note: free book, most excellent "1632" by Eric Flint, ties in with rebuilding society. click here Not as good of a series as The Lost Regiment http://amzn.to/2B30aAZ as far as the subgenre, but the first Flint book is stand alone superb. If you can't do a Kindle file, go to www.baen.com for free book downloads.
Three years ago I wrote the book “Consuming To Invest”, which was how to turn your soon to be worthless paper currency into tools that could save you money ( to buy you more tools ) and make you more sustainable. It was a step above mere consumables like ammo and wheat. For instance, cloth diapers. They pay for themselves very quickly and then they save you a butt metric ton of money. Let’s say a cloth diaper costs $1.50 and throwing in pins and the plastic outer shell and a cloth insert to catch most solid matter adds another fifty cents to it. $100 should be more than enough of an investment.
What are disposable diapers now? About a quarter apiece? Call it ten a day, every day for a year ( I can’t remember how long it took for my kids-is two years too long? Let’s just say a year ). $900 a year. $60 a year going to the Laundromat on their Dollar Day, plus soap. You’ve saved $750. That can buy a lot of other tools such as a manual sewing machine ( which can be a business as well as savings-the point here is if the tool is more expensive than the labor, only then is it a business. If you charge a dollar to fix a rip, no one is going to buy a $100 machine to DIY ), manual saw ( save hundreds from using a chainsaw, to buy…), galvanized stiff metal clothesline ( which saves the cost of owning and operating a clothes dryer which buys…), glass sheets for solar heating and cooking ( which saves you propane and electric which increases the saving into other tools ).
Think of your monthly budget as credit card debt. With debt, you take the lowest payment and put extra towards paying it off. Once you free up that payment, you place it towards paying off the next. And so on until it is all paid quickly and painlessly. If you don’t do this, you pay for thirty years until the principle is finally wiped out, an insane plan. In your budget, you take one expense you can eliminate. That takes investing in one tool. Be in a rooftop antenna to replace cable, a bike with trailer and baskets to replace a car, etc.
The difference between credit card debt and budget elimination is that the same amount will kill the debt, but with the budget, you make more money every time. Once you get past the first hurdle, it becomes fun and games and eventually it turns into a “Hump You” budget. The olden days plan was to make enough money to tell your job Hump You. That is unrealistic in a contracting economy. Now you must need so little to live you can tell your boss to Hump You.
But with that book, I don’t think I really covered eliminating professional services. I went back and glanced at it quickly and saw nothing ( although I could be wrong. I don’t remember what I wrote three days ago, let alone three years ). Saving money on the plumber, HVAC guy, carpet layer, chimney sweep, wood supplier, etcetera, might be not just an option but a necessity. If you are looking to increase your security by becoming self employed, you need to beware consumers making you obsolete. Not because they want to, but because they have to.
Am I the only one far enough removed to see the insane cost of living that is the average American lifestyle? Can you not see the HUGE amount of fat that can be cut once it becomes necessary? I tell you to stop driving, you tell me to get stuffed, yet nothing guarantees that you will be allowed to drive up to the start of the Apocalypse. I won’t go off on a rant-I’ll just say Peak Oil, PetroDollar Collapse and hyperinflation. And even if none of that were true, look at the unemployment numbers and globalization and the future of your job. Isn’t that why you are looking to become self-employed?
But that is NOT happening in a vacuum. More folks are becoming unemployed or getting their hours cut. More folks are paying 20% plus every year for less health insurance. More folks are paying more for rent. Why do you assume they will have the money to pay for your services, indefinitely? Eventually they will be forced to watch YouTube videos and try to do it themselves. Would Home Depot even be in business after the first housing bubble if folks weren’t Doing It Themselves? In fact, you go on their web page, many, many products have the video right there on the page.
Will Home Despot survive? Of course not. If I, self proclaimed and awarded World’s Cheapest Bastard will go ten miles out of my way to go to Ace Hardware and pay twice as much for both advice and help and better quality, because it is an investment which saves money anyway in the long run, how much longer will the flock of idiots stay wasting money at Despot? Yeh, I know, they are still at Wal-Mart doing exactly that, as well as eating out, but that is because fiscally they actually have a choice right now. My point is they won’t too much longer.
