their card. So aren’t they paying us for being their customers?
      We have traveled often for several weeks or months each time. We had a secondhand travel trailer or learned to look for vacation bargains. We never roughed it, but our friends think a week or two vacation means fancy hotels and restaurants and green fees at some country club and shopping….not a thing they can’t do at home and for less money…..and the bills are waiting when they return home. We came home with sunburns and great memories of our adventures.
      In the last years we have watched people hit a brick wall, they get in their 60’s and have no idea if and when they can retire. Then when a disaster shows up, be it illness, loss of a job or a natural disaster, they are totally ruined, with no idea how to dig themselves out of the debt hole. Being elderly, there usually isn’t a way to start over. They still have to continue to pay regular debts and adding in a major problem, there usually isn’t a plan or anyway to recover. I can’t imagine the panic they must feel….getting old and having no money is a horror.
      We are now having a wonderful retirement and have no money worries.

  2. mom of three says:

    I think going out to eat now and again is a good thing as long as it’s a treat, same way with magazines, I got a two year subscription for $24.00 for 10 issues. I pay $39.00 a month for internet, we use our tablets to watch shows, I pay $11.99 for Netflix, because I enjoy a movie, or T.V. shows. I found 50 pounds of sugar, and flour to be way to much we are cutting back on breads, I use the 10 pound bag of flour by Montana, I can get it for $7.99 on sale usually it is $10.99 at our local Co-op. I agree to saving money, and I can do better that is my New Years resolution, to spend less but I don’t want to penny pinch, to much either that we are not having fun..

    • You make a valid point about not pinching penny’s. I prep and store and live within my means ( did all that before it became popular ) but also spend money when I want. I feel that to many folks are fixated on what might happen in the future and don’t live enough in today. I want to live my life not just survive. Even though I prep I also understand that SHTF may not happen in my lifetime and I would hate to go to my grave having wasted my life by being afraid of the future.

      • mom of three says:

        You nailed it thanks for the reassurance!!!

      • poorman,

        I would hate to go to my grave having wasted my life by being afraid of the future.

        Touché, None of us are getting out alive, so one must have at least a little living and enjoyment; otherwise, what’s the point.

        • Prepared Grammy says:

          I think that’s the problem many people have. That delicate balance of saving without being a slave to frugality. I spend money on the things I enjoy and mean a lot to me.

          • Prepared Grammy,
            I agree that one must still live and not just survive.
            In the last year we have spent more than $15000 on various improvements to the homestead, like the whole house generator, additional propane tanks, insulation, etc., all of which will make living here more comfortable as we age, and at least in my case, hate the cold more by the day, LOL.
            We still however have significant savings and more income than expense, so all of the sacrifices over the years to pay off the mortgage, not have the latest toys, etc, has paid off as planned. I’m rather pleased, since not all plans work as well in real life as they originally did on paper, and that is something everyone also needs to keep in mind.

            • Prepared Grammy says:

              I think we’re birds of a feather. 🙂

              • Prepared Grammy,

                I think we’re birds of a feather.

                Perhaps so. The interesting thing is that when you make what we do a lifestyle, you never suffer from that new Social Networking affliction called FOMO (Fear of missing out). I’ve never been to Disneyworld; but, I have done so many things that like to do over the years that I really don’t miss it, simply because others have been there.

  3. Prepared Grammy says:

    We’re completely debt free, and I have been saving my entire salary for 5 1/2 months. We’re also saving and investing part of my husband’s paycheck. We follow biblical principles of money management, and give God the praise for all he has given us. You’re right about knowing the difference between a need and a want. Most people think their wants are needs.

  4. patientmomma says:

    Getting out of debt makes you free! I have no debts and I pay cash for almost everything; but I have credit cards. When my husband died I needed a credit card to complete all painful transactions and to get him back to his small home town, for renting a car, air travel, etc. But let me share with you what an old friend who works for one of the “big 3” credit rating companies told me.

    First, AFTER you have learned self-discipline and are debt free… yes you DO want a credit card for those emergencies life throws at us. If you do not have a credit rating you cannot get a loan, for anything… car, house, hospital,washing machine, education, repairs, etc. Use that credit card at least once a year and pay the amount back over two or three months. This ups your FICO score because you used credit reliably and paid it off as promised. NEVER be late on a credit card payment, that takes away points and it stays on your record for three years, unless you can get the loaner to remove it. If disaster happens, call the credit card company and negotiate with them.

    Last year I bought a lawnmower from Lowe’s on credit, no interest if paid within 6 months. I paid it off in four months. You can start out with credit from a Sam’s, Walmart, or Lowe’s for $250 and pay it off as promised. Then ask for an increase of credit; use it and pay it off over two or three months. Move on to your bank and borrow $500, put it in a savings account and pay the folks back in three or four months. Now when you apply for a mortgage the bank will at least think about it and they will give you a better interest rate. Folks with little or poor credit history get charged double the interest rate than those with stable or good credit histories.

    Some oh by the ways from the credit expert: DON’T use a credit card at a thrift store as it shows a “down tick”; DO use a credit card at a Macy’s as it shows an “up tick”. Don’t cancel a credit card just because you don’t use it; that is viewed as a “down tick” indicator. Good luck!

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      If you do not have a credit rating you cannot get a loan, for anything… car, house, hospital,washing machine, education, repairs, etc.

      I have all these things and somehow bid it without credit. I even have a mower I got without going into debt. I picked it up along the side of the road, all it needed was a new drive belt and carburetor cleaner.

