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Friday, December 9, 2016

finances for collapse book 3


FINANCES FOR COLLAPSE BOOK 3

DEBT

Let’s make this section pretty easy.  You believe in the collapse and want to survive, or you don’t believe.  You are serious, or it is just a hobby.  That is fine, if you are just engaged in an interesting and rewarding pastime.  After all, you are reading my wisdom worthy for the ages.  But be honest with yourself.  Are you just arming yourself with cool guns, and throwing in a few months worth of food, just in case?  Again, no big deal.  A months calories cost $8, a 25 pound sack of flour ( at least for the first month, while you still have more nutritional supplements to go along with it.  After that, you might need to spend a bit more.  Or at least if you are spending less, put more effort and planning into it [ hint, hint, whole wheat kernels ] ).  A prepping hobby is rewarding, but largely delusional after the fun part.  If you really think the crap is going to hit the fan, you need to make REAL lifestyle changes.  Not just Business As Usual But With More Money.  If you honestly want to prepare, as far as finances are concerned, you need to get out of debt.  Now, I’m not discounting basic preparations such as a food stockpile and an arsenal, plus basic clothing and shelter.  Those are more important than eliminating debt.  As long as you have put aside a bare bones stockpile ( cheap bolt gun, wheat, a few affordable odds and ends such as wool and a DIY water filter ), that is good enough.  Then eliminate debt.  Don’t fall into the trap of dragging out preps to keep your current lifestyle.

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Do you think that sounds improbable?  No, because that is what is, mostly, taught and that is what happens when you confuse a hobby with an obsession.  The Yuppie Scum Survivalist guru’s do admonish one to get out of debt.  But they also sternly lecture that without oodles and gobs of high cost gear, there is absolutely no way you are going to survive.  And how else does one acquire said nifty necessary gadget if not by using credit?  If you simply MUST have twenty acres for field and forest and babbling brook and pasture, not to mention a really big McMansion, how else but a thirty year mortgage?  Granted, SOME readers might be able to save for a few years after cutting down on their spending, then move to a part of the country so economically devastated that they can actually find an affordable country retreat ( an issue all by itself ), but most average survivalists think they need to get into debt for a better place to live and have no other way of doing so.

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This is trying to satisfy a hobby but remaining firmly in the current paradigm.  Unless you are one of the few rich preppers that can actually pay for a personal consultation with said guru, you have a choice to make.  Debt, or Prep ( I know, my wit is astounding ).  By which I mean, be a frugal prepper, or not really one at all.  Because even though you have cool and expensive gear, if you are in debt you will have a much harder time surviving.  You think a homestead exemption is going to save your home if you owe serious gobs of money to the government or bankers?  They can, and do, change the rules to suit themselves.  In the quest to secure their money, Rules and Laws mean nothing.  What, you didn’t pay attention as Hilary Clinton got away with murder and fraud and theft, all easily documented?  In a financial collapse, debtors have few to zero rights ( the poor have just as few, but being poor and out of debt means they probably won’t notice and come after you directly ).  Debt in itself is not a huge deal.  It is having it is an economic collapse that is the problem.

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Debt eliminates options when you get a pink slip.  Or even if your hours are cut.  Really, since the housing bubble popping, who can claim debt is a good idea, while keeping a straight face?  We saw the whole rationale for being in debt, owning a home, collapse.  Why worry about a credit score if you need a 20% down payment, on property STILL overvalued at least three or four times?  If you can get a no down loan, why spend the extra?  If you spend the extra, why would you if the market can lose half its value overnight again?  Why would you want to pay the insane property taxes that Social Security or unemployment or only one income are incapable of covering?  There are only, really, two good reasons to be in debt, and both are short term and you can walk away from them at any time.  A cheap piece of owner financed land and a car.