Look at fast food restaurants, or actually any dinning out establishment. It used to be that it was cheaper to eat out than eat in. Your total calories were cheaper and tastier. You had to be careful what you ordered, and where you ordered, but it wasn’t hard to beat the at home meat and potato cost. When you could eat two burgers and fries for two bucks, that wasn’t possible to duplicate at home ( your oil would go rancid before it matched the cost per unit of the mass quantity provider ).
When I first moved here there was a Mexican place that served Sonora style food ( yummy! ). It was $4.50 plus tax for a burrito that oozed more meat than beans and literally filled the plate. You could eat all the thin crispy chips with salsa you wanted while waiting. It was a dive building, cracked linoleum floors, terrible acoustics and an industrial line pay and serve. It was right behind the library and as a treat I’d occasionally bring a book to read and pig out. It was literally a days calories. No way could I duplicate that shopping at the store.
And remember, this was in a high rent, two hundred mile one way out of the way of everything high cost of living town, with the place on the main drag downtown. The last time I went there, after all eateries everywhere had jacked up their prices, the same burrito was $7. It was recently sold and rebranded, and I’d hate to think of the price now that the cost of buying the business had to be included. This was a mom and pop place. You only needed two people to run it, the cook and the part time cashier/cooks helper. I’m sure everything was from #10 cans ( but, oy!, was it tasty ). But that couldn’t have counteracted the bulk buying discount the chain stores worked with.
I could take a couple of articles to break down the causes of food price inflation, but let’s just leave it at Corporate Debt, Corn To Ethanol and Fuel BTU inflation. And I understand that my figures could come undone if the bulk of shoppers return to market buying rather than restaurant eating ( there might be a discount to shopping at the market now, as they are forced to cut prices to compete with dining out ). But for now, it is MUCH cheaper to eat at home than to eat out. It just took a few specialty tools ( chest freezer, pots and pans, convection oven ). I’m stating that this is the future of most goods and services. Continued tomorrow.
END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2iVIdgU )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
Before Toyota number one. I had never used a mechanics services. Still haven't either to this day !ReplyDelete
Tho after 16 years , her Toyota needed a new valve cover gasket. Physically I knew it would really strain me to replace it too. Yet I did ! Took me a whole day and like $75 in parts. The shop wanted $300 !!
Neither have I ever used a plumber, electrician, carpenter, mason or welder for personal projects. It was always cheaper to buy the tools and parts myself. Then if I didn't know how...well read or ask someone who did know how.
Of course having worked in the trades my whole life and being a mechanical engineer doesn't hurt either...
Eventually age may change this however lol.
But when you are smart, you make allowences to avoid those chores. Drive far less often-retired rather than working. Cut less wood through insulation. Growing old doesn't have to mean more consumption, done right. Hell, you can't afford services anyway as it is all going to pills to keep you alive :)Delete
Actually I'm totally medication free now.Delete
Unless that is, I overdo myself...then I might take one of my hoarded happy pills lol.
Give it time :) After age X, I think we all need pills to keep us alive.Delete
True about getting older, but note that age X varies, and you can take herbals to extend it further.Delete
Hell, I'm just putting up with a declining living standard ( okay, luxury wallowing, like extra butter ) to keep the pain reduced. I don't want to take pills to continue that. :)Delete
deborah harvey December 12, 2017 at 2:14 AMReplyDelete
anonymous,please repost insulin recipe. thanks
@deborah Harvey. I searched for the recipe that I had previously posted and was unable to find it. I do recall that it was a painstaking process, and unlikely to be successful for those that do not have a comprehensive knowledge of chemistry processes and procedures. None the less, I searched using the same keywords that I recall using previously, and did find what I believe to be the same recipe which I will post below. By all means archive this information, and I hate to sound negative, but pray that you would never need to resort to this sort of thing. The word count limit here at blogger wouldn’t let me post the article, so you have to go to the link below:
Keyword search: homemade insulin from pig pancreas
Research note: world bank will stop funding-financing oil and gas "projects" by 2019. Per france24 t.v. news show. Can't just believe global bankers are going eco-gay and not financing such necessary energy ventures. Something is afoot, watch closely. Jim, still great hair, keep it up!ReplyDelete
World Bank was just a neocolonial US creation. I don't consider them very important in the great scheme of things any longer. The private energy companies are already scaling WAYYY back on money losing production. It doesn't really matter if they aren't financed for projects they are dropping anyway. Cheers!Delete
They are stopping the funding of most (not all) Oil and Gas projects, because there is not the return on investment anylonger - Peak Oil is being acknowledged in a quite, and very round about way.Delete
The worlds biggest mining company has decided to sell off their fracking operation at a huge loss. But...Go Energy Independence!Delete
As a non-do it yourselfer, I’ve learned the hard way about what to avoid in the future in order to keep my life as simple and economical as possible. Well insulated shelters, low tech plumbing systems (A jug with a spigot) no wells (either haul it, or get it from a creek, spring, or crudely dug hand well) no septic systems (Haul it or compost it) and there will be no calling the HVAC dude, the plumber, or the well or the septic dude, for the multi-thousand dollar repairs. If you can get by, as you say, without an automobile, then you can scratch auto mechanic from your list as well. But in my experience, most people living in remote areas that are employed, cannot do without a car. Though you might find that a motorcycle will meet your transportation needs, and is far cheaper to own and maintain than an automobile.ReplyDelete
“Once you get past the first hurdle, it becomes fun and games and eventually it turns into a “Hump You” budget”.