      The idea that preppers (many that think the ecnomic system is going to massively fail) need credit from Macy’s or Wally World to survive doesn’t make sense. Record of debt is stored in computers and computers NEVER forget and neither will the debt be forgiven. In bad ecnomic times the companies that issued the debt to you are going to be in just as much ecnomic hot water as we all will be. But they have a bit of hope in that they can use the courts to squeeze (really hard) all the people they issued credit to.

      Heck I could see debtor prison coming back. Imagine going to jail because you bought a shiny new riding mower!

      Save a bit of money each week and you can easily buy a washing machine or a mower with cash and not beholding to anyone.

      • Not everyone can pick up and fix things like you can Chuck. A credit card is a form of payment just like cash,checks,debit or pocket change. The whole point is that at time a card is an advantage. You can say you’ll never have to rent a car,get a loan to buy one or to buy a house but them we aren’t all the same are we? Now personally I use credit cards all the time. I do carry a few hundred in cash with me at all times also but by using the credit cards and paying them off each month I pay zero interest and earn about 6-700 a year in points and cash back that I use to purchase things that I want. I understand that some people can’t control their spending habits and should not have cards but that is a flaw in them not the piece of plastic in their wallet.

        • Prepared Grammy says:

          That’s how I use my credit card too. It’s amazing the things I get with my credit card points.

          • Prepared Grammy,
            We settled a long time ago on converting points to Home Depot gift cards, since at the time they were one of the few cards that had no expiration, although that I think is now true of all gift cards. Over the years we have had literally thousands of dollars worth of cards, some of which were gifted to the boys who are both big DIY guys and who are constantly improving their homes. The other cards have been used for materials to upgrade and maintain this place, with about $400 now on hand to use toward the 3 new exterior doors we’ll be getting installed next month.
            While we can get other cards, we find that Home Depot which is a local store or Lowes which is recently a local store, provides you with lasting benefits, where getting restaurant cards makes a nice meal, and is then gone and forgotten. That part, the selection of where to spend the extra money, is also really part of the lifestyle.
            As long as you are disciplined in your use of the cards, this is basically free untaxed income that can be very beneficial.

            • Prepared Grammy says:

              I tend to get amazon or Menards cards, depending on our needs.

              • Prepared Gramy,
                We typically do Home Depot or Lowes, primarily because the Menards is more than twice is far from here. I tell people quite candidly, that if they opened a Menards and Harbor Freight here locally, that along with the Wal-Mart super center and a few others, I would never have to leave the county.

              • I use credit cards the same way but never used the points. I’ve got to check and see if my cc gives them. That sounds so good.

                • Terra,
                  If you have the discipline to use the card correctly and they don’t give either points or cash back, perhaps it’s time to find one that does. Just be sure to make sure it’s fee free. We’ve had our card since 1990 and it’s fee free for life.

                  • Thanks OP. I need to check my cards. I have several and pay off each month. Your Lowes/Home Depot cards sounds great. Would love to have that advantage.

                    • Terra,
                      FWIW I have an AT&T Universal card issued by Citi bank; but, I’m sure others have similar rewards programs. The Home Depot cards are our choice; but, you can get other cards including restaurants, and you can get actual merchandise like cameras, computers, etc. It’s just that the cards have always worked for our DIY lifestyle.

                  • Prepared Grammy says:

                    I’m going to buy a truck in a couple of months. I will put it on my credit card, and pay it off immediately. This should give me enough points to buy some nice homesteading supplies.

      • Chuck,
        I mostly agree; but, unless you already own a home and need no mortgage, then you’re either paying rent or mortgage to someone. I use my card all of the time, always have cash in the bank to pay the balance (or it wasn’t spent in the first place) and have not paid a cent in credit card interest in more than 2 decades. We have however gotten thousands of dollars in Home Depot gift cards that have paid for nearly all of the work done here as well as a few free Christmas gifts for the boys.
        Properly managed using someone else’s money for short term purposes has paid us back more (in gift cards) than the piddling little interest currently paid by the banks.

      • patientmomma says:

        Chuck, Yes, we can go thru life debt free and you’re right, not everyone needs a credit history or a credit card. I do admire your getting thru life paying cash for everything, but you are the exception. All I am saying is most folks want and need a good credit history.

        We lived overseas in foreign countries for years and when we came back to USA we had money in an overseas bank, but no record of our existence in the USA, except for American passports. We couldn’t do anything; could not rent a car or a house, could not register kids for school, could not get credit from any store so we could “establish” a history. It was very frustrating. It took official documentation from the state dept and military to transfer money from our overseas bank to stateside bank (which took 3 weeks to do); etc., etc. Now this invisibility might be good if you’re ‘the accountant’ or ‘Jon Wick’ with a stash gold coins in your mattress or floor safe, but in today’s society it is very difficult to navigate American life without a credit history or decent rating.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          Believe I did not plan on it that way.

          I worked at a good paying job at a local nuke plant, I had an OK mid-level home, a caddy, a BMW auto and motorcycle, enough money to buy things we wanted.

          But then it changed, I had a motorcycle accident that broke every limb I had, did a lot of soft tissue damage. I lost the job because I could not work. My wife didn’t like no income or rather a much lower income. She walked out, I lost the caddy, both BMW’s and the house.

          I moved back into my parents home for over a year. I finally found another job that paid but not that well. I worked a deal with a local trailer park to move into a handyman special. (They give these to you for free these days, but not back then) I slowly (paying cash for materials) fixed it up and sold it for a bit of profit. I did this 2 more times till I had a nice one.

          I have since sold it (put the money from it in silver) and again moved back into my parents home as my dad is 89 and needs help, my brothers don’t seem to really care? My mom had a stroke and was in the hospital / a home for 4-months. She came home and needed a LOT of help. Since then a few months ago she had a second stroke and is in a home for the rest of her life.