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First off, neither require good credit.  So you can nuke your credit score and far more quickly get out of debt.  Do it legally, because just walking away is only doubling down on the pain even if it is delayed.  But surrender all the items you owe on and pay the penalty on the rest.  If I could pay the ex-wife tax on minimum wage, you can certainly cover the student debt and remainder on other debts on payments as I’m sure most of you earn more than myself.  I had a current wife to support, was making a land payment and was paying 60% of my gross in taxes and child support.  On minimum wage.  I could do it because I had no other debt, wasn’t paying rent and didn’t own a car.  I understand this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  I bring it up to both point out the advisability of being out of debt as a financial coping mechanism and to illustrate how easy it is to live after you cut the debt cord.  I know it is easier to stay in debt than to live life an impoverished barbarian.  But that is only because the real economic collapse hasn’t slagged your job yet.  Wait and see how hard it will be then.  Again, if you truly believe the collapse is nigh, make the sacrifices now.  You have little options besides.

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If you must have a car, say if you have a property so cheap it makes sense to commute, you can ALWAYS find financing for it, irregardless of credit score.  You may not like the finance charges, but you’ll get a car.  And owner financed land, or at least cheap land which is what you want anyway, is always No Credit Check.  The land is the collateral.  You stop paying they keep your payments to date and the land.  You aren’t chained to either the land or the car.  Things get rough, you walk away with no problems.  You don’t need debt for anything else, and it is unwise to have it for anything else.  “Good Credit” is a bullseye to enslave you.  Once you chose to discontinue kissing the bankers asses, life is a lot easier and a lot safer.

END

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22 comments:

  1. Totally true.
    That's why one should not conceive a child, or take out a student loan, or get married (even shacking up can be problematic that way) unless one is totally 100% sure of the results.
    I've taken all 3 risks. But I was careful with the spouse and child and over 99% sure and it has worked out well for 2 decades for the spouse, and nearly a decade for the child, so it seems like those bets are paying off. The student loans though- there isn't a human on the other end of that debt, just a monstrous creation of laws and regulation that will enslave you and rob you for the rest of your life.

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    1. Amusing, in an abstract way, how a college debt shackles you to a corporate job and how it mirrors Rome forcing farmers to stay on their land even after taxes and denuded soil saw them impoverished. Was it Twain who said "history doesn't repeat but it sure rhyems" ( spelling alert )?

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  2. I'm not sure why a sane person would go into debt for a car, but i get your general drift, and mostly agree.
    This rant reminds me of a line from a song that was popular when i was growing up:
    "Somebody told us Wall Street Fell, but we were so poor that we couldn't tell..."
    -eviltwin

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  3. I'm still not clear on why anyone should go into debt for a CAR. this is a liability, pure and simple.
    In my opinion, you should only even CONSIDER debt that makes you more money than you owe.
    So for example, if you need a truck for work, you should NOT EVEN CONSIDER paying more for it than you can pay off quickly, and that is ONLY AFTER figuring out every reason that you can not just buy a cheaper one outright...
    -eviltwin

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    1. I used to think the same way, but changed my mind when I figured too many folks would actually need a car to get to paid-off land. You want to be in debt for what they can repo with less consequences. If they repo, you have no job, so a car doesn't matter ( I know, a few exceptions, but generally ) but if you owe on the land you become homeless.

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  4. then again, i'm a total hypocrite, since i did go into debt for a degree.
    and i think THE ONLY THING worth going into debt for is Land.
    the only saving grace is that i paid off the entire student loan. I'm the only person i know that actually thought you were supposed to pay it off. everyone else i know just never paid a dime on theirs, and, to a person, they all expect the debt to be forgiven. And used the degree to get a career started that is entirely in line with the degree i got...
    I know, this makes me an "outlier" (meaning stupid), but i don't have it hanging over my head, and that gives me a certain peace-of-mind.
    -eviltwin

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    1. Peace of mind is better than money and college debt forgiveness isn't something you can take to the bank.

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  5. “Granted, SOME readers might be able to save for a few years after cutting down on their spending”


    I kind of like the idea that the dude from the cheap rv living site had about living in the converted box van in order to save some serious money. On the outside it was just an ordinary box van. But on the inside it was a fully converted apartment. “Going home” was simply a matter of parking at a 24 hour merchants, or in the business section where it blended right in.

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    1. As long as you insulate the bastard. I lived in our box van for a summer and even being under a tree it was always at least ten degrees hotter inside than out. Glad it wasn't winter.