There’s this dude that had a radio program, by the name of Tom Leykis. In addition to giving young men pragmatic advice on dating modern women, he also advocated having an “FU fund” so that when the time came to tell your unreasonable employer to get bent, you could, and would survive long enough to find another job. He was a bit of a commi, so I couldn’t stomach him for very long, but he did have some sound advice. But as you say, jobs are becoming scarce, so said fund wouldn’t provide the security that it once did.
I'll try out this Tom fellow. I can handle a little communism, if it is more pragmatic than ideological. Thanks.Delete
You might like him, and he’s actually funny as hell. He has long since been driven from the public airwaves due to his controversial views, so you have to catch him online now. (He’s a leftist, but his views on women are politically incorrect, so the left hates him, and refers to him as a “right winger”). He’s a 4 time marriage lottery loser, so he came to anti-feminism through the school of hard knocks. It also means that you already have a lot in common with him 😀Delete
He has a different theme on different days. But on one evening he covers financial advice. Here’s the link:
I opened the site and he was talking about the scam of home ownership. Definitely worth giving him a try. Cool.Delete
I just got a 6qt multi-pressure cooker from local Kroger meat dept. I have old-school pressure cooker/canner, but this one is a slow-cooker up to oil-fryer temps. Unfortunately, it's like a new car with endless safety interlocks and illuminated display. 1000W max, so it will work on any 15A circuit or an orange extension cord. Pressure cooker is an important capability to have if you stock dried beans. They get so rock hard that even soaking seems to not be good enough. Also, if you are in an RV with genset or occasional (possibly pirate) plugging in, the speed of pressure cooking is useful. The future of affordable housing in Portland is on 6 tires, so I'm trying to plan for that eventuality. It was $69.99, and seemed like a dealReplyDelete
A pressure cooker ( used with propane, not an electric one ) is about the only good option if you don't have a microwave with lower power solar/inverter. And I don't want to have to grind the larger beans-about five times the work of running through the mill than wheat.Delete
yes, heating with off-grid electricity is generally not-good. Propane, wood, and passive-ish solar wins.Delete
Like coffee machines (moka pot, percolator, kettle+press, etc) that will make coffee with any source of heat under them, rather than Mr. Coffee that requires grid always-on, old-school stainless gasketed pressure cooker will work fine on most-modern inductive stove top or on wood-coal fired cabin stove. But, you have to watch it.
To do effective solar heating, you need 20th century (or very late 19th century, like Pittsburgh Plate Glass cheap-big panes) materials. Polycarbonate corregated sheets, heavy-duty clear plastic sheet (a couple seasons at best), or modern sturdy glass is needed to allow the transmission of the light to the surface to be heated. Oiled goat skins just won't do, nor will sheet mica in plaster.
No oiled goat skins? There goes my back-up plans! :) I just trash-picked near a dozen good windows while walking the dog. She got aweful tired that day as I kept doing loops from house to dumpster. You'd have thought I'd won the post-apoc lottery. Glass is right up there in importance stockpiling, regardless of salvage possibility.Delete