          After my dad passes on (he’s 89) I am going to cash in the silver from the house I sold and buy a small home 15-miles out in the country. This way I’m outside the city but still close enough to service customers it took years to get.

          That accident was 28-years ago and it hurts every day, more so when I sit around doing nothing.

          I lived on what amounts to almost no income (didn’t go running for a single dollar from the government) for so long I have become use to it. But being self employed has allowed me to again make an OK income. I live better then I did in the “it really sucked years” but I still justify every dollar I spend. Or almost every dollar after all there is many good Chinese buffets in my area, and Chocolate is a favorite snack…

          I have been able to have a reserve of cash, silver, tools and work supplies built up so I’m well able to work.

          I would not want to see anyone, even my X-Wife (who is still a friend of sorts) to go through what I have.

          I would not recommend it to anyone as it was unpleasant in just about every way.

          But it did condition my mind and lifestyle to a life of ecnomic austerity and it was a prep for bad ecnomic SHTF both in mindset and lifestyle.

          I’m always ready for an income drop, the power to go off, the water to not flow. I have had all of them happen to me in the past and have taken action to mitigate the effects.

          In the first trailer I rebuilt I had no electricity for almost 4-months as I could not afford it. I did some repair work for a neighbors home to allow me to run an electric cord to run power tools, but only the tools, not for trailer power.

          Today I could rebuild a run down home in a few months as I have a lot of tools and supplies and more skills then 25-years ago.

          All I’m saying in my post above is that we can do more, and live through more hard times then we think we can and a bit of planning (like getting rid of debt) can make it easier to deal with. And it’s much better to get out of debt now then to have it during SHTF times. And it can be done, but it takes a mindset / lifestyle change that is hard for people to embrace.

          As far as a paid-for home anyone can get a free mobile home that needs fixed up. Yes it takes work, but what doesn’t? Or find a piece of property that has no home on it and build a small home, or look for one that is run down.

          • Chuck,
            I am of the same mindset as you. In 2009 I was laid off of my full time job (I still prepared taxes seasonally) and my husband became disabled. It was not a sudden thing and we knew it was coming. He has deformed ankles that can cause him great pain at times. In 2010 our home burned down. We lived in a camper for 7 months when DH finally got approved for his disability.

            We had a rental mobile home that was basically empty because of bad experience with former tenant. It needed too much work to live in. We got it to livable condition and moved in.

            The insurance from the fire paid off our mortgage with $150 leftover. The coverage for the contents bought the camper, paid off some bills, bought a used truck to pull the camper with. I let my truck go back and we were lucky enough that it sold for enough to pay off the loan.

            We moved into the mobile home in 2011 and that is when we started the process of becoming more self-sufficient. We expand the garden nearly every year. We have added fruit trees, bushes and grape vines. We also have dairy goats, rabbits and chickens.

            Our home, truck, car, boat, mc, camper and above ground pool are all paid for. We do not have any credit cards. We are not completely debt free yet but we keep getting closer. We had a personal loan, medical bills and other misc stuff that we are working to pay off.

            Oh yeah, I started my own tax business last year and I am doing pretty good even though we live outside of town. Hope to build it up more each year.

    • patientmomma,
      I haven’t seen my FICO score in a while; but, the last time we checked it was way up there. Our last credi transaction was about 18 months ago when we were replacing our 9 year old dead GPS unit with a new one at Best Buy. If we applied for a Best Buy credit card, we got 20% or 25% off of the purchase, so we figured what the heck. The clerk took our information and phoned it in for an instant approval. He was shocked when it came back as the highest he had ever seen @ $6000.00. We used about $190 and paid it off when the bill came. We still have the card; but, haven’t used it since.
      Most of the issuing banks are assuming you’ll fall into the trap of the minimum payment, so they give people like us huge limits, hoping we’ll either spend a lot or better yet, make payments.
      Have any of you been checking out on Amazon and seen how they offer from $50-75 off your purchase if you apply for their card. We haven’t yet; but, they keep trying, assuming they’ll make it back with most people, and I unfortunately suspect they are correct.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        OP I find GPS units at garage sales for $3.00 to $40.00, but I never spend more then $5.00 as there are a lot of them out there at that price. I have 7 of them right now. I sell them at hamfest for $12.00 to %15.00, and they always sell out.

        • Chuck,
          I still have the original GPS that “died” and when I get time, if I can open it up, I’m pretty sure that if I replace the internal battery, that it will once again work. I’ve built my own GPS units over the years, mostly for accurate time and interval for computers and just learning how the NMEA-0183 messaging system worked; but, back in those days I was doing lots of serial and other communications as part of my job.
          The new unit also has some new features like lifetime map updates and receives traffic delay information that it includes in real-time as you drive, using it to warn and reroute around congested areas on the route.
          Years ago when I had better vision and more time than money I did a lot of this kind of stuff; but, now, sometimes it’s just more efficient to purchase a working unit, especially with the low cost of new technology.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            Does your new one have the 3-D maps? I have one of these and it’s kinda neat to use.

            • Chuck,

              Does your new one have the 3-D maps?