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    2. Yes, this plan assumes that at the very least, you would have to frame the interior and insulate it well. You don't want it to appear as being lived in, so I would use RV roof vents for natural lighting, as opposed to a window. Rooftop solar cells that are invisible from ground level with a few deep cycle batteries would be a welcome addition. The roof vents come in a fan model, so 2 of these, one pushing, the other pulling, would be good to have when it's warmer out. Depending on how far you wish to go with it or spend, you could even have a small whisper quiet generator and AC unit as well.

      I'd say at the bare minimum, plan on framing the interior and adding insulation, a few solar panels, and the two fan style roof vents if you wish to live in it full time. Obviously, you'd also want a porta-potti.

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    3. Sawdust toilet rather than chemical. No splash, no odor, no spillage when emptying. Get big bags of pine shavings in the Wally pet section. I'm sure you all know this, just a notice for the few new guys.

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    4. You could go the sawdust toilet route James, but the little porta-potti that I got from Walmart (Ironically, so that I could camp out near my distant job to save money over hotel costs) has a separate removable tank that is designed to be set atop and emptied right over a toilet, so any gas station or park bathrooms would work. I did the camping thing on and off for a few years. It wasn't a good solution because there is a 30 day limit per year at each individual park within the east bay regional parks district, (Bay Area) even during the less busy off season, which made no sense. And there were only a couple that were in reasonable driving distance from my job. But this actually helped me pay down my student loan fairly quickly. Not going to lie though, it sucked! Not that camping isn't fun, but it's not fun when you're using a public campground as a form of cheap housing, because it loses its recreational aspect, if that makes sense.

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    5. Of course it makes sense. Like "camping" in the Army is not as fun as camping in a park. Between the military and 6.5 years living off grid, I could never camp again and be okay with it. But, I could also go back to it and not fret so much, either. To me, comfort is a comfortable chair to read in. The temperature, how you cook dinner, and everything else is of less worry.

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    6. Indeed, the one thing I truly missed while living on the boat for seven years...was a comfortable chair to read in. Tho we did contrive elaborate cushion arrangements out in the cockpit which were pretty darn comfey....
      As my wife constantly bitches about...the only good part about my accident, has been all the good quality time spent reading in my lazyboy lol.

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    7. Cushions on a bed suck. LazyBoy chairs are the next best invention since air conditioning.

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  6. "being poor and out of debt means they probably won’t notice and come after you directly"
    ========================

    Until they fire up that nefarious "pre-sales tax" law (PST).
    What, you haven't heard about the PST?
    This is how it works.

    All money is meant to be spent, or saved, but we're not very concerned with sawing when we're poor.

    The rate of sales tax varies by region and around here it is 8%. So say it's 30 Dec and I have $10 in my pocket. On 31 Dec I will owe the state 8% of that $10, or 80 cents, because I am going to spend that $10 in the upcoming year.

    This is only on cash on hand that is carried over into the new year.

    After this is implemented fully it will insure that all of us are cash poor on the 1st day of all future new years, and the state will be that much more richer and powerful.

    The 2nd step is making it a monthly law.
    In the future cash will be expensive and difficult and detrimental.

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    1. Well, how expensive and difficult? Drugs aren't.

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  7. Truth be told, I'm not serious about prepping for Peak-Oil Dark Ages. Like you say, I'm more worried about what happens if I survive than how to survive. Once the die-off gets going in earnest, I will be happy just to have a say in who lives and who dies. But I will be really upset if I end up dying because there is a local power outage for a couple weeks, or a month-long in-house quarantine for a pandemic enforced by martial law.

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    1. PODA, of course, is not guaranteed. It is worse case scenario. It is an Optimists Blow viewpoint. All our mileage may vary.

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    2. Yep, but just starting to cover the basics will make for a lot better chance of surviving to any point XYZ than not covering the basics. Really it is just *stupid* not to put the price of a couple lattes aside into some sort of preps every week (or equivalent per month or year) If you never need them you wont miss the cost, if you do they will be invaluable.

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    3. Well, to a point of course. Some people think Basics are six months food. I think six years.

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