              Yes they are as 3D as you can get on a flat surface; but, with my vision issues I have to move the 6.5 inch screen very close to my face to see. In any case, the difference in technology for these two devices (both by TomTom) is pretty stark for only about 8 years. The GPS lock on the old could take minutes and the new is generally 15-20 seconds. Also the accuracy and voice description on the new one is much better. The old would say, “You have reached your destination” and you could sometimes be within hundreds of feet, while the new one says “You have reached your destination on your right (or left)” and you can almost turn at that point. This is of course the same level of technology that is being used for the autonomous vehicles, which as an engineer both interests and intrigues me as well as scares me just a bit.
              With my vision issues and the issues of vision and coordination that many elderly folks have, these vehicles would bring a whole new level of independence to this ever increasing population, assuming they can get the price down to be affordable.
              I actually miss those days of hacking the old electronics and building my own equipment from scratch, and I envy you a bit, since you can play with toys that were not invented when I was doing those things.
              One of these days we’ll still both meet up at a Hamfest somewhere.

              • Chuck Findlay says:

                Maybe at Findlay this September, last year my dad had some issues and we took (the life squad to him) him to the hospital and I didn’t go.

                Emergency hospital visits are becoming a more frequent thing as my parents are close to the end of life, but I can’t imagine it will happen again on the same weekend as Findlay again.

                • Chuck,
                  Yep, I remember. I was at Findlay for most of the day, occasionally calling for you with an HT on 146.52 simplex with no response. You did mention later here on the forum that you had a trip with your dad to the E.R. and didn’t get home until the wee hours and couldn’t drive down to Findlay on little or no sleep. We’ll see what happens next time, which is BTW Sunday, September 10, 2017. 73’s OM

  5. Bluesman says:

    Maintaining a good credit score is very important, especially in an unexpected emergency . We have a good relation ship with our bank and have informative discussions with the manager from time to time to foster that relationship.

    • Debt is the epitome of the anti-prep.

      Whats the point of having beans, bullets and bandsids if losing a job and going 6 months unemployed risks losing your house, transportation, etc.? That is a far greater likelihood than the zombie apocalypse.

      Debt must be totally eschewed as it represents the single greatest threat to your preps to survive. Prepping is not just for the EMP, financial collapse, grid down scenarios. If needs to be wholistic for the sum of all threats to your personal world as you know it.

      “Credit” cards are good for the convenience of making purchases. Try renting a car, reserving a hotel room or buying plane tickets without one! However, if one truly lives within their means and never buys anything without having saved the money first, there is no need for a good credit score, it’s simply irrelevant!

      I have been completely debt free for about 25 years. It was astoundingly liberating being rid of the leash and choker collar on our lives.

      I will confess I got a dose of reality several years ago buying a new car. Like the original post, I too felt buying a brand new car was financially bad. However, try finding a 2-3 year old SUV with 4 wd for $10k less than just buying new? I couldn’t believe it. 1-2 year old Escapes, Rav4s, Pilots, CRVs, etc. with 40-60k miles in a 50 mile radius of me were only $4-7k less than a well negotiated new price. So I bought new. We had been saving aggressively for 5-6 years for our next car purchases (plan ahead for a car purchase, not after you purchase) and when doing the paperwork for the car the salesperson wanted us to fill out a financing application. I said, “No thanks, I am just going to write you a check.” They understood I was paying for it all at once but still insisted they had to have that form. I was, “Why? I am not going to sign it?” Salesman checked with sales manager and they just had to have the application form filled out. They got the business accounting manager who said, “Oh, we don’t need that.” Come to find out, the sales staff present that day did not know how to sell a brand new car not on credit. And this was a big Toyota dealership. I had no clue how unusual not living on credit was.

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        I’m currently saving my paycheck to buy a truck, and I’ve discovered the same thing. The cost savings of used versus new is ridiculous. I’m buying new.

      • Bill,
        I have also been out of significant debt for decades; but, we did need to get a small loan from our credit union for our last used vehicle, because we were just completing the last of the tuition for our daughter’s education. That loan was paid off last December, so we’re once again debt free. I’ve only ever purchased 2 new vehicles (in 1974 and 2000); but, the 2000 vehicle was also paid in cash. Like you, I ended up negotiating with the sales manager who actually understood the idea of writing a check for a $20,000+ vehicle; but, I suspect that is a real rarity.
        On the new vs. used I have some similar thoughts, depending on the vehicle. We were looking for a use pickup truck about a dozen years ago, and people wanted thousands of dollars for their then 20 year old junk that was more Bondo and primer than metal. We did eventually find a gem of a truck (89 ¾ ton 4 WD) from a local farmer and old family friend, who it turns out, died from cancer less than a year later. We still have that old truck that does need a bit of work; but, otherwise still runs. I think one of the reasons that 1-2 year old used vehicles bring in so much, is that many of them are off lease vehicles and somehow that’ supposed to make them more valuable. I’ve never seen a use for leasing, except for a business; but, I have a friend who has not owned a vehicle in 20 years and continues to lease from one to the next. I guess it takes all kinds, LOL.
        A credit score BTW is not irrelevant at all, since it is used behind the scenes for things other than loans. Our vehicle and homeowners insurance is handled by a good friend and fellow ham that I’ve known for decades, and he told me that nowadays, one of the first things they do for someone applying for insurance, especially auto insurance, is to run a credit check. It turns out that there is a strong correlation between high credit scores and responsible drivers, which when you think of it makes sense. You are either responsible in all aspects of your life, or you’re not

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        The savings of 7-K could buy a lot of preps, or get you off the grid, or buy a few years of food.

        New autos are nice and impress people, but 7-K is a lot of prepping money.

  6. Anonamo Also says:

    Our TV is all thru computer.. no regular tv stations, we don’t watch many movies or any sports. We do watch You tube how to video’s, and pull up news thru that outlet for now.
    Bills are monthly utilities, no morgage. All work on new place being paid as WE do it.
    I buy flour in 5lb bags, for now…buy often buy 30 lbs at a time…I freeze all of my flours/grains for a minimum of 10 days. then store in oxygen free in buckets… going to Mylar this year for longer storage time.
    We use very little corn meal, 5 lbs will last us at least 6 months…like cornbread, but not tolerated well.
    If I get a chance at a good buy on Sugar, I buy, since it keeps indefinitely just put in dry bucket and seal.. when I open this bucket to begin use , then I replace it.Will need some extra to process Jellies and Jams.
    Very cold temps has taken the fruit here. will be very cold again tonight…then back to spring.
    We buy treats to prepare at home, Popcorn,hot chocolate , hot teas,coffee-cake and pizza are favorites .
    Our meals out are on the day we have appointments/chores and can’t make it home in time for a meal, we do this no more than once a month, and have a strict limit for meal and tip.
    Fun?…. necessary ,Yes! as we grow older with even less income, it is the smaller things we find pleasure in… growing a few plants, taking care of our few critters, crochet and crafting of various kinds.

  7. Very good info, TYVM!
    Differentiating btwn a need & a want is the best piece of advice you gave. In my little mind that is.
    I do love watching sports, especially my Chgo Bears. But they are perennial losers. What do I gain by watching? A little euphoria & some stuff to crack jokes over w/my buds later. That’s all. I consider 90% + of all television yukky.
    That said, paying for dish or cable is out! And the worst part of subscribing is the marketing technique (read: ploy): BUNDLING.
    Bundling gives the consumer the illusion he is receiving something for nothing, but it helps finance politics & lifestyles I don’t approve of. During Clinton admin, the Telecommunications act gave welfare to foreign language programming. This has helped bring in more illegals & non vetted welfare tramps. Not to mention H1 & L1B visa recipients (& families). Mega corps then use the visa recipients to push Americans out of jobs!
    Thx for a fine article!

  8. Chuck Findlay says:

    No idea what my credit score is, probably not that high as I have paid cash for the last 25+ years. I don’t care what it is.

    And before you tell me I must have good credit, I would say it’s worked out well for me to not use it. I have all I need, I have lots of silver, food, a house over my head, I have all the skills and tools to continue making money.

    Need an auto, I buy it with cash my van looks and runs good and cost $1,100.00, anything else I fix or buy used and (You guessed it) pay cash.

    Telling us a fellow prepper must have good credit tells me you have never experienced rough times and learned from it. Many people that live through The Great Depression never trusted the banks and government, they learned…

    • JMHO but you are confusing credit with debt. Being in debt is not generally a good thing,having good credit is. It’s not a hard concept to grasp. If you have paid cash only for 25 years your credit rating is zero. Even if you think you don’t have or like credit you DO use it. You are billed monthly I am assuming for a phone,electric,gas,internet right? You don’t pay cash for those things up front do you? Then you are using credit.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        Internet is free as my neighbor lets me use hers (she’s in her 80’s) as I plow her driveway and do a few repairs every few months. And yes I pay for my phone ahead of time as it’s a pay-as-you go phone.

        And as far as electric & gas you can’t loose your home or auto by not being able to pay them.

        I understand what you are saying, but you can’t run up a big electric bill (that as far as your wallet is concerned) becomes debt because after a month or two they shut you off.

        I just know that I’m personally going to continue (like forever) to pay cash for things.

        I sleep much better when I don’t have to chase every dollar I can make to just send them off to others and seem to get little in return.

        I mostly try to only work 4-days a week because I don’t have to chase every dollar and I like my time to enjoy life.

        Back during my forced no work time (motorcycle accident) I found enjoyment in tinkering in the garage (shed back then) as a leisure pace making things. I find this time the most productive prep thing I can do as it doesn’t take a lot of money, allows me to build things (like solar water heaters) for prepping and keeps my skills sharp and gives me a good perspective on adapting to bad times.

        • Chuck:
          Your story is amazing, and you are a brave man and a great survivor from your accident and misfortune. I admire the way you built yourself back up after having all taken away from you. I want to share your story with my son who has nothing right now and is trying to build his life back up. It is a scary place to be in. You are my Hero.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            Terra when he is ready he can get a free home in the form of a mobil home in a park. Call all the parks in your area and go take a look at them.

            It will have frozen and broke water pipes, need new carpets (he can paint the floors or put in a paper bag floor that looks like stone)

            It will need painted inside and some of the floors may need repaired.

            Some of them are in very bad shape and well beyond help, but some of them only need a good cleaning up.

            And they ALWAYS need new plumbing as the heat was turned off and the water in the pipes froze and broke the pipes.

            PEX (plastic pipes) plumbing parts are not expensive, the real expense is the heat tape that you must have to keep the pipes from freezing. But with planning ahead you can buy them gradually and have them ready to install. Get the home in Spring and you have all Summer to get them installed.

            But it gets him into his own home. Like your first auto, your first home (or first one after a bad personal SHTF) will not be as nice as you want, but it is a roof over your head and you can fix it up and sell it for a profit and move to another better one and do it again.

            If he doesn’t have tools you could start buying them for him to get him ready for the home repair. Pawn shops always have good name-brand tools that are in good working condition.

            Buy him home repair books, The Good Will Stores are always full of these books and for only $1.00 they are a great value. Home Depot, Lowe’s and Menard’s sells the same basic books for $20.00 each. Every time I’m in The Good Will I see maybe 10 of these books.

            Don’t hold him up, but rather help him up. And in the process of doing so you help him become a better person that can handle things when they come at him.

            After all I’ve been through I’m not worried at all about SHTF for myself as I’ve developed the skills, mindset, tools, preps and supplies to do OK.

            I do worry about family members (mostly my 27-year old Son and his wife) that don’t prep or prepare, but I can’t do much for them when they don’t want to do much for themselves.

            While I sold my last home and moved back to my parents home to take care of them in their final years. I did take the money and buy silver and put it in one of my safes. Once my dad dies I am going to move out a few miles and buy a run down home and fix it up. Almost nothing in a home is beyond my skills. I also work with another handyman and he could help for any big , heavy job. We do that now, any job that needs more then one person or needs to be done fast we both do it.

            My dad is 89 but he really does well. He still works a bit, he works for a local car dealer and goes all over the area getting and delivering autos. I would imagine he has a few years left in him.

            We kid him about kicking off all the time and he doesn’t seem to be in any hurry. The other night my my dad,brother and I were sitting in the living room and my brother and I started talking about dividing up my dads stuff, he gave us the finger and walked into the kitchen and came back with a piece of pie. I asked where my pie was. He says get your own darm pie. Or you could wait till I’m dead and divide the rest of the pie up then.

            You have to have some humor in your life…

            • Chuck:
              Your post made me cry. I had no idea that a free/cheap mobile home was even an option. Thanks also about your recommendation re: tools at yard sales. You are a lifesaver. You may have literally saved his life. Thank you dear friend.

              • Chuck Findlay says:

                The free homes come with a comintment of a one-year lease on lot rent so make sure you look into the lot rent prices as they are different in each park.

                Also on the tools it’s not yard sales but pawn shops. Pawn shops are always less expensive and they always have a lot of tools. It would require a few monts of going to yard sales to find as many tools in a visit to even 2 or 3 pawn shops.

                And unlike regular stores you can ask if they will give you a better price.

                A DeWalt angle grinder (cost $80.00 and up new) can be found for $15.00 at a pawn shop, if you buy several tools at the same time ask if they will take a lower price.

                I bought a Milwaukee sander for $8.00, he wanted $10.00, I offered $5.00, but $8.00 was as low as he would go. But I would have paid the $10.00 as it is a $95.00 sander.

                If their price is $50.00 I usually throw out a $35.00 price. End’s up being $40.00 after the counter offer.

                Don’t forget the Good Will home repair books, I know a lot about home repair, but I still learn new things from books. In my area (Toledo Ohio) The Good Will Stores have a lot of books and The Salvation Army has few books. So I go the The Good Will more. It may be different in other cities so look at every thrift store in your area.

                And if you are not a tool person almost all home repair books has a few pages about what tools you need. It’s a basic set of tools, but it will get you started.

                I’m sure U-Tube has guys going over what tools you need. But many times they push the more expensive tools. Not that this is bad (I buy the more expensive power tools like Milwaukee, Bostich, DeWalt and a few others, but I use them a lot more then most people.) but you should be aware of it. There is also a lot of U-Tube videos on budget power tools. I would stay away from Harbor Tools that run on electricity as they burn out a lot. But their hand tools are OK.

                Most times power tools don’t do a better job, it’s that they allow you to work faster. Be it a hand saw or power saw, they both cut wood. The wood gets cut either way.

                But used power tools at pawn shops are so inexpensive why not go with them?

                • Chuck Findlay says:

                  When calling the mobile home park ask for “Handyman Specials” That’s what they call them around here.

                  My Son went this route a few years ago, we did a lot of work to it but it looked nice when we were done.

                  He’s now in a $110-K home in the better part of town, but the mobile home was a good start.

                  I’m not too sure he’s better off with 100-K of debt over his head. I think if (when) it hits the fan he may loose the home. If this happens he can always get another mobile home and we can fix it up.

                  • Thank you again, kind sir. I will go to GW and it helps that you mentioned “Handyman Special”. Good tip and will do!

            • believer says:

              The comment about the PEX pipe caught my attention. According to the manufacturer PEX does much better with freezing temperatures than either copper of rigid plastic pipe. I guess the pipe has the ability to expand to some point before it splits.

              • Chuck Findlay says:

                PEX pipes are softer so they expand if frozen.

                But (there is always a but) the connectors are a much harder and therefor more of a chance of breaking.

                Haven’t seen this as an issue yet, but I see it as a potential weak point in the PEX piping.

            • Uncle Frank says:

              An alternative to the paper bag floor is roofing felt ( aka tar paper ). Check with the foreman at job sites when they are about to finish a roof. They might have bits left over they will let you have for free. It is easy to put down and can be painted. It is durable. There was an article in Backwoods Home magazine that might still be available on line.

              • Chuck Findlay says:

                Uncle Frank I have a copy of that roofing fllo article on my other computer and DVD..

                I have pretty much all the electronic Backwoods Home magazine electronic articles and it’s in one of them.

                It’s amazing what you can do if you have little money (or want to save a lot of money) and want something done.

                I actually enjoy doing it this way more then just throwing money at a problem.

  9. Every $1.00 you save in reduced cost is $1.30 you do not have to earn. Be frugal and save. Packaging bulk food for long term storage costs far less than purchasing commercially available food storage. In addition, skills like this will help you survive when the SHTF. Great article…

    • Excellent point! And your number is probably low for many its even more, much more than $1.30.

      My wife and I both work and I suspect like many here our combined incomes get us into the 25% tax bracket (75-151k income). So each additional dollar I make gets taxed as follows:
      25% federal income tax
      15.3% federal FICA, self employment tax.
      5% state and local income tax (glad I am not in NY or CA)

      So the .govs takes 45.3% when I earn it and then 7- 8% more sales tax (depends on which state or county I spend it in) when I spend it. So to actually have an additional dollar more to spend, I have to actually earn an additional $1.95-1.97.

      • Bill,

        15.3% federal FICA, self employment tax.

        As someone who has done my own taxes all but one year in my lifetime, that number is actually more like 11.5% for the 25% tax bracket, since you can take that amount back as a deduction that helps a bit.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        Yea Gobbernment sucks…

  10. I think you hit the nail squarely on the head with the first thing you need to do, and that is know the difference between a want and a need. As a geeky math & science guy I was always on the outside, and finally realized that I had my own group of outsider friends, and once that happened I simply didn’t need to think or even care about what others thought of me, except in the areas of principles, ethics, and morality. I’m knowledgeable in a lot of subjects, willing to admit what I don’t know (how else can you learn), give my time freely and my word is my bond. Once I was there, then keeping up with the Joneses and not wanting things just because others have them was easy.
    We are also heading into a fixed income situation and although I may still be able to pick up a little contract work here and there, we have more cash inflow than outflow, due in part to having no mortgage for 20+ years, no car payment, and absolutely no credit card debt, so SS times 2 with the DW’s pension and mine soon to start, works like we’ve planned for years. You don’t just fall into retirement any more than falling into a home. Both require planning and executing the plan. We plan our spending and quite often use the credit card, always paying the balance in full ever month, and using the points primarily for home depot gift cards.
    I have more 5-gallong buckets than I can use, since I’ve developed a nearly endless supply. Much of our other food storage is on racks in several rooms of the house. We have a large house and that helps a lot, except for more places for clutter, which are slowly being cleared up.
    As for items like sugar, the largest bulk we’ve bought is generally 5 or 10 pound bags; but, over the years we have accumulated a lot. Unfortunately, our local Goodwill is a poor excuse for a thrift store, and I do occasionally drool at the deals I hear people here getting at their local stores.
    We have a friend who is an independent insurance agent and a fellow ham operator who has numerous times helped us switch to different companies (he represents many) to save cash.
    Our last new vehicle was a 2000 and we still have it in running order. The last vehicle we bought was a 2003 and still runs like a top. Our old truck is a 1989 and has a few issues; but, is still serviceable.
    We have cash and some PM’s on hand in several fireproof boxes in different locations. Our important papers including documentation like account numbers and access information for credit cards, checking and savings are not only stored in a fireproof box; bus have been either entered into or scanned to images, and save on several types of storage media.
    When FDR signed Executive Order 6102 in 1933 it made it illegal to hoard gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates; but not gold jewelry or silver of any sort. Hoard is of course the operative word; but, if they don’t know you have it, well…
    Honest folks back in 1933 trusted the government and handed in their hoards; but, I suspect many today would not do the same.
    We still have a land line phone and Internet (actually one in the same) and satellite TV; but, rarely eat out, and when we do it is likely to be somewhere like Wendy’s or Burger King, often with coupons.

    common sense over nonsense, needs vs. wants and logic over emotion.

    I couldn’t have said it better. Good article with some very prescient points.

  11. It is my experience that growing up poor creates in your mind a predilection to be frugal. I think that also when a man or women leaves home and has to live day to day at lower paying jobs tends to do the same thing. And of course there are exceptions where the individual willingly and knowingly chooses to incur debt and fail to pay it off and lives from payday to payday with little or no credit. In other words either you learn to be frugal, to budget or you do not. It is also my experience that those who do not learn this constantly blame others, society, bad luck, social injustice, etc. for their woes. These two things go hand in hand, i.e. failing to budget and always blaming everyone and everything other than one’s self. Until and unless you take the responsibility for your economic problems onto your own shoulders you cannot solve it.

    I will add one other observation; Cigarettes, booze and drugs are the killers of budgets for poor to middle class families. If you smoke and drink a six pack a night you are pissing away about $100 a week or $5200 a year on your habits. This is money that you cannot spend on food, transportation, clothing, housing etc. Put drugs into that mix and the sky is the limit on how much you piss away on your habits.

    I will also add that everyone should be saving money. That should be part of your budget. Everyone should be saving 10% of their net income every week, every month every year. If you are young (younger than 40) you will laugh at that. If you are older you will nod in agreement. Remember that old Polish proverb; “too soon old, too late smart”.

    • Yes. When I think “save”, I go to preps and PM’s. The “dollar bubble” looks risky. Diversify.

    • IdahoBob—to true.
      we dont do any of the above…but we will wait till we have that one trip at the end of the year and do the ‘All inclusive’ at the resort…so then we can eat AND ‘drink’ for Free! LOL
      Works nicely!

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      It is my experience that growing up poor creates in your mind a predilection to be frugal.

      Have every limb broke in a motorcycle accident, loose your good paying job, have your wife walk (taking your 3-year old boy with her)out at the same time, loose your home. Have the court system threaten you with jail to pay child support never caring about you not able to work because of the accident. Loose your autos and very, vary rare BMW motorcycle and all that creates a predilection to be frugal

  12. Here are two of the many things, I have learned the hard way: “debtor is slave to the lender”, and “glitter (stuff beyond comfortable), does not a richly rewarding life make”. As soon as I could, I paid off the house with my 401 k, and then bought a few years worth of taxes in PM’s. On that note, the historical price for a house is about 500 Oz. of silver. That is about $9 k today. It was 100 Oz. in 1980. Tons of factors here, but “the farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see”. Diversify. Pray for Guidance.

    • Error: 1,272 Oz. in 1980.

    • When we paid off our house with our 401K, a ‘financial advisor’ at our bank said that was a mistake. I told him I would rather have the security of owning than not owning outright.

      • Terra,
        I’m not a financial advisor; but, I’ve taken classes, read books, run several companies, and been doing quite well for myself for 40+ years, including doing my own taxes all but two of those years, and I do have a few questions / comments on using your 401K to pay off your home. If you took the money out as a loan you have to pay it all back within a certain time frame or there are penalties; but, the interest you pay back to the 401K is actually being paid to your eventual benefit. If you simply withdrew the money, then you obviously had to pay a lump sum of taxes on the withdrawal. Also, depending on your age and situation, it may take a while to accumulate additional fund sufficient to ensure a secure retirement.
        In any case, losing that mortgage is a great feeling that I’ve had twice in my life, with the first house (a fixer upper) making me enough money to pay off our current home. When I received the check the lawyers & real estate people involved in the closing tried to interest me in other investments and when I told them I was paying off my current home, they also tried to talk me out of it, telling me how I was only paying 6% on the money and investment could easily make me 8%, so the different would be cash in my pocket. I said I was all in for their investments if they could guarantee me 8% for the next 20-30 years. at which point the discussion ended, since the 6% was guaranteed.
        It is indeed a great feeling and if you use the extra cash flow on nontrivial things, you can have a happy life really wanting for nothing of importance.

        • Yes, OP. I got hit hard on taxes when I withdrew after I retired (early), but it is worth it to me.

          • Terra,

            Yes, OP. I got hit hard on taxes when I withdrew after I retired (early), but it is worth it to me.

            I don’t know your age; but, if you’re young enough and disciplined enough, which it sounds like you are, then you are off to a good rest of your life.
            I was watching my business shows today and they mentioned that the new American dream was not just owning a home; but, being out of debt, so perhaps enough people are finally waking up and seeing a clear picture of what really counts in life, at least IMHO.

            • I just turned 60 and been retired for 1 year. I took some out of my 401K to pay off the house I bought when we moved to another state at retirement. It was enough to put us into a high tax bracket. But, I have talked to several financial advisors (which I don’t trust and never used one but we wanted some advice due to the tax issue) and they all said that you should never pay off your mortgage. I am just not at that mindset. I believe in security and love the idea that after I put in the equity from the sale of the other house, I paid off the rest with my hard-earned savings that I’ve been contributing to for the past 30 years. I don’t regret it, and I know most of you think the same way. Mainstream advisors say not to do that but I don’t buy it.

              • Terra,
                Since you at least waited until 59 ½ you only had the tax an no penalties which counts for something. I’ve paid off two houses early, and have not had a mortgage for about 20 years, which meant having money through the down times when I was once laid off for about 10 months with only 26 weeks of unemployment. We have to come up with real estate taxes and utilities which in our case means a onetime per year propane fill up; but, if times get lean we can cut back on power usage and supplement our meals with lot of stored and home grown foods. We have more than sufficient income for meeting all bills with some savings each month, and have purchased nearly all of the large items we ever wanted, like the generator, insulation and windows, and the accouterments for the summer kitchen like the freeze dryer. This summer we’ll be adding some more gravel to the driveway and replacing a small outbuilding that’s in bad shape for a total cost of around $2500, and that will pretty much be the end of any large spending for the foreseeable future.. I think a lot of the financial advisors don’t really understand how a self reliant lifestyle can be both fun and frugal, plus in my case and I suspect yours and most of the pack, also give us a comfortable feeling of insulation against the uncertainties of the world in which we live.
                We will however be talking with an advisor in the near future specifically to help us plan how best to withdraw the moneys from our IRAs for best long term use with least taxability.

  13. Hi Pack!
    We try to follow all the points made…we save and live frugally all year long, so we can have that ONE item at the end.

    This is our treat and we feel it is absolutely needed, not just wanted. My DH is a bit older than me, so there is a very good chance I will not get to retire alongside him and enjoy the things we like. We also have a severely disabled son who requires our attention 24/7…..
    We rarely if ever go out and if we do its just to a date night movie maybe once every 3-6 months if at all…..
    We only eat at home never out, even for lunches….this has been something we locked down years ago…youd be surprised the money you save just by ‘not’ buying lunches! And that’s fine since I’m an awesome cook!
    We buy in bulk and pack all things at home. I even laugh when I say ‘I Love shopping at home, from the ‘home store-age’!! LOL

    So in the end we save so we can get that one large item at the end of the year.
    Which is our vacation to somewhere.
    It’s costly, but to us it matters not. It is ‘our time’. And we feel we have not only earned it, but absolutely need it! Otherwise we would go nuts and be miserable. LOL
    So that one treat at the end of the year is something we save for…it takes a card to get it, but we always plan it a year in advance, pay for it in advance, then use the funds saved to pay for it. As well as save up, or sell uneeded items so we have petty, fun cash on hand for ‘the trip’.

    This is how we handle the tough times, the stress and reward our self for a years worth of good management.

    In the end I prep, but I also have to enjoy something and some ‘time’ with hubby…I dont want to spend all my time and money saving for a day, or retirement with hubby that might never come around. Is it perfect? Maybe not, but it works for us. 🙂
    Cheers.

  14. Chuck Findlay says:

    In the end I prep, but I also have to enjoy something and some ‘time’ with hubby…I don’t want to spend all my time and money saving for a day, or retirement with hubby that might never come around.

    Same here (other then spending time with the hubby part) I have a trailer in a small camp ground (almost in the shadow of a nuke plant, same one I use to work at) and I want to get out there more and take my dad with me. We both enjoy camping and sitting around a camp fire burning food.

    In the next month I have to get out there to get it ready. Need to install the battery, solar panel, the propane tanks and clean it up (always seems to have a few dead lady bugs in it) for Summer use.

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